Top 7 Home Remedies for Cold and Flu
Cold and flu are common upper respiratory tract diseases and even though they are different, they have shared symptoms like sore throat, fever, and nasal congestion. The viral conditions spread via droplets suspended in the air from an infected person. Colds are a mild form, while a flu tends to be more severe. Once can turn to home remedies to effectively control their symptoms initially in mild cases of either condition.
Top 7 home remedies for cold and flu
Increase your consumption of zinc
A very effective home remedy to help treat cold and flu symptoms, as well as help manage COVID, is adding zinc to the meal plan to boost the immunity system. This mineral aids in creating germ-fighting white blood cells so that symptoms of cold and flu stay under check. Additionally, zinc is also known to fight off the flu virus and reduce its growth in the body. Some of the foods that come rich in zinc comprise chickpeas, beans, dairy, lentils, red meat, eggs, and more. Furthermore, supplements can also be taken before the flu season commences to keep the immune system strong. Adding these foods as part of daily meal plan will not only aid in keeping cold and flu virus at bay, but will also help in maintaining good health.
Stock up on warm soups
The key to keeping virus-borne cold and flu symptoms under control is to increase the intake of fluids like warm chicken soup as it not only aids in easing congestion but also in staying hydrated. Plus, the soup is rich in protein, which provides energy during the illness. The presence of minerals like potassium and sodium in chicken broth also helps to refill the lost nutrients due to cold and flu. Moreover, chicken soup includes a compound known as carnosine that assists the body’s immune system in fending off cold and flu symptoms in the initial stages. It even aids in soothing inflamed membranes present along the throat and nose. Drinking hot soups is an effective way to get relief from nasal congestion; it helps to thin out and drain the mucus.
Do a warm water gargle
The common symptom seen in people suffering from COVID, cold, and flu is a sore throat. Saltwater gargling is one of the most recommended home remedies for this symptom. It involves mixing half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and holding it in the throat for a few seconds. The process aids in moistening sore gullets and achieving temporary relief from pain. Furthermore, gargling can also be done by adding an astringent in warm water or with tea that comprises tannin to lower the tickle along the throat. Moreover, patients can prepare the water by mixing honey and apple cider vinegar; both ingredients offer antibacterial properties that aid in soothing the discomfort in the gullet. A mixture of lemon juice and warm water mixed with a tablespoon of honey can also be used for gargling.
Add garlic to meals
Cold and flu symptoms can also be improved by incorporating garlic into one’s meals. This vegetable has antibacterial and antiviral properties that aid a patient in recovering from a cold and flu. Additionally, it offers antioxidant properties that help in reducing the severity of illness in case of a disease like COVID, cold, or flu. Garlic is also known to contain a compound known as allicin that has antimicrobial properties. Including the flavoring agent along with regular meals not only improves the taste of the food but also helps in keeping cold and flu symptoms at bay.
Try the root of the Echinacea plant
To boost the immune system and fight off the symptoms of cold and flu, people use the root of the Echinacea plant in preparing a herbal decoction. The herb is recognized for treating infections as it comprises ingredients like flavonoids, which is a chemical that has therapeutic effects on the body. This means that Echinacea can aid in improving the overall immune health and lowering the swellings in the body. The plant is known to reduce the chances of catching a cold or flu and lower the duration of infections in the upper respiratory tract. The herb is mostly consumed in the form of a supplement or as herbal tea.
Use essential oils
Various symptoms of cold, flu and even COVID can be treated using an effective home remedy that includes the use of certain types of herb-based essential oils. They offer antibacterial and antiviral properties. For example, you can try tea tree oil as it is known to effectively fight off the pathogen by reducing as well as stopping the multiplication of the flu virus. There are other herbal oils like cinnamon oil, lemon oil, thyme oil, oregano oil and eucalyptus oil that have been proven to be equally effective in treating cold and flu symptoms. These oils can be used along a diffuser so that they mix with the air and aid in protecting against certain viruses and bacteria, and also help to relieve nasal congestion. Nasal sprays containing essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, oregano and rosemary can also provide relief from the blockage of the nose. However, it is important to note that these oils need to be used with caution as some of them may prove to be toxic if ingested. Moreover, some fragrances can cause irritation to pregnant women and babies, so, it is important to exercise caution before using aromatherapy for colds and flu.
Maintain an adequate fluid intake
When you get flu or cold, you lose fluid from the body because of sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. So, it is necessary to maintain proper hydration levels to get well. Drinking plenty of fluid like water or lemon juice will help to thin the mucus deposited in the nasal passage, thereby draining it out. This will give relief from nasal congestion.
Many of the milder symptoms of cold and flu can be effectively treated at home with the above-mentioned remedies, but you should consult a doctor if the condition worsens.