Natural Flu Remedies
Use natural flu remedies, such as herbs, nutrtional supplements, and hoemopathy, to alleviate flu symptoms, and to prevent influenza,
including swine flu.
Influenza, commonly called the flu, is an acute viral infection that attacks the upper respiratory system, including your nose, throat, bronchial tubes and lungs.
Anyone can get the flu, but generally speaking, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems and those with chronic illnesses are especially
vulnerable. For these people, the flu may develop into pneumonia which may be fatal.
The three classifications of the flu virus are A, B, and C. Type A influenza is the most common. The recent outbreak of what is commonly called "swine flu" involves
a new H1N1 type A influenza strain that is a genetic combination of swine, avian and human influenza viruses. It is capable of spreading from human to human.
Flu viruses are highly contagious and are spread via coughs and sneezes, which propel infected droplets into the air and onto surfaces.
Symptoms of the Flu
Initially, the flu may seem like a common cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sore
throat. But colds usually develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come on suddenly. Symptoms of the flu may include:
Vomiting and diarrhea are also common symptoms of the new H1N1 swine flu.
- Fever (over 38°C in adults, and often as high as 39.5°C to 40.5°C in children)
- Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Aches in muscles and joints, especially in your back, arms and legs
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nasal congestion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
Natural Flu Remedies
There is no conventional cure for the flu. Usually, you will get better after plenty of bed rest and drinking lots of fluids. But in some cases,
your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication such as Tamiflu or Relenza. Both medications can cause side effects, including light-headedness, nausea, vomiting,
loss of appetite and trouble breathing. They can also lead to the development of antiviral-resistant viruses. There has also been numerous reports of unusual
behaviors in children after taking Tamiflu, such as self-injury and confusion.
Perhaps the best bet against the flu is to keep your immune system strong and healthy, and to use natural flu remedies to abort a flu in its early stages.
Natural Flu Remedies - Herbs
Some herbs are effective natural flu remedies and, if taken just when you start feeling sick, can shorten the duration of the flu and the severity of its symptoms. The
most effective herbal remedies for flu are:
- Echinacea and Goldenseal: Research has shown that echinacea strengthens the immune system against viruses and many other germs as well.
Echinacea increases levels of a chemical in the body called properdin, which activates the part of the immune system responsible for increasing defense mechanisms
against viruses and bacteria. Goldenseal is both antiseptic and immune stimulating. It increases the blood supply to the spleen, an organ that is the staging area for
the fighting cells of your immune system. You can take a tincture of echinacea and goldenseal combo - 2 to 4 ml four times a day.
- Elderberry: Elderberry contains two compounds that are active
against flu viruses. It also reduces coughing by preventing the virus from invading respiratory tract cells. There is a patented elderberry extract called Sambucol that is
an excellent upper respiratory health product that many people have found effective in fighting off the cold or flu viruses.You can take one tablespoon four times a day.
Some people add the echinacea and goldenseal combination tincture to the elderberry for synergistic effects.
- Ginger: Ginger contains chemicals that have specific effects
against viruses. Ginger also reduces pain and fever, suppresses coughing and has a mild sedative effect that encourages rest.
- Garlic: Garlic contains several helpful compounds, including allicin which is one of the plant kingdom's most potent, broad-spectrum
antibiotics. You can take 300 mg of garlic in capsules twice a day. Or simply add raw garlic to broths and soups.
Natural Flu Remedies - Nutritional Supplements
Taking high dosages of vitamin C when you start getting flu symptoms and feel that you are coming down with the flu will help boost your immune system function because
vitamin C promotes white blood cell activity. You can take 1000 to 2000 mg of vitamin C three times a day. If diarrhea occurs, reduce the dosage.
Natural Flu Remedies - Homeopathy
Homeopathic remedies are effective natural flu remedies as well. They can provide relief of various flu symptoms. For a remedy to work, you need to select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. Use a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) and follow the instructions printed on the label.
Homeopathic remedies effective for influenza include:
- Anas Barbariae: The brand name of this remedy is Oscillococcinum. It is very effective if you take this remedy at the
first signs of a flu. It can shorten the duration of the flu and make the symptoms more bearable.
- Aconitum Napellus: This remedy is for a flu that comes on suddenly after exposure to dry, cold weather. You have a scratchy throat,
a thin discharge from the nose, great thirst, and a fever which may alternate with chills. You feel anxious, restless, and agitated.
- Arsenicum Album: This remedy is for a person who feels exhausted, anxious, restless, thirsty, and chilly. Diarrhea and vomiting occur with
- Belladonna: This is for the beginning phase of a flu that comes on suddenly. You have a high fever; your face is flushed and your skin
is hot, but your feet feel cold. You have a throbbing headache and are extreme sensitivity to light and jarring.
- Bryonia: This is for a flu with severe aching of the joints. Other major symptoms include headache, muscle aches, and a dry cough.
Everything feels worse from even the slightest motion. Your mouth usually is dry and you have a thirst for cold drinks.
- Eupatorium Perforliatum: This remedy is effective when there is a high fever and deep aching of the bones and the muscles.
You have a heavy sensation in the head. You feel chilly, thirsty, and miserable.
- Ferrum Phosphoricum: This remedy is best used at the onset of a flu when you feel feverish but not too sick. You may have a sore
throat and the face may be flushed.
- Nux Vomica: This remedy is for a person who has a high fever, violent chills, and a digestive upset, such as strong nausea and stomach
- Rhus Toxicodendron: This remedy is for extreme stiffness in the muscles and the joints. The stiffness feels better with warm
applications and when moving around. You feel restless because it is hard to find a comfortable position. Sore throat, red tongue, a teasing cough, nausea and bloating
are other possible symptoms.
- Sulphur: This remedy is for the end stage of a long flu. Lingering symptoms, either digestive or respiratory, will often have a hot or
burning quality. You may feel hot and sweaty, with low fever and reddish mucous membranes. You have a great thirst for ice-cold drinks.
Natural Flu Remedies - Aromatherapy
Essential oils that are anti-viral and antiseptic are helpful to ward off the flu virus. The following oils are particularly effective and can be used as a component
of your natural flu remedies:
If you feel that you are coming down with the flu, take a warm bath to which the following oils have been added:
- Tea Tree
After that, use the following oils to massage your whole body:
- Tea tree - 5 drops
- Lavender - 2 drops
- Thyme - 2 drops
For your bedroom and living room, make a room spray using any of the above oils, or use the oils in a diffuser.
If you have a sore throat, try this drink:
- Tea tree - 2 drops
- Eucalyptus - 3 drops
- Diluted in one teaspoon of vegetable oil such as sweet almond oil.
- Honey - 1 teaspoon
- Lavender - 2 drops
- Lemon - 1 to 2 drops
- Add to a cup of hot water and mix well. Inhale the aroma, drink it down, and go to bed!
Natural Cough Remedies
Natural Laryngitis Treatment
Home Remedies for Colds
Balch and Stengler, Prescription for Natural Cures, (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004).
Duke, J.A. The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. (St. Martin's Paperbacks, 2002).
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