Colds or flus can strike at any time, but winter is definitely the season when they commonly occur. We have compiled a list of 17 natural flu remedies that will help cure the flu quickly, but let’s first review what a flu is, and what the difference is between a cold and a flu.
What Is A Flu? A Quick Overview
The cold and flu are both caused by viruses NOT bacteria. A very simplistic explanation of the difference between cold and flu is that the flu has worse symptoms. Note that antibiotics should not be used for cold or flu, since antibiotics only treat infections by bacteria and not infections by viruses (1).
Difference Between Cold and Flu
Below is a list of symptoms for a cold versus a flu (2)(3). Flus entail more symptoms than a cold, and a distinct difference is that with the flu, the symptoms can occur very suddenly.
- sore throat
- sore throat
- high fever
- body and muscle aches
- can lead to pneumonia
- symptoms occurring suddenly
How Do You Get Rid of the Flu? 17 Natural Flu Remedies That Work
Whether you have a cold or flu, the important thing is to take it seriously and take action immediately!
Most of us have busy and demanding lives, whether we are students or adults making a living. It is tempting to brush off the clear signs of a cold or flu when they first appear. However, ignoring those initial warning signs could lead to a life-threatening illness such as pneumonia.
Here is a list of 17 natural flu remedies that you can do at home that will help you cure the flu quickly. Make sure to start these natural flu remedies at the onset of a flu or cold.
1. Kill all viruses in your ears with hydrogen peroxide
This natural remedy is very effective and can stop many colds or flus at its beginning stages. It may be because it stops the virus from entering our bodies through our ear canals.
Lie down on your side and fill your ear with hydrogen peroxide. A perfect tool to use is a plastic straw. If you hear lots of bubbling, that means you are effectively killing lots of viruses and bacteria. Let the hydrogen peroxide sit until it stops bubbling.
You should limit to 3 minutes maximum to avoid burning the inside of your ear. Empty your ear of the hydrogen peroxide when done, using a clean tissue paper. Repeat on the other side. Repeat this daily for 3-4 days. If the inside of your ears hurt, rest for a couple of days before continuing.
2. Take astragalus supplements
Astragalus has very strong anti-viral and immune system enhancing qualities (4) and will help you recover quickly from any onset of colds or flus. Take 2 astragalus supplements 2-3 times a day with plenty of water, and continue until you are feeling healthy.
3. Try zinc
This is a natural flu remedy that will only work if taken at the onset of a cold or flu. Take zinc supplements by very slowing dissolving the tablets in your mouth. Make sure to stick to the recommended dosage and frequency on the bottle, as over-consumption of zinc can lead to toxicity symptoms like nausea and vomiting (5).
4. Vitamin C
Increase your intake of vitamin C to increase your body’s ability to fight viruses. You can eat foods rich in vitamin C such as lemons, or if you are able to stomach vitamin C supplements, those will probably be the most effective as you can increase the dosage significantly. Try to take 3000mg of vitamin C per day.
Sleep is the time when your body heals, so make sure to get plenty of sleep especially when you notice a cold or flu coming. You need to let your body do its work by allowing it to heal while you sleep.
6. Eat Healthy
Eating healthy becomes especially critical when you have a cold or flu. More than ever, your body needs nutrients to fight off the virus and recover. During this time, you should severely limit sugar and bad carbs such as white bread, white rice, and pasta. At the same time, make sure to feed your body healthy protein, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals from fresh vegetables.
7. Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is a supplement that has powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It also has the ability to boost your immune function. Oil of oregano will help kill the flu or cold virus while supporting your immune system. Make sure to take them daily while you have the flu or cold!
8. Olive Oil
Olive oil has the same effects as oil of oregano. If for some reason, you cannot stomach oil of oregano well, or if you feel oil of oregano has started to lose its effectiveness, you can switch to olive oil supplements.
During a cold or flu, make you are getting the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals by taking a multi-vitamin. If you are taking zinc or vitamin D supplements as well, make sure your total intake of zinc and vitamin D stays within the recommended dosage.
Our digestion tends to be in shambles when we have a flu or cold. This is where probiotics comes in and helps recover the optimal balance of bacteria in your gut. If you are having stomach issues such as indigestion or diarrhea, it means partly that the bad bacteria have taken over your gut. You need to feed your gut with good bacteria to counter the bad.
11. Take It Easy
Postpone all demanding appointments and tasks, and take it easy until you are healthy again. Stress will burden your body and make it hard to fight off those viruses. Just let people know that you want to be extra careful since you have a cold, and they will understand and appreciate it immediately!
12. Stay warm
Especially if you have chills, make sure to stay warm all day long. This may mean using an extra blanket, wearing scarves, and wearing a sweater at work.
According to a research by Yale University, our immune system does not work well with low body temperature (6). So it is important to keep your body temperature warm so your immune system can be effective.
13. Get some sun exposure and take vitamin D supplements
According to research, low levels of vitamin D has been linked to the occurrence of flus (7). It is important to have sufficient vitamin D regularly, and especially if you have a flu. Try to get at least 10 minutes of sun exposure daily and take vitamin D supplements, ensuring adequate dosage.
14. Wash your hands with soap regularly
This is the time you should be extra vigilant about washing your hands with soap. Since your immune system is down, if you contract other viruses or bacteria, your body will not be able to fight them off easily, leading potentially to other illnesses. Make sure to wash your hands after returning home, so that you do not accidentally touch foods or your eyes or mouth and contract the virus.
15. Rinse your mouth and throat with whiskey or strong salt water
You should also kill any virus and bacteria lingering in your mouth by rinsing and gurgling with a whisky or strong salt water. The best time to do this is when you return home from outside, and especially if you have been around a crowd.
16. Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated with water is key to recovering from a flu or cold. This is needed in order to keep your body at an optimal state and so that your body can flush out the flu or cold virus from your body (7).
17. Use a humidifier at night
Using a humidifier at night may help, especially in the winter when the air tends to get dry indoors from air conditioning. This is another way to make sure your body stays hydrated and may also help with congestion symptoms.
Tips When Using Natural Remedies For Flu
- Make sure to continue the natural flu remedies until you are fully recovered. Otherwise the flu or cold may drag on.
- Avoid strenuous exercise until you are healthy
- See a medical professional immediately if you have severe symptoms
- Try to keep a physical distance from your family members so that they don’t get sick as well : )
(1) MedicalNewsToday; Antibiotics: All You Need To Know: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10278.php
(2) WebMD; What Is the Flu?: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/what-is-flu#1
(3) Healthline; Early Flu Symptoms: https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/early-flu-symptoms
(4) Men’s Journal; The Cold Remedy That Actually Works: https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/the-cold-remedy-that-actually-works-20160316/
(5) National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine; Zinc toxicity: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2407097
(6) National Post; Why do we catch more colds when the temperature drops? Blame our immune systems: https://nationalpost.com/health/why-do-we-catch-more-colds-when-the-temperature-drops-blame-our-immune-system
(7) Dr. Axe; 12 Flu Natural Remedies: https://draxe.com/flu-natural-remedies/