Tips on fighting the flu

The seasonal flu brings with it a whole host of dreaded symptoms. Photo: Courtesy of Pexels

Winter is here and with the biting cold comes the inevitable dreaded snuffles and seasonal flu. So to help you cope with the awful symptoms, we’ve rounded up the following suggestions.

  • Use salt water as a gargle. Mix a half a teaspoon in warm water in a glass for instant relief if you have a sore throat. Repeat every six hours. It may not taste great, but it creates an environment that’s hostile to bacteria. It also dries mucus.
  • Put a dollop of vapour rub in your bathwater to open up your airways. You can also rub it onto your feet and put on a pair of socks before going to sleep.
  • Burn eucalyptus oil in a diffuser. You could also add it to your bath.
  • Use a nasal spray.
  • Keep a plastic bag handy to dispose of the endless tissues that are going to accumulate.
  • Chop up garlic and add it raw to your food. It will shorten the time that you’re sick. It will also boost your immune system.
  • Get as much sleep as you can when you can feel your body sickening. Working too hard will leave you feeling horrible for longer.
  • Pour boiling water from the kettle into a bowl. Add some vapour rub or eucalyptus oil to the water. Place a towel over your head and inhale. This will clear up the wooly head feeling.
  • Give your body more vitamin C. It’s a decongestant. It’s found in orange juice, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli and chillies.
  • The benefits of chicken soup aren’t just a myth. The soup contains cysteine, an amino acid which helps reduce inflammation. The salt thins mucus and chicken protein aids the body in producing disease-combating antibodies.
  • If you’re running a temperature, use an over-the-counter medication that has both painkilling with anti-inflammatory properties to bring down your fever.
  • Drink honey in hot water. Honey is a natural antibiotic and will help with a cough. It also contains antimicrobials and antioxidants. Some people like it in tea, some prefer a mix of lemon and ginger in the hot water. Or you could just use a teaspoon! You can also use it as an antidote to dry skin – just rub in on chapped skin.
  • Add ginger to your dishes, it also has anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Consider taking zinc (with food) to boost your system. It’s also found in pumpkin seeds and cashew nuts. Shellfish contains zinc; oysters have the highest amounts.
  • Echinacea is also worth a try.
  • There are immune system boosting teas, but generally hot beverages help with congestion and keep you hydrated.
  • If you can, get hold of black elderberries, or a product which uses them. They contain Vitamin C for a body boost.
  • Almonds, which are high in magnesium, could reduce that horrid headache.
  • Marshmallow root is a herb that can help a sore throat. It also helps with asthma and arthritis.
  • Try this tea: water, milk, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder, a tea bag, ginger, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and honey. Crush the spices beforehand. Boil, then strain and add to your cup with the teabag.
  • Yoghurt, kefir and tempeh are high in probiotics.
  • Oats contain beta-glucan, a fibre that can support a healthy immune system.
  • Put peppermint and frankincense oils in coconut oil and use it as a balm to soothe a headache.
  • Take the DDS1 strain of probiotics, which has 50 billion colony-forming units and shelf stability.
  • You may need to take vitamin D during winter if you’re not getting enough sun. Take it with fish oil or a fatty meal for better absorption.
  • It’s been suggested that a way to handle a fever is to drop cotton socks into cold water. Put your feet in hot water until they’re pink. Dry your feet. Put your feet into the wrung out socks. Put dry wool socks over the cold socks, cover your feet with a blanket and repeat every four hours. This is supposed to help ease your fever by increasing circulation. The contrast between cold and hot stimulates your body. Hot water warms the skin and brings blood to the feet to release heat. In connection with the cold water, blood is directed away to keep the body warm. The contrast between the two moves lymph through your body to fight the infection.