Natural Preventive measures For Seasonal Flu

By Dr. Divya Mandial | 24th Aug 2023

Natural Preventive measures For Seasonal Flu

How to self-care during seasonal flu?

The influenza virus causes a highly contagious respiratory ailment known as the flu. The flu virus is transmitted rapidly by sneezing and coughing via large-particle droplets. It is more prevalent in winter, but the outbreaks can occur year-round. The influenza virus affects the nose, throat, and lungs and can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, sore throat, nasal discharge, body aches, and fatigue. The flu can also affect your heart and brain when left untreated. It can even cause hospitalisation, especially for individuals with weakened immunity. However, you can manage the symptoms and prevent the spread of the flu virus with self-care at home. Here are some self-care tips at home for the prevention of flu.

1. Stay home when you have flu

If you have the flu, taking a day off from work or school and staying home is essential to avoid spreading the illness to others.

2. Wear a mask

Wear a mask or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue to avoid spreading droplets through coughing or sneezing.

3. Keep your hands clean

One of the most necessary actions required for Influenza prevention is to clean your hands frequently and properly. Rub your hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds when washing, being sure to clean all areas, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and beneath your nails. Because the flu virus may survive on surfaces for up to 24 hours, coming into direct contact with infected surfaces and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can result in infection.

4. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, or mouth

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth in flu to prevent the spread of the flu. It is because flu viruses can enter your body through these areas, and once they enter your body, they can cause mild to severe symptoms.

5. Avoid close contact

You should keep at least six feet distance from anyone with flu, coughing or sneezing. Also, avoid large crowds and public places where the flu virus can quickly spread.

6. Practice other good health habits

Try to isolate the person with flu in a separate room and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Also, get plenty of sleep, eat nutritious food, be physically active, and manage stress.

7. Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter medications can help relieve symptoms like fever, cough, and sore throat. Medications you can take for flu are:

  • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen for fever and body aches.
  • Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine for nasal congestion and sinus pressure.
  • Dextromethorphan for coughing.
  • Oxymetazoline and phenylephrine nasal sprays for nasal congestion.
  •  Diphenhydramine and Loratadine for sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

Follow the instructions on the label and speak to your doctor if you have any other health issues.

8. Get plenty of rest

Lastly, give your body rest to let it fight off the infection. While at rest, your body can use its energy to repair and regenerate cells, produce antibodies to fight the virus, and reduce inflammation.

What are the easily available herbs for flu relief?

Many herbs are readily available in our kitchen and as supplements for influenza prevention and treatment. Here is the list of readily available herbs:

1. Tulsi

Tulsi is an aromatic herb with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties for Influenza prevention. To take Tulsi, boil a few leaves in water and drink it as tea or add it to your regular tea.

2. Ginger (adarak)

Ginger is a well-known natural remedy for cold and flu symptoms. It has anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties and can help alleviate symptoms such as cough and congestion. To take ginger, you can grate some fresh ginger and add it to hot water to make ginger tea. You can also add it to your food as a spice.

3. Turmeric (haldee)

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties for Influenza prevention. To take turmeric, you can add it to your food or drink it as tea. To make turmeric tea, add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot water, and add honey and lemon juice to taste.

4. Cinnamon (dalchini)

Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate flu symptoms such as cough and congestion. To take cinnamon, you can add it to your food or drink it as tea. To make cinnamon tea, boil a cinnamon stick in water for 10-15 minutes, strain, and add honey to taste.

5. Echinacea

Echinacea is a herb commonly used for its immune-boosting properties. It can help reduce the severity of flu symptoms and shorten the illness’ duration. Echinacea is available in tea, liquid extract and capsule or tablet. You can also prepare your own Echinacea tea with roots, leaves, flowers or plant stem.

6. Raw garlic

Garlic (lahasun) has antiviral and immune-boosting properties that can help reduce the severity of flu symptoms. To take garlic, you can add it to your food or drink it as tea. To make garlic tea, crush 4 – 5 garlic and add it to 2 cups water. Boil to reduce the volume to half. Add honey and lemon to enhance flavour.

7. Mint

Mint or peppermint has antiviral and decongestant properties that can help alleviate flu symptoms such as cough and congestion. To take peppermint, you can drink it as tea or as an essential aromatherapy oil.

8. Elderberry

Elderberry has anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties that can help with flu, cough and congestion. It is available in the form of syrup, tea capsule or tablet.

While herbal remedies can help against Influenza prevention and relieve symptoms, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. If your symptoms increase or remain, see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Natural Remedies for flu

Natural remedies support our immune system to fight off the infection and control the symptoms of the flu. Here are some easy flu home remedies you can try.

1. Eucalyptus oil (nilgiri tel)

Eucalyptus oil has decongestant properties to relieve cough and congestion. You can massage or rub your chest with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. To relieve congestion, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into a humidifier or a steamer and inhale the steam.

2. Citrus fruits

Consume a lot of citrus fruits to increase the production of white blood cells, which fight off diseases in the body. Citrus fruits to be included in a flu diet are:

  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit or chakotara
  • Sweet lime or mosambi
  • Tangerine or kinnow
  • Blood orange or malta

3. Honey

Honey is a very effective natural remedy for coughing, especially in children. Its thick and dense texture can coat the throat and temporarily relieve coughing. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which soothe the throat and reduce inflammation. Give your child a tbsp of honey in the Flu before bedtime for cold and Flu prevention.

4. Leafy greens

Leafy greens are a great source of minerals and vitamins, including vitamins C, A, folate, and iron, which are essential for Influenza prevention. Leafy greens to be included in the flu diet are:

  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens or sarson
  • Fenugreek Leaves (Methi)
  • Amaranth Leaves (Chaulai)
  • Coriander Leaves (Dhaniya)

5. Hydration

Drink fluids like water, tea, and soup to thin mucus and relieve nasal passages, sinuses, and chest congestion.

6. Humidifiers

Humidifiers can be helpful for individuals experiencing a sore throat or dry cough in the flu. It helps prevent dryness in the throat and nasal passages.

7. Nebulisers

Nebulisers can provide fast relief for severe flu symptoms by delivering medication directly to the affected area and relieving inflammation in the airways.

8. Warm Compression

A warm compression with a hot towel or bandages can help to reduce muscle aches and flu pain. It also improves blood flow and circulation, which can help reduce inflammation and promote healing.

9. Salt water gargle

A Salt water gargle three to four times a day can loosen mucus and relieve congestion and inflammation in the nasal passages and throat.

10. Probiotics

Probiotics boost our immune system and promote healthy digestion for Influenza prevention. Yoghurt is a good source of probiotics, protein, and calcium to boost our immune system during the flu.

11. Vapour rub

Over-the-counter (OTC) vapour rubs contain camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil that possess therapeutic properties, including their ability to ease congestion, reduce coughing, and relieve muscle aches and pains. You can apply it on the nose, chest, throat and back to open the airways and breathe easily.

Besides the above remedies, a warm bath for flu is also recommended to reduce fever and body aches and promote good sleep. If you are experiencing difficulty breathing due to severe congestion, seeing a doctor for a proper treatment plan is good.

Get your generic and branded medicines for Influenza or Flu by uploading your prescription on Truemeds and avail yourself of a free teleconsultation from our expert doctors on our online pharmacy – Truemeds. You can also download our Truemeds app. Also, save up to 72% on your medicine purchase by choosing the best alternative, as recommended by our expert doctors.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the simple treatment for the common Flu?

The most simple treatment for common flu is getting OTC medicines, sipping herbal teas and taking plenty of rest to fight the virus.

How to prevent flu naturally?

Influenza prevention can be done naturally by boosting your immunity with healthy eating, exercising regularly, managing stress and getting enough sleep.

How to prevent the common cold in the mornings?

Common cold prevention in the morning can be done by using humidifiers at night. Also, when you get up in the morning, blow your nose correctly to clear the nasal passages as much as possible.

How to prevent flu?

Influenza prevention can be done by sanitising your hands, avoiding contact with flu-infected people, and wearing a mask in public places to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.

How many days does seasonal flu last?

The mean duration of the influenza virus in adults is around five days but may continue for up to 10 days, especially in children, older age groups, pregnant women, patients with chronic illnesses, and weak immunity.

Which is the best medicine to control sneezing in the common cold?

Diphenhydramine and Loratadine are the two medicines that effectively control sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes.

Can I eat citrus fruits with a sore throat?

While citrus fruits boost your immune system for Influenza prevention, you should avoid having them in the sore throat as their acidic nature can irritate the throat and worsen its symptoms.

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend you consult your doctor first before taking any medication or treatment for Influenza or Flu mentioned in this article.

Reference

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