Very Effective Tips for Winter Flu
What is Flu?
It is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. The Flu is similar to cold but the symptoms are more severe and it can develop into a more serious condition such as Pneumonia.
How do you catch flu?
Flu is passed from person to person by droplets created when someone with the infection sneezes or coughs. You can also catch it by touching a surface where the virus has been deposited.
Runny or stuffy nose
Some people may have vomiting and diarrhoea.
Generally symptoms are at their worst after one to two days of catching infection. They gradually ease over several days. An irritating cough may persist for a week . Most people recover completely within 2-7 days.
The seasonal flu is caused by a viral infection. Thus antibiotics are not effective in treating it. Your immune system will usually clear the viruses that cause flu.It happens slowly and automatically . Treatment aims to ease symptoms until the infection goes .
You can follow home remedies to relieve the symptoms and give your immune system a boost to help it fight off the infection.
Very important tips to follow in Flu: –
Do Rest – Bear in mind that some of the main symptoms are muscles or body aches, weakness etc. So resting and sleeping until you feel better are the only way of treatment. Stay home , if you are sick. And especially if you have a fever.
Diet Tips :
Drink plenty of fluids- Like water , orange juice, electrolytes etc to prevent lack of fluid in the body. High liquid intake is important as the body uses water to carry waste products and toxins to your eliminating system. Stay away from caffeine. It is diuretic. A sports drink like Gatorade can also be helpful . It not only replaces the fluids lost due to dehydration but lost minerals as well.
Eat light ,warm, simple foods such as soup. Avoid all cold and junk foods. Preference should be given to home made food.
Chicken soup – It has anti-inflammatory properties that help against cold and flu symptoms.
Honey - It will help to soothe your throat. Take 1 spoon honey twice a day.
Lemonade – Hot lemonade has been used as a flu remedy since Roman times. Take it with honey 3-4 times in a day. It has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties.
Turmeric milk – It is a popular and effective way to fight a cough.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C helps fight infection. Strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli are rich in vitamin C.
Peppermint – It is a valuable expectorant. Chew some leaves of mint daily.
Garlic – Eat garlic ( Chopped or whole ) with warm water. Two to three pieces in a day is sufficient.
Green tea- It has anti inflammatory property. So drink it 1-2 times in a day.
Mushroom – It increases the production of antiviral protein that can destroy or deactivate the foreign invaders that make you sick. You can take it in the form of soup.
Ginger tea – Make a tea with ginger and add lemon and honey.
Ginger basil extract – Have ginger basil extract with honey two times a day.
Cough drops – Cough drops or throat lozenges are very effective in sore throat.
Some other important points you should follow in flu :
In case of high fever – Place slightly cold ,damp washed cloth on the forehead of patient.
Gargles – Do gargles with salty lukewarm water two times a day.
Steam inhalation – Get rid of cough by steam inhalation. Breathing moist air helps ease nasal congestion.
Nasal spray – Use nasal spray like naso-lclear etc for decongestion of nose.
Wash your hands regularly.
Avoid close contact with sick people.
Cover your mouth while coughing to protect others.
Avoid air travel – Cabin pressure from a flight can cause discomfort to the ears if you have a cold or flu. So try to avoid flying until you are better. If you have to fly try to deal with congestion before take off and landing. Chewing and swallowing can help relieve the pressure.
According to Ayurveda – Hot water is easier for the body to absorb than cold water. By this hydrate your mucous membrane. It will pacify the dry, cold vata- dosha with its hot hydrating properties. Drink hot water every hour.
In Ayurveda Chyawanprash is also a good remedy for cold and cough.
Going by the Ayurvedic sage Vaghbhata ,who wrote there is nothing in the world which is not a medicine. You can make effective home remedies using common kitchen ingredients.
Point to consider : If home remedies are not working, sometimes cold and flu can lead to complications that may need medical attention like sinusitis. Although antibiotics do not help with cold or flu, they can work for bacterial infections that are possible complications of cold and flu.
When to contact a Doctor -
a) When high fever does not respond to fever reducing medicine.
b) Severe vomiting or diarrhoea.
c) Severe dehydration , not able to take fluids.
d) Bloody sputum.
e) In case of a pregnant lady, heart, kidney or cancer patient.
Dr.Suman Setia BAMS DNHE PGDHHM
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