While colds are certainly unpleasant, the flu can become quite serious if left untreated. Symptoms of the flu include a fever of varying severity, body aches and pain, chills, extreme fatigue, and forceful coughing. It can last 7 or more days, sometimes even weeks, and can develop into pneumonia among those with compromised immune systems, the elderly, and small children.
But not to worry! There are great natural flu remedies at hand for speeding up recovery and easing symptoms while you rest.
The flu has been running rampant in recent weeks, and I have found that even those who have received their flu vaccinations are catching it. Flu vaccine development has always been a guessing game at best, and to be honest, I’ve never had one because I’m too scared of the large number of toxins they contain. I’m also super afraid of needles… like turn white as a sheet and pass out kind of afraid. No thanks!
This might sound scary for a lot of people, and of course, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t get your flu vaccine, but there are some pretty awesome natural flu remedies and preventative dietary choices that treat symptoms of the flu and help prevent the flu virus from replicating that you should know about.
Natural Flu Remedies That Really Work
Elderberry has been used since the 17th century as a tonic for sinus ailments, colds, flu and as a general excellent immune booster and is one of the best herbal allies you can have during flu season.
As I have mentioned in a previous article, elderberry fights 8 different strains of influenza by preventing the virus from replicating. It does this by binding itself to the flu virus. In fact, if you’re able to take it within the first 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, you may be able to shorten your bout of flu by up to four days!
And, whether you have early flu symptoms or have an advanced case of the virus, elderberry gently encourages perspiration, allowing a fever to break naturally so that you can recover sooner. It also boosts immunity and greatly reduces the severity of a cold or flu, and the best thing about it? It tastes great! Even children will willingly take this delicious natural flu remedy without any fuss.
Elderberry comes in a few readily available forms such as tea, juice, tincture, and syrup and can be found at almost every natural foods store. I recommend Traditional Medicinal’s Echinacea Elder Tea or Gaia Herbs Elderberry Syrup because they work great and stay fresh much longer than elderberry juice.
During the flu, drink 3-4 cups of elderberry tea a day or take 1 tsp of elderberry syrup every hour until symptoms lessen. Follow the instructions on the product label for children. Elderberry is great as a preventative and as a treatment for all stages of cold and flu.
Echinacea is the closest thing to a cure for the common cold making it a great herbal remedy to have on hand during the flu. In fact, it is known to cut the chances of even catching a cold by up to 58%!
Echinacea stimulates the production of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting bacteria, infections, and viruses. They become much more efficient at attacking these abnormalities, making the duration of a cold or flu much shorter than the usual 7 day period.
Echinacea also greatly reduces the severity of the symptoms that come along during cold-season like sore throat, stomach ache, respiratory ills, and sinus troubles.
Boneset is one of my favorite natural flu remedies. It effectively treats chills, body ache, and respiratory ills, but is best known for its amazing ability to treat fevers through perspiration. It stimulates white blood cells into action and helps boost immunity.
Astragalus is a great preventative herb. It gently but effectively supports the immune system, resulting in fewer colds and episodes of the flu. Astragalus also improves general health and is great when added to daily soups, stews, bone broths, and teas. Be sure not to take it when you’re actually sick though, as it can actually help the flu virus!
Astragalus should be used as a preventative only. You can usually find it at your local health food store in the form of capsules which can be opened and sprinkled into soup bases or into your rice cooker with a bit of kombu kelp for minerals. The best part is you’ll never notice it’s there because astragalus has a very mild and sweet flavor.
During times of nausea and chills, ginger is your best ally!
This fabulous warming herb warms the core yet drives out stagnant heat from the body. It’s great for breaking up mucus in the lungs and sinuses and eases coughs that come along with the flu.
Ginger is readily available at every grocery store. Buy a root that looks fresh without wrinkling and use a spoon to peel it and then a cheese grater to grate about 1 inch of the root into a pot of water (usually a few cups) and simmer, covered, for at least 20 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon and a spoonful of raw honey when it has cooled enough to drink comfortably.
This spicy tea will work wonders for abating nausea and is best consumed as warm as is comfortable.
So there you have it! My top 5 natural flu remedies that will have you feeling like yourself again in no time.
What have been your favorite flu remedies? please share them in the comments!
You may also enjoy reading:
The Best Remedies You can Buy for Cold and Flu
My Top 5 Preventative Cold and Flu Remedies
Cold Bustin’ Elderberry Tea
The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Herbal Remedies for Wet Cough
Herbal Remedies for Stuffy Nose
Essential Oils for Boosting the Immune System and Fighting Cold and Flu
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