According to recent reports, this flu season is the worst seen in over a decade, and the death rates are climbing. We know as a fact that the flu vaccine is less than 20% effective against the current strain of flu (H3N2 – Hong Kong Flu). This is the same strain of flu that killed over one million people in 1968. We are nowhere near those death toll numbers, but it’s still a bad flu season.
Whether you believe in getting a flu shot or not — whether you use natural remedies to protect against the flu or not — there is still always a possibility that you or a loved one may get the flu.
In fact, one of my dear friends got it this month.
So, what can we do to take care of the body when the flu strikes?
Here are some simple home remedies that I suggest you implement right away.
Aches and Pains
Body aches are usually the first sign of discomfort when you contract the flu. There is an intense pain that doesn’t let up. Sometimes the aches are enough to keep you bed ridden.
Baby Aspirin is a great product to keep on hand. It is gentle on the stomach and will help to relieve pain.
Boneset is an herbal remedy that can be ordered online. This herb was traditionally used for flu to relieve the pain the creeps into the bones from fever. It can be incredibly effective to reduce fever.
While congestion is usually a “cold” symptom, stuffy nose and soar throat can still accompany the flu. Either way, the use of essential oils can be helpful to relieve congestion and soothe the body. Add a few drops to a diffuser or apply topically with a carrier oil like almond or coconut. Some of the top essential oils used for flu are eucalyptus, lemon, Tea tree oil, lavender and peppermint.
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do anytime your body has a fever. A fever is the body’s way of fighting viruses. As it heats up, it is also losing vital fluids. Coconut water will nourish the body with much needed electrolytes.
MULLED CIDER RECIPE
Good old fashioned, homemade mulled cider holds numerous benefits in fighting the symptoms of the flu. The process of extracting the essence of herbs and spices by boiling and then simmering for long periods of time can be super effective. Here is one of my favorite recipes compliments of Andrea Beaman:
- Ginger: brings heat to the digestive tract, eases nausea and vomiting
- Star Anise: thins and clears mucous from the respiratory tract, and contains anti-viral compounds like shikimic acid.
- Ceylon Cinnamon sticks: bark contains eugenol, a natural antiseptic and anesthetic compound that can kill bacteria and viruses, prevent infection, and ease pain.
- Cloves: contains eugenol (antibacterial properties, super antioxidant)
- Allspice: contains eugenol (antibacterial properties, super antioxidant)
Prepare mulled cider using your favorite juice (apple, pear, cranberry) add the spices and allow to simmer for at least 1 hour. Sip a glass or two daily while you are experiencing the flu. It’s delicious and can help you recover more quickly. You can even enjoy this healing brew before you get the flu to help keep it at bay.