Meet Dr Natasha Dole – MBCHB (Stell), DIPPEC (SA), Emergency Medicine Medical Officer – our resident doc. She’s here to answer your health-related questions.
With winter settling in, make sure you’re not caught off guard with these DIY flu remedies!
I am sure you have all heard people saying that flu takes seven days to disappear with or without medication! Basically, for the majority of people, flu is a contagious viral illness of the respiratory tract (your chest, lungs etc). Treatment doesn’t involve antibiotics unless there’s a bacterial infection or if you’re at risk of an underlying medical condition.
In some cases, doctors start treatment with antiviral medication and these work very well to treat the symptoms. Again, as with most medications, these also have side effects, but for most people, it doesn’t affect them at all.
Want to see how you can try battle off the sneezes and coughs with some home-made remedies?
Try these out when you’re feeling under the weather.
- Rest, rest, rest! Make sure to get good bed rest and plenty of sleep
- Don’t forget to take your fluids; stock up on water and sugar-free juices
- Take a dose of vitamin C, zinc and vitamin D
- Make use of a daily multivitamin supplement to boost your immune system
- Get yourself under a steamer. Steam inhalation opens up blocked respiratory passages instantly – try taking a towel over your head, placing your face over a steaming bucket of water.
- Eat your five servings of fruits and veggies, especially garlic and onions
- Inhale or light essential oils like tea tree, peppermint or frankincense: these are very soothing and are great for nasal decongestion! Oregano and clove oil also works wonders
- If you’re looking for something hands-on, acupuncture helps to release pressure points
- Do a few gentle, soothing yoga postures
- Normal, saline nasal douches significantly decrease the congestion – time to take out your Netti Pots!
- Saltwater throat gargles are key!
- Raw honey intake is very soothing for sore throats
- Daily use of probiotics to restore the good bacteria in your gut
- Herbal teas (green and black) have antioxidant effects
- Make some chicken soup or any broths for the soul, both healing and soothing
- Hot water with honey, cinnamon and lemon
- Ginger tea with some raw honey
Other simple measures you can incorporate into your everyday life to prevent getting the flu:
- Keep it clean! Maintain hand hygiene at all times and carry an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, clean and disinfectant frequently touched surfaces at home
- Say it, don’t spray it: Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze
- Stay at home: limit your contacts with other people while you are sick to avoid spreading it and avoid contact with those that you know are infectious
- Don’t spread germs: avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth repeatedly
- Take it easy! Manage your stress with whatever coping mechanism works for you and limit your physical activities while you are sick, but a gentle stroll will do no harm
- Remember that if your symptoms are getting worse, you may need treatment with an antiviral or you may have caught a bacterial infection on top of the flu and for that, you may need antibiotics.
If you are unsure about other flu remedies, rather visit your nearest GP for some trusted advice!
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