Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a viral infection that attacks your respiratory system. The virus is contagious, and it travels via cough, sneeze, and even everyday speech, entering the body through the nose, mouth, and eyes. Young children, pregnant women, older people, and those with weak immune systems are more susceptible to the flu, but anyone of any age or gender can and will get it at some point in their lives.
Symptoms include dry cough, headache, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, fever, chills and sweats, nasal congestion, and weakness. If left untreated, complications can develop. These include ear infection, bronchitis, sinus infection, and pneumonia, among others.
Home Remedies for Flu:
But don’t worry, you don’t have to rush out a spend money on doctor visits and prescriptions or over-the-counter treatments. You can treat the flu at home using natural, affordable, effective remedies, and we’re about to tell you exactly what they are. Let’s get started!
Thyme is a powerful expectorant and a natural antiseptic. It breaks up and clears away mucus and inhibits the growth of bacteria that cause the flu.
- Boil a cup of water and stir in 1 teaspoon dried thyme.
- Let steep 10 minutes.
- Strain and sweeten with raw honey.
- Drink daily to get rid of flu.
Garlic is naturally antibacterial, so it kills the germs that cause the flu.
- Boil 2 cups of water and stir in 4 peeled and crushed garlic cloves.
- Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of raw honey.
- Drink regularly.
3. Mullein Tea
Mullein is a natural expectorant that will break up and help clear away mucus.
- Boil a cup of water and stir in 1 teaspoon of mullein.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let steep 10 minutes.
- Optional: sweeten with raw honey.
- Drink daily.
4. Black Pepper
Black pepper stimulates circulation and the flow of mucus in order to clear nasal passages.
- Place 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 teaspoon of raw honey in a mug.
- Pour in boiling water and let steep 15 minutes.
- Drink to get rid of flu.
5. Honey and Lemon Juice
Honey and lemon juice both inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause the flu. Honey also soothes irritated throat tissues.
- Place 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon raw honey in a mug.
- Pour in a cup of boiling water, stir well, and let cool to drinking temperature.
- Drink daily.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body and fights the bacteria that cause the flu.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water.
- Drink it for every three hours.
Steam opens nasal passages and breaks up mucus in the lungs and throat.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Turn off heat.
- Drape a towel over your head and lean into the steam.
- Take slow, deep breaths for 15 minutes or until water is no longer steaming.
- Repeat 2-3 times a day.
8. Mustard Plaster
Mustard plaster relieves chest congestion.
- Soak 3 tablespoons of mustard seeds overnight.
- In the morning, strain and crush the seeds to make a paste.
- Spread a thin layer of petroleum jelly on your chest.
- Apply mustard seed paste over it.
- Leave on 15-20 minutes.
- Rinse with water.
- Repeat twice a day.
9. Oregano Oil
Oregano fights the virus that causes the flu.
- Stir 2 drops of oregano oil in a glass of water.
- Drink for every 2 –m3 hours.
- Note: Pregnant women should avoid this remedy.
Ginger reduces inflammation and irritation in the lungs, throat, and nasal passages.
- Boil a cup of water and stir in 1 teaspoon of peeled and minced ginger root.
- Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, strain, and stir in 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
- Drink 2 times a day.
Saltwater cleanses and moisturizes the throat and nasal passages. Mix 1 tablespoon organic sea salt into 1 cup water until completely dissolved. Gargle with saltwater and use as nasal spray. Use a neti pot which you can find in drug stores. Tilt your head over sink or wash basin and gently pour this solution in the first nostril and allow the solution to drain from other nostril. Repeat the same for the other nostril. But be careful while doing this process
Use extra pillows to prop your head up at least an extra 4 inches while sleeping at night. This relieves congestion in the lungs and opens nasal passages for easier breathing.
13. Liquid Elderberry Extract
Liquid elderberry extract strengthens the immune system to better fight the virus that causes the flu, shortening the duration of sickness. Use 1 teaspoon to make tea and drink it 2-3 times a day.
Using over-the-counter lozenges will significantly lessen your discomfort while suffering from the flu. Choose lozenges that contain zinc.
The flu can lead to dehydration, especially when symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure to drink 8 glasses of water per day. Also, drink plenty of herbal tea, including those listed above, and beverages that contain plenty of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals, like fresh, organic fruit juices.
The body needs plenty of rest to fight the flu. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night strengthens the immune system so it can more quickly fight off the virus.
17. Healthy Diet
Your diet is a major factor in the speed with which you recover from the flu. Get the vitamins your body needs to fight off the virus by following the advice below.
- Use garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, and fresh lemon juice to season your cooking.
- Eat plenty of homemade bone broth to keep hydrated and get the vitamins your body needs.
- Drink all kinds of fresh, organic fruit juices.
- Eat foods that contain vitamins A, B,C, and E, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid sugars and carbohydrates.
Other Tips for Treating and Preventing the Flu:
- Avoid alcohol and don’t smoke.
- Avoid caffeine as it is a natural diuretic that can contribute to dehydration.
- Avoid physical exertion and get plenty of rest.
- Use a humidifier at night to reduce nose and throat irritation.
- Take hot showers.
- Use a hot compress.
- High fever is one of the symptoms of flu. Take aspirin and ibuprofen for aches and pains and acetaminophen to reduce fever.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Cover your mouth or and nose when sneezing or coughing.
- Use tissues while coughing and sneezing.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Reduce stress through yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises.
- Try not to touch your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- When you’re not sick, get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet.
- Ask your doctor about the flu vaccine.
- If your symptoms do not improve, consult your doctor.
Have you tried any of these home remedies for the flu? Which ones worked best for you? Share your experience with us!
Hi everyone, this is Rajee!
I live the beautiful city of Baltimore, where my husband works.
I’m from India. I have been visiting India on and off for past few years and my mom was an inspiration for me to start this site. She has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems, and we grew up in an environment where frequent visits to the doctor just wasn’t logistically or financially feasible.
Despite this, she managed to raise a family of healthy kids, and my goal here at Home Remedies for Life is to pass on some of her knowledge of natural remedies.