Common colds and flu happen to all of us. And though they aren’t exactly fatal or pose severe health concerns, they can be quite annoying as well as disrupting your daily life. Especially with expatriates in the UAE, climatizing to the UAE environment often poses its challenges and common colds and flu are no stranger to anybody in the middle east.

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Seeking medical attention is always a great idea. However, there are natural remedies you can, and should try. Today, we’ll go through the best natural remedies to help you fight colds and flu. 

Natural Remedies for Flu to Try

natural remedies for flu

1. Gargle with saltwater

With a quarter to a half teaspoon of salt, dissolve it with warm water and gargle it 1-2 times a day before spitting it out. Not only does it help to combat a sore throat, but it can also kill the bacterias in the throat as well as helping your throat to heal sooner. This practice can be done as soon as you notice your throat becoming sore.

2. Honey

One of the best anti-inflammatory foods out there, if you aren’t using honey, you’re sorely missing out. Honey can soothe irritated mucous membranes as well as combatting inflammation. Honey can be mixed with other herbal ingredients including tea, ginger as well as lemon. Its vitamin and zinc content can also help you to recover sooner.

3. Inhaling steam

By breathing the steam that comes from hot water, your nose, sinus, lungs, and throat can be soothed. The steam will loosen mucus build-up and congestion.

The moist air will help to soothe dry coughs, irritated nose, and chest tightness. Just put your face directly in front of hot water. Just be sure not to touch the water and burn yourself by accident. 

4. Take a Ginger Shot 

Another anti-inflammatory that is great for common colds and flu, ginger is known for its strong antibacterial profile that can help with congestion, nausea, and fever. You can buy it in juice form from the local store or brew it with tea or honey in hot water. 

5. Take More rest

When sick, you need more rest. Take your mind off stress and give your body a break it needs to recover quickly. Regardless of your busy lifestyle, make sure you make a routine of sufficient sleep and rest. This is the only way to make sure all your other remedies are effective. 

6. Herbal tea

Herbal teas contain numerous antibacterial and antiviral properties. Herbal teas such as green tea, black tea, garlic, ginger, cloves, and turmeric can all fight off germs and bacteria that are causing you the sickness and boost your immune system to heal faster. Herbal teas can be mixed or brewed with warm water and honey.

7. Watch what you eat

Maintaining a good diet with sufficient nutrients is crucial to helping you get better faster. Especially with people with stomach flu, eating healthy meals in good portions can help with nausea, cramping, and diarrhoea. Bland foods are oftentimes easier to digest. Eat smaller meals during colds and flu and avoid overeating, even if you do get hungry. 

Foods that are easy on the stomach and easy to digest include:

  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Jelly
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Broth
  • Chicken soup

Foods that you should look to avoid while sick include:

  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, cream
  • Caffeine
  • Meats
  • Fried foods
  • Foods high in saturated fats
  • Spicy foods
  • Highly processed foods
  • High sugar foods

8. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is extremely important when sick as your immune system will struggle to cope with the flu when you’re dehydrated. Water is not only good for helping your body keep up with fighting colds and flu, but it will help to keep your mouth and throat moist, so your sore throat is less irritant.

Diarrhoea which is common in flu will cause a lot of water loss which is why you need to make sure you drink plenty during this time. To identify whether you are dehydrated or not, you can see through the colour of your urine. If it is a yellow colour, it means you have not drunk enough water. Apart from water, hydrate with drinks that contain electrolytes as it can help with nausea. Drinks such as sports drinks, coconut water, and fresh fruit juices are great options. 

When to See a Doctor?

natural remedies for flu

Natural remedies will certainly help you as well as helping you to recover sooner. However, if symptoms persist or if you notice they are quite severe, it is good to see a doctor. Not only can they recommend you to continue the above remedies, but they can also prescribe you with medicine that can help you.

Doctors can also identify what exactly is the underlying problem in your health and how to address it accordingly. Visiting your doctor will also give you a good insight on how to handle a cold or flu when it happens again in the future.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.