The use of natural remedies to treat cold and the flu is becoming a widely accepted practice. Are you down and miserable because of a cold? Or the flu is making a plaything out of you. Here are some proven natural remedies to help kick the sniffles out of your system, and have you feeling like yourself again.
Also take some time to check out the components of food, their sources, and functions. I discussed in detail some of the vital components of foods and how they affect and add values to our well-being.
So what causes colds and flu?
You might be asking that question in a variety of ways, like how did I get the flu? What happened? How can I stop it? What can I do? Or you want to be informed about cold and flu. So, relax and get the information you need from this post.
Viruses cause colds and flu. Hence they cannot be cured or prevented by taking antibiotics. Therefore antibiotics are not considered as the treatment route for colds and cases of flu. However, lots of fluids, rest, and natural home remedies can help relieve the symptoms.
How to differentiate the flu and a cold?
The influenza virus causes the flu, while a rhinovirus causes a cold. The flu occurs as a result of the infection of the respiratory system. However, the symptoms of the flu differ from that of a cold, in that, the symptoms of the flu are more severe and start suddenly. Colds and flu are both highly contagious.
The influenza virus is airborne; thus, every time someone coughs, talks, or sneezes, the virus spreads. On the other hand, hand contact can also spread the influenza virus. Therefore, it is vital to wash hands regularly and adequately.
Symptoms of Cold and flu
The flu and the colds are common illnesses, and these illnesses accordingly come along with a host of uncomfortable symptoms, and these symptoms include blocked sinuses, runny nose, sore throat, fever, chills, body aches, headaches, and coughing.
Some natural remedies for cold and flu
There is no known cure for cases of flu and cold, although you can take several steps to help boost your immune system to help ward off the colds and coughs, and even shorten their episodes. One of the oldest and simplest remedies for cold and flu is to rest, as this will energize you to fight the infection.
Moreover, one is likely, to fall prey to infection, when they are stressed; yes, the human body pumps out cortisol, when it is stressed, this consequently weakens the human system. Another recommended natural remedy for cold involves intake of lots of fluid, to aid in flushing out the germs, as well as to soothe a sore throat.
The natural remedies for cold and flu as given below may help prevent illness, shorten the duration of the flu, and reduce the symptoms:
Garlic contains an active ingredient called allicin. Consequently, allicin is known to possess antiviral properties, that can aid in preventing colds and flu. Chewing or crushing produces the active ingredient, and it further breaks down into beneficial compounds like Sulphur that assists in fighting infections. Garlic is a very effective natural remedy for the cold and the flu.
Some studies say that starting a high dose of vitamin C consumption, as soon as symptoms occur, may help in faster recovery and also in lessening the severity of the symptoms. However, taking a high dose vitamin C after the cold has begun, produces no effect on the reduction of the severity and the duration of the cold.
Turmeric is a traditional spice, that is native to India, and widely known and used for its medicinal properties. The primary active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin; it has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreso it is a potent antioxidant.
Consumption of turmeric or taking a mixture of turmeric and honey can aid in soothing a sore throat and a cough.
A salt solution is a mixture of water and salt, and salt solutions assist in clearing away viruses and bacteria from the throat. The application of this natural remedy involves gargling salt mixed with warm water. Nonetheless, one effective way to rid the nose of mucus is through the use of saline nasal drops or spray.
Is it time to see a doctor?
It is usual for a cold or flu to last up to two weeks. However, for the first two or three days, the flu and cold symptoms are usually very severe. Although the quick and immediate use of natural remedies upon noticing symptoms can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
However, people should endeavor to see a doctor if their flu or cold symptoms persist for more than ten days with no signs of recovery.
If anyone has any unusual and also very severe symptoms, they should contact a doctor or visit the hospital.
Older people, pregnant women, young children, and people at risk due to other medical conditions, should always endeavor to contact a doctor, as soon as any flu symptoms appear. As this category of people are at risks from complications arising from the flu, and they may require antiviral treatment.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a cold and the flu?
The flu is caused by an influenza virus, that leads to the infection of the respiratory tract, and its symptoms are more severe than a cold, usually starting suddenly. While, a cold is caused by a rhinovirus, with its symptoms less severe.
When can I use vitamin C to treat the cold and flu?
Studies have shown that you can use vitamin C as a remedy for the cold and flu, just immediately as you start noticing the symptoms for the cold and flu.
What are the effects of taking vitamin C as soon as I notice the symptoms for the cold and flu?
This action consequently helps in reducing the severity of the symptoms and shortening the duration of the cold and flu.
When does one contact a doctor because of the cold and flu?
You are supposed to contact a doctor as soon as you notice any unusual symptoms not associated with the flu. Also, it is recommended to see a doctor if the cold and flu persists for more than ten days, with no sign of recovery.