Looking for a natural or alternative treatment for your cold or flu symptoms? Here are 12 tips that may help relieve your symptoms.
1 Know When not to Treat Symptoms
Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing are part of the natural healing process this is evidence that the immune system is battling the illness. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses by creating a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster. Coughing is another productive symptom; it clears your breathing passages of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body. Even that stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. But often you want the increase blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.
2 Blow Your Nose Often (and the Right Way)
It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.
3 Treat That Stuffy Nose With Warm Salt Water
Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose.
4 Stay Warm and Rested
Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by resting.
6 Drink Hot Liquids
Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, prevent dehydration, and soothe the uncomfortably inflamed membranes that line your nose and throat. If you’re so congested that you can’t sleep at night, try a hot toddy, an age-old remedy. Make a cup of hot herbal tea. Add one teaspoon of honey and one small shot (about 1 ounce) of whiskey or bourbon. Limit yourself to one. Too much alcohol will inflame the membranes and make you feel worse.
7 Take a Steamy Shower
Steamy showers moisturize your nasal passages and may help you relax. If you’re dizzy from the flu, run a steamy shower while you sit on a chair nearby and take a sponge bath.
8 Use a Salve Under Your Nose
A small dab of mentholated salve under your nose can help to open breathing passages and restore the irritated skin at the base of the nose. Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor all have mild numbing ingredients that may help relieve the pain of a nose rubbed raw. However, only put it on the outside, under your nose, not inside your nose.
9 Sleep With an Extra Pillow Under Your Head
Elevating your head will help relieve congested nasal passages. If the angle is too awkward, try placing the pillows between the mattress and the box springs to create a more gradual slope.
10 Eat Infection-Fighting Foods
Here are some good foods to eat when you’re battling a cold or flu:
• Bananas and rice to soothe an upset stomach and curb diarrhea
• Vitamin C-containing foods like bell peppers
• Blueberries curb diarrhea and are high in natural aspirin, which may lower fevers and help with aches and pains
• Carrots, which contain beta-carotene