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  Category: Articles » Health & Fitness » Alternative Medicine » Article

Natural Remedies for Flu and the Common Cold

By Chris Chenoweth

When you have a cold or the flu, what is the first thing you do? Do you head for the drugstore to choose from a myriad of cold and flu medications? The best you can hope for is something that will bring some relief from the symptoms. However, did you know there are home remedies that can speed up your recovery AND help you feel better along the way?

You may find this hard to believe, but those symptoms you are experiencing are actually part of your body's natural healing process, your immune system fighting the infection. A fever is a way your body tries to kill viruses. If you can tolerate a moderate fever for a couple of days, you might actually get well quicker.

Coughing is another example of your body trying to heal itself. Coughing clears your breathing passages of mucus that carries germs to your lungs, thus expelling the bad stuff. Taking a decongestant can restrict the blood flow when you actually want to increase the flow because it helps carry the germs out of your body.

The tips listed below can help you speed along those miserable cold and flu symptoms:

+CHANGE YOUR DIET to include foods that fight infection. Some foods are natural infection fighters that can help your body to heal more quickly and more healthily than taking medications.

1) Drink orange juice. It is loaded with vitamin C. Bell peppers are also rich in vitamin C.

2) Drink black and green tea. They contain a phytochemical that has natural antibiotic abilities.

3) Eat cranberries. They help prevent bacteria from sticking to the cells that line the urinary tract.

4) Eat blueberries. They can curb diarrhea and are high in natural aspirin.

5) Eat bananas. They can soothe an upset tummy.

6) If your tummy is not upset, trying eating chili peppers, mustard or horseradish. They help break up mucus.

+DRINK HOT LIQUIDS. Hot liquids relieve nasal congestion, soothe inflamed membranes in your nose and throat, and prevent dehydration.

+GARGLE with warm water and a little salt. Gargling can bring relief to a sore throat.

+TAKE A HOT SHOWER. The steam moisturizes your nasal passages and helps relax you, making you feel better.

+SLEEP WITH YOUR HEAD ELEVATED. This helps relieve congested nasal passages.

+GET PLENTY OF REST. When you feel the first symptoms of the cold or flu coming on, try to get lots of rest and stay warm. This will help your body's immune system direct all of its energies on fighting the infection.

+PUT MENTHOLATED SALVE UNDER YOUR NOSE. This opens breathing passages and eases the irritated skin from blowing your nose repeatedly. Use menthol, camphor or eucalyptus.

If your symptoms do not improve or you suspect something more serious than a cold or flu, see your physician. Some conditions that can seem like cold or flu are bronchitis, strep throat, meningitis, or a sinus infection.
About the Author
Chris Chenoweth is the author of the DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME, HEALTH & MONEY GUIDE, 500 pages of household tips, home remedies, diet and nutrition information, health issues and thousands of recipes!

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