Health

Home remedies to help treat the flu

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Tags:
flu, h1n1, health

Once you have the flu, there's nothing you can do to kill the virus, but there are things you can do to make yourself feel a bit better while you're sick.

SIP TEA: Drinking hot tea and breathing in the steam stimulates the hair follicles in your nose to help move out germs more efficiently.

All teas also contain theophylline, which is a natural bronchodilator. Plus, if you like lemon, it can thin mucus and honey can suppress a cough (but shouldn't be given to anyone under the age of 1).

MAKE CHICKEN SOUP: It turns out a mother's love isn't the only ingredient in chicken soup that makes you feel better. An amino acid released from chicken during cooking (cysteine), is chemically similar to a common bronchitis drug. And just like the hit tea, the hot soup will thin mucus and help with a stuffed up nose.

GET STEAMY: Tea and soup not your thing? Then hop in the shower or make a mini steam bath by leaning over a bowl of hot water. Inhaling the warm, moist air can help thin and loosen mucus. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor, says a cool mist vaporizer can have a similar effect.

TAKE AN OTC MED: Nothing is going to kill the flu virus, but head to the pharmacy and pick up medication to treat your aches and pains.

Pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen can provide relief from fever and body aches. Just be careful; a lot of cold medicines already have acetaminophen in them. 3,000 milligrams is the most anyone should take in a day.

Products containing dextromethorphan can suppress coughing. Pseudoephedrine helps unplug stuffy noses by constricting blood vessels (but is kept behind the counter and requires photo ID for purchase).

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Tags:
flu, h1n1, health
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