Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How To Fight The Flu At Home

Many Americans are out of work due to the economic crisis and cannot afford the COBRA payments to keep their insurance.  This means a lot of folks will not be able to afford to go to the doctor for minor health issues and will be looking for less expensive ways to cope with matters like the cold of flu.

About six years ago, I found a much better paying job. Due to some administrative issue regarding cut off dates, however, it meant I would be without health coverage for almost a year. I was young, relatively healthy, and took the gamble that nothing serious would happen to me that would require serious medical attention. Thankfully, nothing did. However, it forced me to be resourceful and learn alternate ways of coping with the symptoms of minor health issues, especially the cold and flu.

Flu symptoms for either seasonal or swine flu are the same and include: fever, body aches, fatigue, headache, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffed nose, and possibly intestinal issues.  In both types of flu, symptoms can range from mild to severe, and in some cases also be fatal.  Those most at risk are those with compromised immune systems, children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with pre-existing health complications.  However, the percentage of individuals who suffer serious and/or life threatening influenza infections are overwhelminging low.  See my earlier blog entry, Should I Be Worried About Swine Flu, for the statistics on both seasonal and swine flu.

Here is an overview of home remedies for the flu.

Steam Inhalation
Take a hot shower
Use a warm mist humidifier
Fill sink or bath with steaming water

Herbs and Aromatherapy (do not use any ingredient you may be allergic to)
Add an herb or essential oil to steam inhalation
Apply a product like Vick's Vaporub, which contains eucalyptus oil and menthol

Stay Hydrated
Drink additional water
Warm drinks, like herbal teas, are comforting

Saline Nasal Sprays
Helps to thin mucus and keep nasal passages moist and comfortable

Chicken Soup
Spicy foods, like wasabi and chili peppers

Cold- may help bring down a fever
Hot- may help relieve sinus pressure (be careful not to use too hot of a compress)

These remedies should provide some comfort while your immune system fights off the flu.  Of course, if you experience any serious flu symptoms, you should seek professional medical attention.

Next blog entry: Herbal Remedies to Fight Cold and Flu (recipe included)

Live better, a little every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment