It is a good idea to contact the doctor at the onset of flu symptoms, as he or she may be able to provide medication to help. In addition, there are many flu remedies that can help to relieve symptoms and possibly even shorten the duration of the flu, and most involve items already in the home or at the drugstore. When sick with the flu, one of the most important things to do is get plenty of rest. Symptoms are generally only strong for a few days, but some flu symptoms can last for two weeks, and the fatigue that is common with the flu can be difficult to get rid of.
Another one of the most important flu remedies is to get plenty of fluids. It is important to drink as much as possible, whether it be water, juice, or decaffeinated tea with honey. In general, it is best to avoid sugary drinks, or beverages that contain caffeine. Chicken broth is another excellent choice to stay hydrated, so try to eat some chicken soup. It will also help with congestion, especially if spices such as garlic and pepper are added. Garlic has also been shown to help the immune system.
There are many flu remedies available to help with congestion caused by the flu. Sleeping with a humidifier in the room will help to moisten nasal passages, which will help with both coughing and congestion. In addition, many find relief with a nasal wash, which is the act of pouring warm salt water through the nasal passages with a neti pot. Taking a hot shower or bath may also help to relieve congestion, and may soothe sore, achy muscles and joints.
Congestion may also be helped with a saline nasal spray, or with a decongestant spray found in most drug stores. For body aches and pains, or a fever, analgesics such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or aspirin are generally helpful flu remedies. Follow all dosing instructions and remember, a child under the age of 16 should never be given aspirin, due to the link between the drug and the potentially deadly illness known as Reye's syndrome.
A cough from the flu may be treated with cough syrup, cough drops, and once again, by drinking plenty of fluids. Finally, one of the most important flu remedies is to get as much sleep as possible. Do not try to do too much before the flu has gone away, and the body is able to recover, because the flu has the potential to turn into other, more serious infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis.