At one point or another, you’ve probably woken up in the morning only to find yourself experiencing a tickle in your throat. Before you know it, you’re feeling feverish, fatigued, and congested. It feels like you can’t possibly do anything else but stay in bed next to a box of tissues.
And that’s probably what you should do, as getting proper rest is one of the best ways to fight an illness. This year, for many across the globe, that illness has been the flu.
How to Get Rid of the Flu
This flu season has had 12,000 people hospitalized so far and has killed at least 37 children. Knowing how to get rid of the flu is important for not only getting you back up and running, but it’s also vital to preventing it from escalating into a deadly situation.
If you haven’t fallen ill with the flu yet, then it’s important to consider getting a flu shot as a preventative measure. Consult your physician and discuss whether this is the right option for you.
If you’re reading this article because you’re already one of the unlucky ones that have fallen victim to the virus, then there are some important actions you can take to get rid of the flu.
7 Ways To Get Rid of the Flu
1. Rest up.
You should make sure you’re staying home from work or school, and be canceling anything else that’s on your calendar or to-do list. The most vital step you can take to getting rid of the flu is to stay in bed and allow your body to use your energy towards fighting the virus.
2. Take a hot shower.
Another way to help speed up recovery and get rid of congestion is by taking a hot shower. The steam from the shower will not only make your nasal passageways feel clearer, but it can also help with any muscle aches.
3. Have a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Research has shown that chicken noodle soup actually helps fight illnesses like the flu by reducing inflammation and giving your body the proper liquid and calories it needs to battle off viruses.
4. Drink plenty of liquids.
It’s important to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The liquid helps thin out your mucus and relieve any congestion you may be experiencing. It will also help prevent a headache or any fatigue that you may experience as symptoms of dehydration.
5. Have a cup of tea with honey.
If you’re experiencing a sore throat, the hot tea and honey will soothe a scratchy throat and cough. Please note that it is not advised to give honey to babies younger than 1-year-old.
6. Saltwater gargle.
This may be one of the more unpleasant ways to get rid of the flu, but saltwater helps reduce any swelling of the throat and loosens up mucus. Try gargling ½ a teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water, about 3 times a day for best results.
7. Take over-the-counter remedies.
If you’re experiencing a slight fever, doctors recommend taking acetaminophen. Cough drops and cough syrup are also great for providing relief, in addition to antihistamines and decongestants for a stuffy nose. It’s important that you take these medications with proper care, following the directions for each medication and not mixing any medications that should not be taken together. If you have a child who is sick under the age of 6, make sure you consult their pediatrician before administering any medication to them.
While you won’t be able to get rid of the flu overnight in most cases, it’s important to make sure you’re giving your body the proper time and attention it needs to recover. Remember, it also doesn’t hurt to visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, especially if you are dealing with a sick child. It’s always good to follow any treatment plan under the supervision of a medical professional.
Sun LH, Wan W. This flu season is on track to be the worst in nearly a decade. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2018/01/26/this-flu-season-is-on-track-to-be-among-the-worst-in-15-years/?utm_term=.b20f0a6fb007. Published January 26, 2018. Accessed January 30, 2018.
Cold remedies: What works, what doesn’t. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/cold-remedies/art-20046403. Published January 24, 2017. Accessed January 30, 2018.