Fight off the 'flu

At this time of year, cold and flu viruses are prevalent since everyone spends so much time indoors together trying to keep warm, while in fact we are increasing our chances of spreading viruses. While we cannot always prevent becoming ill, we can explore different remedies to make us feel better. Here are a few ideas.

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Symptoms of the flu usually include aching all over, coughing, sweating and a high fever, throat pain, lack of appetite and difficulty sleeping. The symptoms of a cold can be similar but tend to be a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, sore throat and headaches and not usually a fever. Everyone knows that aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen can relieve some of the symptoms but what else is there?

if you prefer natural remedies, vitamin C and echinacea are believed to boost the immune system and help prevent catching the viruses. However there is not conclusive proof that these remedies are effective. Drinking ginger tea may ease some of the symtoms of flu and another herbal remedy that is popular for colds and flu is goldenseal, which may be helpful in reducing fever. Garlic is also a popular remedy for colds and flu so make sure you add it to your food as much as you can or even chew raw cloves if you don't mind having garlic breath.

Drinking lots of fluid is definitely good for you to keep you hydrated and try to loosen the mucus build up caused by cold and flu viruses. Also if you are feeling congested, inhaling steam from a bowl with your head under a towel can help to relieve the sinus pressure. Add some eucalyptus drops or Olbas Oil to the hot water to make breathing easier.

Make sure you blow your nose often! It's not good for you to sniff the mucus back into your head. And be careful not to blow too hard as this can cause earache. If your throat is sore, try gargling with warm salty water as this can provide temporary relief. Don't overdo it though. The salt to water ration should be not much more than 1tsp salt to 1 pint water.

Do you have any surefire remedies for colds and flu? If so, share them here.