Every flu season, flu shots are recommended for prevention, but for those of us who choose not to go this route, what alternative options are available, and should you start to feel under the weather, are there natural flu remedies that actually work?
In my experience, the answer is yes. The key to staying well during flu season is to support your immune system with nutrient rich foods, keep stress at bay, and minimize exposure to other sick people.
There are also some pretty great natural flu remedies that I have personally found to be effective, along with many others who choose to go this route, that can provide extra support and decrease the risk of coming down with a pesky bug in the first place.
But what if you do get hit with a nasty flu bug?
The biggest thing to remember when it comes to natural flu remedies is that the earlier you start, the greater your chance of reducing your symptoms and getting better as quickly as possible.
You can’t take a remedy while in full blown sick mode and expect it to help you get well overnight. But it can ease your symptoms and help your immune system get back on track, allowing you to get well sooner and feeling like yourself again.
Bottom line, if you can get to it as at the first sign of any imbalance, the better off you will be.
The following natural remedies are helpful for speedier recovery and reduction in symptoms associated with the flu.
Increase nourishing fluids: Water, hot liquids including soups (add in fresh garlic), bone broth, and herbal teas with honey, ginger, lemon, and turmeric – all gentle on the digestive system and cleansing in nature.
Avoid immune suppressing foods/beverages: Sugar and high-sugar fruit juices, processed foods, caffeine, and also dairy since it’s mucus producing.
Soak in detoxifying baths: Mustard baths with essential oils to relieve achy and fatigued muscles, fever, and congestion. Mustard is helpful to stimulate sweat glands, open the pores and help to rid the body of toxins. My favorite is Dr. Singha’s, or try my DIY recipe here.
Natural Flu Remedies That Work
Oscillococcinum, or Oscillo for short is a widely recommended homeopathic remedy that when used within 12-48 hours of the first appearance of flu symptoms, is formulated to reduce the severity.
This is our go-to flu remedy, and when taken earlier enough, and according to the time frame directed, always works to reduce severity and symptoms, sometimes within hours.
In fact, I’ve had the flu at the same time as family members or co-workers and taken Oscillo and I’m usually completely better within two days, while they stay sick for a week to two without it.
It comes in vials of tiny pellets that easily dissolve under the tongue and has instructions for use in adults and children 2 years of age and older. A tip with this remedy or any homeopathic, is to take it 20 minutes away from any food or beverage or anything else flavored (toothpaste, mints, gum) so that it doesn’t interfere with the potency.
Elderberry extract, which has been used for centuries in Europe as a winter remedy to fight viruses, is a natural antiviral rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, and is also helpful to reduce swelling and inflammation in the sinuses and throat.
Studies have shown elderberry extract to reduce the duration of the flu virus by about 3-4 days on average, when taken early enough at the onset of symptoms, in which case an intensive dosage is your best bet.
A daily maintenance dosage can also be taken as a preventative during flu season.
Sambucus is a quality source of elderberry extract in a pleasant tasting liquid and includes dosage instructions for adults and children. It’s also available in lozenges and sugar-free versions.
Oregano Oil has been used since ancient times as a potent herbal remedy for respiratory issues and to calm symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It may help to bring down fever by promoting sweating. It contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial components, making it an effective flu remedy.
This can be helpful as part of a maintenance plan for flu season. Personally, if I feel something coming on, I will increase to 6 drops twice a day or 3 drops a few times throughout the day to do the trick.
The oil is very strong in oregano flavor and a hot sensation on the tongue is normal, attesting to the potency, which is why you only need a 6 drops at a time. If you find this bothersome, it’s also available in softgels.
Umcka Cold + Flu is a combination homeopathic formula including elderberry, clinically proven to reduce the severity and shorten the duration of cold and flu symptoms. Take as directed at the onset of symptoms.
It’s available in liquid and lozenges, and directions include dosages for adults and children 6 years of age and older.
Do you have any go-to flu remedies? We’d love to hear so share in the comments below!