Four Home Remedies for this Flu Season

Many of my friends and family will describe me as a Google doctor. While that can make anyone with a PhD cringe, let me explain!

I get sick so often! In 2019, I had reoccurring strep SIX times over the course of the year. Of those six times, I was given antibiotics yet to no avail, I ended up infected with strep again the next month and the month after that! After months and months of antibiotics, I began to research ways I could prevent the next attack. Finally, I discovered the benefits of four herbal/home remedies that I swear by. While not everyone's immune system is the same, please take my advice knowing that while my family may classify me as a Google doctor, I by no means have a PhD.

I am just here to share what has worked for me in hopes it will help some one else. I am also not suggesting you should opt out of seeing your doctor (because there are some illnesses you can’t take care of on your own). OKAY, now that we have cleared the air, these are just a few prevention remedies if you are wanting to take active steps to maintaining a healthy immune system. 

So *cough cough* here we go:

Echinacea 

Echinacea is a cone shaped flower that is native to the area east of the Rocky Mountains. Echinacea is not a new type of remedy as it was used by Native Americans for medical ailments like common colds. It wasn’t long before this caught on with early settlers and they began using this as a common remedy. It fell out of popularity as soon as the surge of antibiotics transpired. Today, with a lot of bacteria becoming antibiotic resistant, many people are opting for the ancient remedy. 

Echinacea is thought to decrease inflammation that is commonly associated with colds and flu. This comes in various forms of dispensation like tablets, teas, juices, capsules, etc. 

While this should not always be the first option people turn to for every ailment, for people like me who have repeatedly been infected with the same illness, it may be worth a try.

As I previously stated, if you rarely get sick, please visit your primary care physician. If you were out of options like me, by all means, it’s worth a shot.

Vitamin C

Many people have heard that increasing your vitamin C intake during a cold is beneficial but the question is, why? Vitamin C is good for immune function, bone structure, iron absorption, and overall healthy skin. In clinical trials, it has been shown that 200mg of vitamin C can reduce cold and flu symptoms in half

However, it is not entirely as simple as just eating an orange. The main way to reap the benefits of vitamin C during cold and flu season, is to consume it every day and not just when symptoms arise. This gives the added support your immune system needs to fight off infection. There are many supplements you can get over the counter at your local drug store. You can either incorporate more vitamin C like oranges, cantaloupe, broccoli, etc. into your diet. If that’s not possible, you can look for a great supplement at the drug store.

If you REALLY want to go the extra mile, look for a Vitamin C Complex (or sometimes called Super C) that has vitamin A and vitamin D for added support.

Orange Slice Above Shot Ellen Gibbs / Spoon

Sore throat? Try hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide has been around for centuries and many doctors didn’t begin to utilize its antiseptic purposes until the 1920’s. But before you reach for a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, here are somethings you need to know: dilute it first! While most bottles of hydrogen peroxide are very mild and stores don’t sell any higher grades than 3%, it is still important to dilute. Trust me. It’s gross if you don’t. You combine one-part peroxide and two-parts water and gargle for 60 seconds. This was another remedy I utilized for several days when I had my long-lasting battle with strep.

Hydrogen peroxide can soothe a sore throat as it has many antibacterial properties

It also is a whitening agent for your teeth, so a great two-in-one! When using, make sure you are only using it for a short period of time. If symptoms persist for longer than 4 days, it may be time to consult your doctor.

Chamomile Tea

This is one of my absolute favorites passed down from my Oma. I remember being sick and her making a cup of chamomile tea with honey. While, yes, this is absolutely delicious, there are many benefits to this yummy remedy. Chamomile tea reduces inflammation, helps with sleep, and relaxation. These properties can alleviate congestion and sore throat

Chamomile tea is not something new as this has been around for a long time. I’ve been drinking this tea whenever I have a cold for years and years on end. It is suggested to have two to three cups per day while symptoms last, but if you think it is as delicious as I do, it might become an everyday beverage!

Celina Timmerman / Her Campus Hopefully, all of you reading this don’t have to utilize any of these remedies. I wish the best health for everyone. Unfortunately, with each flu strain shifting every year and becoming more relentless, it’s important that in the winter months, we keep our immune systems in tip-top-shape!

When the rampant cold and flu strikes at home, work or school, keep these essentials in your arsenal because you never know when you might need them.