Remedies for the flu? These 3 principles will help you understand what works best against influenza

There isn’t a cure for the flu, just best practices. So until we find a potion that will serve to rid us of influenza, it’s all about home remedies.

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The problem with treating something without a known cure is that there’s a ton of conflicting online information out there. Like you, I’ve done plenty of internet research and have been confused with one article saying one thing, while the next says something completely different.

So is garlic good for the flu or not?

Should I exercise or nah?

What about a warm bath or hot shower?

Spicy food is good or not?

Through all this, I was able to find some patterns. Coupled with some good old-fashioned, non-scientific logic, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are three ways for a speedier recovery from the flu/cold:

1) REST: Bar none, resting (not exerting oneself) is the most important factor and the best bet to getting better faster. There may be some physical benefits to exercising while you’re sick, but on the whole, it can do more damage than good.

Think about it, your body is already in a weakened state, so pushing yourself (thus making your body weaker/tired) is counter intuitive to a body that needs mending. Would you run on a broken ankle? Listen to loud music when you have a headache? Notice how you want to sleep ALL THE TIME when you’re sick? That’s not a coincidence.

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Your body is already doing its best to get rid of the virus, why make it harder on your immune system to do what it needs to do? I know that the human body is amazing, complicated system, but don’t make it multitask when it doesn’t have to.

2) DRINK/EXPEL LIQUIDS: Literally getting rid of the flu via all your mucous membranes. Whether by urinating, sweating, or blowing your nose each droplet out of your body is doing a small part in cleansing your body. Drink water — drink warm water so you’ll sweat. Take a warm shower. Cover up when you’re cold. Stick your head over boiling water to clear out the mucous. If you can handle it, eat some roughage, so… you know.

3) IMMUNE SYSTEM: Your immune system is obviously important in making one feel better, so do your best to give it a kick by putting things in your body that augment it. Eat raw garlic, carrots, or any fruits and vegetables. Drink real orange juice, water with Emergen-C or anything high in vitamin C. No sugars.

Based on these three principles, here are my recommendations on some of the more common remedies I’ve come across the internet.

If I Have the Flu, Should I...
ACTION RECOMMENDED PRINCIPLE
CONSUME PROCESSED SUGARS NO 3
DRINK REAL ORANGE JUICE YES 2/3
DRINK WATER YES 2
EAT FRUITS YES 3
EAT RAW GARLIC YES 3
EAT SPICY FOOD NO 3
EAT UNSALTED CASHEWS YES 3
EXERCISE NO 1/3
SLEEP YES 1/3
WARM SHOWER YES 2
WORK OUT NO 1
VITAMIN C YES 3

Again, there’s no cure, but these seem to make sense to me. Really, the above are recommended only if they are 100% helping your rest, expelling the bad and boosting your immune system.

How much it actually speeds up recovery is another question. If we knew any specific remedy helped for sure, would there be so many different options on treating the flu out there? The answer is no so just take this as just another opinion to add to the list.

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