Fight the flu with home remedies

Written by Ishi Khosla | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 25 2014, 15:44pm hrs
FluFlu is slightly distinct from the common cold. Colds develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come suddenly and strikes hard and fast. (Thinkstock)
With winters arriving, the flu virus is spreading rapidly. It is not surprising that the medical term for flu, comes from the Italian phrase influenza del freddo the influence of the cold.

Flu is slightly distinct from the common cold. Colds develop slowly, whereas the flu tends to come suddenly and strikes hard and fast. Caused by a virus which affects the upper respiratory tract, the symptoms include fever, headache, blocked or runny nose, aches and pains through the body.

With the growing use of modern medicine, most people rely on antibiotics. However, simple homes remedies can also help. Categorised as complementary and alternative medicine therapies (CAM) to treat the common cold, some of these are traditional antidotes. Others include nutritional and herbal supplements. Few have also been supported by scientific evidence. Some of these include:

Kahdha: A herbal mix of spices including cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, desi ghee and basil.

Honey: Honey has anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and prebiotic properties. Its other benefits include anti-tumour, anti-mutagenic and anti-viral properties. Manuka honey, a special honey that comes from New Zealand, has been used in upper respiratory infections including chronic sinusitis, rhinitis and allergic symptoms. Homey can be used with spices such as nutmeg, black pepper, ginger and cloves. Honey and lemon can also provide relief from fly symptoms.

Turmeric and Ghee in milk: Turmeric has the ability to modulate the immune system and is known to have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal activity.

Fenugreek seed decoction: Fenugreek helps those with asthma and sinus problems. Fenugreek decoction is known to ease soar throat and laryngitis. It can be combined with honey and lemon.

Garlic: Garlic has been long known for its therapeutic benefits. It is loaded with nearly 100 active chemical compounds including several potent antioxidants.

Tulsi tea: Tulsi is known to reduce stress, enhance endurance, increase oxygen utilisation, boost the immune system, slow aging and reduce inflammation. It fights bacterial, viral and fungal infections.

Barley water to treat fever: One of the earliest cultivated grains barley, commonly known as jau is believed to have a healing effect on the body.

Amla: It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which boosts immunity and restores vitality.