What are the Best Natural Remedies for the Flu?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell
Green tea is a popular natural flu fighter.
Green tea is a popular natural flu fighter.

Influenza, more commonly referred to as the flu, is caused by a virus and primarily affects the respiratory tract. Common symptoms include coughing, muscle aches, and sore throat. Natural remedies for the flu are popular and may include frequent hand washing and herbal treatments like black elderberry extract, garlic, and green tea. It is important to note that influenza can progress to the point of becoming deadly, so if symptoms continue to worsen after beginning treatment with natural remedies for the flu, a doctor should be consulted.

Fresh garlic, an antiviral food, can be grated into salads or soups to help ward off the flu.
Fresh garlic, an antiviral food, can be grated into salads or soups to help ward off the flu.

Hand washing is the simplest and most effective of the available natural remedies for the flu. The influenza virus can be spread through water droplets released into the air or by hands that have touched the face of an infected person. If the infected person then touches an object, someone else touching the same object may become infected. Frequent hand washing, especially on the part of the patient, may help to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Elderberry extracts can be found in many throat lozenges.
Elderberry extracts can be found in many throat lozenges.

Black elderberry extract is considered to be one of the most popular natural remedies for the flu. This plant extract is considered to be a natural antiviral agent and is thought by many to be as effective as prescription medication. Black elderberry extract can be found in the form of syrups, lozenges, and capsules. Patients with diabetes should be sure to find a formulation that does not contain added sugar.

Black elderberry extract is an antiviral agent that may help alleviate flu symptoms.
Black elderberry extract is an antiviral agent that may help alleviate flu symptoms.

Garlic is another of the more popular natural remedies for the flu due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Odorless forms of garlic are available, but even though this form of garlic may be less offensive to some people, it is not recommended for use in patients with influenza. The process that removes the odor also removes the most important nutrients. An enteric-coated garlic pill is recommended for those patients who have difficulty adding a significant amount of garlic to the diet.

Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.
Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.

Green tea is yet another popular choice among those searching for natural remedies for the flu. While many patients enjoy drinking green tea, the capsule form of green tea is believed to have more potency. Green tea has been shown to boost the immune system and also has both antibacterial and antiviral qualities. It is recommended that the patient take two green tea capsules per day all year long in an effort to prevent disease instead of waiting until flu-like symptoms are present. Many patients prefer a decaffeinated version of green tea so that sleep is not hindered.

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    • Green tea is a popular natural flu fighter.
      By: NataliTerr
      Green tea is a popular natural flu fighter.
    • Fresh garlic, an antiviral food, can be grated into salads or soups to help ward off the flu.
      By: Vidady
      Fresh garlic, an antiviral food, can be grated into salads or soups to help ward off the flu.
    • Elderberry extracts can be found in many throat lozenges.
      By: kostrez
      Elderberry extracts can be found in many throat lozenges.
    • Black elderberry extract is an antiviral agent that may help alleviate flu symptoms.
      By: emde71
      Black elderberry extract is an antiviral agent that may help alleviate flu symptoms.
    • Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.
      By: peacebuts
      Those infected with influenza can reduce the chance of spreading the virus by regularly washing their hands.