UPDATE: This post was three years old and while we would still use these natural remedies for the flu, we rarely get sick, due primarily to a preventative regimen of supplements, lifestyle factors and sleep/stress reduction. Here are the supplements we take regularly to help boost immune health.
Natural Flu Remedies
We had our first bout with the seasonal flu this week, and from my experience, all the hype is very overblown. In the course of 3 days my husband and both kids have contracted, and gotten over the flu (it is possibly, but not confirmed as the H1N1 strain). They all had the three common symptoms being listed for this years flu:
- Body Ache
- Respiratory Symptoms
All three got over their flu within 24 hours, both kids fully recovering within 12. I figured I would share my remedies in case anyone else is interested.
What we did not do: swine flu shots, seasonal flu shots, Tamiflu, antibiotics, visit the ER, Tylenol, fever reducers, etc.
What we did do:
- Hydration-At the onset of first symptoms, they all started drinking a lot of water, up to a gallon and a half that day in my husband’s case
- Hot Tea and tons of Homemade Bone Broth-As hot liquids have been shown to stimulate the immune system and stop proliferation of the flu virus, they all continuously sipped hot herbal teas, homemade chicken soup and hot water with lemon juice and honey.
- Vitamin C More and more evidence is showing that vitamin C is the ascorbic acid form can battle the flu and other viruses better than medication. For the kids, I started with 500 mg chewable doses and continued until they reached bowel tolerance (the point that it causes diarrhea) and then reduced to half doses every two hours. This amounted to about 3,000 mg total by the time they were symptom free. I continued 500 mg a day for several days to increase immunity. For my husband, I gave 500 mg every hour until bowel tolerance and half doses every hour after. This amounted to almost 5,000 mg for him by the time he was symptom free.
- Homemade elderberry syrup 1 Tablespoon every hour for husband, 1/2 Tablespoon every hour for kids. This is very similar to Sambucol, which is sold nationwide.
- Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother”-One Tablespoon in 8 oz water every three hours. This alkalizes the body and kills any yeast that can be feeding infection.
- Removal of carbs and sugars from the diet until completely well-At the first symptom, all three were pulled off of carbs and sugars, which can feed infection. If hungry, they ate tons of soup, healthy forms of protein, vegetables, and vegetable smoothies.
- Lots of rest. This one is pretty obvious during any illness
I purposely did not give fever reducing medicine to any of them. As with any illness, I carefully monitor temperature and don’t make any effort to bring it down until it hits at least 104 (which never happens for us). For anything less than 104, I simply use the regimen above. Fever is the body’s natural response to illness and is a sign that the infection is being fought by the body. Reducing the fever really is not necessary unless it gets to a dangerous level. Both kids had fevers in the 103 range, and without the aid of Tylenol or medication, fought the infection and kicked the fever in 12 hours.
Hopefully none of you will deal with any illness this year, but if you do, maybe some of this may help you too.
How do you keep from getting sick or remedy it naturally when you do? Share your tips below!