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Natural ways to treat Influenza

Updated on November 6, 2012
Flu vaccine
Flu vaccine
The Influenza outbreak of 1918 killed 50 million people worldwide
The Influenza outbreak of 1918 killed 50 million people worldwide

How to treat influenza

Millions of people suffer Influenza all around the world every year, and some years seem to be worse than others.
Vaccines are available but they are normally only recommended for people that have pre -existing medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart problems.
Even though vaccination programs are now more extensive the annual death toll from Influenza can be around 500,000 people.
Many of the people who die from Influenza also suffer from other illnesses or suffer from weak immune systems.
Still a good portion of the deaths could be avoided if people were better informed and knew how to look after themselves during an outbreak.

Influenza viruses - what are they?

Scientists always seem to give each influenza a fancy titles such as H1N1, and the reason for this is that Influenza mutates quickly.

There are three basic seasonal Influenza viruses and they are type A,B and C. The two most common types are A and B, and most vaccines are based on these two types. Outbreak of type C Influenza occur less frequently.
H1N1 is a type of Influenza and most mutations come from type A.

Symptoms of Influenza

The incubation period for Influenza is normally 48 hours. This means that from the time someone was infected it will take 48 hours for the first symptoms to show.
Influenza has a wide range of symptoms and can at first be mistaken for a common cold.

Influenza symptoms to look out for:

Feeling cold and shivering - these are normally the first two symptoms. Your hands might start feeling cold and it is a coldness which appear to rapidly spread throughout
the body. After the coldness comes the shivering which can feel like it impossible to control. Many people say they just want to go home and hug a heater to get warm and stop shivering. The shivering is a sign that the virus has entered the cells in your body and your body is protesting.

Fever - as you rush home to hug that heater you may feel that your bodily temperature starts to rise rapidly. A high temperature which appears suddenly is a definite sign of flu. What is actually happening? Your body has gone into serious defense mode and all the cells in your body are now working together to raise your body's temperature.
You are probably still experiencing the shivers and this is actually what is happening in the body. Your cells are shaking trying to get remove the alien intruder.

Cough - coughing is normal during flu but the cough is different from the cough you experience during a cold. It is most often dry and very irritating.

Headache - severe headaches are a common part of flu. Most people describe them as blinding as they feel there eyesight is being affected.
A flu headache appears suddenly - they are often described as appearing in seconds and they are known excruciating.

Runny nose - a severe runny noise is also part of the parcel of flu. It is almost watery and it is often difficult to stop sneezing.
The mucus membrane of your nose will feel sore as they swell up and there is normally a pressure build up towards the eyes. The fluid coming out of your nose is extremely infectious and be careful how you discard your tissues.

Muscle pain and joint pain - sometimes muscle pain and joint pain appear as the first symptoms but at other times they may be one of the last symptoms to appear. This is the real indicator of flu and the symptoms most doctors will use when diagnosing the flu. I always ask someone if they are experiencing lower back pain. Lower back pain is a really good indicator as the kidneys have just gone into overdrive. If you experience this during flu season as
a first symptom, or this is not normal for your body, start drinking lots of water immediately. This simple action may help you to avoid the worst of the flu. The best protection against flu is good dehydration.

Loss of balance - many flu sufferers complain over loss of balance. It is no wonder really with all of this stuff going in your body.
Your body is experiencing severe stress and the best to do is to lay down as this loss of balance may cause you to experience nausea and even vomit.

Managing Influenza naturally

Influenza is a tricky condition to treat as you need to remove this nasty virus which is attacking your body but at the same time you need to boost
your immune system as your recovery period is just as important as the actual outbreak period. Influenza is an illness which can lead to other problems such as chest infections or Chronic Fatique syndrome.

Willow bark tea - this is good for pain relief and it is also anti inflammatory. It will help your aching joints to recover.

Cherry juice - lots of people recommend drinking orange juice during a flu attack. I think that orange juice is too acidic.
Orange juice does contain vitamin C but vitamin C is easily destroyed by your elevated body temperature.
Cherry juice is an important source of potassium. Potassium is the major mineral found in cell fluids and during a flu attack your cells need all the help they can get.
Potassium also helps to regulate energy production and your body needs energy to fight the illness.

There is however another important reason. The best thing you can do for your body is to sleep and rest, and cherry juice naturally raises the body's melatonin level
and will help you rest and sleep.

Fluid - drink as much as fluid as you can and water is fine . By increasing fluid in your body will help to flush the attacker out. Avoid coffee and tea with caffeine as this will only dehydrate your body.

Chicken soup - it is true. Chicken soup helps as replaces lost salts quickly and safely, and it is very easy to digest. It also contains lots of vitamin B which is an essential
vitamin which your body cannot store and not manufacture.

Sleep - try to sleep as much as you can. Sleep is the best healer as it allows your body just to rest and heal itself.

Keep warm - keeping warm during a flu attack will help boost your immune system , allow the body to chase out the intruding virus, encourage healing and aid recovery.


The importance of vitamin B during a flu attack or epidemic

The importance of the B vitamin group during a flu attack

Your body cannot manufacture B vitamins and as this is a water soluble group of vitamins it is depleted quickly.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is not an uncommon disease after a flu, and it is crucial that you do everything you can to keep your B vitamins up to avoid this medical condition.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is defined by loss of energy and extreme tiredness. A lot of sufferers are forced to just stay in bed and seem to be unable to regain there strength.

B vitamins are responsible for energy production in the body and many other vital functions.
Here is a brief insight into one of our best B buddies as I call them.

B1 - breaks down carbohydrates and this provides energy
B2 - processes energy, repair body tissue and is in charge of maintaining mucous membranes
B3 - responsible for the actual energy reaction in a cell
B5 - breaks down proteins and fats and converts them into energy
B6 - helps to produce haemoglobin which transports oxygen to the cells
B12 - responsible for production of DNA and red blood cell formation
Folic Acid - essential component in the production of RNA and DNA
Biotin - helps to process fats and protein

Taking a good quality B vitamin supplement during flu is just as important as taking aspirin or paracetamol.


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    • Healthyannie profile image

      Healthyannie 5 years ago from Spain

      Thank you for stopping by. Rememeber to stay well dehydrated. Annie

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Some very good tips here and just in time for cold and flu season...thank you for sharing!

    • Healthyannie profile image

      Healthyannie 5 years ago from Spain

      Thanks for dropping by. Honey is great for a sore throat, garlic might work but could upset someone a flu sufferer's stomach. Propolis can work for extra energy. Not sure about the warm salt water idea. Do you mean for gargling for a sore throat? Annie