Have you heard about the flu that’s been going around? You’ll see it in most of the media nowadays saying that an epidemic is happening & flu cases are spiking up throughout the United States. As a mom, I know protection is key, especially since my oldest son is in elementary school. And of course, you know me, trying to tackle things one natural remedy at a time.
I wanted to give you some natural remedies backed by science to help if the flu hits your household and to protect you from the influenza virus. But first, let me comment on the common conventional remedy that is given to patients with the flu called Tamiflu.
You go to the doctor, you get diagnosed with the flu, and an anti-viral, like Tamiflu, is given to you. I’ve heard this story multiple times. Unfortunately, Tamiflu when given at the ideal time only helps reduce the duration of the flu by a day. You’ll find out a natural remedy that actually is studied to be MORE effective than Tamiflu. But, seriously, only a day (MAYBE two)? Uh, no thanks. The studies that have been done on Tamiflu showed that it didn’t affect the number of hospitalizations. Tamiflu also comes with side effects, which you never want to deal with on top of the flu.
There are inadequate reports from many of the studies done on Tamiflu. Which just leaves you wondering….
You can check out Cochrane’s report from looking into all the studies that have been done on Tamiflu. Cochrane is an independent network of researchers that looks into studies to provide a free conflict of interest/bias inside look of the studies.
I personally would rather use evidence-based natural remedies for me and my family. Let’s go!
- Elderberry Syrup – A classic flu-remedy! A natural immune booster and anti-inflammatory. This berry packs a punch with the flu because studies show that it reduces the duration of the flu AND the severity of the flu. Learn how to make your own and read the research on our elderberry blog!
- Green Tea – Gargling with tea studied to prevent influenza infection. BMC Public Health states,”The participants who gargled with tea or its ingredients showed a lower risk of influenza infection than did participants who gargled with placebo/water or who did not gargle.”Tea holds many antioxidants, like catechins, that have an antiviral effect by disrupting the viral membrane. So gargling and drinking it may help protect you during flu season. We’ve talked about green tea before & it does much more than you might think, so make sure you’ve checked out our green tea blog!
- American Ginseng – A study that was done in the nursing home showed reduced respiratory illness from influenza and RSV when patients took a ginseng extract.
- Garlic – Garlic is a great anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It’s been studied to help reduce duration and severity of viruses. To increase the allicin content of garlic (which helps the immune system), you can chop and crush up some fresh cloves of garlic and leave it sitting for 10 minutes. My husband and I like to swallow it like a pill.
- Echinacea – An immune boosting herb that never leaves our house. Echinacea has been studied to relieve symptoms from colds and flus and create a shorter duration of the virus.
- Vitamin D – In a study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin D supplementation helped reduce getting the influenza A virus. Only 10% of kids got the flu who supplemented with vitamin D versus the 18% that got the flu with the placebo. Vitamin D helps gain resistance from illness, regulates immune system, and regulates the absorption of essential minerals.
Our friends over at Morning Chores wrote a really great article compiling some of the best essential oils for the cold and flu season that is happening! Make sure you go check those out as well! You’d be surprised at what you can do at home to battle cold and flu viruses.
Have you used any of these natural remedies for the flu?