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Home Remedies When You're Down with the Flu

Home Remedies When You're Down with the Flu

The flu has resulted in 9 million to 41 million annual cases in the United States since 2010.

If you’re one (or more!) of those cases, you know how rotten you can feel when the flu comes to visit. The flu is a viral infection that can cause cold sweats, chills, fever, congestion, headaches, sore throat, cough, and more. 

The experts at Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, are happy to treat your flu symptoms with antiviral medications. But if you don’t feel up to a doctor’s visit, the team here offers a few home remedy tips.


Staying in bed to rest boosts your immune system and helps your body focus its energy on fighting the flu. And this is one time when it’s okay to cancel your schedule and sleep as much as you can.

Stay hydrated

Hydration is important all the time, but it takes on added urgency when you have the flu. Water helps keep your mouth, nose, and throat moist, which helps your body get rid of the mucus and phlegm it produces. 

If your body gets dehydrated, it can’t fight the flu as well, so keep the water and other (non-alcoholic) liquids coming. If your urine is deep yellow or amber, you’re on the verge of dehydration, so keep drinking!

Drink broth

Warm chicken or beef bone broth helps with hydration, but it also helps replenish the proteins and minerals your body needs. Protein also helps rebuild immune cells. 

Rinse with salt water

Gargling with warm salt water can soothe a sore throat and help clear mucus. You can also do a salt water rinse in your nose, which helps remove virus particles and bacteria. 

Use a humidifier and steam

The flu virus survives longer in dry, indoor air, so it helps to make the air in your home more humid. Inhaling the warm moist air produced by a humidifier or hot shower can soothe your nose, throat, and lungs and relieve swelling in the nose and lungs.

Other home remedies that may help include drinking herbal tea, applying essential oils such as tea tree oil, taking more zinc, elevating your pillow when you sleep, and using a dab of mentholated salve under your nose.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of the flu, don’t hesitate to call the team at Arlington Family Practice for advice on your treatment. If you need an appointment, you can also use our online scheduler. We hope you feel better soon!

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