Remedies for cold and flu symptoms are everywhere, some expensive and some not so expensive. It seems like everyone is willing to give you some advice (from a distance) when they find out that you’re sick, whether it’s the good old-fashioned chicken soup recipe or a pricey medication.
Since it’s cold and flu season and we’re running a frugal blog here, I figured I’d throw out some remedies for cold and flu symptoms that aren’t too expensive to try. I may even use some of these myself today. I feel the sniffles coming on…
Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu Symptoms
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of clear liquids when you’re sick, regardless of whether you have a cold or the flu. Water is best, but natural juices, sports drinks, and ginger ale will work just as well. Not only will this prevent dehydration, but it will also help keep your throat cool and moist. Try to avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea, though, as these can actually dehydrate you.
- Blow your nose. Don’t keep sniffing that icky stuff back into your body. It’s laden with germs that can prolong the length of your cold. One of the best remedies for cold and flu symptoms is just to blow your nose gently and get rid of the germs. Since tissues can be expensive, try using toilet paper instead. You might look a little odd carrying around a roll of toilet paper, but it’s a lot less expensive than several boxes of tissues.
- Add some humidity to the air you breathe. Use a humidifier, lock yourself in a steamy bathroom, or simmer a pot of water on the stove. Do whatever you need to do to put some humidity back into the air you breathe. This will keep your nasal passages moist and help bring up some of the germy mucous. For fast relief of sinus congestion, cover your head with a towel, hold it over a hot pot or bowl of water, and breathe in slowly. For added relief, add some eucalyptus or peppermint to the water.
- Eat chicken soup. This is one of the oldest modern remedies for cold symptoms, but it can help with flu symptoms as well. There is still some question as to whether it actually works or not though. Some researchers say it does work as one of the remedies for cold symptoms, while others say it has no medicinal value. Either way, it can’t hurt to try. The warm broth will feel good on a scratchy throat, and it will also help keep you hydrated. You can make some cheap homemade chicken soup by boiling a chicken and fresh vegetables in a stock pot for a few hours, and adding egg noodles just before you eat it.
- Avoid antibiotics. One of the most popular remedies for cold and flu symptoms in today’s modern times is antibiotics. In reality, though, you could be doing more harm than good if you take an antibiotic for a cold or the flu, since these illness are caused by viruses, not bacteria, which most antibiotics are designed to treat. By taking antibiotics as remedies for cold and flu symptoms, some people actually end up killing beneficial bacteria which can help ward off these illnesses. Instead, opt for natural antibiotics and antivirals, like elderberry and garlic.