How to Cure the Flu Fast: 12 Tips for Flu Relief

Updated in February 2024

The flu is a viral infection caused by the infleunza virus. It is associated with symptoms like sore throat, coughing, fever or runny nose, which can be very uncomfortable and interfere with your daily routine. 

Flu treatment usually involves rest and hydration at home, but you can also take medications as directed by a doctor to relieve discomfort. 

In some cases, you may be able to speed-up the duration of your flu, by gargling warm water and salt, for example, or applying a warm compress to achy muscles. 

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How to fight the flu

Some tips for curing the flu at home include: 

1. Resting 

Resting is essential for reducing cold and flu symptoms. It allows the body to conserve energy and put it toward fighting infection. Participating in physical activity while you are sick and decrease your body’s natural defenses and increase the risk for transmitting the infection to other people

2. Drinking plenty of fluid 

Fluids, particularly water, are very important if the flu infection is causing a fever, as fevers may lead to dehydration. Fluids like fresh fruit juices, teas, smoothies and soups can also help to replenish any losses and keep you nourished when appetite is low.

3. Using medications as prescribed  

Flu infections that present with many symptoms may be treated with medication, like aspirin or ibuprofen. These are usually recommended by a doctor to relieve specific symptoms and speed-up recovery. 

Check-out the most common flu medications that the doctor may prescribe to help treat an influenza virus. 

4. Gargling with water and salt 

Warm water and salt gargles can help to decrease throat inflammation or discomfort associated with the flu. Gargles can also help to remove mucus that is trapped in throat. Learn about other sore throat remedies you can use to decrease irritation or scratchiness. 

5. Increasing air humidity 

Increasing air humidity in the room can help decrease discomfort from coughing and dryness within the nose. You can turn on a humidifier or simply place a bowl of water in a room. See other ways you can treat a stuffy nose at home naturally. 

6. Using a hot water bottle 

Some people may report muscle aches during their flu infection. Applying a hot water bottle to sore muscles can relieve discomfort by promoting vasodilation and muscle relaxation.

7. Performing nasal irrigation

Performing a nasal irrigation with saline can help to remove mucus in the nose which may be contributing to headaches and a stuffy nose. Persistent mucus in the nose can also lead to sinusitis. Read more about how to perform a nasal irrigation at home with a few simple tools.

8. Drink teas for the flu

Drinking teas for the flu, such as star anise tea or lemon tea with honey, can help to strengthen the immune system and eliminate the influenza virus.

Additionally, these teas help hydrate the body and prevent dehydration.

Also recommended: Tea for Congestion: 8 Natural Remedies for a Plugged Nose

9. Take a warm bath

A warm bath helps relieve body pain caused by the flu. The steam from the bath water helps to humidify and reduce irritation in the respiratory tract, making the phlegm more liquid and easier to eliminate.

10. Consume foods with vitamin C

Foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, lemons or strawberries, have antioxidant effects that help strengthen the immune system to fight the flu virus, relieving symptoms more quickly.

You should increase your intake of these foods, whether fresh or in the form of juices. Check out a complete list of vitamin C foods you can include in your diet.

Also recommended: Orange Peel Tea: 8 Health Benefits & Tea Recipes

11. Taking homemade flu syrups

Taking a homemade cough syrups, such as onion and garlic syrup, or ginger syrup with lemon, honey and propolis, can help to relieve flu symptoms. See some homemade cough syrups you can prepare with natural ingredients.

Furthermore, these syrups have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that help strengthen the immune system, accelerating recovery. 

12. Eat foods that boost immunity

Foods that boost immunity can help fight off the flu faster. They should be rich in vitamin C and A, flavonoids, curcumin or allicin and will typically contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. Check out what to eat when you have the flu.

You should increase your intake of foods like turmeric, ginger, garlic or orange. Learn more about other immune system boosters that you can add to your diet.