Natural remedies to ear flu symptoms

: Sammy Croteau, Arts & Culture Editor

The flu is sweeping across the campus as an unpleasant welcome back for the spring semester. If you are in the midst of the sickness or fearful of becoming its victim, you can try some or all of these at home remedies to sooth unwanted symptoms. These natural remedies will also ease discomfort from an unsettling cold. 

The symptoms of cold and flu include: body ache, fever, headache, sore throat, and upper respiratory issues. They may seem impossible to shake while they continue to bombard you for what seems like endless days. If your symptoms seem serious, it is important to visit a doctor or the RWU Health Services center. These remedies can provide your body with an extra boost in recovery.

The best thing you can do for your body when you are sick with the flu or cold is drink water. Use a refillable water bottle every day and keep it by your side throughout the day, drinking frequently to get rid of a dry throat. Drinking water is an essential step in healing when the human body is ill. This remedy may seem like a no brainer, but many times, our brains become distracted and overworked by the sick symptoms and we forget the purest form of medication: H2O, so drink up! 

Water helps with a sore throat and cough, but to clear out a stuffy nose, it may not do the job. To clear your sinuses, take a hot shower and the steam will temporarily relieve any congestion in your airways. To get rid of this congestion for a longer period of time, fill a pot with two cups of water and gather kitchen herbs such as thyme and rosemary. Add about two teaspoons of each into the pot and set the pot to boil on the stove with a cover for five minutes. Once the pot is steaming, lean over the pot with a towel covering your head so no steam escapes, and breath in regularly and continually. If you continue this process for at least 15 minutes, congestion in your sinuses will disappear.

Raw garlic is another remedy that you probably have available right in your kitchen. Garlic has been researched and found to have the natural ability to help the body recover from an illness. Plain garlic is not ideal for many taste buds, but mincing it and washing it down with some water can help ease symptoms. You can also mix the garlic with traditional cooked vegetables or other light food to take the strong taste down a notch.

Teas and soups are a must-have when trying to combat a cold, but teas with natural herbs and soups with light broths are the best option. Peppermint tea can often relieve discomfort, but some useful herbal teas are lavender, chai and kombucha tea, which is available at health food stores such as Whole Foods. It is made with black tea and on the sweet side to please a nauseous stomach. Light broth soups will also help to relieve congestion symptoms and chicken noodle soup is the ideal food for when you have the chills in bed. To make your own right at home, cook a chicken carcass in a large pot with stock and water and cook in choice of noodles once boiling. Add vegetables such as carrots and celery. Top off with salt, pepper and other spices such as cayenne and thyme. Let the soup simmer for at least an hour before enjoying.