Helpful Hints and Simple Home Remedies - Cold/Flu

I’m getting a cold/the flu!

Colds usually begin gradually, are not debilitating and are not accompanied by fever.  Influenza usually begins suddenly, sends the patient to bed and comes with a fever. 

Both colds and the flu are usually self-limiting.  A cold can last two weeks or more.  Influenza can last two weeks, but fever should not persist more than a week.  Shortness of breath, high fever or a spike in temperature after several days without fever warrant an office visit.

At the first sign of a cold or flu:

¨ Take 10,000iu of vitamin A one time (do not take if you are pregnant).

¨ Gargle with salt water every 1-2 hours (1/2 tsp salt in 8 oz of warm water).

¨ Drink herb tea (e.g. rose hips, hibiscus, elder flower, nettles) with honey, one cup 2-3 times a day.

¨ If you have been exposed to influenza and become ill, a prescription for Tamiflu within the first 48 hours of symptoms can shorten the duration of the flu and decrease the chance of complications.

¨ Use saline nasal mist 3 times a day

¨ If you tolerate alcohol and you have a cough, you can warm up 1 oz of brandy or whiskey, 1 tbl honey and the juice of 1/2 lemon and drink it slowly before bed.

¨ The hydrotherapy treatment called ‘warming socks’ should be done at bedtime each night for three nights.

¨ It is okay to take ibuprofen, 400-600mg every six hours to manage the discomfort of colds and flu.  Take it with food.

¨ Take a probiotic containing lactobacillus rhamnosus twice a day for 3-7 days.


Karen Coshow