Gargle with Green Tea and More Natural Ways to Reduce Flu Symptoms Influenza is a viral infection that attacks your body with aches, fatigue and overall discomfort. One to two weeks—that’s how long the average flu lasts, with the worst symptoms lifting in two to three days. Still, those few days are grueling. If you act fast, you can nip the flu in the bud with natural remedies that you probably have on hand in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets. Here are a few natural medicines to combat the flu or at least shorten its duration once it strikes.

Gargle - Drinking green tea has a wealth of benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease and several cancers. But have you considered gargling with the ancient green beverage? Studies in Japan have shown that those who gargled with green tea three times a day for three months were less susceptible to the flu compared with those who did not. Get your green on when you feel a virus coming on!

Sleep - Sleeping off the flu is another way to combat the virus like a capable but half-dozing warrior. What’s great about resting is that you’ll avoid spreading your germs to others. Sure, you will lack the energy to be productive for a brief span of time, but you won’t feel like doing much anyway when the flu bug bites!

Zinc - Zinc lozenges from your trusty medicine cabinet are recommended once or twice daily. Zinc will help you feel better faster if you digest them as soon as your symptoms strike or within 24 hours of the flu onset. In addition to treating your flu symptoms, zinc possesses a host of benefits, from decreased risk of age-related diseases to affecting memory and learning to wound healing. Zap the flu with zinc!

Gargle with Green Tea and More Natural Ways to Reduce Flu Symptoms

Hydrate - Drink fluids to soothe your throat and, most importantly, keep you hydrated. Green tea is our first choice, since it provides you with much-needed antioxidants! Remember tea has caffeine; so if you’re trying to catch some z’s, save the tea for a few hours prior. Another tea good for the flu is elderberry tea, which treats respiratory infections and reduces inflammation in mucous membranes. Sip Echinacea tea as soon as you feel the flu coming on to reduce viral infections and even shorten the length of the flu.

Neti Pot – Neti pots have been used for thousands of years in India as a purification technique. These teapot-looking ceramic, glass, metal or plastic pots are ideal for clearing out nasal passages. Simply fill the pot with saline solution (sea salt and water is just fine, too) and insert into one nostril, tilt your head and let the solution drip through your other nostril. A Neti pot alleviates stuffiness, relieves nasal dryness, reduces sinus headaches and even improves sense of smell and taste.

Home remedies are common when treating the flu. Up the ante with these natural remedies during flu season, which is typically fall and winter. If you are at high-risk for flu complications, seek medical treatment.