With summer coming to an end and cooler weather setting in, it’s no surprise that flu season is among us. According to Health Canada, 10 to 25 percent of the population gets the flu annually. This amounts to millions of Canadians coughing, sneezing, sniffling and generally feeling miserable for up to weeks at a time.
It’s always recommended to see your doctor if flu like symptoms persist for over three days, or if you have any chronic health conditions. However, there are some alternative remedies that you can try while battling the flu.
Toronto mommy blogger, and mom of three, Ali Martell says that when it comes to the flu and her kids, she tries to stay out of the doctor’s office and do her best to treat them from home.
“I usually I try to figure out if it’s actual sickness or if they’re trying to get out of a test,” Martell said. “I check for fever first…. my kids have asthma so it usually ends up in their chest. I ask a lot of questions.”
If one of her kids are in fact sick, she moves to her arsenal of mom cures. This includes gargling with salt water, administering freezies for sore throats, or her Bubbie’s chicken noodle soup. She says that she mostly just gives her kids things that soothe them.
Melissa Ieraci, a Homeopath from the Bloor West Homeopathic and Wellness Clinic endorses quite a few natural options.
“What I usually recommend to parents with small kids is ferrum phosphoricum… it’s an iron derivative that can be used to treats fevers and can even prevent fevers,” says Ieraci. “Adults can also take it when they have the flu.”
Ieraci also recommends mashing up garlic, cayenne pepper and raw honey (for taste) into a paste and eating it to get the full effect. However if you don’t think you can stomach that, garlic capsules are also available. Garlic is known for its anti-bacterial properties and immune boosting agents so it’s likely to kick any flu quickly.
While mom’s tried and true oil of oregano treatment is always a good option, Ieraci recommends that people are careful when taking it.
“Oil of oregano is a natural antibiotic, be careful because it can kill both good and bad bacteria,” Ieraci said. “Take a probiotic with it to make sure you’re keeping good gut health.”
Perhaps the best way to combat the flu is to prevent it from even happening. The Government of Canada website promotes a few tips for flu prevention. A handful include washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face, disinfecting communal objects (doorknobs, TV remotes, etc.) and eating well as well as staying active.