What to Have in Your Flu Kit?

What to Have in Your Flu Kit?

What to Have in Your Flu Kit?

In the United States, flu season begins every year from October, and intensifies around the holidays until finally petering out around February. Though it varies every year, flu activity seems to intensify during fall and winter. The common cold also occurs frequently during these months, but flu symptoms are much worse, causing fever, chills, sweats, body ache, muscle pain, headache, cough, vomiting, and diarrhea. So how can you and your family stay prepared while influenza makes its rounds this year? Here are some tools to have in your arsenal while battling the flu season: 

  • Salt: Saline solution is miraculous for draining out mucus. Saline lavage or irrigation soften thick, dried mucus and clears the passages, while also improving the function of cilia which help unclog the sinuses. Over-the-counter nose drops and sprays are easily available, simple to use, and safe for children. 
  • Throat Lozenges: Lozenges are hard candies containing medicinal substances like eucalyptus, honey, or menthol, which help moisten an itchy throat. Just the act of sucking on a lozenge increases saliva production in the throat and prevents dryness. 
  • Humidifier: The common cold and influenza are accelerated by dry, cold air. Humidifiers increase moisture content in the air, which eases congestion and cough. Be sure to keep your humidifier clean so as to prevent the growth of mold or bacteria. 
  • Expectorants: Lung expectorants can help calm your cough. An expectorant essentially  liquefies mucus that has collected in your chest, making it easier for you to cough up. Try a natural or herbal formulation for gentle relief. Please note that it is not recommended to give over-the-counter expectorants to children under the age of four. 
  • OTC Meds: Fever is a common symptom of the flu, since your body is actively fighting off the virus cells. Medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and acetaminophen can help fight any uncomfortable symptoms of the flu, such as fever or body ache.  
  • Fluids: Be it mom’s chicken soup or a hot cup of tea, fluids are key to keeping your respiratory system hydrated, which liquifies thick hardened mucus making it easier to cough up. Try water, juice, sports beverages, or broth-based soups. 

  • It is worth noting that the above recommended tools can help with easing symptoms, but do not treat the root cause of your illness. Perhaps the most important tool in your kit is Antiviral medication. Consult your doctor for prescription antiviral medications such as baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), peramivir (Rapivab), or zanamivir (Relenza). 

    HerbsDaily offers a wide range of OTC and herbal flu symptom busters that can help you deal with fever, cough, cold, and congestion.    


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