Warm Shower: Getting in a warm shower with the bathroom door closed works as your own personal sauna. The steamy bathroom helps to open your airways and moisten and thin the mucus in your sinuses.
Increase Liquid Intake: Stay well-hydrated by drinking at least 64 ounces of water each day. Water keeps your respiratory system hydrated, which helps to liquefy thick mucus that builds up with a respiratory infection. Some findings show that hot liquids may be superior to cold liquids in upper respiratory infections. Other liquids can be also be used, but don’t depend on coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages as these liquids may cause dehydration.
Moist Heat Compresses: If your head is throbbing and it’s difficult to breathe through your nose, you may find relief by applying warm moist compresses to your face. If you use moist heat, make sure it’s not too hot to avoid skin injury.
Flu Symptoms: Stuffy Nose
Nasal Saline Irrigation: There are recent scientific studies that support saline nasal irrigation as an effective flu remedy to thin mucus, decrease postnasal drip, in addition to adding moisture to the dried mucous membranes. In addition, the saline nasal rinse helps to remove virus particles and bacteria from your nose.
- Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water.
- Use a bulb syringe to squirt water into the nose.
- Learning over the bathroom sink, hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain and gently blow your nose.
- Repeat 2-3 times and then treat the other nostril.
If you can find one, you can also use a Neti Pot for nasal saline irrigation. A Neti pot is a ceramic container that is available at most natural health foods stores.
- Fill the Neti pot with the saline solution with the same recipe as for the saline nasal rinse.
- Leaning over the bathroom sink, tilt your head to one side and pour the solution directly into one nostril with the Neti pot.
- The solution will go into your nasal cavity and run out the other nostril and the back of your throat.
- Spit out the drainage, and gently blow your nose to clear your nasal passages. I know this sounds nasty, but it does work!
Saline Nasal Sprays: Saline nasal sprays can be purchased over the counter at any drug or grocery store and are effective, safe and nonirritating, even for children. Spray the saline solution into one nostril and then gently blow the mucus and saline out of that nostril. Repeat the process in the opposite nostril until both are running clear.
Flu Symptoms: Congestion
Medical studies have shown that hot chicken soup improves the function of cilia, the tiny hair like projections in the nasal passages that protect the body from foreign bacteria and viruses. Steaming chicken soup may also improve the functionality of disease-fighting white blood cells. It is especially oitent with the addition of pepper, garlic, curry powder, cumin, and other ‘hot’ spices. Garlic is almost a must for this, as it possess antimicrobial and immune stimulating properties.