With autumn in full swing, one of the most dreaded things that come with this season is its illnesses: the cold and flu. I should know. I just got sick with the flu a week or two ago and it’s slowly, but surely, letting up. It was getting worse and worse, until I finally decided to go to the doctor and to do my usual procedure to get better. Usually, the moment I’d cough once, or feel a tiny tickle in my throat, I would do this procedure… but I didn’t, and now I regret it. So before you regret it, or already are, here are a few tips to get yourself back on the road to recovery and health!

Lemon and Honey

This is my ultimate favourite method, made for 1 serving.

  • Take 1 lemon, squeeze out the lemon juice and put it into a cup (clear one would be good for the next step).
  • Pour in some honey (liquid would be best) until the lemon juice and honey are at a 1:1 proportion. It seems like a lot, but this is the proportion I find works best. It’s not too sour nor too sweet. Add more lemon or honey if you feel it’s to sweet or sour.
  • Next, use a spoon to stir the contents until it’s a uniform (or homogeneous) solution.

Now you can either drink the honey-lemon mixture as is, or add hot water to make it as a tea. Preferences swing either way. For me, I drink it without adding hot water if I want the cough or throat symptom to go away quickly; I find that it’s much stronger and concentrated that way. However, don’t drink it too quickly since it can make your stomach hurt. Remember, lemon’s acidic.

On the other hand, I’d make it into a tea if I want a more soothing approach. I usually use this method if my stomach begins to hurt from drinking its more concentrated form, just the honey-lemon and no water. The water dilutes the mixture, but the increased temperature still packs in a good kick.

Side Note: For an extra boost, you can also add in ginger. I started to do this recently with my honey-lemon mixture and it tastes and works great!

Sleep

This is very important. It can’t be stressed just how important it is. Just think about it; your body is already trying to combat the illness, where it’s dividing its resources, and you’re awake and using precious energy to move your body around from point A to point B. It’s a battle on two fronts. So resting and sleeping will allow your body to focus all its resources to fighting the sickness since it’s not dividing resources anymore.  

Gargling warm salt water

When using this method, make sure the water is warm not hot. You don’t want to burn yourself. Warm up some water and then stir in salt until no more can be dissolved. For the chemists out there, this is when the water becomes a saturated solution; no more solute (salt) can be dissolved. You’ll start to see this when grains of salt you’ve just added in aren’t dissolving anymore. At this point, you’re good! Now all you have to do is gargle the salt water. You’ll feel a “sting” in your throat, but that’s just the saltwater working on cleaning and healing your throat. Do this every 2 hours and you’ll soon start seeing, and feeling, a difference.

Side Note: Don’t swallow salt water. You won’t feel too good afterwards.

Cough drops

Use cough drops to help sooth the terrible cough that comes with the flu. I usually get the Eukos from Heller & Strauss kind because it has mint. Ricola works well too, plus they have a variety of flavours. But you can ultimately choose any type of cough drop, as long as it’s a cough drop.

Side Note: If you find that your throat’s bothering you from gargling warm salt water, take a cough drop to sooth your throat while the salt works its trick.

These are 4 home remedies you can try to help fight the cold and flu symptoms, whether you start using them early on or later on the journey of getting better again. I hope that you can bounce right back up from the cold or flu and be able to better focus on your studies.

But remember, if it continues to get worse, go and see your doctor.

All the best!

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