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Last Updated: Feb 16, 2023

15 Tips for Flu Recovery: Hydrate, Sleep and More

Ranjeeth Kumar JadhavGeneral Physician • 8 Years Exp.mbbs
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Flu is a very common viral infection which directly attacks the respiratory system and affects the lung, nose and throat of the infected person. Small children, old adults, pregnant women and others who have weak immunity are at high risk of getting infected by it. Flu is also known as Influenza. 

When a person gets infected by a flu, his body starts building up a defense mechanism called antibody for fighting against the virus. Flu can be very dangerous if not treated in the early stage. It is important to treat the flu seriously because it may cause pneumonia and other life threatening complications. 

Basically, flu causes mild or severe illness such as fever, headache, cold & cough, weakness, etc and sometimes it may cause death. Mostly, flu is caused from the tiny airborne droplets which enter your body while breathing which came into existence from sneezing and coughing of someone who has the flu. 

  • Hydrate -

Make sure you drink as much as you can and it's not that you have to only consume water, you can have juices, energy drinks, soups etc. Flu symptoms such as fever, coughing, vomiting etc lead to dehydration. That's why proper hydration is crucial.  Even small fluid loss may lead to increased body temperature. If you are properly hydrated there will be a decrease in nasal irritation caused while sneezing, coughing and breathing.

  • Sleep -

Sleeping and resting is the best medicine because sleeping boosts your immune system. Research tells that while sleeping the body develops some key proteins in the brain which helps in boosting the immune system. Lack of sleep may lead to a weak immune system and with a weak immune system it's difficult to fight against viruses.

  • Stay home -  

We should change our daily schedule and try to stay at home as the body needs energy and time to fight against the virus. Staying home not only helps you in saving energy but also prevents the flu from spreading to others. While you are contagious it's necessary to avoid contact with others.

You may want to eat ice cream, pizza, burgers etc, but during the time of flu your body needs good nutrition to fight off flu. Mostly focus on foods rich in vitamin C because it helps in reducing the time and severity of the flu. Fruits and vegetables may provide essential minerals, vitamins and antioxidants which may help you in recovering from flu by providing strength to the immune system. 

  • Medication -

While fighting against flu you can have some OTC medicines (nonprescription) which are easily available in the market. You may also need antivirals for which you may need to consult a doctor as these antivirals vary according to the severity of the flu. Medicine helps you in relieving from irritational symptoms like sneezing, coughing, aches etc.

  • Add moisture -

Viruses spread out more easily in dry air which may make the symptom worse. Use of humidifier and vaporizer helps in moisturizing your nasal, throat and lung which makes it easy for air to pass through. Cilia are the tiny hairs inside your nose that protects nasal and respiratory passage. While you inhale and exhale the cilia move back and forth which prevents bacteria, dust, germs etc from entering your nasal passage and if your cilia are dry the job will be undone. Humidifier makes your cilia moist which helps cilia to continue its job.

  • A spoonful of honey-

Honey is the most commonly used natural remedy for soothing coughs and sore throats. But one thing to remember about honey is that it is not recommended for children less than 1 year.

  • Take an extra pillow -

Mostly nasal congestion becomes worse when you are lying your head down, so taking an extra pillow will help you to elevate your head which may lead to alleviating flu symptoms. 

  • Antiviral flu drug-

One can take anti- flu medicines after taking recommendation from a doctor. Special care should be taken to know the pros and cons of the medication. Also you should inform your doctor if you have any prior health issues or any kind of allergy. 

  • Flu shot-

Flu shots provide protection against virus stains. It is provided annually on the basis of the prediction regarding the probable flu stain that would be prevailing the following season. 

  • Lozenges-

Lozenges are pleasant tasting solid dosages that dissolve slowly in the mouth. They provide temporary relief from sore throat, throat infection and cough. They prevent the mouth from dryness and control the urge to cough. 

  • Nasal drops-

Nasal drops are easy and safe to use. They can be used even for babies. Just put a few drops in both the nostrils. It will surely unblock your nose. Once it is felt that the nose is unblocked, blow the mucus out. 

  • Steam Inhalation-

This is the best way to soothe oneself and get the nasal passages clear. Breathing in steam involves inhaling water vapours. Just take a bowl and pour hot steaming water in it. You can also add a little turmeric, neem leaves or a drop or two of essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, etc. It kills viruses and provides relief from headache and cough. Also it provides relief from sinusitis. 

  • Lower your body temperature-

As you get the flu, keep a regular check on your temperature. If at any time you feel the temperature, immediately take acetaminophen. Together with treating fever, acetaminophen reduces body pain also. 

  • Eat Light-

You should eat healthy and light food during flu. Foods like khichdi, poha, sabudana khichdi, leafy vegetables, etc. Greasy food, sugary food and drinks, alcohol, caffeinated drinks and hard to digested grains are a total no. 


Thus it is always beneficial to prevent oneself from any kind of sickness. But once you get infected proper medication and care is a must. You should Keep yourself hydrated, take proper sleep, increase Vitamin C intake, eat light, keep a check on body temperature and eat light food.

Keep Healthy Stay Fit!

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