Beat the flu

by Khushboo on July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July to my friends in the U.S. of A!

If you’re in India, I’m sure you’ll agree that flu season is upon us!  There’s something about the change in weather that affects me every year, no matter how much I try to stay immune to it.  Unsurprisingly it eventually found me and brought on the usual symptoms: congestion, chesty cough, sore throat, mild fever, fatigue and worst of all: LOSS OF TASTE! Gah there’s seriously nothing more annoying than knowing how delicious whatever it is you’re eating is yet not being able to experience it for yourself. Fortunately the monsoon rains make the idea of staying in bed all somewhat more bearable.   

On the plus side, the flu lasted shorter than normal.  In the past, I’d usually be out of commission for 8-10 days but within 5 days, I was back in business.  Although there really is no cure for the common cold, I thought I’d share a few tips that I’m sure collectively helped provide some relief & speed up recovery. I will preface my tips to beat the flu with a disclaimer that I am not a doctor – these are all just based on personal experience.  Whether they all actually work or it’s more a placebo effect? Who knows! But sometimes it helps mentally to know you are being proactive:

1) Stock up on Vicks VapoRub: Along with rubbing it on your chest & back, apparently rubbing it on the soles of your feet at bedtime and then covering them overnight with socks helps to stop coughing and promote restful sleep. Although it sounds ridiculous given our feet couldn’t be farther from our nose, I gave it a shot.  Apparently its effectiveness has something to do with reflexology and our feet being connected to our nasal passages.  

Vicks VapoRub

2) Steam: Apologies in advance for the gross imagery but this is one of the best home remedies for opening up those nasal passages, loosening mucus and clearing congestion all round. Simply put your head over a pot or bowl of boiling water, drape a towel (or sheet) over your head to create a seal, and carefully breathe in the steam. Repeat this for 5-10 minutes

3) Drink a hot toddy: I’m not one to advocate alcohol but hey, who am I to argue with medicine. Apparently brandy & whiskey are both great decongestants as the alcohol dilates the blood vessels, making it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection (Source).  I merely combined a shot of whiskey with hot water, lemon juice, a couple of cinnamon sticks, sliced ginger & honey and by the last sip, I felt noticeably better.   

Hot Toddy

4) Rest: Especially given the ‘Go go go’ culture that we all tend to embrace in this day & age, it’s hard to take some down time.  No matter how many pills you pop when you’re ill, nothing is going to work if you don’t give your body the R & R that it is begging for.  Switch off your alarms and focus on sleep, sleep and more sleep.  There are mixed opinions about working out when you’re ill but I personally stop all exercise completely.  It can be frustrating especially when your workout momentum is high but I rather take a week off to get better than risk slowing down recovery.  

5) Let food be thy medicine: Supplements are certainly handy but nothing beats getting your vitamins & minerals through real foods.  While all fruits & veggies pack in plenty of nutrients, I particularly focused on loading up on greens, the darker the better. Fun fact: a 4-ounce serving of broccoli packs in almost DOUBLE the amount of vitamin C in an orange. 

Chicken soup with greens

6) Stay hydrated: Hydration is always important but even more so when you’re ill.  Despite my coffee addiction, I couldn’t bear the taste last week and instead gravitated more towards teas and homemade broth. I found homemade chai & even just the basic combination of hot water, lemon & ginger so much more soothing on my throat.  You can find my homemade chai recipe here.

What are your tips to speed up the flu recovery process?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig July 4, 2016 at 6:55 pm

I was sceptical about the whole putting Vicks on your feet thing until I tried it – I’m now an addict! Every time I come back to London I get sick but this time I haven’t (I hope I don’t jinx myself!).


Khushboo July 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Haha I’m glad I’m not the only one who does Vicks on feet thing- it seems so cooky yet it works!!


Tanvi Rastogi July 4, 2016 at 9:14 pm

Didn’t know that about Broccoli. Will remember these tips in September, thats the flu season here! 🙂

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Khushboo July 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Oh man, hopefully you escape it this year round ;)!


Jen @ Chase the Red Grape July 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

I literally do everything the same as you! Being winter here bugs, the flu and colds are spreading like wildfire… I’m just keeping my fingers and toes crossed that I don’t catch it!
Hot toddies are THE BEST! Reminds me I should whip them up more often… Never mind waiting to catch a cold!


Khushboo July 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Hot toddies are good all year round ;)!


Parita July 6, 2016 at 7:51 am

Rest + lots of fluids is an absolute must. I also try to wash my hands often during flu season. Great tips!


Khushboo July 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Great tip about washing your hands- those germs can spread so quickly!


Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets July 8, 2016 at 9:27 pm

Great tips. I’m a big proponent of resting, staying hydrated and steaming it out.

I’m glad you’re feeling better.


Khushboo July 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm

Thanks Meg!


Rukhsana July 27, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Khushboo, all your tips really came in handy this week and the Toddy is the best though I have been having it with Brandy 😉


Khushboo August 6, 2016 at 11:39 am

I’m so glad Rukhsana- hope you are feeling better :)!


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