Flu season has been a nightmare this year! It’s been one of the worst flu season in decades, with the flu shot being only 30% effective. That means even with a flu shot, you’re still more likely to get it than not. I haven’t had a flu shot in 20 years, but I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had the flu in 20 years. And lucky me, I got it right before Christmas this year.
I was fortunate in some ways, I wasn’t as bad off as most. My mom was down for nearly a week with the flu this year. I certainly have had worse flues… The Swine Flu of 2009 knocked me down for nearly 8 days! But this time around, my flu lasted just a couple days. Most of those days were spent under a pile of tissues or in the bathroom. Yeah, it wasn’t pretty.
But by day four, I was feeling human again. However, I was still experiencing horrible stomach issues and a cough that wouldn’t quit. My stomach was the worst though. My stomach was still inflamed from all of the flu medications and from generally getting over a virus. It just felt raw and angry, which in turn made me raw and angry.
I’m not a fan of taking medication, and I try to avoid it at all costs. I sometimes find that the cure can be worse than the disease. For me, medicine may help one aspect, but then cause issues in another. Such as antibiotics – which I avoid as much as possible. It may help my infection, but then it depletes my body of healthy bacteria causing yeast infections and general digestive problems – sometimes for weeks.
We’re big into natural supplements and homeopathic remedies before medication. I felt that my body was rid of the flu virus, but the repercussions of my body going through such trauma was causing all of these unhappy issues. However, I loaded up on some natural supplements, and within a couple of hours (yes – HOURS), I felt better! Way better! And after a couple days, I was back to my old self.
Here are 5 ways to start healing your body after the flu (and be healthier in general):
Anyone who knows or has lived with me, knows that I swear by CoQ10 (and yes, they are all believers now too!). I take it everyday, but whenever I feel a little twinge of a cold coming on, I start popping these a couple of times a day. It really does lessen the life of a cold or flu.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant that greatly improves your circulatory system, boosts your overall immunity, and helps your cells regenerate healthy new cells. It can help with inflammation, repair free radical damage – which can help you look younger (my dad has been taking it since I can remember, and at 65, he doesn’t look a day over 50!). It’s not cheap – but it’s worth EVERY PENNY! I try to buy the highest milligram possible, and then I double down on it. If you still don’t believe me… here are a few of the other benefits to taking CoQ10:
- Improves skin by combating free radicals
- Helps Lower High Cholesterol
- Improves Heart Health
- Helps lower high blood pressure
- Boosts stamina
- Stabilizes blood sugar
- Supports Healthy Gums
- Helps treat cognitive function
And the list goes on…. trust me, it’s a miracle worker!
I would hope by now that everyone knows how amazing Aloe is at healing woulds. That’s why I always have a healthy aloe plant in my house – I’m pretty accident prone and burn myself cooking weekly. But it can also help heal your insides as well. After taking 3 aloe supplements, my angry sore stomach felt better within less than an hour. It was amazing!! It helps heal and repair the inflammation in your stomach and intestinal lining. After a couple of days of taking the aloe supplements, I could feel the swelling in my stomach ease and I wasn’t experiencing that raw feeling anymore.
This stuff is incredible!! I took it while I was down with the flu as well, and attribute it to me bouncing back as quickly as I did. Echinacea Goldenseal helps fight infection and inflammation. It’s great to load up on when you even feel the slightest cold or flu coming on. It’s even great at combating allergies as well. It definitely helped me fight off that nagging cough I had.
Turmeric… yes, the spice that’s in your cabinet that makes curry delicious, is an anti-inflammatory super star that ranks up there with over the counter pain relief! Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric, and is an incredibly powerful antioxidant. It has a ton of medical benefits besides just being amazing for inflammation and pain. It’s great for your skin, fights depression, helps aid in digestion, and much much more! It’s also pretty cheap as far as supplements go, usually a good quality bottle is less than $10. I also like to load up on it during my lady time because it greatly reduces my cramps!
I cannot preach the benefits of probiotics enough! It has really changed our health in recent months. Not only does it aid in digestive health by adding lots of good bacteria to your stomach and intestines, it also boosts your overall immunity and gives you tons of energy. Another reason I’m sure my flu wasn’t as bad as it could have been, is because I load up on them daily.
The trick to getting a healthy dose of probiotics into your body, is to get probiotics from several different sources in your daily diet. Each source of probiotics has different strains of bacteria that benefit your body. We take a plant based probiotic in supplement form that is really fantastic. We found that most over the counter probiotics were from dairy sources, which is fine, but if you don’t digest dairy well then they may bother your tummy a bit. But what we really love is eating and drinking foods that are rich in probiotics.
Fermented foods are the BEST source of probiotics. As Americans, we don’t eat as many, or enough, fermented foods as other cultures. But you’d be surprised how easy it is to get it into your diet! Here are a few examples of fermented foods that are easy to find and enjoy:
- Fermented Pickled Vegetables, such as Sauerkraut and Kimchi
- Soy Sauce
- Miso Paste
- Cultured Butter
- Cultured Sour Cream
Kombucha is our favorite way to get those gut healing, immune boosting probiotics, besides my fermented veggies! Kombucha is a fermented tea that is infused with all sorts of delicious fruit and flavors and it has a refreshing carbonation from the fermentation. It’s like drinking a healthy soda. In fact, my boyfriend used to love soda and drank it almost daily. Since he’s started drinking Kombucha, he doesn’t crave soda any more… but he does crave Kombucha. It has also practically cured his heart burn issues – which is incredible. We love it so much we started making it at home. But it’s readily available at any grocery store these days. Most stores even have their own brand of it, and they’re all delicious!
Kefir is another tasty and easy way to slip some probiotics into your diet. Kefir is a fermented milk beverage, that tastes like yogurt. So if you love yogurt like I do, then you’ll love this too! They have several flavors available at grocery stores – I personally love Trader Joe’s Mango Kefir. But the plain is great as well, especially if your watching your sugar consumption. I like to make smoothies with it, or toss it with fruit and chia seeds for a probiotic chia pudding, or mix it with some muesli and honey for a hearty breakfast. And if you really love it, you can make your own. It’s surprisingly easy.
Fermented Multi Vitamins are another great way to get the benefit of probiotics in your daily supplement. We recently discovered New Chapter brand of multivitamin and have been overwhelmed with how awesome it is! Also, because of the fermented vitamins, it doesn’t upset your stomach if you take it without food, like most multivitamins will. The fermentation of the vitamins also helps your body absorb and utilize them better.
I certainly hope that you’re able to avoid the flu this year, but if you can’t… maybe these flu fighting supplements will get you back on your feet faster. What natural remedies do you use to combat and recover from the flu?
You may also enjoy reading:
Fermentation 101: Everything You Need to Ferment At Home
I’ve heard SO many good things about Tumeric! Thank you for this suggestion. I haven’t gotten the flu this year, but I certainly could use these immune systems boosters regardless! Thank you for sharing!
sian ryan says
I definitely need to start looking after my body more, although I havent suffered from the flu I have been in the wars with surgerys and infection recently.
Megan B says
Oh thank you so much for these! I’m always looking for natural alternatives or natural remedies to coincide with non-natural solutions.
Karoliina Kazi says
I always take echinacea, some form of bee pollen and manuka honey if I start getting signs of flu. And the usual lemon and ginger of course. I’ll write down your suggestions and will give them a go next time for sure.
Oh man, I love manuka honey!!! I use it in everything. It’s so fantastic for you.
Oh man, did I need this read today!! My kids brought home a nasty bug last week, and we are finally getting over it, but the toll it takes on your body is no joke! Saving these tips for sure!
Great suggestions! Anything natural or vegan is my essential to fight the flu. I love Aloe, every three months I take Aloe Juice and really makes me feel better.
Aloe juice is also great. I can’t down the unflavored ones, but the flavored ones are great.
Jasmin N says
Oh wow look at that, how convenient! I’m currently in a flu so this could not be more handy at this point haha 🙂 thanks for the tips!
I seriously just pinned this! I have not had the flu yet, but I feel like I’m just in the wait or something since everyone around me seems to be getting it. If I do, I’m coming back to this! Thanks for sharing some of your best tips (I’m also a huge fan of probiotics)!
Awe, thank you!
Sondra Barker says
I am so not a medicine fan either.. And honestly, my immune system totally thanks me for it in the long run! I’m all about the natural remedies. Thank you for the tips! Definitely going to be adding a few of these to my weekly recipes.
I use the multivitamine for breastfeeding women from Viridian to stay healthy and strong during winter. This works for me. I did take some probiotics also for a while but it made me so gassy… is that normal haha?
They may have been dairy based probiotics – they do that to me too. The plant based ones that I talked about in this post don’t make me gassy. Also, a little gas is normal at first, as your body adjusts. Eventually it goes away.
kitty limon says
I never thought of any of these helping with flu, thanks for the recommendations.
Evelyn, PathofPresence says
Can’t agree with you more that gut health is foundational to good health. Love all your suggestions, as I too am not a fan of medication. I would also add lots of water and rest for optimal healing. Good job 👍🏼
Elizabeth O says
Oh I learned so many new tips from this post, thanks so much, Next time the flu strikes me I am so prepared to recover quicker!!
Emily Fata says
With that dreaded season upon us as we speak, this is a great post to reference when one of your many readers end up with a flu! Thanks so much for sharing these natural ways to feel better — I’ll be using them in the future, no doubt! 🙂
Jen ~ The Tipsy Mama says
Awesome post! Couldn’t have come at a better time! I have 2 kiddos not feeling well now and am definitely going to give these suggestions a try! I love natural vs over the counter/pharmaceutical too!
Oh no, I hope they feel better soon!
Yes to all the probiotics and fermented goodies after a flu!!! Best way to help out your gut after the illness (and the antibiotics). Great tips and glad you’re on the up and up!! 🙂
Esme Sy says
Sounds like a total package with CoQ10. It’s still cold weather here and I’d love to straighten my defenses up.
It’s seriously the BEST!
Wendie Gregg says
This blog couldn’t have come st a better time, I’m just getting over Flu so will get some of your suggestions.
I hope you get back to 100% soon. The flu is the pits!
Cia Black says
I always prefer to try the natural way, before heading to man made medication for any illness. Love that you are promoting this as more people need to realize nature holds the key.
I am all about the natural remedy! And being all natural in general. We really strive to be as green and sustainable as possible. It has made huge differences in our lives.
Lisa Rios says
These are great resources! My mom has a natural remedy she makes boiling water, onion, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, and molasses. It has quite a… distinguished taste, LOL, but it beats the flu out like nothing else does.
Wow that sounds super nasty! Ugh! But I bet wit works great.
So I didn’t get a flu shot this year (fingers crossed I stay healthy) but I’ll use this post if I don’t!
I didn’t either! If you want to ward off the flu – all of these are great for that too!
Kelly Edgar says
Thank you for this great information and tips. I too, don’t like to use medication so this is great 🙂
I love drinking Echinacea tea with honey when I have been around someone sick or I am getting over being sick. Definitely a firm believer in that and Gypsy Cold Care tea! Between those two no one in my house is sick for very long.
A lot of really helpful information on recovering from the dreaded flu. I am hoping that we don’t come down with it, but God forbid we do – we will check back in with this post for details. Glad you are feeling better!
These are great tips, Happy to say that I actually use most of them and they make a world of a difference after an illness.
Thank you! These are some really useful remedies. I always struggle to bounce back after a flu!
Drake Conan says
This is a great read. This is something that I really need. I came from a flu last week and I am totally not feeling well after that.
Give them a try and let me know how it works for you! Feel better soon.
We got the flu earlier this year and luckily it was really mild. We are definitely a flu shot family though.
Your post couldn’t be more timely! The flu is certainly a nemesis this year. I always think of treatment during the fact, but never considered the need to heal the body afterward. Thanks for the great advice.
Amna Tariq Shah says
I get flu very often so this was actually a very useful post for me 🙂 Thank you for this one !
My personal favourite ones are turmeric and fermented foods (namely sauerkraut) – I consume LOADS of them during the winter season, and I’m convinced that they work – I literally can’t remember when I had flu last time!
Heather McMechan says
Finding the right alternatives to medications can really help. I love using probiotics. They really do work wonders.
Becca Talbot says
It definitely is flu season! So many people in our office have been off work recently with colds and flu, so this article is perfect to share with them! I had no idea about the effectiveness of tumeric! x
We’ve had the flu 3 times in our houses. It’s out in full swing this year.