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The term flu is used very loosely and can mean anything from fever to a cold to true influenza. Influenza ( flu ) is a contagious disease that easily spread from person to person. The period of flu can be up to three days. In America , doctors treat more than 100 millions of flu patients every year, more than 70,000 patients get admitted in the hospitals and 65,000 patients die every year because of flu.

How Influenza spreads

Flu viruses spread in respiratory droplets caused by coughing and sneezing. It is a contagious disease that spread from person to person. That means that you can pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

Types of Influenza ( Flu )

There are three main group of influenza known as A,B and C. Influenza A viruses that infect mammals and birds. Usually only one virus attack at any one time e.g. If you get vaccinated one year for B type of flu then next year C type of flu can strike and weaken you.

Complications or Symptoms of Influenza ( Flu )

Initial symptoms include high fever, shivering, aching all over the body, muscular weakness and headache. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. Children may get sinus problems and ear infections. A sore throat, cough and runny nose may follows.

How to prevent & treat Influenza ( Flu )

The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each fall. The "flu shot" -- an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but getting vaccinated in December or even later can still be beneficial. Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. In acute stage of influenza, take liquid diet and that too as much as you can. This will supply enough energy even if you do not take solid food. Take thick soups, fruits, vegetables, juices etc. Gargle with salt water. Sore throat is a symptom of flu. Put a spoonful of salt in half a glass of water and gargle. Gently rub the patient vertebral column this will activate his/her immune system to fight with the flu/ influenza. Sponge the patient with luke warm water if there is high fever.

People at high risk for complications from the flu:

People 65 years and older. People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses;

Adults and children 6 months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma; Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease. Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season.

All children 6 to 23 months of age; People 50 to 64 years of age. Nearly one-third of people 50 to 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at increased risk for serious flu complications.

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated

Some people should not be vaccinated or should wait before getting vaccinated. They include:-

People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs. People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past. Children less than 6 months of age. People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever.

When to consult your doctor

If there is fever in a child of six months or under. If the fever is higher than 103 degree F. If the gastric symptoms persist. If the condition of the patient deteriorates or he gets weaker and weaker.

Home remedies which can be useful for Influenza ( Flu )

For a good "cold tea," combine equal parts of elder (Sambucus nigra), peppermint (Mentha piperita), and yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and steep 1 to 2 tsp of the mixture in 1 cup hot water. Take it hot just before going to bed. This will induce a sweat, and if the cold is caught early enough, may stop it altogether. Even if it is too late for this it will still be very useful. This tea can help the body handle fever and reduce achiness, congestion, and inflammation. They may be taken with a pinch of mixed spice and a little honey to soothe a painful throat. 

Other herbs that may be added to the infusion include:

  • Cayenne (Capsicum minimum): a favorite North American Indian remedy: use 1.25 ml (1/4 tsp) of the powder to really stimulate the circulation.
  • Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): use a cinnamon stick, and break it into the mixture of herbs, for a gentle, warming and sweat-inducing effect.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinalis): grate a small piece of fresh root ginger into the mixture for extra heat.

Influenza treatment using Long Pepper ( Pipli )

The use of long pepper is one of the most effective remedies in the treatment of influenza. Half a teaspoon of the powder of long pepper, mixed with two teaspoons of honey and half a teaspoon of juice of ginger, should be taken thrice a day. This will help greatly if taken in the initial stages of the disease. It is especially useful in avoiding complications which follow the onset of the disease, namely, the involvement of the larynx and the bronchial tube.


This remedy may be useful if a flu is very long-lasting or has some lingering symptoms-often after people have neglected to take good care of themselves. Symptoms, either digestive or respiratory, will often have a hot or burning quality. The person may feel hot and sweaty, with low fever and reddish mucous membranes. Heat aggravates the symptoms, and the person often feels worse after bathing.

Benefits of using garlic ( lassaon) in influenza

Garlic is an excellent remedy for influenza. It is useful as a general antiseptic and the patient should take as much as he can bear.

Ginger ( adrak )

Ginger contains nearly a dozen antiviral compounds. Scientists have isolated several chemicals (sesquiterpenes) in ginger that have specific effects against the most common family of cold viruses, the rhinoviruses. Some of these chemicals are remarkably potent in their anti-rhinovirus effects.

Other constituents in ginger, gingerols and shogaols, help relieve cold symptoms because they reduce pain and fever, suppress coughing and have a mild sedative effect that encourages rest

Ginger Tea

In both ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, ginger is considered the best home remedy for colds. Drink a cup of ginger tea several times (at least 3 times) a day.  Ginger contains a dozen antiviral compounds. And it tastes good. To make a tea, add 1 heaping teaspoon of grated fresh gingerroot to 1 cup of boiled water. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. If you use dried ginger powder use 1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger per cup.

Influenza treatment using Turmeric

Turmeric is valuable in curing influenza. A teaspoon of turmeric powder should be mixed in a cup of warm milk and taken three times a day. It will prevent complications arising from influenza, and also activate the liver which becomes sluggish during the attack.

Influenza treatment using Grapefruit

The juice of grapefruit has proved useful in this disease as it tones up the body and the digestive tract.


Goldenseal increases the blood supply to the spleen, an organ that's the staging area for the fighting cells of your immune system. It is antiseptic and immune stimulating.

The major healing component in goldenseal, berberine, activates special white blood cells (macrophages) that are responsible for destroying bacteria, fungi, viruses and tumor cells. Several related chemicals in the herb appear to help the berberine do its job.

Take 10 to 15 drops of goldenseal in an alcohol-free form, known as glycerite tincture, two to three times a day for seven to 10 days. 

Influenza treatment using Onion

Onion is also an effective remedy for influenza. Equal amounts of onion juice and honey should be mixed, and three or four teaspoons of this mixture should be taken daily in the treatment of this disease.

Influenza treatment using basil ( tulsi )

Another effective remedy for this disease is the green leaves of basil (tulsi) plant. About half gram of these leaves should be boiled along with some ginger in quarter litre of water till about half the water is left. This decoction should be taken as tea. It gives immediate relief.

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