Each year, millions of Americans are affected by cold- or flu-like symptoms. In-fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that over 700,000 individuals were hospitalized during the 2017-2018 flu season for “flu-like symptoms”. Furthermore, it’s expected that 5%-20% of Americans suffer from the flu each year, although most don’t seek medical attention.
With the 2018-2019 cold and flu season on the horizon, it may be worthwhile to discuss a few at-home recipes should you fall ill to one of these respiratory infections. Many folks have old-family remedies to rid their flu or cold. At the first sign of illness, they run to the market for exotic remedies, such as tea tree oil, Epsom salts, or garlic. While these things may have some success, your best bet is—without a doubt—ample rest and plenty of water.
Adequate hydration is paramount for a body fighting a respiratory infection, such as the viral flu or the bacterial-based cold. Not only does water help your body to regulate its processes, but it strengthens the immune system in times of high-stress (such as when an infection is present). If you happen experience cold- or flu-like symptoms this year, these water-based beverages will keep you hydrated and help your body rid your cold or flu infection.
2 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey
Electrolytes are elements that are necessary for the body’s rehydration after a dehydrating event. As discussed earlier, during times of illness—and in-fact, even when you’re not ill—hydration is a fundamental requirement for proper body function. When you’re sick from an infection (such is the case with the cold or flu), your body is fighting the infection and in-fact burns-through calories rather quickly. This often results in a number of fluid-draining effects, such as sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea. It’s extremely important to maintain good hydration and replenish lost electrolytes while fluids are being lost.
Here, this electrolyte-infused remedy is created by mixing water with citrus fruits, salt, and honey. The electrolytes in this drink come mainly from the salt, while the honey helps sooth a hoarse throat. Lemon and orange citrus fruits are a good source of Vitamin C—although this doesn’t necessarily help fight infection; the real infection-fighting ingredient is water. Nonetheless, the fruit creates a crisp flavor to this water-based remedy.
Lemon Ginger-Root Tea
2 cups water
1 teaspoon ginger root
Ginger has long-been a favorite for fighting cold- and flu-like symptoms. Why is this? Firstly, ginger is an anti-inflammatory, meaning that it calms some of the inflammation that tends to occur during any type of infection. Secondly, ginger root simply feels good on a sore or hoarse throat. Additionally, some say that gingerols—micro-substances found in ginger—have some anti-viral properties, although this is a topic of some debate. The honey-ginger combination is among the most popular at-home remedies for those suffering from cold- or flu-like symptoms. This is mostly because the warmth of the tea combined with the soothing effects of both honey and ginger creates a drink that is soft on a sore throat. In general, warm drinks can loosen mucus or clear congested sinuses.
To make this drink, grate a teaspoon of ginger root into a bowl. Pour boiling water over the ginger root and let it steep for about three minutes. Squeeze the lemon into a large mug and strain the ginger tea into the mug. Finally, add honey (however much you prefer; the more honey, the sweeter the drink).
Cucumber-Citrus Water with Mint
2 quarts water
6 grapefruit wedges
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1 teaspoon ginger root
2 mint leaves
Our last remedy mends cucumber with mint to create a hydrating, but tasty drink to help fight respiratory infections. Notice a few familiar ingredients? Here, we’re mixing citrus and ginger with cool mint and cucumber flavors. Begin by slicing your grapefruit into equal-sized wedges. Fill your pitcher with two quarts of water, and add the grapefruit wedges, cucumber, mint leaves, and ginger. The longer you let these ingredients to sit, the more flavor the drink will have (six hours is a good amount of time). Again, the ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory and sooths an aching throat. The grapefruit, mint, and cucumber add a nice clean flavor. Lastly—and most importantly—the water replenishes a dehydrated body.
What’s the Common Ingredient?
Although it may be obvious, note that each of these recipes begin with a tall glass of clean, refreshing water. In reality, water is the only ingredient that’s proven to fight-off an infection. In other words, while it’s nice to have ginger, lemon, honey, or other remedies, water is really the only one that the body requires (although it could be argued that electrolytes, which is only salt, might be of equal importance). Home water delivery services help ensure that you have clean drinking water at all times.
Therefore, never underestimate the importance of drinking plenty of water during an illness. It keeps the body hydrated and well-prepared to fight infection. Remember, the ailed body is working hard to rid itself of the virus or bacteria. This is evidenced by a rising body temperature, excessive sweating, coughing, sneezing, or vomiting. Each of these symptoms is a result of body processes hard at-work. It’s paramount to remain hydrated during these times.