The flu is a respiratory illness that is caused by one of three strains of a virus from the orthomyxoviridae family. It causes overall discomfort including fever, headache, sore throat, and generalized body ache.

How You Get It

You catch the flu from coming into contact with someone who has it.


— Fever of 102 degrees or above

— Sore throat

— Headache

— Chest discomfort

— Fatigue

— Full body ache


The average cold lasts anywhere from 5 to 7 days.


There is no magic bullet for curing the flu, you must rest and allow it to run its course naturally. But here are some over-the-counter remedies that may help relieve some symptoms:

— Claritin – This is an antihistamine that is taken once daily to dry up runny noses and stop sneezing, huffing and puffing. It does not cause heavy sedation, so you can drive safely while taking it, and focus on your work better.

— Benadryl — This could be a choice instead of Claritin, but only if the person wants to sleep too, because it is extremely sedative.

— Cold EEZE Lozenges – These contains zinc, which some believe safely and effectively reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms by 42 percent. It does this by increasing production of T-lymphocytes, which defend the body, and by latching onto the rhinovirus and annihilating it. Taking zinc at the first sign of symptoms will reduce the severity of the cold because it stops the rhinovirus from replicating.

— Cough drops containing menthol, which is derived from peppermint oil and suppresses coughs.

— Vitamin C believed to replenishes collagen that is lost when mucus is expelled, and sweeps away free-radical chemicals that cause disease.

— Fresh Garlic contains natural chemicals that protect against infection from bacteria, virus, fungus and protozoa.

— Green tea contains ingredients that squash free radicals that cause damage in the body, and revs up the immune system. Green tea contains an amino acid L-theanine, which is calming and relaxing.

— A microwaveable heating pad can relieve chest pains associated with colds and flu.

— A humidifier thins the mucous and helps you breathe easier. It also moistens the air, which feels good if you are stuffed up, or if you are taking antihistamines, which can irritate and dry the nasal passages. Raising the bed or propping yourself up with pillows also helps you to breathe better.

— A light diet of carrot, celery, or apple juice, fresh water and steamed greens will help your immune system fight off the virus. That’s because half of your immune cells live in the gastrointestinal tract. If they aren’t busy digesting heavy meals, they can work on ridding the body of the virus.

This article was reviewed by Dr. Manny Alvarez. Always consult your physician before beginning any over-the-counter medical treatment.