Which home remedies work well for swine flu?

Which home remedies work well for swine flu?

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The bad thing about home remedies is that they may make the symptoms feel less severe, but they don't get to the root of the problem.

University of Utah Health Care Community Clinics Medical Director Dr. Susan Terry says, "They're not curing the virus. They're not knocking the virus out of your body. They're not flushing it out of your body."

The good thing, though, is that whatever makes you feel better with a seasonal flu also works with the symptoms of H1N1.

"Most viruses that produce a fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea will respond to home remedies," Terry says.

She says chicken soup is always good, and saline nasal sprays work well.

"[They're] actually better, probably, than blowing your nose really hard which can actually drive mucus back into you sinus and may predispose you to a sinus infection," she explains.

But she says lemon balm tea and chewing raw garlic don't really have the antiviral effects some people claim. There is one up side to garlic, though.

"Garlic may keep people away from you outside of that six foot radius for the spread of the virus," Terry says.

She says if you have chills from a fever, you shouldn't wrap up with a heavy blanket, even though you feel cold. Your temperature is actually rising at this point. A light blanket and lots of fluids are the best remedy at that point.

But, since the H1N1 virus can cause flu-like symptoms felt in the head and the stomach, fluids may not always be good to take. If you feel symptoms like sinus pressure and headaches, go ahead and drink fluids. If you vomit, don't.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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