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Flu infection, often referred to as the common cold, is a widespread illness. It is triggered by various viruses. This article sheds light on the development of the illness, its course and effective natural remedies for treatment and prevention.

Flu infection: How to catch it

Flu is mainly transmitted by droplet infection. When an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks, tiny droplets containing viruses are released. These can be inhaled by others. Contact with contaminated surfaces and subsequent touching of the face can also lead to infection.

Flu infection: how long you are contagious for

The risk of infection from a Flu infection begins one day before the symptoms appear and can last up to seven days. Children and people with a weakened immune system can be contagious for longer.

How long the incubation period lasts

The incubation period of influenza, i.e. the time from infection to the onset of the first symptoms, is usually one to three days. During this time, the viruses multiply in the body before they trigger the typical symptoms.

Flu infection: how long the infection lasts

A typical flu infection lasts around seven to ten days. With a strong immune system and proper care, the symptoms can subside after a few days. However, in some cases, especially in weakened people, the infection can last longer.

The course

Flu infection often begins with a scratchy throat, followed by sneezing and a runny nose. Other symptoms may include a sore throat, cough, headache, aching limbs and a slight fever. The symptoms usually subside after a few days, but the cough can last longer.

Flu infection: Which viruses can cause it?

Various viruses can trigger a cold. These include rhinoviruses in particular, which are responsible for around 30-50% of all colds. Other viruses include coronaviruses, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza viruses.

The symptoms

The symptoms of Flu infection can vary but typically include:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Aching limbs
  • Mild fever
  • Fatigue

Which natural remedies and dietary supplements are effective and useful for Flu infection?

Natural remedies and dietary supplements can help to alleviate the symptoms of a flu infection and speed up recovery.

  • Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. A tea made from fresh ginger can soothe a sore throat and strengthen the immune system.
  • Honey: Honey has an antibacterial effect and soothes the throat. A teaspoon of honey in tea or on its own can soothe coughs and sore throats.
  • Garlic: Garlic has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties. Eaten raw or integrated into meals, garlic can support the immune system.
  • Zinc: Zinc supplements can reduce the duration and severity of Flu infection symptoms. It is recommended to take zinc within the first 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.
  • Vitamin C: High doses of vitamin C can strengthen the immune system. Citrus fruits, peppers and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C.
  • Echinacea: Echinacea preparations can support the immune system and shorten the duration of cold symptoms. They work best when taken at the onset of symptoms.
  • Elderberries: Elderberry extract has antiviral properties and can reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms.
  • Sage and thyme: These herbs have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. A tea made from these herbs can soothe sore throats and coughs.

How can you prevent the flu?

Prevention is the key to avoiding flu infection. Here are some effective measures:

  • Hand hygiene: washing your hands regularly with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of viruses.
  • Strengthen the immune system: A balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, regular exercise and sufficient sleep strengthen the immune system.
  • Sufficient fluids: Drinking plenty of water keeps the mucous membranes moist and supports the immune system.
  • Avoid close contact: Keep your distance from infected people and avoid crowds during the cold season.
  • Use a humidifier: A humidifier can increase humidity and keep mucous membranes moist.
  • Stress management: Stress can weaken the immune system. Relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation can help to reduce stress.
  • Natural supplements: Regular intake of vitamin C and zinc can have a preventative effect. Echinacea can also be taken as a preventative measure.
  • Healthy lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, sufficient exercise and enough sleep strengthens the immune system in the long term.


Flu infection is unpleasant, but usually harmless. Natural remedies and dietary supplements can shorten the duration of the illness and alleviate the symptoms. Preventive measures can help to reduce the likelihood of infection. A healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system are the best defenses against cold viruses.

Published on: 24. May 2024


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