Are we surprised? Using antibiotics for the flu is not helpful, studies show

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(Natural News) Many people still believe that antibiotics can cure anything. Infection? No problem. Fungus? Hey, let’s take another. Cold? Keep ‘em coming. But the thing is, incorrectly using any type of medicine is not good for you — and antibiotics are no exception. In fact, our complete disregard for their actual use has led to the rise of antibiotic resistance, which many health professionals say is one of the leading public health concerns facing the world today. Recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data state that at least 30 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in the U.S. are unnecessary. Many of us are taking antibiotics for wholly unnecessary conditions such as sore throats, bronchitis, and the crowd-favorite: cold and flu.

However, antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial infections, not viral ones. The common cold, for example, is caused by more than 200 different viruses that can manifest themselves in symptoms such as runny nose, fever, and sneezing. Taking antibiotics to “treat” this condition can make the infection worse. Most viral illnesses get better by themselves without antibiotics.

Moreover, taking antibiotics when they aren’t needed may cause serious side effects. It is estimated that one in five people who take antibiotics may suffer adverse reactions such as rash, upset stomach, or diarrhea.

A cold should clear itself within a week or two. In the interim, it is best to rest and stay well-hydrated. Instead of antibiotics, keep your immune system strong by eating lots of healthy foods and avoiding sugary drinks. We recommend gargling with salt water to minimize nasal congestion and kill bacteria that may be forming in your throat.

Natural ways to beat the flu (all of which are backed by science)

Taking antibiotics for the flu is not even akin to bringing a knife to a gun fight — it’s more like entering a war zone with an origami bird. You just don’t need it, and it’s totally inappropriate for the situation. If you feel the beginnings of a cold or the flu, there are natural remedies that you can consider. The suggestions we’ve listed below have all been backed by scientific data, with some alternatives actually performing better than certain anti-viral medicines such as Tamiflu.

Oregano oil

Oregano extract is a natural remedy that relieves respiratory conditions associated with the flu. Many studies have found that the volatile oils found in oregano have potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. (Related: 5 Best Herbal Antibiotics, Antivirals to Treat Colds and Flu.)

Oregano oil can also help calm an upset stomach — great for those who experience diarrhea when they are down with the flu.

N-acetyl L-cysteine

Otherwise known as NAC, this natural remedy is a powerful antioxidant that boosts immunity and reduces respiratory mucus. This helps with breathing.

Several studies have concluded that NAC can reduce both the duration and severity of the flu.

Olive leaf extract

This is an extremely powerful immune booster that can lessen the severity of flu symptoms. For home treatments, it is generally recommended to consume the extract as a tea.


These beneficial bacteria keep your gut healthy and strong. This helps boost your immune system. Take note that you should begin taking probiotics before you get the flu, especially if you’ve been in contact with someone who is ill. Wellness experts suggest children take more probiotics during winter.

Wash your hands

This is, perhaps, the best preventive measure you can do to avoid the flu.

Let’s lessen our dependence on antibiotics and look at Mother Nature’s cupboard for help. The articles found at are a great way to start.

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