Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Health line

Briefs: Home remedies that soothe when the flu's got you

Home remedies to soothe when flu's got you

When a cold or flu strikes, foods and drinks may help you get better faster, doctors say. Hot soup is a good source of fluid and soothing heat for your throat; its saltiness can help lower the risk of dehydration from a fever. Choose clearer broths over creamy varieties. Honey can reduce coughing by coating and soothing an irritated throat. Try swallowing between ½ and 2 teaspoons, especially before you want to sleep. Note: Never give honey to children younger than 1; it can cause a rare but potentially fatal illness. Capsaicin, a natural compound in peppers, can help thin mucus, clear stuffy noses and flush germs from the body. And of course staying well hydrated with water can reduce symptoms such as headache and sore throat.

Teens abusing prescription drugs

Abuse of prescription drugs continues to be a major problem among teenagers, although fewer are smoking cigarettes, the 2008 Monitoring the Future survey reported in December. The survey, conducted for 33 years, found that nearly 10 percent of high school seniors reported nonmedical use of Vicodin and 4.7 percent reported abusing OxyContin. Both are strong opioid pain pills. Seven of the top 10 drugs abused by high school seniors were prescription or over-the-counter medications. The survey also found that marijuana use has leveled off after a decadelong decline. Cigarette smoking is at its lowest point since the survey began — though more than 1 in 10 high school seniors say they smoke daily and 5.4 percent smoke more than a half a pack a day.

Be your own advocate

Ever feel like you're getting the bum's rush at the doctor's office? Cyndy King, a nursing professor at Queens University of Charlotte, N.C., and author of 100 Questions & Answers About Communicating With Your Healthcare Provider, offers this: Observe your doctor's written, verbal and nonverbal cues. Look for someone who will treat "the whole you" rather than just physical symptoms, take time to talk and explain treatment plans, be willing to let you ask questions and give thorough answers, and be available by telephone. Also, keep a notebook organized in three sections — questions before appointments, notes during the appointments and questions, notes and symptoms when you are home.

Compiled from Times staff, wire reports

Briefs: Home remedies that soothe when the flu's got you 01/05/09 [Last modified: Monday, January 12, 2009 11:40am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Lego T-rex and scores of other brick sculptures free to see in Tampa


    TAMPA — Envision the effort that went into building a basic Lego model with your kids. Now imagine arranging the same toys to look like the Mona Lisa or an 80,020-piece Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  3. Rick Scott signs medical marijuana, 37 other bills into law


    Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott
  4. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot


    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county


    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.