Man Flu. Legendary among the male population for its wide spread devastation. It takes the strongest man down in a matter of hours, reducing them to a sniffling mess. When I mentioned to my Dad that I was writing an article about preventing and reducing the severity of Man Flu he scoffed. “That’s impossible.”
“You wouldn’t understand.”
I may not have had the misfortune of suffering from Man Flu but I have had the “privilege” of experiencing this phenomenon first hand. Rest assured, you too can help. All hope is not lost.
I’m here to help you, to show you the light, to banish man flu once and for all. With the help of a recent survivor of this epidemic , my boyfriend who shall be henceforth known as Man Flu Victim, we have compiled a list of preventative measures and ways to reduce the severity once Man Flu strikes. Gather ‘round.
1. First up, eat the green stuff you look at so suspiciously.
You’ll eat unidentified meat wrapped in pastry but immediately drill me on the contents of your soup? No. Lots of the dark green leafy stuff to up your fibre and vitamin intake, sneak it in wherever you can. If you don’t like to taste, blend it or boil it.
2. Garlic, or as Man Flu Victim suggests, garlic bread.
This is also said to help your immune system but will do little once you have been infected. So eat up!
3. Salt water at the first hint of that throat tickle.
Lemon, warm water and salt. Gargle it. Become familiar with Olive leaf, Strepsils, Eucalyptus Drops or whatever else tickles your fancy (but soothes your throat). Sneaky tip from Man Flu Victim, “Not even kidding and yes I’ve done this before: one nip of bourbon, 2 teaspoons of honey. Mix until completely blended. Amazing and soothing.”
4. I’ll make this one straight to the point: cheese.
Probiotics boost immune function. Now, probiotic pills are excellent but sometimes the answer is so simple. Cheese. And wine. But mostly cheese. There’s the old wives tale that mentions dairy producing more mucus when suffering from a cold but there is little research to support this. If it makes you feel worse, avoid it. But it’ll probably be your favourite suggestion on the list.
5. Drink the damn tea.
Trust me when I say this will help you, even if it is purely to unclog your stuffy nose. Echinacea is good. Green tea is good. Honey and hot water is good. Licorice root is especially great for a scratchy throat and if you like licorice, tastes particularly awesome (bonus!). Hot food works well too, as does Mi Goreng says Man Flu Victim.
6. Vitamin C, Vitamin C, Vitamin C.
Oranges, sweet potato, red capsicum, broccoli and sweet potato are all great sources of Vitamin C, although should be incorporated in your diet regularly. Although there is no evidence that Vitamin C can prevent a man flu, it has been shown to reduce the length and symptoms. Daily intake can assist iron absorption as well, so we’ve got an all-round winner here. Man Flu Victim suggests Berocca. A worthy mention.
7. Burn that midnight Eucalyptus Oil.
Invest in a humidifier or oil burner and breathe easier. It’s like a souped up version of Vicks. Expect a soothed throat and clearer sinuses. Menthol, Eucalyptus Oil and Vicks Vapouriser Oil are all great options. I prefer Eucalyptus because it’s relatively cheap and reminds me of eating Eucalyptus drops at recess in primary school. It also makes me nostalgic for how much I could buy with $2 at the canteen, but that’s another story.
8. Rest. Stay put. Do nothing.
No, this is not a trap. You need sleep and warm socks and blankets and plenty of it. Going up on a Tuesday when it’s cold and raining and you’ve got a sore throat will only plunge you further into the depths of Man Flu. Repeat after me, rest is my friend. Man Flu Victim has an interesting response to this suggestion: “I have to say that although this is true, there sometimes comes a point in the recovery phase that it just doesn’t get any better and you’re just sitting at 20% sickness levels. At this stage you should just get on with life as normal i.e. Drink at your mates house and follow with beers at the Lowenbrau.” Although I wouldn’t advise this course of action, this Man Flu Victim is now back to “normal.” Probably not from the beers though.
We’ve got this guys. To paraphrase the great Gloria Gaynor, you WILL survive.