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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Health experts recommend home remedies

Gabby Crabtree
A shelving unit in Huskie Books and Gear sits holding medications. Students can battle sickness at NIU with home remedies, medications and Health Services. (Gabby Crabtree | Northern Star)

DeKALB – When students are sick at NIU, they can go to Health Services and see a health professional, or go to Huskie Books and Gear and get medication, but there is also the option of home remedies.

“Many of the home remedies have good effectiveness but over-the-counter medications have their place as well,” said Tanya Tanzillo, a clinical assistant professor. “They both have their jobs.” 

Tanzillo said different sickness can use different home remedies depending on the symptoms they are suffering from.

“Fifteen to 30mg of zinc with a meal daily will help in a cold and full season,” Tanzillo said.

Zinc can be found in foods like red meats, grapefruit and daily vitamins. It aids the immune system in fighting off bacteria and viruses. It can also improve metabolic functioning, according to the National Health Institute.

Sambucol gummies sit on a shelf in Huskie Books and Gear. Tanya Tanzillo, a clinical assistant professor, suggests vitamin C and zinc to help with illness. (Gabby Crabtree | Northern Star) (Gabby Crabtree)

Tanzillo said zinc can help reduce a virus’ ability to replicate. 

“The flu is a virus and the best home remedies are vitamin C and zinc,” Tanzillo said. “I would recommend using 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day and more than that could give you diarrhea.”

Tanzillo said some home remedies are not as effective.  

“Hydrogen peroxide is something I see people using for a nasal spray and I would not recommend that,” Tanzillo said. 

Hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean cuts as well as household objects.

Tanzillo said when your throat starts to hurt, you can gargle salt water to try and soothe it, but if your throat is bright red, you should get tested for strep-throat. 

“Sickness such as strep is a bacteria that concedes in the tonsils, and if it isn’t taken care of, can go down the heart valves,” Tanzillo said. 

Tanzillo said a virus usually lasts five to 10 days and if someone experiences a sinus infection for over two weeks, they should seek treatment. 

“Sleeping and eating good foods will bring you a very long way,” said Tanzillo. 

Matthew Sharp, a junior communications major, said rest is one of the things he focuses on when getting better.

“Sleep is important,” Sharp said. 

Deepak Desor, a freshman health sciences major, said he uses a few different remedies including turmeric milk.

“Vapor rub everywhere,” Desor said.

She said other good tips for improving your health are taking steamy showers, Vix Vapor Rub and brushing teeth regularly.

“The best home remedies are hydrating yourself well and really pushing your fluids and it would really help fight a virus,” Tanzillo said.

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