National News

Jan 25, 2013 5:41 PM by NBC News

Can home remedies help ease flu symptoms?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports flu activity remains widespread across the country.

It's increasing in the west, but there are signs flu season is leveling off in the east.

While many swear by anti-viral medicines like Tamiflu, you have to get them within 48 hours of feeling sick.

"If you start the prescription anti-virals later, they don't work," explains the Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Susan Rehm.

That's when home remedies come into play.

Jeni Britton Bauer used an old family recipe as inspiration when creating her own "remedy."

It's Jeni's Influenza Rx Sorbet, a cold toddy, with orange and lemon juice, ginger and honey, as well as a dose of whiskey.

While it may sooth symptoms, it's not medicine.

It's comfort food, like a giant cough drop with a kick.

"Most of these things are related to symptom management -- feeling better while your body heals and clears the infection," says Dr. Rehm.

If sorbet isn't your thing, mom's chicken soup is a great back-up.

Doctors also recommend lots of water or juices, as fevers can dehydrate you.

But even physicians are intrigued by the Flu Sorbet.

Ice cream, after all, is the ultimate summer treat.

In this case, sorbet just might help you treat your winter flu funk.

Jeni sells her ice cream online at Jenis.com.

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