A sore throat can be a major pain. It is not often very serious, but for the duration that it lasts, it can make your life extremely difficult, especially when it comes to eating, drinking and talking. A sore throat is often the result of inflammation, which causes the lining of the throat to feel tender and especially irritated via the stimulus of anything. Something as simple as swallowing saliva can feel like if sandpaper is rubbing against your throat, making this simple condition much worse than it actually is or needs to be.
But luckily, you do not need to endure the torture of a sore throat for days on end, as there are effective natural remedies you can make use of to speed up recovery and ease discomfort. Some of them you are likely familiar with or may have tried yourself, while others you will be sure to try the next time a sore throat occurs.
Now onto the remedies, shall we?
No list of effective natural remedies for sore throat would be complete without the inclusion of honey. Used since ancient times, honey has proven itself and is now a staple in many over the counter sore throat and cough remedies that work very well. Honey helps to soothe irritation of the throat, and possesses anti-bacterial properties which can assist with speedy recovery from associated infections. It is also a better idea to opt for raw honey instead of sugar laden processed varieties as you may not benefit in the same manner.
2. Salt Water Gargle
Your grandma would have likely made you use this one if you suffered from sore throat, and boy was she right. Saltwater solution is inhospitable to many bacteria that cause sore throats and help to kill them and suppress their replication. Plus, salt water gargles help to thin mucus secretions so that the throat remains clear and breathing uninhibited. Salt water gargles also exert and anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce pain associated with the sore throat.
3. Gargle With Baking Soda
Baking soda works in ways similar to a saltwater gargle, but also has a pH balancing effect. This is an important effect especially when immune suppressed and likely target of opportunistic fungi as well. Fungi thrive under acidic conditions and are killed by baking soda’s basic pH. Combined with salt and used in a gargle, baking soda becomes an extremely effective sore throat remedy.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another traditional remedy that has been used for centuries, going as far back as usage by the father of modern medicine Hippocrates himself. Apple cider vinegar is a unique compound that may sound contradictory at first, since it is technically an acid, but acts as an alkaline compound once ingested. Alkaline compounds kill bacteria and prevent their growth, helping you recover from that pesky sore throat faster. Just be sure to not go heavy on the apple cider vinegar, as its constituent acetic acid has a distinctive pungent taste. One to two drops in a glass of warm water and honey is sufficient to do its job.
5. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is an effective decongestant used to treat nasal congestion, but is also very good at treating sore throats. Peppermint oil can ease irritation, suppress coughs and thin mucus accumulation around the inflamed portion of the throat. Add a drop to some honey to make the taste more tolerable.
6. Chicken Noodle Soup
The reason why chicken noodle soup helps you recover from sore throat and colds is baffling to scientists, but regardless it does shorten the duration of illness and should be taken advantage of. Among the many other things, you need to stay hydrated, and chicken noodle soup is excellent at this. Chicken noodle soup also appears to exert an anti-inflammatory effect on your irritated throat, just be sure to choose or make yours low sodium. Warm soup also thins mucus and helps clear congestion you may feel in the throat.
7. Squeezed Lemon In Cold Water
Lemon juice on its own is an excellent health boosting drink, but is also effective in boosting recovery from sore throats and the common cold. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and anti-oxidants which can boost immune function and help with recovery. It is also very hydrating and can keep the lining of the throat moist, an important step for boosting recovery and reducing pain. Dehydration is common while sick, and only delays healing. Finally, cold water can have a similar effect to applying ice to an inflamed muscle, helping numb the area and relieve pain.
8. Licorice Herb
Licorice is an effective herb that is used to relieve the pain associated with a sore throat. Licorice root also relieves inflammation and mucus congestion, helping ease discomfort associated with a sore throat or cold. You can make it into tea or a gargle, as it is effective either way.
Sucking on garlic is an effective way to remedy a sore throat, even though the taste is far from pleasurable. The ability of garlic to remedy a sore throat lies in a compound named allicin, which kills bacteria and relieves pain and swelling. You can press the garlic and add to a bit of honey if it makes it easier for you to consume.
10. Cayenne or Other Hot Peppers
Though it may sound crazy to consume pepper to treat a sore throat, peppers supply an active compound known as capsaicin, which relieves pain originating from many sources. Thus, cayenne pepper is able to relieve the pain of a sore throat, and improves immunity at the same time. Be wary of pepper’s hotness, however, or you may end up irritating your though even more. Mask it in some honey to cut down its heat.
Echinacea is an herb widely known to stimulate the immune system and shorten the duration or a sore throat, yet very few people actually use it. A teaspoon of ground Echinacea in honey is sufficient to promote recovery and ease irritation. Echinacea can be combined with sage, boiled and made into an oral spray for localized pain relief as well, being arguable better than over the counter sore throat sprays containing anesthetics.
Cinnamon is an extremely popular spice that people rarely have a hard time consuming, making it an excellent addition to your sore throat recovery arsenal. You can either consume more cinnamon teas, or add a bit of ground cinnamon to your standard black teas. Cinnamon also has anti-bacterial actions as well as anti-oxidants to speed up healing and reduce bacterial colonies.
13. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is used primarily to promote restful sleep, and this is exactly how it helps with recovery from a sore throat. We all know that during active illness sleep is necessary for speedy recovery, but because of anxiety many people still don’t do it. Chamomile tea will help you relax and get to sleep easier, so that recovery is enhanced. Chamomile tea was also recently discovered to have anti-microbial actions and analgesic effect to soother that painful throat. Just be careful not to drink it if you need to drive and go somewhere or you may feel drowsy.