No one wants to fall prey to a sore throat, which can leave your voice hoarse and make swallowing painful. Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply go to your fridge or pantry to find relief? Well, you can! Many natural sore throat remedies are staples you probably have on hand.
Gargling with saltwater is a tried-and-true method to relieve sore throat pain. You can use baking soda in place of salt if you like. All you need to do is mix 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt or baking soda with a glass of water. Gargle with this mixture every three hours to achieve the best results.
Saltwater helps reduce sore throat pain by drawing out fluids from tissue in the throat area. This reduces swelling, which in turn reduces pain. As an added benefit, gargling with saltwater can help flush out the virus causing your sore throat.
Warm and cold fluids
Have something to drink. Warm and cold drinks both help ease a sore throat in different ways. Cold drinks, ice cubes, and popsicles reduce pain by lowering the temperature of the throat’s nerve endings.
When you consume a warm drink, on the other hand, salivation increases. This increases lubrication and makes your throat feel better. One study demonstrated that people suffering from the cold or flu experienced immediate relief from symptoms of sore throat, chilliness, tiredness, cough, sneezing, and a runny nose after drinking a hot fruit drink. The same drink at room temperature did not provide the same symptom relief.
Getting rest when you are not feeling well is extremely important. Your body is using its energy to fight off an infection or irritation. If you have a sore throat and want to rest, do so in an elevated position. Try propping yourself up with pillows or using a reclining chair. If you lie flat, you might increase the pressure at the back of your throat, which will not help your sore throat feel better.
Honey has been valued for centuries for its antibacterial properties. It has been one of the most popular sore throat remedies. Honey is thought to relieve pain because its antibacterial properties reduce inflammation, kill bacteria, and support wound healing. Make a soothing drink by stirring 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey into a cup of tea or warm water. Have this a few times a day as needed. Remember, though, that honey is not to be given to infants under one year of age.
As strange as this sounds, hot sauce can help relieve sore throat pain. Capsaicin, which is found in peppers used to make hot sauce, can help reduce pain by fighting the inflammation of a sore throat. Get sore throat relief from hot sauce by mixing a few drops of it in warm water and gargling.
Like honey, lemon has been a favorite natural sore throat remedy. Lemon has vitamin C, which is thought to be effective in fighting infections. Lemon water can help reduce inflammation, and it can help break up the mucus that might be irritating your throat. For comforting immune support, try making this DIY tea blend with nettle, chamomile, and a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Yes, chicken soup really can help with your sore throat or cold. Like a warm drink, chicken soup can break up the mucus in your throat to help ease your discomfort. It will also help to keep you hydrated. Chicken soup can be a good source of nutrients too, which is helpful when you’re not feeling well. Make your own chicken soup with this Traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.
Have a cup of tea. Or have lots of them! Many herbal teas offer anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which help in soothing and healing a sore throat. There are a number that you can choose from to help reduce sore throat irritation. If you are in pain, peppermint tea can help numb your throat. If your voice is hoarse, chamomile tea can help lubricate your throat. Raspberry tea is another good choice for reducing pain and inflammation. If you like spicier flavors, try cinnamon tea. Cinnamon has many health benefits, including easing sore throat pain.
Humidity and steam
The air in your home can be dryer in fall and winter due to indoor heating. Dry air can cause congestion, dry skin, a dry nose, itchy eyes, and throat irritation. One way to ease and help lubricate your sore throat is to have a warm shower. The steam from your shower can help with lubrication and loosen mucus in your throat and sinuses. You can add moisture to the air in your home by using a vaporizer or humidifier.
When you feel a sore throat coming on, you may want to stock up on zinc. Studies show that zinc lozenges can help you kick a cold faster, including shortening the severity and duration of symptoms like sore throat. For best results, take zinc supplements within 24 hours of the onset of cold symptoms.