Health Tips

Home Remedies for Throat Sore

A sore throat can be a royal pain in the uh…throat. Like blinking, we never notice how much we swallow until we start paying attention to it, and when it hurts like nobody’s business, it’s kind of difficult not to pay attention. But before you go getting down about how long you’re going to have to suffer with it, consider taking some action-relief may be close than you think. Below are 22 simple at home sore throat remedies that will help you get started on naturally soothing the ache.

 

1. Gargle With Warm Salt Water

When your Grandmother told you to gargle with salt water, she knew what she was talking about. Gargling with salt water isn’t an old wives tale-it’s about one of the closest to a cures for a sore throat you can get.

When our throats hurt, regardless of what causes it, it’s because the cells in the mucous membranes have become swollen and inflamed. By gargling with salt water you decrease the swelling, as salts primary function is to draw out water, which in turn shrinks the swollen cell and eases the pain. It also helps wash away the excess mucous and allows your stuffy nose (if you have one) to drain properly.

You will need…
-1 cup of warm water (8 oz.)
-½ teaspoon of table salt

Directions
Heat water until it’s warm, but not hot. Thoroughly mix in salt. Gargle. Repeat 3 throughout the day as needed.

Any more than that and you risk drying out a healthy soft tissue and making things worse.

 

2. Make And Enjoy A Hot Toddy (or have someone make it for you.)

Typically a Hot Toddy helps a sore throat -particularly one accompanied by a cold- for 2 reasons. The honey and lemon soothes your throat, while the alcohol helps you sleep. I personally leave the alcohol out of mine as my mother did when she made her version for me growing up. Whether or not you use it is up to you, but keep in mind that steering clear of alcohol when you’re under the weather is usually best.

You will need…
-2 oz. bourbon or whiskey (optional, not recommended)
-1 tablespoon of honey, or more to taste
-4 ounces hot water
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-1 slice fresh lemon (optional)

Directions
If you’re using it, pour the alcohol into a large mug. Add the honey, and leave the spoon in the mug. Pour the hot water into the mug, making sure it gets the last bit of honey off the spoon. Add the lemon juice and stir well. Place the mug in the microwave and heat until its nice and hot, but not boiling (about 1 minute.) Add the lemon slice, and enjoy.

3. Mix up an ACV drink

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is probably right up there with garlic (its unfortunate the things that make us better can’t taste delicious) but some people swear by it. Its high levels of acidity can kill bacteria quite efficiently, and when mixed with honey it can soothe the soreness in your throat as well.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
-1 tablespoon of honey
-1 cup of very warm water

Directions
Mix the ACV and honey into very warm water. Drink it while it’s still warm!

OR

If you don’t want to swallow it (and it does have a strong taste) try 2 tablespoons of ACV and mix with ½ cup warm water. Gargle once a day.

 

4. Suck on Garlic

Yup, it sounds repulsive, and you probably don’t want to go on a dinner date right afterwards, but garlic is a natural remedy that can kick a sore throat right in it’s painfully swollen tush. The reason lies in the garlic’s allicin, a compound that can kill the bacteria that causes strep and fight the germs causing pain and irritation.

You will need…
-1 fresh clove of garlic, sliced in half

Directions
Place 1 piece of garlic in each cheek, and suck on it like a cough drop. Occasionally crush your teeth against it to release the allicin- there’s no need to actually bite it. Try this once daily.

garlic

5. Have A Marshmallow

Don’t get too excited-I am referring to the herb called Marshmallow, or Marshmallow Root. It has been used with a fair amount of success for several centuries in North America and Europe as it contains mucilage, which helps coat and soothe mucus membranes in the throat.

Note that if you have diabetes, you should consult your doctor before using Marshmallow Root, as it may lower your blood sugar.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of the dried root
-1 cup of boiling water

Directions
Put one tablespoon of dried root in a mug and pour boiling water over it. Cover and steep for 30-60 minutes before straining and drinking.

6. Steam It Out

Steam can ease a sore throat-particularly one that hurts due to dryness-shorten its duration, and make it easier to breathe if you’re congested. You don’t have to head to your gym’s sauna/steam room to get the treatment either-there are ways to use steam as a remedy without leaving the comfort of your home.

You will need…
-1 medium to large bowl
-Enough hot water to fill your bowl about halfway
-1 bath towel or a towel of similar size
-Eucalyptus oil (optional)

Directions
Boil a pot of water and pour it into your bowl. Lean over the bowl so that you can fully inhale the rising steam-you don’t have to stick your face right up to it. Drape the towel over your head to create a tent for the steam. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil if you’d like to make it more soothing. If you’re worried about frightening someone who walks in on a mysterious towel-draped creature snuffling and sniffling over a bowl of steaming water, taking a hot shower and letting the bathroom steam up can provide some relief as well.

7. Kick It With Cayenne

Drinking warm water with cayenne can actually make you feel better. This is another one of those really funky sounding home remedies, but again, a lot of people swear by it. Dumping something involving hot peppers in any way, shape, or form down your already searing throat seems counterintuitive to helping it, but there’s a method to the madness. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) have a chemical compound called capsaicin that temporarily relieves pain, much like Advil or aspirin does. It accomplishes this by hindering something called substance P, which is what transmits pain signals to your brain. Thus, the discomfort from your sore throat is diluted when coming in contact with the Cayenne-and quickly to boot.

You will need…
-1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
-1 cup of boiling water
-1 teaspoon of honey

Directions
Add 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper to 1 cup of boiling water. Stir in the honey, and wait until the mixture is warm-but not hot-before drinking throughout the day as needed. Make sure to stir it frequently, as the Cayenne tends to settle. If you’re sensitive to spice, reduce the pepper to as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon.

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