It starts with a little tickle, and before you know it, you have a full-blown sore throat. Everything seems to hurt, from talking and laughing to swallowing.
You wish you could go to the doctor for a quick fix, but viruses usually cause sore throats. That means a short round of antibiotics isn’t going to help. It’s up to your immune system to fight the virus, so the best you can do is manage your symptoms. That’s easier than you might think.
There are natural remedies that can reduce pain and soothe a sore throat. Check out these remedies, so you can get over your sore throat and back to your everyday life.
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1. Drink a Hot Toddy
If you’re of age, a hot toddy is an excellent way to treat a sore throat. This drink consists of whiskey, water, lemon juice, and honey, and you can add some spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg.
Many people incorrectly assume hot toddies work because the whiskey numbs the throat and the heat soothes it. Instead, the whiskey breaks up and thins the mucus. You’ll notice an improvement as soon as your mucus problem is under control.
Whiskey isn’t the only reason hot toddies work. The smooth honey coats your throat, making each swallow more comfortable. It also serves as a natural cough suppressant, so you won’t have to suffer through painful coughing fits while nursing a sore throat.
Then, there are the spices. They are the unsung hero of the hot toddy. The spices boost your saliva production. That will remove mucus flow and hydrate in your throat.
Before you reach for the whiskey to mix a hot toddy, keep one thing in mind. You don’t want to have too heavy of a pour. Too much whiskey will cause you to get dehydrated, and that can make your throat hurt worse. Stay light on the whiskey and heavy on the other ingredients to optimize the benefits.
2. Chamomile Tea
If your throat is hurting, it’s a good time to brew a pot of chamomile tea. Along with being a tasty drink, it’s considered to be an herbal medicine, and you don’t need a prescription to buy it. Chamomile contains different compounds, including apigenin and a-linolenic acid. These compounds have anti-inflammatory antioxidant, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving properties.
While the chamomile gets to work on healing your sore throat, the heat will soothe it. If you want to feel even better, add a dash of honey into your cup. Then, you’ll get the soothing action of honey and chamomile. You’ll be feeling better in no time at all.
You’ve likely gargled with saltwater a time or two in your life. After all, this natural home remedy seems to get passed down from generation to generation. It has staying power because it works. This rinse has a higher osmotic pressure than the fluid that’s inside your cells does. Because it’s hypertonic, the saltwater draws the liquid inside the cells to the surface.
If the cells contain bacteria or a virus, that gets drawn to the surface, as well, and you might even spit some out when you finish rinsing. It won’t remove enough of the bacteria or virus to cure your problem, but you’ll benefit from the extra moisture on your throat. It’s soothing, so you’ll have an easier time talking and swallowing.
4. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup isn’t just for the soul. It’s also for the throat. Researchers have discovered that chicken soups can inhibit neutrophil migration. This is what causes your throat to become inflamed and sore.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though. First, this hasn’t been studied on humans yet, although the preliminary research is promising. Also, not all chicken soups are created equal. Some commercial soups didn’t provide the same results in the study, so ditch the cans and make a homemade batch of soup. It will have more healing properties, and it will probably taste better, as well.
Between the healing properties of the soup and the soothing heat, you’ll feel lots better. Go ahead and go for a second bowl. It’s not gluttony. It’s medicine.
5. Marshmallow Root
If you spend much time on message boards, you might notice that lots of people say that marshmallows are the best remedy for a sore throat. Sadly, that’s just an urban legend. Throwing a few of the sweet treats into your hot cocoa might taste good, but your sore throat won’t feel much better, apart from the soothing feeling from the heat.
However, marshmallow root can do the trick if you have a sore throat.
This powerful supplement many benefits, including digestion and treating a sore throat.
The marshmallow root plant was previously one of the ingredients used in commercial marshmallows. Eventually, manufacturers switched the plant for gelatin when making marshmallows.
While marshmallow root is not part of the treat anymore, it’s still used for medicinal purposes, including soothing sore throats. Marshmallow root relieves inflammation and soothes mucus membranes. It’s so effective that some people even use it to stave off throat problems.
For instance, public speakers often drink tea with marshmallow root before hitting the stage. It lubricates their vocal cords and prevents them from ending up with sore throats.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne Pepper, and Clover Honey
Not that long ago, apple cider vinegar was touted as the cure for everything. From losing weight to improving skin, it seemed to be the miracle concoction. It might fall short in some areas, but it can help soothe a sore throat when combined with cayenne pepper and clover honey.
If your throat hurts, combine a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with three teaspoons of clover honey and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix it in a glass of warm water and drink it. The three ingredients will quickly get to work to stop your throat from hurting.
Both the honey and apple cider vinegar have antibacterial properties, so if your sore throat is due to a bacterial infection, it will help. Don’t worry if it’s not a bacterial infection, though. The apple cider vinegar can also break up sinus congestion and mucus, and the honey will coat your throat.
Then, the capsaicin provides natural pain relief, making it easier to swallow. This powerful elixir will help you feel better quickly.
7. Licorice Root
Licorice root is one of the rare natural remedies that are popular in both Eastern and Western medicine. The sweet root is used to treat various conditions, including colds and sore throats. Licorice root has been known to reduce inflammation, coat the throat, and help people cough up mucus. It does everything you need it to do when you have a sore throat.
Licorice root can also prevent sore throats. Researchers studied the impact of licorice root on postoperative sore throats. They determined that gargling with licorice root reduces sore throats after surgery. If you’ve ever been intubated for surgery, you know how painful the aftereffects can be, so it’s worth gargling while the surgeon’s scrubbing up.
While this is a good option for sore throats, there are some things to keep in mind. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, it’s ordinarily safe. Still, it can have side effects when people consume large amounts or consume it over a long period of time. Potential side effects include decreased potassium levels and high blood pressure.
Additional research needs to be done, but thus far, it appears that that licorice with glycyrrhizic acid is more likely to cause dangerous side effects. Fortunately, people can use deglycyrrhizinated licorice to alleviate sore throats. It still has the same soothing properties, but preliminary research suggests it has fewer side effects. Still, people with kidney disease, heart disease, or hypertension should avoid licorice root because of these side effects.
Once additional research is conducted, those with health problems will know if it’s safe for them to take.
Pregnant and nursing women should also avoid licorice root. Heavy use can cause premature birth as well as dangerous health problems for the baby. A safe amount has not been set for pregnant women, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Also, studies haven’t been done on the impact during breastfeeding, so it’s wise to avoid it.
If you are healthy and not pregnant, though, this is an excellent way to treat a sore throat. Don’t use large amounts and don’t use it for an extended period of time, so you can enjoy the benefits without the side effects.
Medical Disclaimer: This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician with any questions that you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this article. Please consult with your physician before changing or adding any foods or supplements to your diet.
Keep these remedies on hand so you’ll always be ready to fight a sore throat. Sore throats can pop up any time of the year, but they don’t stand a chance against these treatments.
Whether you like a remedy with a little whiskey or prefer to stick to licorice, you’re sure to find the perfect fix for your ailment. Then, you won’t have to worry about a sore throat holding you back.
You can use the remedy and get back to life without those painful symptoms. Thanks for reading and as always, breathe easy my friend.
The following are the sources that were used while doing research for this article:
- Milanowski, Ann. “Sore Throat Remedies That Actually Work.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 15 Sept. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/sore-throat-remedies-that-actually-work.
- Huizen, Jennifer. “Can Tea Help with a Sore Throat?” Medical News Today, 20 Mar. 2020, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/tea-for-sore-throat#best-types.
- Brabaw, Kasandra. “Does A Salt Water Gargle Do Anything For A Sore Throat Or Nah?” Women’s Health, 19 Aug. 2019, www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a28724303/salt-water-gargle-sore-throat.
- “Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro.” CHEST Journal, 1 Oct. 2000, journal.chestnet.org/article/S0012-3692(15)37721-7/fulltext.
- “Do Marshmallows Really Soothe a Sore Throat?” Daily News, 23 Mar. 2017, www.nydailynews.com/life-style/marshmallows-soothe-sore-throat-article-1.3006048.
- “Sooth a Sore Throat.” Doctoroz.Com, www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/surprising-ways-use-apple-cider-vinegar?gallery=true&page=2. Accessed 23 Sept. 2020.
- “An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Licorice Gargle for… : Anesthesia & Analgesia.” LWW, July 2009, journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=07000&article=00013&type=Fulltext.
- “Licorice Root.” NCCIH, Aug. 2020, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/licorice-root.