7 Natural Remedies For Your Sore Throat

This time of year people are sitting at their desks with the sniffles or stuck at home in bed with a cough and a sore throat. Getting sick seems to offer the perfect excuse for going to the pharmacy and stocking up on Advil and cold medicines to self-medicate yourself at home and work. Many people, however, choose to go a more alternative route when it comes to coping with coughs, colds, and sore throats.

These home remedies may not be the most pleasant, but they can help to relieve pain and irritation in a sore throat. It should be noted, however, that if your sore throat lasts longer than a few days, or if you are experiencing more severe symptoms like fever, rash, difficulty breathing, earaches, worsening cough, or pain elsewhere in the body, you should seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

1. Hot Tea

Perhaps the simplest way to soothe a sore throat is by drinking a fresh cup of tea. Black tea contains compounds called tannins, which help to reduce inflammation and swelling. Warm liquids, in general, also help to provide added relief to the irritation in your throat, and adding some lemon juice or a bit of honey to your tea can add to its soothing effects.

2. Honey

Honey has been used as a home remedy for sore throats for centuries. It works by coating your throat to relieve irritation and suppress coughing. The traditional recommendation for using honey to soothe your throat is to take two teaspoons before bed, and use it in small doses in warm beverages throughout the course of the day.

3. Warm Salt Water

Gargling warm salt water in your throat is likely the oldest home remedy for a sore throat. The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published a finding in 2005 that suggested gurgling water was an effective preventative measure against upper respiratory infections. The added benefit of using salt water for a sore throat lies in the ability of salt to reduce swelling and inflammation, and break down build up mucus. The recommended amount of salt is ½ to 1 whole teaspoon of salt per 8 oz. of water. Stir the mix until the salt has dissolved, gurgle, spit, and repeat the treatment several more times (or once every hour) each day.

4. Stay Hydrated

It is important to keep your body hydrated while you recover from a sore throat. Dehydration can lower your body’s ability to produce saliva and other fluids necessary for keeping your throat lubricated. This makes symptoms like dryness, swelling, and irritability that much worse, and further complicates the healing process. If you drink water, consider adding a slice of lemon to your glass, or drink hot tea or make a cup of low sodium soup.

5. Humidifier/Steam Shower

Another way to get relief for your sore throat is by getting a humidifier, or taking a hot, steamy shower. Humidifiers work by slowly adding moisture to the air in your home, allowing you to inhale moist air that can help soothe swollen tissue in your nose and throat. If you don’t have a humidifier lying around and don’t fancy a trip to the store, try taking a hot steam shower. Steam from the shower (or sink) can also reduce swelling and reduce the severity of pain. When you take a shower, take slow, deep breaths and exhale completely, repeating several times.

6. Enjoy A Hot Toddy

A Hot Toddy is a great way to take the edge off being sick, while simultaneously working to relieve your sore throat symptoms. It consists of 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, 4 ounces of hot water, 2 ounces of bourbon or whiskey, and a slice of lemon. Using alcohol is totally optional, but it does add a nice kick to the remedy, but feel free to leave it out if you wish. Otherwise, mix it with the honey and lemon juice, and then add the hot water and stir. You can then microwave the mix for about a minute to get a nice, warm, relaxing remedy for your throat.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Generally speaking, they say a shot of vinegar each day is excellent for keeping your sinuses clear, balancing your skin pH levels, and removing stains from your teeth. In terms of a sore throat, the acidity contained in vinegar is extremely effective at killing off harmful bacteria, and mixed with honey, can provide extra relief to your sore throat symptoms. For a more tolerant method of consumption, try mixing 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of extra-warm water.