Usually brought upon by the common cold, a sore throat is one of the most frequently occurring symptoms that people face when feeling sick. A discomfort that can make it difficult to sleep, and even unbearable to swallow, sore throats can be a serious pain in the, well, neck! Luckily there are some effective natural remedies that can help give you relief for this nagging symptom, and we've provided you with a well-rounded and comprehensive list:
• Gargle and rinse with salt water several times a day to reduce swelling discomfort. Salt has a natural ability to draw bacterial fluids out of inflamed tissue, like in a sore throat. To make a salt water gargle, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
• Up the ante of the classic salt water-gargle with cayenne pepper. Because the capsaicin in cayenne has pain-relieving qualities, adding cayenne to your salt water gargle can deliver quick relief. This method works especially well if repeated multiple times a day.
• Drink lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne and honey tea: This homemade "tea" mixes the vitamin C in lemons, the capsaicin in cayenne, antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties in honey, and the antibacterial punch in apple cider vinegar all together. A typical recipe would be: one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey added to a cup of hot water and then stirring. Drink multiple times a day.
Often unappreciated, herbal remedies can actually provide great relief for a sore throat. Some of the best herbs for the symptom are:
• Slippery Elm: A member of the elm family, Slippery Elm was listed in the US Pharmacopeia for sore throats up until the year 1960! The inner bark contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that swells when it is mixed with water, which coats the throat and reduces throat irritation. To ease a sore throat, slippery elm can be used as a tea form or in lozenge form, which are both sold in health food stores.
• Licorice Root: Used for its anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for sore throat. Due to its naturally sweet taste, licorice root can also be found in many natural teas. To make your own tea, add one tablespoon of the dried root to a cup of boiling water and steep for 30 to 90 minutes before straining.
• Marshmallow Root: Unlike the sweet treat, this herb, like slippery elm, contains mucilage which coats and soothes mucus membranes in the throat. To make a tea add one tablespoon of the dried root to a cup of boiling water and steep for 30 to 90 minutes before straining to make a tea.
Other Home Remedies
• Drink plenty of fluids: Keeping your throat lubricated can go a long way in reducing irritation. Fluids may also help thin secretions.
• Eliminate dry air: Dry air can irritate a sore throat, so use a humidifier in your home. If you don't have a humidifier, place a small pot of water on the stove on simmer, refilling the water as needed.
• Get adequate rest! A surprising amount of ailments arise from simply not getting enough sleep. Always make sure to get at lest 8 hours of sleep, especially on days when you're feeling under the weather.