It is almost inevitable that as soon as the weather turns cold, noses start running and people start coughing. Both bacterial infections such as strep throat and viral infections like the flu can cause sore throats. Thankfully, viral infections do not respond to antibiotics so people have to turn to natural remedies. There are many ways to speed healing of a sore throat without putting harmful substances into your body. Gargle away a sore throat. Gargling with salt water is an age-old, folk remedy for sore throats that works. The simplest mix is just salt and water. One teaspoon of salt per glass of warm water is sufficient. Best to stir and let the salt dissolve before gargling though.
Several teas are known to soothe sore throats.
A helpful recipe includes:
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 1/4 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Cayenne pepper to taste
Mix the ingredients in a cup of warm water and drink slowly. One cup is rarely enough for all-day relief, but four may do the trick. This drink may also help reduce coughing. Another tea option is to combine ginger tea with cinnamon and lemon.
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup of water
Combine ingredients in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour three tablespoons of mixture into a cup of warm water and drink. Save the rest for additional cups of tea later in the day. A third tea option is ginger tea with lemon and pepper. Seep one bag of ginger tea in a cup of hot water. Add lemon juice and black pepper powder to taste. This remedy not only helps relieve throat pain, but it can also clear blockages.
Herbs for sore throats
This herb is sometimes called Indian echinacea because of its use for colds and flu and because it grows in Asia, including India. A study at Tufts Medical Center found that Andrographis relieved the sore throats and other cold symptoms of adult participants. Andrographis is available in the U.S. Slipper elm is a common Native American remedy taken for many health problems, including skin conditions and sore throats. When water is added to slippery elm, a substance in the herb called mucilage becomes gel-like. The gel coats and soothes sore throats. Sage leaves of liquid extracts added to hot water can also help sore throats.
Add two teaspoons of sage leaves, dried or fresh, to a cup of boiling water, let steep and then drain the leaves to make a soothing herbal drink. It may also help to add a pinch of salt. Extra liquid can be kept in a refrigerator for two days.
Increasing the moisture in the throat is a basic way to relieve pain. A humidifier can do wonders for throat pain by adding moisture to dry air. Drinking plenty of water and tea also keeps the throat moist. Some people find those warm liquids like soup are comforting. Other people have better luck with popsicles. Sucking on natural lozenges may help too, though young children should not be given lozenges because of the choking risk.