Sore throats can occur for many different reasons—whether it’s from a cold, decline in immune function, changes in the weather, seasonal allergies, or just yelling for your favorite team too long at a sports event (hey, it happens!). Whatever the case, there are many wayswhich aren’t made from chemicals to get rid of sore throats quickly. Most over-the-counter drugs on the market sold for sore throats are filled with artificial ingredients such as dyes, sweeteners, and flavors that are best to avoid whenever possible. So, check out these natural options that are more affordable, possibly more effective,and might just be made with ingredients you already have in your home to get rid or sore throats quickly!
1. Raw Honey
Raw honey is a classic ingredient that has been used for many years to treat a sore throat. Honey is a natural emulsifying agent and provides a coating to the throat which helps relieve soreness quickly. Honey is most effective for treating a sore throat if you consume it in a warm glass of water such as in herbal tea or plain hot water with a teaspoon of honey stirred in. Choose raw honey that has not been pasteurized whenever possible since it contains more antibacterial properties than pasteurized honey. Just keep in mind that honey is high in natural sugars which may spike blood sugar levels. A teaspoon or two a day should be plenty without overdoing it.
2. Sea Salt + Water
Gargling sea salt and warm water is another natural remedy you can use to get rid of sore throats quickly. While it might not be as pleasant as honey, it is very effective. Sea salt helps break down mucus and also helps provide alkaline minerals to the throat which help to relieve inflammation. Choose a high-quality sea salt (not iodized) for the most benefits, and use at least a full teaspoon of the salt mixed in 8 ounces of water. To make this blend, heat some water just below boiling and stir in a teaspoon of sea salt. Pour into an 8 ounce glass and gargle in the back of your throat. Remember not to swallow it since it won’t taste very pleasant; just gargle in the back of your throat for a full 30 seconds if you can.
3. Slippery Elm Root (or Tea)
Slippery elm is a natural root that also acts as a coating agent and an emulsifier so it soothes and relieves very quickly. For this reason, it’s even helpful for digestive issues related to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Slippery elm root helps the body release mucus and coats the throat so pain dissipates. A tea-based remedy will be more effective than pills for this use, so choose an herbal tea formulated for throat care that contains slippery elm whenever possible. Drink a few cups a day for best effects. You can also purchase slippery elm root at a health food store and boil your own tea. You’ll need 1 inch of slippery elm root per 16 ounces of water if you go this route. Boil the root and water together, steep for at least 10 minutes, and drink throughout the day.
4. Licorice Tea
Licorice tea can be used for many natural remedies including relieving sore throats. It has cleansing and soothing effects that can help relieve pain and inflammation. Look for licorice tea at your health food store or a blend that contains licorice root. Just don’t confuse this natural remedy with licorice candy—you won’t get the same effects with the high sugar treat! Also, be mindful that those with high blood pressure should not use licorice root as it can stimulate the release of excessive energy in the body and may increase blood pressure levels as a result.
Peppermint tea, oil, and fresh mint are all wonderful for relieving pains of many kinds, including sore throats and inflammation. The menthol in peppermint coats soothes the throat quite nicely, and it sends sensations that signal pain relief in a short amount of time throughout the body. Drink a few cups of peppermint tea per day, make a hot tea with warm water and a very tiny drop of peppermint oil, or you can boil fresh mint to make a peppermint tea at home. If you brew your own tea with fresh mint, use at least 8-10 leaves with 16 ounces of water and steep. Remove the mint and drink throughout the day.
Echinacea has been used for many years as a remedy for treating colds, coughs, and more. The herb is particularly wonderful for opening up pathways in the throat, which can help relieve tightness and pain associated with sore throats. Try a hot cup of echinacea tea which you can find sold in tea bags at any health food or supermarket. Many herbal teas formulated for colds will also include it as well. Drink a few cups a day while hot and sip your way to a less painful throat in no time!
7. Warm Water + Lemon
You can use this natural remedy to treat sore throats quickly with ingredients you have in your own home. Prepare some hot water and add the juice of a lemon. Let a slice of the lemon steep in the water for even more beneficial effects and then drink as you would a cup of hot tea. Lemon is full of antioxidants and vitamin C that can help flush mucus and toxins from the body, and it’s particularly soothing and wonderful for your immune system as well. If you tolerate sugar well, feel free to add a drop of honey for an extra boost.
8. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar + Water
Apple cider vinegar has many uses that make it one of the most well-loved ingredients to keep around your home. The ancient “do-it-all” vinegar is also great for sore throats. It works by relieving pain, inflammation, and it even contains probiotic cultures which can speed up healing. Just be sure not to drink it straight or it will burn your throat—definitely not what you want! You should also buy raw, organic apple cider vinegar with “the mother”, which means that the probiotic cultures in the vinegar are still alive and active. To use this natural remedy, warm up a cup of hot water and let it cool down just a bit where it’s just above room temperature. Then add one teaspoon or two of raw apple cider vinegar. Sweeten with honey (or a non-sugar option such as liquid stevia) to mask the taste of the vinegar if you need to. Drink and repeat a few times a day.
9. Marshmallow Root Tea
Before you go and buy a bag of sweet marshmallows, hold on! That’s not the kind of marshmallows we’re referring to here. Marshmallow root is actually a real plant, sort of like ginger root and it has amazing natural properties that help coat and soothe the throat. It’s also pleasant-tasting though not as sweet as the candy many of us grew up learning to love. Marshmallow root tea can be bought in bags at a health food store and it is sold in loose leaf form in select health food stores, or you can order either of the two options online. Many tea blends formulated for colds and sore throats will include marshmallow root in the blend along with some of the other herbal options above such as slippery elm and licorice root. Drink marshmallow root tea a few times a day for the best effects when you want to get rid of sore throats quickly.
10. Warm Broths
Chicken bone, vegetable, and even beef bone broth can all be used to get rid of sore throats quickly. They contain many vitamins and minerals as well as soothing effects that ease pain and coat the throat while also nourishing the body. Broth is a great option if you can’t muster up an appetite to eat meals because of your sore throat too. While you should attempt to eat some foods to get enough calories, drinking broth is a wonderful addition to your healing routine. Do your best to choose organic options and even better, hormone-free options if you’re choosing a chicken or beef-based broth. If you want to make your own, that also works too. Either drink one 8 ounce cup of broth per day or dilute less broth with some water and drink several cups a day.
11. Ginger + Lemon Tea
Ginger and lemon are a dynamic healing duo, and they don’t fall short in this case either. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory root and works well with lemon’s healing properties in relieving a sore throat. Take a piece of ginger root at least 2 inches thick and one whole lemon cut into quarters. Let this pair of ingredients steep it in 4 cups of hot water for at least 10 minutes (I like to do this in a French press). Drink like you would a normal batch of tea, and feel free to add some honey for more benefits along with sweetness if you tolerate natural sugars well. For a less effective but much easier route, you can also buy lemon ginger tea tags. Just be sure to choose a dependable brand of tea that uses whole ingredients, not teas that are merely flavored.
12. Zinc Lozenges
Finally, if you want something more potent but don’t want to resort to chemical-based cough drops just yet, opt for zinc lozenges made with whole herbs and essential oils. There are many great brands on the market that cater to those seeking more natural options. Zinc boosts the immune health, and unlike chemical-filled sore throat lozenges that are medicated, herbal zinc lozenges help get rid of sore throats quickly but also boost immune health naturally without drugs.
For more tips on how to get rid of sore throats, you might also like to see these food-based remedies you might not know about just yet!
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