Nobody likes to be sick, but at times it is unavoidable. Whether a sore throat is caused by allergies or a virus, when you experience that pain, all you want is fast relief.
A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious like strep throat. While some cases will always require a doctor visit, there are home-remedies you may want to consider first. Here are 10 natural solutions on how to get rid of a sore throat fast.
1. Gargle with Saltwater
While it feels a lot like getting a mouthful of ocean, the salt helps to flush out irritants and bacteria.
To try this:
- Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water (ideally warm).
- Gargle with this mixture 3 to 4 times a day.
- Spit the water out when you’re finished gargling.
Tip: If the salty taste is too unpleasant, add a very small amount of honey to help sweeten it.
2. Drink Garlic Tea
Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It contains antioxidants that are thought to strengthen immunity and ward off infection.
To make this tea:
- Cut some fresh garlic into medium-sized slices and place them in a mug.
- Fill with boiling water.
- While the water is still hot, remove the pieces of garlic.
- Add a bag of your favorite tea to help the taste (and smell).
- Add some honey or other natural sweetener to aid the taste and make the recipe a bit more drinkable.
Drink this as much and as often as you please.
3. Get a Cinnamon Fix
Cinnamon is another naturally healthy food, as it is high in anti-oxidants. Its sweet aroma also helps to open sinuses. When you have a sore throat, that’s an added bonus as it lessens the production of mucus and drainage and will help you breathe a bit easier.
Like the previous remedy, you want to make this into a tea as well.
- Grab 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks ,1 to 1-1/2 cups of boiling water and tea of your choice.
- Once your water begins to boil, add the cinnamon sticks and let boil for 3 minutes.
- Remove the sticks and steep your favorite herbal or green tea as recommended by the label.
- Once it’s cool enough to drink, enjoy.
More great benefits about cinnamon can be found here: Cinnamon Is A Powerful Spice That Offers Amazing Health Benefits
4. Enjoy a Bowl of Chicken Soup
The sodium in the broth may actually have anti-inflammatory properties, and it can feel good going down.
When you don’t feel well, the last thing you want to do is prepare anything difficult, so soup is a go-to anyway. But it also helps ensure you’re getting nutrients which can be challenging when eating hurts.
Vegans and vegetarians, fear not! Any dairy-free soup can be substituted for chicken. A vegetable broth would do the trick too.
5. Drink Ginger Water
Ginger is an expectorant, it helps loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory system. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, and fights off bad bacteria. It boosts circulation, increases oxygen flow and flushes out toxins. More benefits about ginger here: 11 Benefits of Ginger That You Didn’t Know About
- Grab some fresh ginger root (about 2 inches is perfect), some honey, a veggie peeler and cutting board, 3 cups of water and some wax paper.
- Wash the ginger and peel it.
- Slice the peeled ginger into small pieces, place on the cutting board and cover with the wax paper.
- Crush it with a mallet (or any sturdy kitchen utensil-even the flat side of the knife works).
- Boil the water over medium heat and add the ginger.
- Let that boil for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add honey.
I like to add lemon to mine as well, but that’s up to you. If you don’t want any ginger in your sips, you can strain before drinking. Just make sure you drink this while it’s still warm.
6. Invest in a Humidifier
When your throat hurts, the worst thing you can do is breathe in dry air. Humidifiers fill the air with moisture, making it easier to breathe and less painful for your throat.
Humidifiers come in a wide range of sizes, and some offer scents like eucalyptus. Here’s a guide on how to choose a good humidifier.
7. Enjoy Some Apple Cider Vinegar
It’s not the most delicious remedy, but it is a helpful one. It’s rich in acidity, which is effective at killing bacteria. Now add honey and you’re basically coating your throat with relief. Find out more about apple cider vinegar here: 15 Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of very warm water. Drink up!
Tip: If the taste is too strong for you, try 2 tablespoons of the vinegar mixed with 1/2 cup warm water and gargle once a day instead.
8. Hold a Warm Compress to Your Throat
When you experience back pain, you often reach for a heating pad. So you should not treat your throat differently.
Try a warm compress such as a small heating pad, a hot water bottle or a warm, damp cloth. Just be careful not to burn yourself.x
9. Try a Spoonful of Honey
Honey’s antimicrobial properties can help you heal faster. If you don’t think you’re ready to drink vinegar just yet, this could be a good place to start instead.
Simply enjoy a spoonful of raw, local honey. It’s as simple as that!
Check out more benefits of honey here: What Happens When You Start Drinking Honey Water Every Day
10. Make Popsicles
Dairy can worsen a sore throat, so don’t reach for ice cream because the idea of something cold sounds soothing. Instead, opt for a popsicle. Licking a cold popsicle can temporarily ease a sore throat by numbing the pain. Rather than indulging in a sugary, syrupy pop, try this recipe:
- 1 13.5-oz can coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp. matcha powder
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth. Start with 1/4 cup honey and add more to taste. Pour into pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.
The number of pops this recipe yields depends on the size of your popsicle molds. If you have 4-oz molds, you’ll get 4 pops. Smaller molds yield more.
Decide What’s Best for Your Body
While all of the recipes and tips above are worth trying out, you know your body best. Choose what’s best for you from the above natural remedies, but see a doctor if your sore throat lasts more than three days or only seems to get worse.
Your doctor can look at your throat, discuss your symptoms, and perform tests to help you recover more quickly if you should need antibiotics.