Sore throats are a common manifestation of many illnesses, such as colds, the flu, and sinus and respiratory infections. Most of these diseases are self-limiting, requiring only self-care at home to treat the symptoms. Surely, the itchy, painful, raspy, inflamed tissues of a sore throat is one of the most bothersome and uncomfortable of these symptoms. Here we give you the top 10 ways to cure your sore throat through simple home remedies.
1. Gargles with salt water
Mix one teaspoon of table salt with 1 cup of warm water until dissolved. Gargle the saltwater for 30 seconds, spit out, and repeat as needed. The salt helps reduce the swelling of the throat tissues and kills bacteria.
2. Ginger Tea
Peel and chop a large ginger root and place in a saucepan or kettle. Boil with three cups of water for 5-10 minutes, until the water smells like ginger and has a yellow tinge to it. Sip slowly on the hot liquid.
3. Lemon and Honey
Mix hot water, 1-2 tablespoons of honey, and the juice from 1 medium lemon in a mug. Sip slowly on the mixture and repeat as needed. Caution: do not give honey to children under the age of two, since a bacteria commonly found in honey can give them infant botulism.
4. Hot Sauce
Eat small spoonfuls of hot sauce, drink hot water mixed with hot sauce and honey, or eat very spicy foods. The capsaicins in hot sauce help over-ride the nerve cells at the back of the throat to decrease their sensitivity. Most hot sauces also have vinegar and salt, which also help improve the sore throat.
5. Cough Drops
Many types of cough drops do help soothe a sore throat. However, avoid sugary, commercial brands, and instead try natural and herbal brands such as Burt´s Bees and Ricola. Sucking on sugar-free candies can also provide relief.
Use a humidifier in your room to increase the water content in the air. Also try draping your head over a pot of steaming water with a towel over you to inhale the steam directly. Avoid air conditioning, climate-controlled air, and any other type of dry air, which further aggravates the sore throat.
Suck on whole garlic cloves, or mash the garlic and mix with hot water and honey. Your breath might stink, but this really does work!
Gargle or drink spoonfuls of vinegar, or mix with hot sauce and honey for a more palatable drink. Apple cider-vinegar is preferable.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids. Staying properly hydrated and rested is essential for any immune system process, such as getting over a sore throat. Drink hot tea, soups, and lots of water to stay hydrated.
Many non-prescription analgesics are available to help directly reduce the inflammation and swelling that causes a sore throat. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are good choices.
Try any of these methods or in combination to see what works best for you. Remember to get plenty of warm liquids, avoid cold, dry air, and get plenty of rest!