Given the continued prevalence of COVID, it’s easy to forget that the common cold, the flu, and other common viruses are still around as well. While most people bounce back from these ailments without a problem, they’re still uncomfortable to go through — especially when they cause a sore throat.
A “sore throat” is an all-encompassing term that refers to any sort of irritation, inflammation, or itchiness in the throat. It can make swallowing difficult, as well as make it hard to fall asleep at night.
To help you find some relief, below are some of the top natural remedies for a sore throat. While they won’t fix the underlying problem, they can help alleviate some of the discomfort.
Honey is one of the commonly-used at-home sore throat remedies. That’s not surprising since it’s something that most people have on hand. However, it’s not just a myth that it can help people with sore throats feel better — studies and research back that claim up.
One study even found honey to be a more effective cough suppressant than OTC medications from pharmacies (1). Try mixing it in tea or even just taking a spoonful of it before bed.
Besides helping ward off vampires, garlic also contains many fantastic antibacterial properties. Consuming garlic often can therefore help soothe a sore throat and even help keep you from getting sick in the first place (2).
The easiest way to enjoy garlic’s antibacterial properties is by adding it to your diet. You can also look into taking a garlic supplement.
Most people use peppermint to freshen their breath (sometimes after eating garlic). However, it also contains menthol, which can help calm sore throats and thin mucus. Peppermint also has several other anti-inflammatory and anti-viral components that can help soothe discomfort.
If you’re using peppermint oil, make sure to dilute it with olive oil or another carrier. Mix five drops of it into one ounce of the carrier.
Cayenne pepper might be spicy, but it also has capsaicin, a natural compound that can block pain receptors. You can often find capsaicin in topical ointments and creams.
Try mixing cayenne pepper into warm water and honey to give your throat some relief. It might burn a bit at first, but that’s normal. Just avoid consuming cayenne pepper if there are open sores in your throat!
Chamomile is a plant that people have used for centuries to alleviate pain. Most people make it into tea to enjoy its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Besides helping make the symptoms of a cold more manageable, chamomile might also be able to stimulate your immune system to fight off the virus. Drink a glass of chamomile tea a day to enjoy all of its powerful benefits!
Salt water might not taste good, but it’s another excellent way to provide your body with some relief when your throat hurts. Try adding half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water, then gargling with it.
Doing this every few hours can kill bacteria and help soothe a sore throat.
Sore throats aren’t fun, and they can make going about your daily life difficult. To help your throat feel more comfortable, try turning to any one of the natural remedies mentioned above.
Remember to also drink plenty of fluids and get a lot of rest!