Got a sore throat? You’re not alone — sore throats are common this time of year. A sore throat can be caused by anything from a cold to strep throat, but whatever the cause, it’s no fun to deal with. Try these seven natural remedies for some quick relief.
Gargle salt water
This remedy has been around for years because it works. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and gargle the mixture. The salt helps reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, and the warm water helps flush out irritants or bacteria.
Drink apple cider vinegar
Like salt, apple cider vinegar creates an environment in your throat that’s hostile to germs. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water and drink it. If you don’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar, add a tablespoon of honey to make it more palatable.
Sip some licorice root tea
Licorice root (which you can find at your local health food store) contains a natural painkiller similar to aspirin. Make tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over a tablespoon of ground or shredded licorice root. Let the tea steep for five to ten minutes. Strain out the licorice root before drinking it.
Try a little coconut oil
Coconut oil can soothe the raw, harsh feeling in your throat. It also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help knock out an infection. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil to a cup of tea, or just let the oil melt in your mouth.
Eat chicken soup
A standard piece of advice when you’re sick is to eat some chicken soup. There’s some actual science behind this old folk remedy: the warmth and fat content of chicken soup helps to soothe a scratchy throat, the steam helps to loosen nasal congestion, and the broth keeps you hydrated.
Your throat will hurt more if it’s dry, so drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. If it hurts to drink water and other cold beverages, sip on warm tea and broth instead.
Gargle with hot sauce
Using hot sauce to soothe a sore throat might sound strange, but hot peppers actually contain chemicals that relieve pain. Mix a teaspoon of cayenne pepper or a tablespoon of hot sauce into a cup of hot water, and gargle with the mixture. It will sting at first, but you might feel better afterwards.
It’s no fun to have a sore throat. Luckily, though, there are plenty of effective home remedies to help you feel better. If the sore throat doesn’t go away within a week, contact your doctor — you may need prescription medication to feel better.