Never experience the pain of a sore throat again when you have these handy hacks at the ready.
There’s nothing worse than going through the day with a sore throat. Every word feels like it's rasping against an open wound and no matter how much water you chug, there’s no relief. This red, raw feeling is down to the fact that a sore throat is simply inflammation. Scratchiness and irritation are usually the first sign of a viral infection like a cold or the flu, but on rare occasions, it could signify a more troublesome bacterial infection such as strep throat.
The good news is that as long as you act quickly, a sore throat is more often than not, very treatable. And even better news, you don’t always have to worry yourself about doctor visits and bulky prescriptions in order to find the cure that works for you.
We’ve depended on natural cures for many millennia and it turns out that a lot of our prehistoric cures still check out and make a lot of sense today. After all, most modern medicine is derived from the chemical compounds we find in our natural world, so why not go straight to the source? Next time you start to feel a tickle in the back of your throat, head to the kitchen and try out some of these home remedies instead of heading to the drug store, and maybe you can knock out the illness before it even has a chance to begin.
1. Sea Salt
Salt is known to kill bacteria so a salt water gargle can be a very effective way to cleanse the hard-to-reach back of your throat. It also helps to loosen up the phlegm and some studies have even shown that it helps prevent future upper respiratory tract infections.
Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of hot (not boiling) water, and stir it to evenly distribute the salt. Take a swig and gargle for 30 seconds. Be sure to spit it out afterwards though, drinking salt water is a very unpleasant experience.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Not for the faint of heart, this cure packs a punch in all departments. Cayenne – like most peppers and chillies – contains capsaicin. This chemical compound is the active part of peppers that makes them spicy and also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
By mixing a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with 1 cup of water and gargling with it, you can start to bring down the inflammation. Be warned that this method should never be used if you have cuts or sores on the inside of your mouth, that would be more pain than gain.
A well-known natural antibacterial agent, honey is a sweet solution to your sore throat woes. Its properties allow it to act as a wound healer, while also offering pain relief thanks to the viscous texture coating the inside of your throat.
If you have a cough to deal with as well as a sore throat honey is a great way to suppress that and treat the infection. Just mix two tablespoons in a glass of warm water or even green tea and drink as often as needed.
(This is not safe for children under the age of two)
4. Raw Garlic
As long as you don’t have any dates planned, this could be a very effective method to relieve the pain of a sore throat as well as treat the underlying bacterial infection. When crushed, garlic released allicin, an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compound.
The most direct method is to chew on the raw garlic clove, but since that takes a pretty strong stomach to master, mincing it into some honey or olive oil could help. It can also be added to other minced vegetables if the taste is really unbearable but the key is to eat it as soon as possible after mincing for the allicin to take effect.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is one ingredient that really held the spotlight as a health food trend and for good reason. The natural acids in vinegar help to kill the bacteria in your throat while simultaneously soothing it.
For a straight-up solution, mix one teaspoon into a glass of water and gargle it for 30 seconds. You can also add it to a saltwater gargle for even more efficacy.