Sore throats are not fun. No one wants to cringe every single time they swallow.
A common sore throat is caused by a viral infection and will go away eventually – but while you’re waiting, there are things you could do to ease the pain.
Here are 10 of the most effective ways to heal your sore throat.
1. Soup Broth
Traditional soups might be hard on a sore throat, but a warm (not hot) broth can soothe the throat and go down easy.
2. Throat lozenges or cough drops
These stimulate saliva production which coats the throat and keeps it moist, easing sore throat pain on contact.
3. Salt water gargle
Mix one teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Gargle the mixture for 15 to 30 seconds, then spit it out. Add one half-teaspoon baking soda with the salt water to kill bacteria as well.
4. Tea with honey
Combine the soothing capabilities of honey with the warmness of tea to ease your throat discomfort. Chamomile tea is preferred – one, for taste, and two, for it's astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. Add some lemon juice to your tea for an extra kick of vitamin C.
5. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
These over-the-counter medications can reduce throat pain. Ask your doctor about these medications first if you have high blood pressure or any heart condition.
6. Licorice root
Mixed with water to create a gargle solution, licorice root has been seen to soothe throats and reduce coughing – look into making licorice root tea!
7. Sage and Echinacea
According to one study, Echinacea/sage spray was just as effective at soothing a sore throat as traditional over-the-counter throat sprays. Seen as a bit more of a preventative supplement, echinacea (by itself) can still be useful in treating your cough from the inside out – helping break up mucousy coughs and is a remedy for sore throats and even a runny nose.
8. Marshmallow root
A 2005 study found that an herbal cough syrup containing marshmallow root was effective in treating coughs due to colds and bronchitis.
9. Apple cider vinegar
While not the most pleasant way, but a tablespoon can help. It contains acetic acids, which research shows are antimicrobial, meaning it kills pathogens that cause infections leading to a cough.
10. Essential oils
Certain natural oils, like those of nutmeg, bergamot, and cypress, all contain camphene, which has a cooling, refreshing effect.