Sore throat, also called pharyngitis, is a very common ailment that can affect any people of any age. It is often associated with common cold or flu, but it also can be caused by other factors, such as bacterial infections, tonsillitis, allergies, or even reflux.
Most sore throats go away in several days with adequate rest and fluid intake, but the more serious infections may require medical attention.
While it is not a serious health problem, but sore throat can be quite painful and can cause discomfort when swallowing or talking. Luckily, there are some natural remedies that can help to relieve the sore throat and get rid of the infection quickly.
1. Salt water
Salt water is one of the best remedies for sore throat. It acts as an antiseptic which helps to draw water out of mucous membranes in the throat. This cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation and gives you instant relief.
Take one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and then gargle the solution. Do not swallow the water as you need to spit the water out after gargling. Do it at least four times a day to improve the condition of your throat.
Honey has long been used to soothe a sore throat. It has antibacterial properties, which can fight off infection. It also acts as a hypertonic osmotic, which means that it draws water out of inflamed tissue, thus reducing the swelling and discomfort.
Add one to two tablespoon of honey to one cup of hot water and drink it several times a day. For best results, take one teaspoon of honey before going to bed as it will give you soothing relief and help you get a better night’s sleep.
3. Slippery elm
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a thick, glutinous substance, that swells when it is mixed with water. The mucilage is thought to soothe sore throat and reduce throat irritation. Take one teaspoon of the inner bark of slippery elm and add it to two cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep for a few minutes, and then strain the solution and drink it slowly while it is still warm. If this herb is not available, you can also buy slippery elm in capsule form from any medical store.
4. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root has long been used as an herbal remedy for cough, cold, and sore throat. Like slippery elm, marshmallow contains mucilage and hence it can also be used in the treatment of sore throat. Herbalists recommend marshmallow root tea as a remedy for sore throats. It is usually made by adding one tablespoon of the dried marshmallow root to a cup of boiling water and steeping it for about half an hour. It is suggested to have at least 3 three cups a day for a sore throat.
5. Apple cider vinegar
A gargle made from apple cider vinegar and water can also be used to soothe a sore throat. To make the gargle solution, add a half cup of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water and use it to gargle several times a day.
Garlic is also known to relieve a sore throat as it has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Take a fresh garlic clove, cut it into half and then suck the pieces. Alternatively you can use garlic tea. To make the tea, steeping several cloves of garlic in half a cup of water overnight, and drink it in the next morning. If you do not like garlic taste, you can take garlic pills.
Lemon is another excellent natural remedy for sore throat. Lemon is rich in vitamin C which can help boost immune system and fight off infection. Just suck on a fresh lemon or gargle with freshly pressed lemon juice diluted with equal amount of warm water. You may also try hot lemonade with honey. Most people find the mixture to be very effective in relieving sore throat. To make the lemonade, add the juice of half a piece of lemon and one tablespoon of honey to one cup of warm water and sip it slowly.
8. Ginger tea
You can also use ginger tea to get relief from sore throat. To make ginger tea, prepare about two tablespoons of ginger root and peel off the skin. Then put the ginger root in a glass of hot water and let it steep for about 15 minutes, and then drink it while it’s still warm.