6 Amazingly Effective Natural Sore Throat Remedies
Sore throats are one of the most common and frustrating medical ailments afflicting patients of all ages. The National Institutes of Health note that sore throats are most frequently caused by viruses, meaning that they cannot be cured through medications. The disruptive and pesky symptoms can, however, be treated and subdued using a variety of natural remedies at home.
Try any of these six natural treatments to soothe your sore throat today.
How’s this for a breath of fresh air? The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that, in addition to its other therapeutic properties, peppermint is a calming agent for sore throats and painful coughs. This is because it contains the active agent menthol, which acts as a decongestant and cough suppressant. The American Cancer Society observes that peppermint oil may help reduce esophageal spasms, and it is often used as an active ingredient in throat-relief sprays.
Salt water gargle
A 2005 randomized trial in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine recruited 400 healthy volunteers, tracking the subjects’ health over 60 days during peak cold and flu season. Some of these subjects were instructed to gargle with salt water three times per day; others were not given this instruction. Upon the study’s end, the group who had regularly gargled had a 40 decrease in respiratory tract infections compared with those who had not gargled. When the subjects who regularly gargled did end up reporting respiratory inflammations, they noted that the gargle noticeably subdued their symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic recommends a ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water.
Comcast News suggests that unpasteurized honey is a safe and completely organic substance containing various antiviral and antibacterial compounds, citing research at the University of Amsterdam that concluded one tablespoon of honey twice a day can destroy up to 100 percent of the sore throat-causing germs inhabiting your esophagus in as little as 48 hours. An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Pediatrics (JAMA Pediatrics) indicates that honey provided symptomatic relief for cough and respiratory ailments in children.
Take advantage of this sweet treat’s benefits by enjoying some in your tea, in hot water, or right off the spoon!
Licorice has been used as a natural remedy for various ailments throughout much of history. In recent years, the root’s medicinal effects on the throat — especially in post-operative scenarios — have been scientifically proven. The natural ingredient is already used in a variety of cough suppressants, and a 2009 study published by the International Anesthesia Research Society concluded that gargling with licorice extract helped mitigate soreness in patients’ throats following tracheal procedures.
The herb echinacea has been used for medicinal purposes throughout history, in particular by Native Americans, who used it as a “cure-all” substance for around 400 years. A 2009 study in the European Journal of Medical Research demonstrated that using this herb in conjunction with sage was as effective in treating acute sore throats as the commercially marketed chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray therapies.
The National Institutes of Health reference further studies that deemed the substance helpful in reducing the severity and duration of tonsillitis and related throat inflammations.
This ingredient may be a bit smelly, but it seems to do the trick when it comes to battling a sore throat. Benjamin Asher, one of America’s top physicians as rated by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, testifies to garlic’s antimicrobial properties, noting that further studies are still being carried out to identify the source of its effectiveness.
Real Simple attributes garlic’s healing effects to a compound called allicin, which aids in fighting inflammations in the throat. Try crushing up 1 to 2 garlic cloves and eating them on a cracker when you’re feeling under the weather.