Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Sore Throat

Having a scratchy, dry, and sore throat can be a very daunting experience. What’s worse is that this condition is so common. We are prone to get it on several occasions throughout our lifetime. It occurs even more frequently in children, who would dislike swallowing medicines. Thus, alternative cures that are more palatable than antibiotics are becoming quite popular.

Sore throat is usually caused by bacteria such as the common Strep bacteria. However using too much antibiotics is also not good for the body. Since herbal remedies are relatively cheaper, natural and as effective as antibiotics, the use of such for mild afflictions like sore throat should be practiced. The efficacy and uses of the various herbal remedies for sore throat have been regarded as traditional medicine, but experimental trials and researches on its effects have been well studied too. Thus herbal remedies are both backed by experience and science.

Featured here are some plant-based remedies that can alleviate sore throat fast. The beauty of these herbal remedies as well is that, most of them are just lying around our kitchens and are very easy to prepare.

Herbal Gargle, Teas and Infusions

Gargling is one of the best ways to cure sore throat, especially if the gargle used contains special properties. Generally when we gargle, we loosen up the bacterial aggregation on the throat and flush out some of it. It can also provide relief for scratchy and dry throats. Tea on the other hand can be an inconspicuous and enjoyable way to relieve the condition. One can enjoy their cup of tea with the added benefits for curing sore throat as well. Here are some infusions to put on gargles and teas that are effective against sore throat:

Salt and honey gargle

Salt has very strong osmotic properties. When it comes in contact with liquid, it will take up or absorb some of it. Infusing salt in a gargle will draw moisture from the accumulated mucus and phlegm which coats the bacteria as protection. Honey on the other hand is good in sticking together the bacteria and then taking it out when the gargle is spat out. Honey also has mild antibacterial effects which can kill off the infecting bacteria.

Directions for use:

Dissolve ½ teaspoon of table salt or rock salt in 1 cup water. Add 2 tablespoons honey. Mix well and use for gargle twice a day.

Peppermint / Eucalyptus / Menthol Tea or Gargle

Plants and leaves with cooling effect due to their menthol properties are also good for sore throat. They can soothe the itching or scratchiness. The cool menthol effect can also open up the nasal passages.

Directions for use:

Peppermint or Eucalyptus tea bags are available in the markets. These are advisable to use since the preparation is easy. Just steep the teabags in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes. However, if the tea bags are not accessible, just finely chop up the leaves and boil for around 10 minutes. Strain the leaf dregs and then the liquid can be used as tea or gargle.

Yellow Ginger and Lemon/ Lime gargle and tea

Ginger is a common herb used in Asia because it is very versatile. Ginger has been proven to contain antimicrobial properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Its strong distinct aroma can also loosen up the sinuses for easier mucus clearance. It is best consumed after gargling to maximize effects. Some even make the ginger tea more palatable by adding citrus like lemon or lime in the infusion. Citrus fruits have Vitamin C which will help boost the immune system as well in fighting off the infection.

Directions for use:

Peel off one piece of ginger and cut it into pieces, boil in at least 250 ml of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. If there are any ginger juices that come out on the process of cutting it, add these as well. Once the ginger infused broth is lukewarm, add 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Honey may be added to improve taste.

Lime and Bourbon aka Hot Toddy

This kind of herbal remedy sounds like a bar drink right? If you are a fan of alcoholic drinks or cocktails then you’d definitely love this one. Hot Toddy is a very nice drink infusion for health recuperation. It is a mixture of lime or lemon, honey and whiskey or bourbon. The effects of lemon and lime as well as honey have already been discussed in sections above. With the antibacterial effects and immune booster, whiskey or bourbon adds a soothing or sleeping effect that will help the body recover faster. Precaution in giving this remedy to children must be noted though.

Directions for use:

Mix together 2oz of whiskey or bourbon, 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 4 oz warm water. Mix thoroughly and enjoy.

Marshmallow Root Gargle

It’s not the soft and sweet marshmallows you are thinking of made into tea. The plant marshmallow root or Alathaea “mountain herb” as it is more commonly known, has been used as an herbal remedy since the time of the ancient Greeks. It is normally used for skin abscesses and inflammation as well as cough. The plant naturally contains mucilage that coats the bacteria making it easier for expulsion from phlegm. It also reduces inflammation and covers the abscesses in the throat.

Directions for use:

It is not advisable to make a tea out of it as the taste may be too bitter. Prior to usage, the plant leaves and root must be dried first. You can do this by exposing the leaves and roots out in the sun for a day, or drying it in an oven. Dried leaves and roots may be available in traditional medicine stores already. Just infuse the dried leaves and roots in one cup of boiling water. Let the leaves steep for about an hour. Strain out the mixture and use the broth for gargling.

Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

It may sound unappealing due to its sour taste, but apple cider is good against sore throat because of its natural acidity. Apple cider vinegar is one of those natural and safe acids that is effective in killing off the infecting bacteria. Addition of honey can improve the taste.

Directions for use:

Mix in 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of honey in 1 cup of warm water and drink.

Concocting these herbal infusions and gargles can make one feel like a potions master or a Maester a la Game of Thrones, your patients might as well be very impressed too. It is amazing indeed how homeopathic remedies like these are as effective as prescription drugs. Not to mention that they are cheap, accessible and all-natural. There are many more herbal remedies that can be used, and that is the beauty of herbal medicine. You can mix and match to achieve the perfect concoction for you, with the best harmonious effects to alleviate the infection or condition.

Lastly, aside from these infusions, lots of water and lots of rest are also necessary to help the body recuperate faster. Food intake should also be followed quite strictly. As much as possible, avoid foods that can be potential irritants to your throat such as spicy foods, “hairy” foods like mango and pineapples. Consume foods that are easy to swallow such as broth, soup or noodles. And lastly, prevention of acquiring sore throat can be done by frequent hand washing, oral hygiene, and keeping the immune system strong.

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