Having sore throat can be a huge hassle.
It can be so painful that you wouldn’t want to wish it on your worst enemy. And because it can strike anyone anytime, you need to know how to combat it using the most natural means possible.
If you want to know how you can get rid of a sore throat fast, here are 10 herbal remedies that are worth remembering.
And the best part is…
You won’t have to spend a single cent on sore throat medicine again.
- 1 The Salt Water Gargle
- 2 The Baking Soda Gargle
- 3 The Hot Toddy
- 4 The Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
- 5 The Cayenne Shocker
- 6 The Marshmallow Root Tea
- 7 The Licorice Root Tea
- 8 The Garlic Clove
- 9 The Clove Trick
- 10 Herbal Gargle, Teas and Infusions
The Salt Water Gargle
Remember when you’re grandmother used to tell you to gargle with salt water whenever you start to get that tickle in your throat? It may seem old fashioned, but it’s one of the fastest sore throat cures there is. It isn’t just an old wives’ tale. There’s actually some science involved in it.
Your throat hurts because the mucus membrane swells up and becomes inflamed. Salt water then soothes your pain by decreasing the swelling. Salt has this quality that draw out water from cells. When salt water comes into contact with your mucus membranes, your cells shrink and the swelling subsides. Talk about a quick remedy that you can easily make yourself, no matter where you are.
The Baking Soda Gargle
Another unlikely ingredient makes the list! Baking soda is often touted as a straightforward way to cleaning up just about anything and everything around your house, but who thought it can also be an effective sore throat remedy? We all know that baking soda has amazing antibacterial properties, but only a few know that it can also soothe and cure a sore throat.
So how do you use baking soda to cure a sore throat exactly? Well, by turning it into a simple gargle. Just heat a bit of water and add half a teaspoon of baking soda and half a teaspoon of salt into it. Let it sit for a while until it’s bearably warm and use it as a gargle. Do this 2-3 times a day for three days and your sore throat, and all traces of it, will disappear like magic.
The Hot Toddy
The hot toddy is another senior citizen favorite.
This lemon, honey, and alcohol mixture is one of the most effective ways to soothe your throat, and give you a good night’s sleep at the same time. You don’t have to go all out on the alcohol, because unless you want to turn your sick day into an all-out party, a splash of good quality whiskey or bourbon will do.
So how do you prepare a hot toddy? It is pretty simple. Just pour an ounce of alcohol in your favourite mug, add a squeeze of organic honey, and top off with some hot water. Stir the solution well until the honey is melted. Squeeze half a lemon into your mug and stir well. You can also add a couple of slices of lemon for a major boost of vitamin C.
Now you can snuggle up to your mug, have a drink, and wait until your sore throat disappears.
The Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
Taking a swig of alcohol with your warm drink just isn’t your thing? Then you can always rely on an herbal favorite – Apple Cider Vinegar.
While ACV may seem like an unlikely ingredient for your get well drink, it’s one of the most potent ingredients that Mother Nature has in store for you. It’s high acidic content can kill bacteria quick, giving you instant relief.
Plus it’s pretty simple to make. Just mix 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water and voila! Fast relief! Want to sweeten up the deal? You can always add a tablespoon of honey (or two!) to your drink. Now that should help you get this drink down faster!
The Cayenne Shocker
Love spicy food? If you find yourself constantly battling sore throat, then this might just be the perfect solution for you! Cayenne is one of those unconventional ingredients that can actually make you feel better when you’re feeling under the weather. It may seem counter-intuitive, but with cayenne’s capsaicin compound, cayenne might as well be your go to solution for sore throat.
Simply add ½ teaspoon of organic cayenne powder to a mug of boiling water. Stir honey into the mix and you’ve got yourself a sweet spicy drink that will quickly numb the pain of a swollen throat.
As effective as this herbal remedy is, make sure that you don’t go overboard on the cayenne. Remember, you want to soothe your throat, not burn it.
The Marshmallow Root Tea
When it comes to sore throat remedies, one of the most common questions out there is: Can you really cure sore throat with a marshmallow?
Well, it’s yes AND no. Yes, if you’re talking about the marshmallow root. No, if you’re thinking about that fluffy white goodness we all love to eat on camping trips. Marshmallow root contains mucilage, a compound that helps coat and protect the mucus membranes from infection.
To make a quick sore throat remedy, just add a tablespoon of dried marshmallow root into a mug of hot water. Now cover the mug and let the herbs steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Remember to strain the mixture before drinking. If you’re diabetic, you might want to look at other herbal remedies as marshmallow root is known to lower blood sugar levels fast.
The Licorice Root Tea
Since we’re already on the subject of herbal roots, another root to watch out for is the licorice root. Licorice root is an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory herb that can do wonders on your throat’s infection and swelling. While it’s relatively easy to get a hold of pre-made licorice root tea, you can always make your own if you’re serious about taking the all-natural route.
For those who prefer to make licorice root tea on their own, all you have to do is mix 1 cup of dry licorice root, ½ cup chamomile flowers, ½ cup of cinnamon bark, and 2 tablespoons of whole cloves in a bowl. When all the ingredients are mixed, just add 3 tablespoons of your homemade tea mix in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring the herbal tea to a boil, lower the temperature, and allow the tea to simmer for 10 minutes. Make sure to pour the tea through a strainer before you sip and enjoy.
The Garlic Clove
As repulsive as the idea may seem, sucking on a garlic clove might just be your ticket to good health and a clear throat. Garlic contains a chemical compound called allicin that can instantly kill the type of bacteria that causes strep throat.
Peel a garlic clove and suck on it like you would a cough drop. Once you get more used to the taste, make sure that you crush it with your teeth slowly. This will release all the allicin goodness that will kill bacteria at its tracks.
The Clove Trick
Cloves are a common ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. While not a common ingredient you’ll find in stores, this herb is great to keep around the house for its anaesthetic property. It’s also an effective antibacterial that will quickly kill off infections in your mouth and throat.
So how do you make the most out of cloves exactly? By chewing on them and washing it down with some water. Well, that’s how simple it really is. Just make sure that you don’t swallow the cloves when you’re done because ingestion can lead to a major bout of indigestion.
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 2 oz. 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 herbal teas and 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 sore throat in the first place can be done by frequent hand washing, oral hygiene, and keeping the immune system strong.