It’s flu season — and you know what that means. A hefty percentage of the population is snuggled at home, battling chills, a fever, congested lungs, and a sore throat.
Clearly, being sick sucks. But before you reach for prescribed medications, perhaps try natural remedies to provide relief. After all, pharmaceutical drugs may alleviate symptoms, but they do not remedy the actual problem. Natural cures, on the other hand, work with the body to boost the immune system and, as a result, make you stronger once healed.
If you or someone you know is overcoming a sore throat, try a combination of the following 21 natural remedies to cure the symptom — fast.
1) Salt Water Gargle
The second after you notice symptoms of a sore throat, gargle with salt water. This combination is beneficial at stopping bacterial infections.
As The Hearty Soul reports, salt at high concentrations kills off the microbes and, due to the presence of salt, makes your throat a less hospitable environment to them. Because salt is anti-inflammatory, drawing water out of the tissues, it can also provide some pain relief.
For this remedy: Add one teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt to one cup of warmed drinking water. Stir, then gargle thoroughly by titling your head backward and bathing your throat with the solution. Repeat this as often as possible.
2) Basil Leaves
Basil leaves aren’t just tasty — they’re also medicinal! An infusion of culinary basil leaves in warm water reduces cold symptom, including a cough and sore through. Ocimum sanctum (holy basil) is more effective than traditional basil, but can be hard to get.
For this remedy: Steep a handful of basil leaves in warm water for 30 minutes and drink the infusion.
3) Honey + Lemon
This common remedy can soothe a nighttime cough while boosting your immune system. The lemon changes the pH balance of the throat temporarily, making it less hospitable to bacteria. Because honey is hypertonic, it draws out excess fluid from inflamed tissues.
For this remedy: Add one tablespoon of honey and the juice of half a lemon to a cup of warm water. Sip this drink periodically throughout the day. To make it even more medicinal, add a dash of cayenne.
4) Chew on Garlic
The idea of chewing garlic probably sounds disgusting, but it is very beneficial for sore throats. This is because garlic is antimicrobial and is effective against viral and yeast infections.
For this remedy: Chew on a skinned organic garlic clove for 3-5 minutes at a time to relieve sore throat pain. You only need one or two cloves per day to experience relief.
5) Chamomile Tea
That’s right — chamomile tea isn’t just delicious and a great aid for sleeping, it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it is very useful in relieving throat pain. The tea will also make you feel less irritable.
For this remedy: Boil one cup of water and pour it over 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile buds in a bowl. Keep covered for 10-15 minutes, filter out the tea, then serve with raw honey or as-is. If you are using fresh flowers (rather than dried buds), be sure to double the quantity.
6) Sage Tea
Ahhh, there’s nothing as soothing as tea when you’re sick. If chamomile is not for you, consider making sage leaf tea or infused water. This herb is great for relieving a sore throat because it has antiseptic and astringent qualities. You can also gargle with sage water for a preemptive treatment against the cold.
For this remedy: Add boiling hot water over one tablespoon of dried sage leaves. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Drain the mixture, allow it to cool, and gargle with it 3-4 times per day. Alternatively, you may serve it as a hot tea with fresh lemon and raw honey.
7) Cayenne Pepper + Honey
As noted above, honey is very medicinal because it reduces inflammation by drawing water out of swollen tissues. Cayenne pepper is a medicinal spice because the capsaicin acts as a pain reliever by blocking the Substance P, which transmits sensations of pain to the brain.
For this remedy: Add half a squeezed lemon and two dashes of cayenne to one cup of room temperature water. Drink this mixture 3-4 times throughout the day.
8) Fennel Tea + Honey
As The Hearty Soul notes, many natural remedies are too strong for young children to stomach. This remedy is not. Fennel or sweet anise has a mild, sweet flavor and is often used to soothe colic in babies. It also has a medicinal effect when used to receive a sore throat.
For this remedy: Boil 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in one cup of water for 5 minutes. Allow to cool, then gargle with the mixture or drink it warm. Add raw honey to make it more appealing to kids.
9) Organic Ice Pops
One of the body’s defense mechanisms when sick is to prioritize healing, not digestion. As a result, it is not uncommon to feel a loss of appetite. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an appetite for ice pops!
For this remedy: Make ice pops with fresh juice and herbal tea, then freeze. Give someone who is sick the sweet treat to suck on, and their throat will feel much better in no time.
10) Shallots + Honey
Shallots, which are a small-sized, mild-flavored onion, have many medicinal properties. When combined with raw honey or rock sugar, they are an exceptional sore throat remedy.
For this remedy: Slice the shallots very thin, then steep in an equal amount of honey. Stir well to form a sauce. Allow to infuse for 1-3 hours. Eat half a teaspoon at a time several times a day.
11) Clove Oil Gargle
Clove oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties and, as such, is very beneficial at relieving a sore throat.
For this remedy: Add 5-6 drops of clove oil to one cup of warm water; use it as a throat gargle 3-4 times per day. You can also spray this mixture directly onto the throat, as well.
12) Marshmallow Root
Don’t be fooled — we’re not recommending sickly sweet marshmallows. Rather, it is suggested you use the roots of the marshmallow plant to find relief from a sore throat. The leaves and roots of the marshmallow plant (which are part of the hibiscus family) have large amounts of mucilage which can relieve a sore throat and cough. You can use the root to make jelly-like candy that is appealing to children and adults.
For the remedy: Following the ratio 1 teaspoon of dried roots or powder to one ounce of water, make a tea and boil it for 5 minutes. After draining the tea, drink it 2-3 times per day.
13) Licorice Root Tea
This tea is amazing at relieving a sore throat. This is because licorice (which is very medicinal, yet is rarely found in candies) is antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. It is recommended you buy dried licorice root from a health food store and boil it in water to make your own tea.
For this remedy: Boil 1 teaspoon of root sections in 1 cup of water for 3 minutes. Sip this concoction throughout the day, as often as needed.
Echinacea is a well-known remedy for the cold and flu. This is because it builds up the immune system and wards off colds. Most importantly, it reduces the severity of symptoms.
For this remedy: Makes our own herbal tea with dried flower buds and boiling water. You can also prepare a tincture by steeping the flower buds in alcohol. Drink the tea with freshly-squeezed lemon, or spray the tincture on the back of the throat for relief.
15) Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to distinct cuts and wounds, but it has a number of uses. One of them is to relieve a sore throat!
Hydrogen peroxide is used to disinfect cuts and wounds. This is because the bubbling action releases oxygen, which kills off anaerobic bacteria that are responsible for many illnesses.
For this remedy: Use 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (available at any store) diluted with equal amounts of water. Use this mixture as a throat gargle to relieve a sore throat. Important: do not swallow.
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