With the beautiful changing colors of the leaves comes something much less lovely – sore throats resulting from seasonal allergies or the common cold. Throat lozenges have their place, but what can you turn to when they just don’t cut it? Look below for some tried and true home remedies to soothe your sore throat. As always, though, if your throat pain doesn’t subside in a few days, it’s best to make an appointment to see your doctor.
Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
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These home remedies for a sore throat are not meant to be medical advice. As mentioned above, see your doctor if your throat does not feel better after a few days, or if it is incredibly painful or accompanied by a high fever.
- Honey and lemon. This combination is effective and tastes great! Honey has antibacterial properties and local honey may even help decrease your seasonal allergies. Keep in mind that honey is only safe for children older than a year, so do not use this remedy with your infant. The citric acid in lemon helps break up mucus, as well as give you a boost of vitamin C.
- Salt water. Gargling with salt water is the remedy passed down by most of our grandparents, and for good reason – it works! Dissolve ½ a teaspoon or so of table salt into a cup of warm water, and gargle for 30 seconds or so. You can do this several times a day to relieve pain and inflammation.
- Baking soda. Baking soda has many uses, from baking to cleaning. It can also help decrease your throat pain! Dissolve ½ a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt into a cup of warm water, and gargle. Bonus – this recipe will also help freshen your breath!
- Apple cider vinegar is another one of those household items that has many purposes. It has antibacterial properties that will help rinse away anything lurking in your throat. Mix a tablespoon or so with warm water and a tablespoon of honey, and drink the mixture. If you just can’t quite handle the taste, you can gargle with it instead.
- Avoid dairy. Ice cream may seem like just the thing to ease throat pain, but it can actually make it worse. Dairy products increase mucus production, and extra mucus in the throat causes irritation. If something cold on your throat sounds good, stick with a dairy-free all-fruit popsicle or good old ice water.
- Get comfortable with the Neti Pot. One of my go-to items during the fall and winter months is the Neti Pot – a nasal irrigation system that cleans out your sinuses. I take the easy route and purchase the saline packets from my local drugstore. Warm distilled water (it is best not to use tap water due to the bacteria) slightly warmer than room temperature, dissolve the packet, and using the Neti Pot, rinse out your sinus cavity. I have allergies and find that if I stay on top of using my Neti Pot, I am able to keep my sore throats at bay by decreasing post-nasal drip. If you’re not thrilled with the pot idea, try the squirt bottle or even just regular saline spray.
- Turn to tea. Traditional Medicinal’s Throat Coat tea or Yogi’s Throat Comfort tea are both good options if you’re looking for something quick. Both feature licorice root (which has an anti-allergenic effect) and wild cherry bark (which has an anti-inflammatory effect).
This particular home remedy mixes a couple of the above with a bit of spice! Check it out!
Give one or all of these remedies a try, and let us know what works best for you. One last time, though, if it gets really bad and you can’t soothe it naturally, please see your doctor!