All this weather flip-flopping we’ve been having in SoCal lately is enough to make even the most resilient person sick. From humid and hot muggy days to chilly bone-dry nights, rainy days to sunny days to rainy days again, the body just has a hard time adapting to all these fluctuations.
One of the first signs of catching a cold for many is a dry scratchy throat that steadily becomes more and more tender throughout the day. Before you know it, you have a full-blown sore throat with redness, inflammation, and the all too familiar pain that makes it uncomfortable to swallow and difficult to sleep at night.
It’s all too easy to reach for over the counter meds, but before you do that I want to share with you a few sore throat remedies that soothe pain and help relieve symptoms fast. These are simple to make (most don’t even require a recipe!) and will have you feeling better in no time.
Easy Sore Throat Remedies
This is one of my favorite sore throat remedies because it’s so soothing AND you get to actually eat something without too much discomfort. I always have frozen fruit like mango, peaches, berries, etc. for smoothies and oatmeal but they also make the perfect “lozenges” for sore throats!
Using fresh ginger to make a sore throat tea is best and it’s usually what I use but if you don’t have fresh ginger lying around you can pick up a box of ginger tea or even this crystallized ginger and honey tea to achieve the same results.
Ginger’s warming qualities help soothe pain and bring down inflammation and the nice thing is, you can drink it all day long. I like it best sipped hot as the heat from the tea will encourage your immune system to help fight infection. You can read more about the amazing benefits of ginger here.
Fresh Ginger Tea Recipe
To make fresh ginger tea simply peel the skin from a 1-inch piece of ginger and chop it finely. Add it to your favorite mug and pour boiling water over it. Steep covered for 10 minutes and sip slowly while the tea is still comfortably hot for best results.
Adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to each ear will help aid your immune system while it fights off germs and infection. While this remedy won’t necessarily stop sore throat pain, it will definitely help you get over a cold faster! Also, the inner ear is closely connected to our throats which makes this a perfect remedy for throat pain and infection.
Add 3-5 drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your ear and keep your head tilted. You will feel the peroxide bubble as it gets to work killing germs and bacteria. Keep the drops in your ear until the bubbling stops and then tilt your head over a cloth or paper towel to catch the liquid. Repeat in the other ear. Do this twice a day until cold symptoms are gone.
Lemon or Lime Water
Drinking water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime will help cleanse the throat and tonsils while you stay hydrated. It will also moisten tissues and mucous membranes and offer a simple remedy for sinus and lung congestion during cold and flu.
You can read more about the amazing benefits of lemon water here.
Licorice tea is an excellent antiviral and anti-inflammatory that also coats the throat. This coating action will moisten and soothe reddened and irritated tissues of the throat and will also soothe the digestive system.
I like to keep this licorice tea on hand for easy use. Drink 2-3 cups a day.
Marshmallow root is a demulcent herb that helps coat and moisten inflamed and irritated tissues. If you have a sore throat that stems from dryness, then this is an excellent tea to help restore moisture and reduce discomfort.
This is one of my favorite marshmallow root teas to keep on hand. Drink 2-3 cups a day.
Using a neti pot to rinse your sinuses is another great remedy for sore throats that stem from dryness or an abrupt change in humidity. The salts used in the nasal rinse help tone and restore parched tissues while killing germs and bacteria and rinsing away congestion.
If your throat is soothed by cold then try peppermint tea. Its cooling properties will help reduce pain and relieve inflammation in the throat. Peppermint is also great for relieving head and sinus pain/pressure associated with congestion.
This is one of my favorite peppermint teas. Drink as often as you like!
Taking raw honey by the spoonful will coat the throat, soothe inflammation, and kill bacteria. I will often mix 1-2 drops of peppermint or myrrh essential oil into the honey for added antibacterial and pain relieving benefits. You can also mix raw honey into your tea for the same effect.
Salt and Essential Oils
Mixing sea salt in a bit of warm water is a tried and true remedy for sore throat for a reason! Gargling with this simple and unassuming remedy tones tissues, restores moisture, reduces pain, and cleanses the throat and tonsils of germs and bacteria.
Adding essential oils to the salt before adding warm water will amplify the effect you need. Simply add 2-3 drops of essential oil (unless stated otherwise) to 2-3 tsp of sea salt or Himalayan salt before adding water.
Some of my favorite essential oils to use for sore throat include:
• Eucalyptus – The cooling properties of eucalyptus essential oil will soothe soreness while its volatile oils increase moisture in the sinuses. This is a great oil to use for sore throats caused by dryness.
• Wintergreen – This is a powerful essential oil for relieving pain due to its methyl salicylate content. Its cooling nature will soothe pain and bring down inflammation. Use just 1 drop.
• Myrrh – Myrrh essential oil is a popular addition to many oral care products because of its amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is also an excellent pain reliever.
• Peppermint – Use peppermint essential oil to cool red and inflamed tissues of the throat that are soothed by cold.
Sage is an excellent pain reliever (due to its phenolic acids) when it comes to sore throat and is especially useful as a gargle for this purpose. Its astringent qualities will help reduce inflammation by tightening and toning swollen tissues. Taken internally, sage can also help reduce fever and can even improve symptoms of asthma!
I will often brew up some sage tea and keep it handy near the sink during a sore throat for quick relief. You can gargle it warm or at room temperature as often as you like. Sage is so useful for sore throats that it’s actually the main ingredient in this amazing sore throat spray (which is a must-have in my medicine cabinet).
Slippery Elm Lozenges
Making your own slippery elm lozenges or picking them up at your local health food store is a great way to soothe a sore throat while on the go. Slippery elm is demulcent in nature meaning that it will coat and moisten tissues including those of the throat, sinus, and digestive tract.
Olba’s Cough Drops
These Olba’s Cough Drops are probably some of the best cough drops I’ve ever used! The essential oil blend in these are potent and both cooling and warming in nature which makes them perfect for soothing sore throats, easing cough, and relieving pain. I’m never without these and my husband loves them for cold and flu prevention at the office.
What have been your best sore throat remedies? Please let me know in the comments!
Be sure to check out these other posts on the best sore throat remedies below:
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