Winter signifies the coming of new weather (at least for those of us that don’t live in perpetually warm states) and the holiday season.
It also brings the perfect breeding environment for germs. Often in the winter, you might wake up with a sore throat that’s the product of a cold or just the result of cool, dry air. But, unless you think it’s something serious, you don’t have to take a trip to the doctor’s office each time you have a small sore throat.
Here are seven quick sore throat remedies that you can whip up in no time, so that you’ll start feeling better as soon as possible.
1. Gargle With Warm Salt Water
When your throat hurts, regardless of the cause, it’s often because the cells in the mucous membranes are swollen and inflamed.
Yeah, it’s a little gross. But gargling salt water helps bring down the swelling because salt naturally draws out water, helping the cell shrink and therefore easing your pain, according to Everyday Roots.
Tip: Don’t use more than have a teaspoon of salt for every cup of warm water. Using too much salt will only risk drying out the healthy tissue in your throat and make things worse.
2. Non-Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
NSAIDs, such as Advil or Aleve, are pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs, so they’ll knock out exactly what makes a sore throat a sore throat, according to Health.
If you have a fever, these kinds of drugs will also help bring that down. But, please do keep in mind that a fever is often associated with strep throat, and if you think you have strep, you shouldn’t hesitate about seeing a doctor.
3. Try Cooling Throat Sprays Or Cough Syrup
Over-the-counter throat sprays like Chloraseptic will cool and soothe your throat. And, the active ingredient, phenol, has antibacterial properties, according to Health. Cough syrups will also help coat your throat and provide temporary relief.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar With Honey
Apple cider vinegar has high levels of acidity that can help kill bacteria, and when you mix it with honey it can help soothe a sore throat. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey and one cup of very warm water, says Everyday Roots.
5. Suck On Garlic
In my opinion, this sounds like a last resort option. But, if you’re really desperate, it sounds like a great remedy.
Garlic contains a compound called allicin, which can kill the bacteria that cause strep and fight against germs that contribute to irritation and pain.
You’ll need one clove of garlic, sliced in half, states Everyday Roots. Then, place each half in each of your cheeks and suck on them like a cough drop. Step three: don’t plan on kissing anyone for at least four days. I kid, but really.
6. Drink Lots Of Fluids
Dr. Jeffrey Linder, an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Health that drinking fluids is crucial to curing a sore throat. It doesn’t have to be only water, though that’s best. You can also drink watered-down fruit juices and watered-down chicken broth.
“Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you’re sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed,” Dr. Linder told Health.
“You should be drinking enough fluid so that your urine is light yellow or clear. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and better able to combat bacteria and irritants like allergens, and makes your body better able to fight back against other cold symptoms.”
7. Marshmallow Root Tea
Marshmallow root has been used for centuries in North America and Europe, according to Everyday Roots. It contains mucilage, which can coat and soothe mucus membranes in your throat.
You’ll need one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root and one cup of boiling water. Let it steep for about 30 to 60 minutes and then drink.