A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious (like strep throat).
Over the past few decades, there has been a rise in bacteria capable of resisting modern antibiotics, the result of which has been potentially dangerous and even deadly infections.
The overuse of antibiotics can contribute to resistant bacteria, so doctors now ask patients to think twice about asking for prescriptions. Sore throats, for example, are often caused by viral, not bacterial infections. That means antibiotics won’t help. Here are some natural solutions, however, that may make you feel better.
Honey: Mixed in tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Studies have confirmed that this natural wonder works. Honey is even more effective at taming night-time coughs than common cough suppressants. Studies have also shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats.
Marshmallow root: Marshmallow root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes a sore throat. Simply add some of the dried root to a cup of boiling water to make tea, sipping the tea two to three times a day may help ease throat pain. Research has found that marshmallow solutions can help soothe irritated mucous membranes.
Saltwater gargle: Several studies have found that gargling several times a day with warm salt water can reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria. Doctors generally recommend dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. If the salty taste is too unpleasant for you, try adding a small amount of honey to sweeten the mixture slightly (remember to spit the water out after gargling, rather than swallowing).
Slippery Elm: Slippery Elm has long been a traditional remedy for sore throat, it relieves coughs and sore throats. Slippery elm has a mucus-like substance in it. When mixed with water, this substance forms a slick gel that coats and soothes, to use, pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You may also find slippery elm lozenges that will help.
Fluids: Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you’re sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed, 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. What you drink is up to you, water always works (ice cubes, too!), but you can also change it up with something slightly sugary, like a watered-down fruit juice, or something salty.
Peppermint: Peppermint has menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may help encourage healing.
Licorice root: Licorice root has long been used to treat sore throats, and recent research shows it is effective when mixed with water to create a gargle solution. It soothed patients’ throats and diminished coughing.