Sore throats can be a real pain, both literally and figuratively. And because they often accompany colds and flus that are prevalent during hot and humid seasons, they’re especially common in wet and sunny Singapore.
While most sore throats get better in about a week, there are ways of speeding up the recovery process – or at least, get some much-needed relief from the constant pain and hoarseness. These are some natural remedies for relieving nasty sore throats.
Honey is possibly the most common home remedy for sore throats, and for good reason. It’s soothing, good for health, tastes great and can be taken in a variety of ways – such as mixed with warm water, hot tea, apple cider vinegar, or straight from a spoon! Just avoid using metal spoons when scooping honey, as metal destroys many of its natural properties.
Gargle salt water
Salt is a known bacteria-killer and gargling with salt water can be helpful in two ways – for killing bacteria and loosening mucus in the throat. Just mix half a teaspoon of salt with a mouthful of warm water, then gargle and spit out the water when done. Repeat as many times as needed throughout the day.
Enjoy a cup of tea (or a few)
A warm cup of tea can be pleasantly soothing for the throat. For best results, skip the milk and sugar to allow the tea to dry up phlegm in the throat, also relieving it. Chamomile and peppermint teas are good choices because of their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties that can relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the throat.
Apple cider vinegar
While not exactly pleasant tasting (or smelling), apple cider vinegar is known for its antibacterial properties and ability to help the body to fight infections. Its acidic nature also encourages the breaking down of phlegm, a common cause of constant throat clearing (which worsens sore throats). Simply dilute one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of warm water and drink the mixture.
Licorice root is a time-tested, natural remedy for sore throats that’s available in several forms. You can mix it with warm water to use as a gargling solution, or purchase this remedy as a tea or spray. The only caveat is that women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, may want to avoid this and try other sore throat remedies instead.
Perhaps the most immediate way of soothing your throat is with a lozenge. Even better, these tasty treats are easy to carry and require zero preparation – so you can carry some in your pocket and take one when you need instant relief.
For best results, choose lozenges that are made with natural active ingredients such as lysozyme (which is a natural enzyme found in the human body, and can be extracted from eggs).
Taking care of yourself
This should go without saying, but this point is often overlooked in our fast-paced lifestyles. It’s essential to rest well and avoid irritants when you’re recovering from a sore throat, flu or cold. This means getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night, refraining from smoking, and choosing healthy (and non-spicy) food to speed up recovery.