Sore throats can be really painful and some medicines may just be masking the pain not resolving it.
A sore throat occurs as part of the body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections.
The natural immune response leads to inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the throat.
However, several natural remedies may provide relief, including some that are supported by scientific evidence.
1. Drink cold liquids.
Just as icing a sprained ankle can dull the pain and prevent swelling, drinking icy liquids can both numb your throat and calm some of the inflammation that’s causing you pain.
2. Gargle with salt water.
Saltwater can calm inflammation by knocking down the kind of acidity that leads to throat irritation. It may also help draw infections or irritants to the surface of your throat, where your body is better able to deal with them.
Gargle every hour or two.
3. Skip acidic foods.
Acid reflux is a common cause of a sore throat. Avoid soda, fried foods, and citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Also, skip food altogether for an hour before bed. Eating before you lie down can promote reflux.
4. Swallow antacids.
If you think reflux is to blame for your sore throat, taking antacids or other reflux medicines could help knock out your pain at its source.
5. Use Ibuprofen
Ibuprofen can ease swelling and irritation, so it can help put a stop to the coughing and throat-clearing that prevents your sore throat from healing.
Just be sure to take your ibuprofen with food, and follow the dosing instructions on the label.
6. Apple cider vinega
Apple cider vinegar is a natural health tonic. It has been a staple in folk medicine remedies for centuries. Its main active ingredient, acetic acid, helps fight bacteria.
The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, prescribed a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey, called oxymel, to treat flu symptoms, such as coughs and sore throats (9).
To help relieve throat pain, drink 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon (tbsp) of apple cider vinegar and 1 optional tbsp of honey.
The possible risks of apple cider vinegar include tooth decay and digestive problems. Learn more here.
People can find apple cider vinegar in supermarkets, health stores, and online.
Gargling with salt water is a well-known natural remedy to get rid of a sore throat.
The salt helps reduce swelling by pulling water out of the throat tissue. It may also help kill harmful microbes in the throat.
Combine 1 cup of warm water with 1 tsp of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds once per hour.