Battling a sore throat is no fun. Fight that scratchy, uncomfortable feeling with these seven natural sore throat remedies.
Whether it’s a sore throat, a common cold or runny nose, one thing we know for sure when we’re sick is that our immune system is struggling. When our immune system is in tip-top shape, our body can fight off these viruses with ease.
The following natural remedies don’t just treat a sore throat. They also boost immunity so that your body can fight infection and heal itself. That way, you’ll stop getting sick in the first place!
Cure a sore throat with these seven natural remedies that kill viruses and bacteria while supporting a healthy immune system.
1. Gargle with Salt Water
The pain of a sore throat comes from inflammation. Specifically, you’re feeling the inflamed mucous membranes in your throat.
Gargling salt water helps decrease that painful inflammation in two ways. First, gargling a saltwater solution draws out excess fluid in an inflamed throat. Additionally, it can help remove mucus where allergens, bacteria and fungi might be forming in the throat.
For an extra boost, try adding birch xylitol, which kills off bacterial biofilm, a mucus film where bacteria thrive. (2) Simply add a teaspoon to your gargling solution.
2. Get Plenty of Probiotics
Some sore throats are caused by bacteria. (3) While antibiotics might help in this case, you might find major relief by consuming lots of healthy probiotics.
The best option is drinking a hydrating coconut kefir, as it’s loaded with beneficial bacteria. Avoid dairy kefir (and dairy in general) as it can actually create more mucus — not what you’re looking for when you’re battling a sore throat!
You can also eat fermented veggies, drink kombucha, or take probiotic pills for an extra boost.
3. Try an Antiviral Diet
If your sore throat is caused by a virus, then antibiotics won’t help. However, both viral and bacterial sore throats can be improved by your removing certain foods that feed bacteria and viruses. The main food source for both is sugar.
In addition to removing all forms of sugar from your diet (fruit included), you might want to avoid other common allergens, such as gluten, corn, soy, eggs, nuts and seeds. Instead, opt for extra servings of bone broth, veggie soups and fermented foods for the next few days.
4. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar has been known to remedy just about everything from sore throats and acne to diabetes. (4) The reason it’s such an effective cure-all is because its full of hydrating electrolytes, healthy probiotics, and antibacterial properties. (5)
Apple cider vinegar is very acidic and can burn your throat if taken directly, so your best option is to dilute it with some water. Better yet, use warm water, which will be soothing on the throat and help dispel mucus.
5. Make a Soothing Gel
Certain foods and herbs create a mucilage effect when soaked in water, meaning that the fiber swells up and becomes gelatinous. Examples include chia, flax, marshmallow root and licorice root.
Brew up a gelatinous tea out of any (or all) of these for a soothingly thick drink. Use about two tablespoons of seeds per one cup of boiling hot water. Mix in lemon and honey to taste, and drink up before it gets too thick. Using licorice root in particular will also provide anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. (6)
6. Sip Herbal Tea
Bring your immunity to the next level with medicinal herbs. When you have a sore throat, you’ll want to look to warming herbs such as ginger, cinnamon, clove and cayenne for powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. (7, 8, 9, 10)
Make yourself a super hot tea cocktail by mixing and matching a few of these.
7. Get Plenty of R&R
No matter what ails us, getting plenty of sleep is one of the most restorative things you can do to help heal your body.
Studies show that sleep puts the body in homeostasis, or “self-repair.” (10) The best way to ensure a bolstered immune system that will fight off viruses and bacteria is to get lots of relaxation time in. Check out these five fun ways to create a sleep sanctuary at home for the best night’s sleep of your life!
The Bottom Line
Whether the inflamed mucous membranes in your throat is is caused by a virus or bacteria, the pain is the same. Soothe a sore throat with hot tea, probiotics, and plenty of sleep. Even a good old fashioned salt water gargle will help!
(Read This Next: 11 Natural Remedies to Stop the Cold and Flu)