By Hilary Sheinbaum
“Ugh!” — in full transparency: those are my thoughts, feelings, and the audible noise I make when I can tell a sore throat is coming on. You too? When temps drop during fall and winter, it’s only a matter of time until friends and family (and yours truly) are feeling achy, sniffly, and uncomfortable with colds.
Medication can surely help — and be sure to consult your doctor for the best way to solve your personal needs— but if you’re looking for natural ways to cure a sore throat: there are a few tried and true suggestions to try! (And, some happen to be delicious! Lucky us.)
Read on to learn what three experts suggest as their go-to solutions for sore throats.
“Create a solution by dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in 8oz of warm water,” says Alyssa Karow, DNP, FNP-BC, in New York City. “Then gargle a few times a day, as needed. Gargling with warm salt water helps to moisten the throat, loosen mucus, and may provide temporary symptom relief.”
“Sleep helps boost your immune system so you can fight off the illness more effectively,” says Karow. “Sleep may be improved, by elevating your head at night, which can be done easily with a pillow or two.”
Melissa Perry, RN, BSN, in Houston agrees. “The major thing for me is rest,” she says. “Your body is trying to fight off something and is exhausted, so resting allows your body to spend its energy fighting off the bad guys.”
“Probably not the answer you want to hear when you have a cold, but for most people and most colds, symptoms are self-limiting,” says Karow. “The usual duration of a common cold is about 10 days.”
“Drinking something warm can relieve symptoms of a sore throat and loosen congestion,” says Perry. “It also prevents dehydration.”
“As cold and flu season arrives, we can help our bodies fight viruses through sipping teas made with antiviral herbs, spices, and green tea,” says Zhena Muzyka, founder of Magic Hour. “Find teas that have ingredients like lemongrass, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon, which are not only antiviral but also anti-inflammatory. Like Magic Hour’s Citrine Cleanse or Lucid Dreams, both of which are perfect elixirs for immunity, inflammation, and staving off airborne viruses.”
“Your gut is tied to your throat, as it’s the beginning of the digestive tract, so gut health is vital to your esophagus health,” says Muzyka. “Cranberries have been known to prevent ulcers and increase gut health.”
“The Quintessence Tea for the Throat Chakra Traveler is a potion of sweet, warming, voice-enhancing, throat-soothing spices like ginger and lemongrass, honey, immune-boosting green tea, and marshmallow root, which heals and soothes the esophagus and gut lining.
And now that you know, don’t keep this information to yourself! Pass it along to a friend in need.