A sore throat refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. Throat pain is the primary symptom of a sore throat. It may get worse when you try to swallow, and you may have difficulty swallowing food and liquids.
Even if a sore throat isn’t serious enough for a trip to the doctor, it’s still painful and may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, you can use at-home remedies to soothe the pain and irritation.
Salt and water
Try grandma’s sore throat remedy by mixing 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water. (Use the hottest water you can comfortably tolerate. Cold gargles are ineffective.) If you have it, add 1 tablespoon of Listerine for germ-killing power. The briny solution helps rinse away and neutralize acids in the throat, relieving the burning sensation and promoting fast healing of irritated mucous membranes. Note: Mix a fresh batch of gargle for every use. Better to waste a bit pouring it out than to leave it in your glass, where it might become contaminated with bacteria. Also, do not swallow the gargle; spit it out.
Lemon and water
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 cup of water for this home remedy for sore throats; the astringent juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile (acidic) environment for viruses and bacteria.
Ginger, honey, and lemon in water
This sore throat home remedy mixes 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, 1⁄2 cup of hot water and the juice of 1⁄2 squeezed lemon. Pour the water over the ginger, then add the lemon juice and honey, and gargle. Honey coats the throat and also has mild antibacterial properties.
Hot sauce and water
The capsicum in hot peppers helps alleviate pain and fights inflammation. Add five shakes of ground cayenne pepper (or a few shakes of hot sauce) to a cup of hot water for sore throat relief. It’ll burn, but try this gargle every 15 minutes and see if it helps.
Turmeric and water
This yellow spice is a powerful antioxidant, and scientists think it has the strength to fight many serious diseases. For a sore throat remedy, mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of hot water and gargle.
For temporary relief of sore throat symptoms, gargle with a mixture of 1/2 cup of tomato juice and 1/2 cup of hot water, plus about 10 drops of hot pepper sauce. The antioxidant properties of lycopene may help remedy a sore throat faster.
Apple cider vinegar and salt
If your throat is left raw by a bad cough, grab a bottle of apple cider vinegar because germs can’t survive in the acidic coating it’ll form on your throat. Gargle with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours. Despite it being great for a nasty sore throat, apple cider vinegar does have its pitfalls.