Is there anything worse than a sore throat when you’re trying to sleep? Swallowing is usually done subconsciously but when a sore throat strikes you become painfully aware of just how many times a day you swallow; each gulp ignites a painful burn or induces an annoying cough.
A sore throat is usually caused by a virus and is named according to the area of the throat it affects.
- Laryngitis: pain and inflammation of the larynx (a.k.a the voice box, located at the front of the neck)
- Tonsillitis: inflammation of the tonsils (located at the back of the throat)
- Pharyngitis: pain and inflammation in the pharynx (area behind the nasal and oral cavities)
- Epiglottitis: inflammation of the epiglottis (found behind the tongue at the top of the larynx, this is a rare type and can be an emergency due to the risk of airway blockage)
Before you go popping pills and sucking on sugary lozenges, try these natural home remedies to sooth your sore throat and be fighting fit for the festive season.
Honey is an age old holistic remedy for soothing sore throats. It is both antibacterial and antifungal making it perfect for fighting any bad bacteria lingering in your throat. If you can afford it, opt for raw Manuka honey as it contains a higher concentration of the antibacterial compound methylglyoxal. Plus, its runny consistency and natural sweetness make it easy to swallow or mix into drinks.
Lemon juice is a natural bacteria killing antiseptic and its citrus acid content assists in the breakdown of mucus. Lemons are also high in immune boosting vitamin C to help prevent against future infection.
Gargling salt water helps draw fluid from your throat tissue, effectively washing the virus out. Studies have found that salt reduces swelling of the throat and loosens mucus which helps you breathe and swallow more easily.
Oil of peppermint has been found to be anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-viral, perfect for fighting foreign germs and prohibiting their growth. The menthol in peppermint has a soothing and mild numbing effect on the throat which helps ease any pain.
Apple cider vinegar
Raw apple cider vinegar is a staple in my cupboard. It is strongly acid (which I personally like) and swallowing a neat table spoon will be sure to clear your throat. Apple cider vinegars acidity lowers the pH level in your throat which prohibits bacteria growth (as bacteria dislike more acidic environments). Raw apple cider with the mother (the cloudy part) contains prebiotic inulin, which increases your white blood cell and T cell count, and probiotics to boost your immune system.
Honestly, is there nothing turmeric isn’t good for? This potently anti inflammatory Indian spice will not only reduce inflammation in your throat but also fight bacteria and relieve the irritating persistent pain in your throat.
Turn up the heat with some fiery spice. Cayenne is a natural analgesic (pain killer) and contains the anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin to reduce any swelling.
These remedies work best when mixed together like honey and lemon, honey, turmeric and cayenne or honey and apple cider vinegar.
Why not try these recipes:
Or these herbal teas:
Sore-y to have to say goodbye, I hope you get well soon. x