It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling pretty chilly and a little run down – the time when sore throats and stuffy heads seem inescapable. If you’re stuck with the pain and irritation of a sore, scratchy throat and a cough that just won’t stop, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of natural (and nice) ways to soothe your symptoms. No nasty cough syrups, sugary lozenges or harsh antibiotics – these sore throat home remedies are ultra-gentle, and can be made using the simplest ingredients found in your pantry.
1. Spice is nice: Many herbs and spices are known for their cold and ‘flu-fighting powers. Brew a cup of chamomile tea, or hot water with honey and lemon, then mix in a dash of your preferred spice:
- Ginger: A powerful natural pain-killer (analgesic), plus it’s antibacterial and antifungal. Ginger is a great way to treat the cause of sore throats as well as the symptoms.
- Turmeric:This golden healer is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory; plus it’s a good source of immune-boosting vitamin C. Add a dash of turmeric to your honey tea, or try our terrific turmeric milk recipe.
- Cinnamon: This spice is a natural anti-inflammatory that will relieve pain and swelling. It has warming properties and tastes wonderful too. Mix a spoonful of cinnamon into your tea, or read on for our cinnamon milk recipe.
- Cayenne: A dash of warming cayenne pepper added to your tea will quickly fix the pain and irritation of a scratchy cough; it has great analgesic properties and boosts the immune system too. This beautiful red spice is pretty hot, so use it sparingly and avoid it if you have ulcers in your throat.
2. A salty solution: Gargling regularly with salt water will help to disinfect and soothe a sore throat. Mix a spoonful of pure, unprocessed Himalayan salt granules into a glass of warm water. Gargle 4-5 times a day for natural relief.
3. A sweet treat: Popsicles are typically considered summery foods, but anyone with a sore throat will find they go down beautifully even in winter. This recipe for ‘flu-fighting popsicles includes natural sore throat soothers and cough-calming spices, to give you wonderful relief from a sore inflamed throat, in one sweet and tasty package.
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ cups freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 thumb-sized slice of ginger (or 1Tbsp powdered ginger)
- ¼tsp turmeric powder
- ⅛tsp cayenne pepper
- 1Tbsp coconut oil
- 2Tbsp honey (we suggest Manuka honey for healing magic)
- Blend the ginger & lemon juice in a food processor until completely liquefied.
- Add the turmeric, honey, coconut oil, cayenne pepper & orange juice. Blend for 30 seconds.
- Strain the mixture to remove the fruit pulp.
- Pour into popsicle moulds & freeze for at least 2 hours.
4. The perfect poultice: Chamomile tea is highly recommended for soothing sore throats; but it’s not just for sipping.
Chamomile Throat Poultice
- Brew a pot of strong chamomile tea. Leave to cool until warm enough to touch.
- Soak a clean, soft towel or cloth in the tea.
- Wring out the cloth & wrap it gently around your neck. Leave until cool.
- Sip a cup of chamomile tea while your poultice cools; you’ll feel ready for a peaceful night’s sleep or a cosy nap afterwards.
5. Milky magic: If you have a wet cough or a congested chest, you should definitely steer clear of dairy! However for those dry scratchy coughs, warm cinnamon milk works wonders. For a dairy-free option, use our deliciously wholesome almond milk instead.
- 1cup milk (or almond milk)
- ⅛tsp baking soda
- 1Tbsp raw cane sugar (use coconut sugar or agave as a substitute)
- 1tsp raw honey
- ½tsp cinnamon
- Mix the cinnamon, sugar & baking soda together.
- Add to the milk & mix well.
- Heat the mixture in a saucepan until warm (1-2 min).
- Remove from heat & add honey; stir well until honey dissolves. Serve hot. Yum!
6. Something in the air: To protect yourself against recurring throat infections or irritations, make sure the air in your home or office is clean and balanced. Invest in an eco-friendly air purifier or humidifier, to rid the air of dust, germs and irritants.
- To make your own DIY humidifier, simply boil some water in a kettle, then leave it in a bowl by your bedside to cool. The hot water will create moisture as it evaporates.
- Add a few drops of fragrant eucalyptus or mint essential oil, to release a soothing aroma that will help you breathe easier.
- NB: Don’t let your room get too cold or damp while you’re recovering from a sore throat.
Do you have any favourite sore throat remedies up your sleeve for ‘flu season? Share them with us, we’d love to hear them! And if you’re stuck for ideas, check out our natural sore throat remedy selection online.