You’re going to get a sore throat over the winter; it’s pretty much a guarantee. The cold and dryness can beat you down, leaving their mark with a sore, dry throat that can pull the life out of you for a couple of days.
Although it seems like a minor inconvenience, a sore throat can really bog you down. It makes it hard to communicate with friends, get work done, and feel good. All you want to do is lie down and wish it away. But wishing it away won’t work; you’ll have to take action. Here are a few ways you can naturally relieve that irritating pain in your throat.
For short-term relief, try drinking herbal tea. Licorice root tea is known to work well because it can reduce inflammation in the throat and provide quick relief. Warm tea will also help increase circulation to clear out your nasal passages. This means you can stop breathing out of your mouth, limiting the dryness that can add to the pain.
Staying hydrated is important so when you’re not drinking tea, have plenty of water. This helps the mucous membranes stay moist and can help with pain reduction. Adding some salt to your water and gargling can reduce swelling and loosen the mucus so it’s more easily flushed from your system.
Carrots can also help relieve the pain by cleaning your lymph glands (a sore throat is typically caused by bacteria accumulating in these glands). However, you don’t eat them for a sore throat. Instead, get two large carrots (or the equivalent in snack-sized ones) and finely grate them with a food processor or hand grater.
Take a cheesecloth or handkerchief and lay it flat on the table, placing the grated carrots in the middle. Fold the sides over to make a pocket and place the pouch on the front of your neck, with the thinnest part of the cloth touching you. Lay down for 20-30 minutes, and if you like, you can secure the pouch to your neck using an old scarf (I say an old scarf because it’s likely some of the orange from the carrot will stain it).
You can also run a cloth under cold water, ring it out, and place it on your throat. The coolness will ease the pain, and as it warms, it will increase circulation in the area. Once again, this is more time consuming and can take about a half hour.
Most importantly, try to get some rest. When you get a sore throat, it’s your body’s way of letting you know it’s weak and it might be time to take a breather. Sit back, relax, get some sleep, and let your body heal.
Eberlein, T., “Homemade Sore Throat Remedies from Your Kitchen,” Bottom Line web site, December 23, 2013; http://www.bottomlinepublications.com/content/article/natural-remedies/homemade-sore-throat-remedies-from-your-kitchen, last accessed February 4, 2013.
MacMillan, A., “10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat,” Health web site; http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20640098,00.html, last accessed February 4, 2013.