Sore throats are the worst, especially for kids (and the busy parents of said kids). It’s not only uncomfortable, but it makes eating and sleeping difficult too, which makes everything worse. Sore throats are actually our body’s immune systems doing us a favor, sending inflammation to areas that are targeted by viral infections. But that doesn’t stop it from being a pain in the neck.

While your body tries to figure out what to do with your infection, you should try to figure out what to do with your body. Try these 4 natural remedies for a sore throat to soothe yourself or your family during the inevitable colds that come with the winter dry spells.

 

1.   Honey

Honey may be the most readily available and widely known treatment for a sore throat. Your mom was probably always ready with honey and tea when you got sick. Even if she didn’t know the science behind it, your mom knew what she was doing.

Honey has all kinds of effects beneficial to throat soreness, including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant benefits. This means that this golden goo, made of flower dust and bee spit, can give you soothing pain relief in your throat at the same time it fights the infection that gave you the soreness in the first place.

Very rarely can you find a substance that works to control both the symptoms and the disease, but honey is a special case. Research the kinds of honey that are out there to maximize its benefits.

 

2.   Apple Cider Vinegar   

Apple cider vinegar is known throughout the world as an enemy of bacteria. Even the ancient Greeks mixed it with (you guessed it) honey, to treat the flu and cure a cough. Even today, apple cider vinegar is a great soldier in the battle against throat soreness, even though many people now think of it purely as a weight loss supplement.

The worst thing about apple cider vinegar, of course, is the acidic taste, which can hurt your teeth as well if you’re not careful. This is why the antibacterial benefits of apple cider vinegar are only really worth it if you mix it with something.

Dilute the vinegar with warm water or juice and add some honey to make it more palatable.

 

3.   Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root has a cute name, but doesn’t look much like its fluffy, sugary namesake. You can buy it whole for the most intense effects and turn it into a supplement by soaking it in a cheesecloth. However, most of us know marshmallow root as an ingredient in pre-made herbal teas, often called “throat coat” teas.

The name comes from marshmallow root’s ability to soothe your throat and provide a protective, lubricating layer that fights throat inflammation. These teas can provide a great emergency throat soother that’s easy to store in the pantry for when you need it.

 

4.   Saltwater

When we were growing up, a lot of our parents and grandparents probably gave us a glass of saltwater to gargle for a sore throat. Stir a teaspoon of salt into a cup of water and gargle it in the back of your throat to get its throat-soothing effects.

It may seem strange as a curative for a sore throat, but saltwater has a couple of unique benefits that can help you work through a cold. The salt draws moisture out of your throat, which may seem like a strange benefit when it’s already dry. However, this reduces swelling and inflammation and can even kill the microbes causing the cold and flu that’s behind your scratchy throat.

 

The Takeaway

A sore throat may not keep you home from work or school, but it can make your entire week uncomfortable. You may not be sleeping or eating well as a result. To soothe a sore throat, use these 4 natural remedies, several of which are readily available in any home. If you have sick kids, just a spoonful of honey in tea or water could do the trick.