If you’ve ever had a sore throat, you know how uncomfortable it can be. And if you’re too sick to venture out into the cold to buy cough drops or simply don’t like the way they taste, there are other ways to soothe your throat. Here are some of the best ways to beat a sore throat and cough with a few natural cough drop remedies.
Salt Water or Baking Soda Gargle
According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Salt water can help reduce swelling and irritation in your throat. Baking soda also soothes the throat, breaks up mucus and can help with throat-irritating acid reflux.”
Grab a cup of warm water and dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt or baking soda in it. You’ll want to gargle with this mixture every 3 hours. It’s not the most fun thing to do and it’s not the yummiest tasting concoction, but it does provide relief.
Hot Tea, Honey, and Lemon
Curl up in bed or on the couch with a hot drink. You can start by making a cup of tea, then add honey and lemon. Why these ingredients?
“Not only does honey have antiviral properties, helping to kill the bug fueling your cough, but it also has been shown in several studies to help with nighttime cough,” notes Dr. Lindsey Mcilvena of SuperFoodsRx. “In a controlled trial, honey suppressed cough better than common over-the-counter medicines.” She notes that taking two teaspoons at bedtime can help decrease mucus secretion, allowing for less cough and more restful sleep. “It’s best to use this remedy at night, allowing your body to naturally clear the mucus during the day (by coughing it up); after all, your lungs are producing that mucus for a reason!”
Lemon helps balance out the taste of the honey, and are great for sore throats because they can help break up mucus and provide pain relief. They also have Vitamin C, which can help to boost the immune system.
At night, use decaffeinated tea such as chamomile, so you don’t interfere with your sleep.
The menthol in peppermint tea is perfect for cooling down and soothing an itchy, hot, sore throat. Add some honey to it to further calm your cough. One great thing about peppermint tea is that it’s naturally decaffeinated, so feel free to drink it to help you fall asleep at night. Remember, getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for a quick recovery.
If you’re not taking Tylenol or other over-the-counter drugs, you might want to consider a hot toddy. This alcoholic beverage is made up of hot tea, honey, cloves, cinnamon sticks, lemon, and whiskey. Not only does the Cleveland Clinic recommend this drink for a sore throat, apparently William Faulkner did too.
“Pappy alone decided when a Hot Toddy was needed, and he administered it to his patient with the best bedside manner of a country doctor,” wrote Faulkner’s niece.
So cheers and drink up! Maybe you’ll even become a better writer.
Steam Your Throat
Taking a shower is a great way to steam your throat. If you want, you can even leave the hot water on so that your bathroom turns into a steam room. The hot steam will relax your throat, help you breathe easier, and even reduce itching. This trick is especially great if you live someplace cold and dry, both of which irritate sore throats.