Bells are ringing, joyous songs they’re singing, it’s that time of the year to be merry, but it’s hard to get into the spirit when you’re feeling under the weather. Don’t spend another day in anguish and try these home remedies that will get you caroling in no time.
Don't let that tickle in your sore get worse. Before heading to the doctor's try some good old fashion home remedies, the kind that your grandma used to administer to your parents. Sore throats are bad enough but when you have the whole family reunited and a buffet of your favorite food, it’s a pitiful sight. You’re bound to have many of these ingredients already in your kitchen, but always consult a doctor if your symptoms get worse.
1. Hot Coke (yes, Coca Cola)
Although Coke has gotten a bad rep for the amount of sugar it contains, make an exception and indulge a bit. This old wives' tale calls for hot coke and ginger. You’ll need to boil a cup of coke and add thinly sliced ginger to the boiling coke. Turn off the stove and let the ginger soak in the closed pot for a few minutes. Some people swear by this remedy, so give it a try.
Great news for chocolate lovers, the International Society for the Study of Cough (yes, this society is a real thing), released a study that concludes that chocolate is a sore throat's worst enemy. Theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, works wonders at suppressing the urge to cough. Also, it’s sticky consistency coats the throat to alleviate any discomfort. As if you really needed another reason to indulge in nature's gift to us.
Not the kind you put in your hot cocoa, sorry for bursting your bubble. The marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) is used in herbal medicine and is used by many singers and public speakers to coat and lubricate their throat. It can be found in most health stores and should be part of your winter arsenal.
Used commonly in Ayurvedic medicine, it’s easily available in most kitchens, has tons of great benefits due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.. Add 1 tsp of peppercorn and 5-6 chunks of ginger to a pot of boiling water, let that simmer for 1 minute and pour. Add honey accordingly and sip on it while it's hot.
Bring on the shots! But don't start downing them just yet! Add a shot of whiskey to a glass of water and gargle with it. It will numb your throat and soothe the irritation. It’s totally okay if you accidentally swallow a little bit (cough, cough!), I think I’m feeling a scratchy throat coming on.
6. Salt Water
The fastest and easiest remedy in the books: a salt water gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon of table salt in an 8oz cup of warm water and gargle (add half a teaspoon of baking soda if you have it). The salt and baking soda will kill the bacteria.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
While the flavor may be too much for some, ACV is a miracle worker and is a must have in your kitchen. Its acetic acid is antimicrobial and will kill the pathogens that lead to those nasty coughing spells. Just make sure you buy the organic "with the mother" kind of ACV.
For those warriors out there, this is a must try! I love garlic, but only cooked in my food. However, garlic is the Jedi of all the natural remedies out there. Allicin is the main compound found in raw garlic that is known to kill the bacteria that causes strep throat. Chop up the garlic like "lozenges" and suck on a couple pieces for about 10 minutes. If you repeat this throughout the day, you will definitely be ready for tomorrow’s festivities.
These work great for little and big kids. Make 4 cups of your favorite herbal tea (ginger, lemon, peppermint, orange), add small chunks of fresh fruit (berries, cherries, mango, pineapple), pour that into your popsicle moulds, and freeze. No more struggling trying to get the little ones to take their cough medicine. Plus, it’s all-natural and loaded with vitamin C. The cold stops the pain and they’re delish.
10. Homemade broth
Make it with all the powerhouses: ginger, garlic, and onion. The rest is up to you. You can add your favorite vegetables, chicken, or mushrooms or even both. Keep in mind you might want something that will go down smoothly. Not only is this a feel-good meal when you’re sick, but the vitamins in it will also boost your immune system.
The best thing you can do for your sore throat is to keep it moist. I recommend humidifiers that you can add essential oils to. Menthol, which is found in peppermint, is known to relieve a sore throat. Other oils that will alleviate your sore throat include: lemon, eucalyptus, oregano, clove, hyssop, thyme, and juniper berry.
12. Sage tea
The volatile oils in this tea have been used to reduce inflammation of the mouth, throat, and tonsils. It’s recommended that you drink 3-4 cups a day and swirl the tea around your mouth before swallowing. Add 8-10 leaves of dry sage to 8oz of boiling water and steep. Wait for it to cool a bit before drinking it.
13. The classic go-to remedy
Lemon and honey. A study from the Mayo clinic proved that honey is as effective as dextromethorphan, normally found in over-the-counter cough medicine due to its antibacterial/antimicrobial properties. Lemon is antiseptic and vitamin C packed, so it makes this simple combo an effective remedy.
Try out some of my go-to remedies because ain't nobody got time to be getting sick and specially around the holidays. Many of these remedies were good enough and worked for our parents and grandparents, plus you definitely might have some of these ingredients in your kitchen. Anyway, I strongly advise seeing a doctor if your symptoms become worse.
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