Natural Remedies To Aid A Nasty Cold & Sore Throat

A bowl of chicken noodle soup can be comforting, soothe a sore throat, and help when recovering from a cold.

Though it’s not uncommon for an individual sick with a cold and suffering from a sore throat to reach for one of the variety of cold medications available at a local pharmacy, there are a variety of reasons to pursue natural, home-based remedies instead. Natural remedies use simple ingredients either found around the home or easily procured, they don’t tend to cause uncomfortable side effects, like drowsiness, there are no unnatural chemicals and they’re inexpensive.

Saline Solution

One of the most uncomfortable cold symptoms is congestion. Not only does a stuffy nose make it hard to breathe and perhaps cause a headache, but also the post-nasal drip can irritate the throat. These annoying symptoms can be remedied easily with a homemade saline solution that will shrink the nasal membranes and encourage natural drainage.

To prepare a saline solution, combine 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and baking soda with 32 ounces of warm water. Using a bulb syringe, lower the head over a sink and point the left nostril down, gently squeeze some of the solution into the right nostril, allow water to run out from the nostril into the sink, repeat with the left nostril, and then gently blow the nose. This can be done twice a day, using 8 to 16 ounces of solution per nostril, per application.

Tasty Medicine

Hot fluids keep the body hydrated so it can heal and can soothe inflamed nose and throat membranes. Teas prepared with lemon, honey and ginger are particularly soothing for a sore throat. Other ingredients to add to a cup of tea include slippery elm bark (which coats the throat), cayenne pepper (which increases circulation to the throat and draws infection away), hyssop, licorice and pomegranate rinds.

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According to the Mayo Clinic, there may be something to the generations-old practice of using chicken soup as a cold remedy. Not only does it affect how immune system cells move through the body, it also works as a decongestant.

Gargling Solutions

One of the best ways to sooth a sore throat is to gargle. The most basic gargling solution is composed of 1 teaspoon salt and 8 ounces of warm water; however, there are a variety of variations on this traditional recipe. To add extra punch to the gargling solution, add the juice of one lemon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, five drops of grapefruit seed extract or five fresh or dried thyme leaves.