Sore throat soothers

A sore throat can be very painful and irritating, and may make it difficult for you to eat and drink.

Common causes of a sore throat include viral, bacterial and fungal infections, allergies, and dry air, irritants like pollution and smoking, and excessive shouting.

Fortunately, you can treat the pain, and perhaps resolve the sore throat without visiting your doctor. One of these simple, all-natural sore throat solutions may do the trick.

Garlic

Garlic has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can treat and prevent a painful, irritated throat. It’s also antimicrobial, which means it can help fight the infection and kill the bacteria that causes the problem. Allicin, a chemical that’s released when garlic is cut, crushed or chewed, is your warrior against sore throats. As soon as you notice a tickle at the back of your throat, eat a raw clove of garlic. Can’t stand the pungent flavour? Eat it cooked instead.

Cinnamon and cayenne pepper

Cinnamon is packed with antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial qualities that can soothe your sore throat. Cayenne pepper contains capsicum, which can contribute to reducing inflammation. Combine the two, and you have a powerful potion to alleviate throat pain and discomfort. For quick relief, add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a glass of warm water. Gargle with the solution two to three times a day.

Tomato juice

Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can destroy bacteria and combat inflammation. Get long-lasting relief by gargling half a cup of tomato juice mixed with half a cup of warm water, twice a day. For an added kick, drizzle in a few drops of hot sauce. You can also drink tomato juice – the thickness of the liquid may be soothing on a sore throat.

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Apple cider vinegar

Because of its high acidity and antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar can help get rid of the bacteria that cause throat pain and irritation. When gargled, the apple cider vinegar forms an acidic coat on your throat. This can help keep germs at bay and give you instant relief. To make a gargle solution, mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle several times a day and add a dash of honey to make the treatment gentler.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a natural antiseptic and an anti-inflammatory, and can be used to treat many niggles, including a sore throat. This strong yellow spice works by reducing swelling and easing symptoms like burning, itching or that annoying scratchy feeling at the back of your throat. Mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle twice daily. Alternatively, add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot water and drink daily until your symptoms go away.

If, however, your sore throat does not get better, or it gets worse, it may be time to visit your GP for medical interventions. Though there aren’t extensive studies to back the effectiveness of these natural alternatives, their relative risk is low enough that you could give them a try.

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