Sore, scratchy throats can often be the cause of great annoyance. It starts with that slight irritation, and before you know it, you are cringing with every painful swallow. They can come from viral infections, bacterial infections, allergies, and even muscle strains. But what actually provides relief? Is ice cream good for a sore throat? What about honey and echinacea? Try these science-backed strategies—including dessert—to feel better fast without leaving the house.
Try using it as a tea; the warm liquids will help too.
Sage: It has been used as an herbal remedy for many ailments. It can soothe that nasty scratchy throat thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice Root: While red vines may not keep the pain away, the root of the licorice shrub has been known to alleviate pain and even treat health issues like heartburn, cough and infections caused by viruses. There are a ton of recipes for licorice root tea worth sipping on, and it has been proven effective. One study even found that it soothed the throats of patients after surgery if they gargled with it before undergoing the operation.
Honey: This sore throat remedy has been in rotation since ancient times and with good reason. Adding bee’s honey to warm water or tea is considered a steadfast treatment for a scratchy throat. Even better, you probably already have a jar kicking around in your kitchen. So dig out that squeezy bear bottle and add a dollop to your mug, as science supports the use of this throat coat.
Echinacea: There is a reason echinacea is all over the pharmacy in multiple forms, including extracts, tinctures, tablets, capsules and ointments: a variety of studies have shown that it boosts the immune system and relieves inflammation. Herbalists recommend echinacea to shorten the duration of the common cold, including easing symptoms like cough, fever, and sore throats.
Marshmallow Root: The mucilage in marshmallow root has been a proven remedy for scratchy throats. In fact, it has been soothing sore throats for thousands of years. There are a few studies conducted on marshmallow root’s effect on humans, but years of history and traditional medicine say it is worth trying this remedy. And in addition to being a sore throat champ and in our favourite campfire food, the herb has been reported to help everything from asthma to skin inflammation.
Humidifier: Experts agree that it helps add moisture to the air, which can soothe a swollen nose and throat tissue that often accompanies a cold. No humidifier nearby? Close the bathroom door and take a long steam shower—make sure you breathe in deeply.
Gargling: According to the American Cancer Society, rinsing your mouth regularly with a salt and baking soda mixture (1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt mixed in 1 quart water) will help prevent infections and help your throat feel better. Or you can gargle with salt water multiple times a day—try a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon and 1 cup warm water.
Rest: This cannot be emphasized enough. Taking a break and resting your voice is one of the best ways to feel better faster. Instead of chatting on the phone to a friend, try silent meditation or a nap.