This weekend I woke up with that annoying scratchy throat. After pushing myself out of bed and indoor rock-climbing for almost an entire day, my throat was obviously worse, and the pain had spread to my ears. Uh oh! That’s never good.
So in order to nip this thing in the bud, I had to launch a full-out attack on my sore throat so that I could feel better by Monday. Here are my top 3 secrets for kicking a sore throat in the bum! If you follow these 3 remedies in combination, I guarantee that you will feel better within hours and won’t need any strong meds and cough syrups.
1. Gargle with Salt Water: I dread doing this for some reason (perhaps because I was forced to gargle as a child at the first sign of a sore throat!), but it is the best thing you can do to feel better almost instantly. Here’s what you do: boil some water, and add 3/4 cup of boiling water to 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Add 2-3 tsp of salt (Himalayan salt is best as it contains essential minerals as a bonus!). The mixture should have a strong salty taste. If not, add more salt and make sure it is well dissolved. Now take small sips and gargle for 8-10 seconds and spit. Repeat until the cup of water is all gone. This remedy destroys bacteria and also removes excess mucous that gets deposited in the throat.
2. Ginger Tea: this is my go-to solution whenever I am sick. Fresh ginger tea is a fantastic anti-bacterial and anti-viral potion. It is especially potent for sore throats, as it not only kills the infection but also soothes the throat as you drink it. To make a pot of ginger tea:
- Cut up a 2 inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger into thin strips and boil in medium pot with 5-6 cups of water
- Boil on medium-high heat for 10 minutes and turn-off
- Pour 1-2 cups of tea into your favorite mug
- Squeeze 1/2 lemon into tea
- Add honey to taste
- Optional: sprinkle in some cayenne pepper (if you can stand the heat, cayenne pepper is fantastic at reducing inflammation in the throat!)
Drink to your heart’s content!
3. Nin Jiom Chinese Herbal Syrup: this cough syrup is not like your regular over-the-counter, sleep-inducing and chemical-laden cough syrup. This wonderful traditional Chinese remedy contains over a dozen herbs and flower extracts such as licorice (repairs damage to cells, increases circulation), honey (potent antiseptic, soothing to the throat) and dandelion (inhibits bacterial growth). You can pick up Nin Jiom at most health food stores and even at grocery stores such as Loblaws (in their organic section). I always take 1 tablespoon before bed to subside the cough so that I can get restful sleep (also a key component to feeling better fast!). This magical syrup is now part of my natural remedy cabinet. It is a must-have for households with little kids who are prone to infections (and they love the taste too!).
There you have it! My 3 secrets to beating a sore throat. Try them and let me know if they work for you. Happy yodelling!