One of the more uncomfortable symptoms of a cold — and one of the most common — is a sore throat. What starts as an annoying scratch can worsen overnight, making simple tasks such as eating, drinking water and talking really painful. While you might not be able to rid yourself of pain entirely, there are a few things you can do to ease your discomfort.
Gargle with salt water
Gargling with salt water might seem like it would make things worse, but it could really help you feel better. The saltwater solution helps to reduce inflammation by drawing mucus out from your throat and calming swelling. To make the solution, simply combine a half-teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water and stir until the salt dissolves. Then, gargle the solution for several seconds before spitting it out. You can repeat this throughout the day as needed.
Suck on a menthol-flavored lozenge
Throat lozenges can help, too, for a few reasons. They contain menthol, which partially numbs the tissue in your throat. Additionally, they increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which keeps your throat lubricated to prevent scraping.
Above all, when you’re sick it is crucial to stay hydrated. When you’re dehydrated, in addition to the other side effects of dehydration, your body can’t produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat lubricated. This can worsen inflammation. Sip on water and other hydrating beverages all day long. In particular, you may want to try loading up on the best drinks to help fight the flu, which also work on fighting the common cold.
Drink warm tea with honey
Drinking a cup of warm tea mixed with honey can help to temporarily ease pain. The tea keeps you hydrated while also providing antioxidants, which can be anti-inflammatory and work to protect against damage from free radicals. Chamomile tea in particular, according to a review in Molecular Medicine Reports, helps to lubricate the throat and reduce inflammation. Adding a spoonful of honey can make this even more of an effective pain reliever. According to research published by Canadian Family Physician, honey can reduce throat discomfort in both children and adults. However, it’s crucial that you drink the tea warm, not hot. Drinking tea while it’s too hot will further irritate the area.
Hopefully with one of these remedies, you can feel a little better during your cold. After all, a sore throat is just one of the first symptoms you’re likely to experience when you catch a cold.