You’ve been there before: that moment when you first realize you have a sore throat and are probably coming down with a cold. Instead of hitting up the pharmacy and pondering the hundreds of over-the-counter medications in the cold and flu aisle, try a few of these natural remedies that may be in your kitchen already.
If you’re like me, the herb sage conjures up memories of Thanksgiving dinners, but it does way more than make yummy cornbread dressing. Sage (also known as salvia) is a member of the mint family, with more than 900 species throughout the world.
Sage tea has been used in traditional medicine for many years to treat common respiratory problems such as bronchitis, coughs, asthma, and sore throats. A study published in the African Journal of Biotechnology found that sage essential oil was more effective against certain bacteria than most antibiotics.
Gargling with sage is also a go-to for sore throats. Try this sage gargle from Organic Authority‘s website:
- Mix 1 teaspoon fresh or dried sage leaves in 1 cup boiling water.
- Steep for 10 minutes, then strain.
- Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey.
- Gargle up to four times a day.
You may have tried ginger ale or ginger tea in the past to help with an upset stomach. Ginger has many other healing properties, including chasing away painful sore throat symptoms and fighting bacteria.
Ginger has been a popular herbal medicine in Asian, Indian, and Arabic cultures for thousands of years. The spicy root has been used to aid digestion and to treat upset stomachs, arthritis, and cold and flu symptoms.
Whip up this simple recipe we found at Popsugar.com.
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces boiling water
Place sliced ginger in a tea infuser inside a mug. Pour hot water in the mug, cover, and steep for five minutes. Remove infuser before drinking.
For a spicier brew, steep the ginger for longer or try grating the ginger instead of slicing.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center‘s website, echinacea is one of the most popular herbs in the U.S. today. That explains the number of different formulations–tinctures, extracts, teas, and more–that can be found in mainstream and integrative pharmacies alike.
A University of Connecticut research team analyzed data from 14 clinical trials involving more than 1,300 patients. The findings? Echinacea cuts the chances of catching a cold by 58 percent and reduces a cold’s duration by 1 to 4 days.
For best results, experts recommend using echinacea as soon as cold or sore throat symptoms begin and choosing a high-quality echinacea supplement. This organic tea from Traditional Medicinals is a personal favorite.
Most of us love the spicy garlic sauce served up on our Chinese food favorites, but did you know that eating a fresh clove could help stop the common cold in its tracks?
Garlic is a powerful superfood that contains loads of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. When you crunch into a clove, the compound allicin is released–that’s where the typical garlic odor comes from. It is in this stage that garlic is effective against the bugs that are causing your cold symptoms.
If you can stomach it, health experts recommend eating an entire clove a few times a day for best results. If that isn’t appealing, you can also add a little olive oil to a freshly minced clove and eat with a slice of bread.