17 Things to Do When You Have the Worst Sore Throat Ever
ACV to the rescue
Give us a fever. A cough. A stuffy nose for a week. But please, please, not the dreaded sore throat. Ugh. When it hits, here are 15 ways to make it more bearable.
1. Get some rest. We’re talking eight to ten hours a few nights in a row. It seems simple, but it’s scientifically proven to work.
2. Sip diluted apple-cider vinegar. It tastes gross, but it works. Mix a tablespoon of ACV into a cup of warm water and then add a teaspoon of honey. Stir and sip.
3. Have an ice pop. But preferably nothing with citrus, sugar or dairy, which can increase mucus production and irritate your throat even more. (We like sugar-free cherry.)
4. Spice things up. Add a teaspoon of turmeric to your standard hot water with lemon and honey. It’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient that’s been used as a natural remedy for centuries.
5. Suck on a pastille. Singers swear by 'em to keep vocal cords lubricated. Try Grether’s Blackcurrant Pastilles, which taste great, too.
6. Sip tea. Our favorite is Throat Coat, a combo of slippery elm, licorice and marshmallow root.
7. Bring on the hot sauce. Yep, adding a little bit to your dinner can help alleviate pain, clear congestion and make your food taste delicious. Win, win, win.
8. Make sage tea. Drop a few fresh sage leaves into a pot of water and then bring it to a boil. Sip the mixture every few hours as needed to soothe sore-throat pain.
9. Take Advil. It’s an anti-inflammatory, so it will reduce swollen glands temporarily. It’s not a cure, but it could keep your sore-throat pain from becoming unbearable.
10. Keep things steamy. Use a cool-mist humidifier to keep your vocal cords lubricated and make breathing easier. (A long, hot shower or bath works, too.)
11. Drink water. Or herbal tea, diluted juice and anything else that keeps you hydrated.
12. Try an over-the-counter throat spray. One that contains menthol, like Chloraseptic, will temporarily numb your throat.
13. Eat chicken soup. It’s not just comforting—it’s actually scientifically proven to reduce mucus in the nasal passages, which can be what’s causing your throat irritation.
14. Gargle with salt water. Dissolve two teaspoons of salt in a glass of warm water and then gargle it and spit it into the sink. Repeat three times a day to reduce pain and inflammation.
15. Rest your voice. We know you want to call your best friend and tell her about how much your throat hurts, but stick to texting instead.
16. Lay off the alcohol. Yeah, a mimosa would be great right about now. But it will only dehydrate you and make your sore throat feel worse, so just sip water and herbal tea this week.
17. Get it checked out. If your sore throat came on suddenly with a fever or is severe, you may have strep throat or another infection that requires prescription medication. Better safe than sorry, people.