Typically suffered along with a common cold, a sore throat rarely requires medical treatment. But it is nonetheless painful, and those over-the-counter sweets and remedies come at a price.
The next time you have a sore throat, why not try one of these natural home remedies instead?
Salt and water
An oldie but a goodie, the salt and water gargle can provide relief from the pain by clearing away and neutralising acids in the throat and promoting healing. Simply mix a quarter of a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water (as hot as you can manage comfortably), gargle and spit. Try adding a tablespoon of Listerine to combat germs.
Ginger, honey and lemon
A more palatable gargling mixture, these natural ingredients combine a number of germ-fighting and symptom-easing properties. Ginger can help to combat a cough, honey coats your throat to help ease the pain and is mildly antibacterial, and lemon helps to shrink swollen throat tissue while the acid creates a tough environment for viruses and bacteria. Mix a teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, and the juice of half a lemon, in half a cup of hot water.
It gets worse before it gets better with this one, but it's definitely worth a try if you can stomach it. Chili peppers are equipped with the ability to ease pain and battle inflammation, aiding sore throat recovery. Five shakes of ground cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce in a cup of hot water should do the trick. Gargle every 15 minutes, and once the burn subsides, you might just find your sore throat is a whole lot better.
You might not find it in your local supermarket, but wheatgrass juice is available to buy online in the UK, and this chlorophyll-rich drink not only eases throat pain but helps to prevent the growth of bacteria. It has also been known to put an end to toothache, so it's worth stocking up for emergencies.
Packed full of antioxidants, green tea has long been used to fight infections naturally, and it is thought the polyphenols within have an anti-inflammatory effect. Use a little to gargle with, killing off any nasty bacteria living in your sore throat, and enjoy a lovely hot brew afterwards.
What natural sore throat remedies do you use? Leave your comments below...