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Sore Throat Remedies: 15 Natural Gargles

It’s that time of year where germs are floating in the air. Don’t let the airborne attackers get you down during the holidays. 

If you start to feel that knot in your throat, try these simple home-made gargles to nip it in the bud before it takes you down. 

Salt and Water
Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water. The briny solution helps rinse away and neutralize acids in the throat, relieving the burning sensation and promoting fast healing of irritation. Mix a fresh batch of gargle for every use. 

Lemon and Water
Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice in 1 cup water. The astringent juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue. 

Ginger, Honey, and Lemon in Water
Mix 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, 1/2 cup of hot water, and the juice of a 1/2 squeezed lemon. Pour the water over the ginger, then add the lemon juice and honey, and gargle. Honey coats the throat and also has mild antibacterial properties. 

Hot Sauce and Water
The capsicum in hot peppers helps alleviate pain and fights inflammation. Add five shakes of ground cayenne pepper (or a few shakes of hot sauce) to a cup of warm water for sore throat relief. Try gargling several times every 15 minutes.

Sage and Water
Sage can soothe a sore throat and ease painful or swollen nasal passages. One traditional home remedy calls for 1 teaspoon sage, 1/2 teaspoon alum, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/8 cup vinegar, and 1/8 cup water. 

Turmeric and Water
This yellow spice is a powerful antioxidant. For a sore throat remedy, mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of hot water and gargle. 

Wheatgrass Juice 
A quick rinse and gargle help prohibit bacteria growth and ease throat pain. Wheatgrass juice is said to help revitalize weakened gums and stop toothache pain when held in the mouth for approximately five minutes.    

Clove Tea
Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered or ground cloves to water, then mix and gargle. Cloves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and heal a sore throat. 

Tomato Juice 
For temporary relief of sore throat symptoms, gargle with a mixture of 1/2 cup tomato juice and 1/2 cup hot water, plus about 10 drops hot pepper sauce. The antioxidant properties of lycopene may help remedy a sore throat faster. 

Green Tea
Green tea is known to fight infections naturally. Next time you brew a cup, make a little extra and gargle with it.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Salt
Gargle with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours. 

Echinacea and Water 
Echinacea is an herbal virus killer. Add 2 teaspoons tincture of Echinacea to 1 cup water and gargle this home remedy three times daily. In addition to easing sore throat pain, an Echinacea gargle will give your immune system the boost it needs to fight the infection. 

Myrrh and Water
You may be able to speed the healing process with myrrh (a few drops of tincture of myrrh in a cup of water). Highly astringent, myrrh is superb at combating inflammation. It’s an antiseptic too. Gargle six times a day – a bit of an effort, true, but well worth it. 

Licorice Water 
Licorice root can soothe a sore throat and eliminate cough-inducing phlegm; a 2009 study found that post-operative patients who gargled with a licorice solution were less likely to develop a sore throat post-surgery. Mix 1 teaspoon of licorice syrup or powder with 8 ounces of water and swish. 

Raspberry Tea
Raspberry Tea is an old home remedy believed to treat everything from the flu to open wounds. One recipe calls for pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried tea leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain and let cool a bit. Gargle while warm. 

Source: Reader's Digest