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Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat

Millions of people suffer from sore throat and strep throat each year. In the U.S., sore throat is often one of the first signs that you're coming down with a cold, especially if a runny nose and cough soon follow.

There are many natural remedies that can not only take the edge off but also help with getting better:

Vitamin C — is best known for its benefits for infectious diseases. Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that regular supplementation with vitamin C had a "modest but consistent effect in reducing the duration of common cold symptoms."

Apple Cider Vinegar — The antibacterial properties in apple cider vinegar may be useful for sore throats. Gargle with a mixture of about one-third cup of apple cider vinegar mixed with warm water, as needed.

Raw Garlic and Oil of Oregano — Garlic is packed with immune-boosting, antimicrobial compounds that may fight off viruses. Take a clove or two and chew them, letting the juice get into the back of your throat, then swallow. You can do the same with oil of oregano.

Lemons — You can use lemons multiple ways to soothe a sore throat. Make a potent "lemonade" out of fresh lemon juice, water, stevia, and cayenne pepper (this will help promote detoxification too).

Herbal Remedies — Herbs such as eucalyptus, peppermint, anise, slippery elm, and fennel (and their oils) act as cough suppressants. Sipping an herbal tea or using the essential oils (in a diffuser or hot compress for instance) may help relieve your cough, while Echinacea and sage may relieve a sore throat.

Raw Honey — Raw honey has antiviral and antibacterial properties, and may also boost your immune system. It has also been found to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection in children.

Chicken Soup — Chicken soup made with homemade bone broth is excellent for speeding healing and recuperation from illness. It contains immune-stimulating carnosine to help fight off infection. In addition to the anti-inflammatory benefits of bone broth, chicken contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which can thin the mucus in your lungs and make it less sticky so you can expel it more easily.

Salt Water Gargle — One of the simplest ways to soothe a sore throat is to gargle with natural salt, which helps kill bacteria, ease sore throat pain, and prevents upper respiratory tract infections.

Colloidal Silver — has long been used as an antimicrobial agent. Researchers from Brigham Young University tested colloidal silver against five pathogens, including streptococci, and found it worked as well as commonly used antibiotics.

The researchers noted the silver solution "exhibits an equal or broader spectrum of activity than any one antibiotic tested" and could be "effectively used as an alternative to antibiotics." In this case, the silver could be especially useful for cases of strep throat.

What are your go-to remedies when fighting a cold / sore throat?