You know the feeling of a sore throat coming on-it hurts to swallow or you have a slight tickle in the back of your throat. If you’re like me, you prefer to take care of that sore throat naturally. I’ve tried several remedies and came up with a concoction we affectionately refer to as foul tea. As the name suggests, it tastes terrible. But it kicks a sore throat fast. So let’s take a look at the benefits of each ingredient and then how to make the tea and get the most benefit out of it.
I am not a doctor, so this article is merely for informational purposes. Consult with a doctor before taking herbal remedies, especially if you have a preexisting condition, take any medications, or are pregnant.
I like to start with echinacea tea (though if you don’t have any, you can use warm water.) Echinacea is a member of the daisy family. Echinacea has been shown in some studies to boost the immune system, leading to faster recovery from illness. Brew a cup or heat a cup of water, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses and benefits, but we’ll focus on what it can do for a sore throat. It is believed to be antibacterial and immune boosting. Apple cider vinegar is also an expectorant and breaks up mucus and sinus congestion. It is best to buy apple cider vinegar the is unprocessed so it still has the “mother.” It makes the vinegar look cloudy, but that’s where all the good stuff is. A word of caution, though-apple cider vinegar is acidic and too much may cause tooth enamel erosion, esophageal burns, or interactions with certain medications. So be careful and use in moderation. I usually add half a teaspoon to a teaspoon to my foul tea.
As we’ve established that this tea tastes very foul, honey takes the edge off and makes it go down a bit easier. But it also has helpful properties for a sore throat. Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that fight against the infection causing virus or bacteria and thus speed up the healing process. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the swelling and inflammation. Add honey to taste to your tea.
Ginger flushes toxins from your body, has anti-inflammatory properties, and kills bad bacteria. I like to grate a bit of fresh ginger into my foul tea, but if I don’t have any on hand, I’ll throw in a pinch of organic ground ginger.
Cayenne pepper is also anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. I usually add only a pinch of ground cayenne pepper to my foul tea. Too much and it makes the tea very spicy and harder to get down.
Garlic is believed to have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, as well as immune-boosting properties. It may help the body to heal the infections that cause a sore throat while fighting the germs that cause the pain and the irritation. Crush a clove and add to your tea, or if you prefer, you can add a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder. Fresh is best, though.
Lemon juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile environment for viruses and bacteria. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your tea. Or use a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice.
Sore Throat Tea
- 1 echinacea tea bag or 1 cup hot water
- honey, to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 clove crushed garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- juice of one half lemon or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Make echinacea tea according to package directions or heat 1 cup of water. Add all other ingredients and stir well.
Use fresh ingredients as much as possible. You may also use any combination of the ingredients. The tea seems to work best when drunk quickly rather than sipped. It may help to hold your nose while drinking, or you will learn why we nicknamed it foul tea!
What remedies do you use for a sore throat? Let me know in the comments!