Last week, my family was struck with a series of illnesses (strep, pink eye, ear infections, and a flu-like virus). So, I have been trying various home remedies for sore throat, dry cough, and congestion. Here is my analysis of ten home remedies (plus one suggested by the Champ).
This was one of my favorite means of relieving both sore throat and dry cough. I attempted drinking hot chocolate made with water and with milk. The hot chocolate with milk seemed to provide the longest lasting relief. Perhaps, the milk coated my throat better.
We look for any excuse to eat ice cream at our house! The ice cream did provide sore throat relief. However the downside to ice cream is that it tends to disappear quickly (and has the unwanted side effect of increasing our waistlines). I found the most relief with a mint cookies and cream shake (mint has been suggested as a home remedy).
We mostly ate yogurt to help relieve side effects from our antibiotics. However, the yogurt also provided some sore throat relief. Be sure to get a non-citrus variety for maximum comfort.
The most effective means of getting rid of my dry cough was creating a sauna in our bathroom. I closed the bathroom door, turned the hot water on high in the shower, and sat next to the shower for five to ten minutes. The best part about this method is that it works as a decongestant as well. We tried this one time with the Champ, and he did not like the steam. Other variations of this method may include a humidifier or simply taking a warm shower.
We let the Champ pick out “fun soup” at the grocery store to hold on to in the event of illness striking. He picked noodles in the shape of Frozen characters. However, his poor throat was too sore to consume the noodles. He did drink a little of the broth. The chicken noodle soup was pretty effective against my sore throat for at least thirty minutes of relief. It was one of the few non-dessert foods I was able to consume at the height of my illness.
The Coach’s grandparents are bee farmers, so we consume a lot of honey at our house. Anytime the Champ is “sick,” he demands a spoonful before bed. This works better for us than cough drops for him because there is a much lower choking risk.
I highly recommend Broke T Honey! It is so much better than honey at the grocery store. It is raw honey and contains no chemicals or additives.
Warm Milk and Honey
I was not excited about trying this combination because I prefer my milk cold and unsweetened. However, I drank a cup of this before bed and my cough was greatly reduced throughout the beginning of the night.
Mock Hot Toddy
A hot toddy is a traditional alcoholic British drink (derived from India) used to relieve sore throat. We do not consume alcohol in our house, so a traditional hot toddy (made with whiskey) would not work here. But, the main non-alcoholic components (honey, lemon, and clove) are all great for sore throat.
Mock Hot Toddy
1 TBS Honey
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp clove
1 cup hot brewed tea
1 TBS lemon
Stir all ingredients together for three minutes. Strain and serve warm.
I attempted to do a warm saltwater gargle. However, this did not seem to help the back of my throat much and I do not like the aftertaste that a saltwater rinse leaves behind. I also had trouble not coughing long enough to gargle.
I love hot tea! My favorite herbal tea for sore throats is “I Love Lemon” by Bigelow. I add in a tablespoon of honey and this seems to be a great combination for sore throat. The steam from the tea also works as a decongestant.
Spaghetti and Breadsticks
This was the remedy suggested by the Champ (age 3). A suggested remedy we did not try was garlic, so maybe he was on to something here. I went to Fazoli’s and bought him a kid’s meal. The effect was minimal; however, the breadstick was his first “meal” in three days.
*All of these methods were used to bring comfort to my family members. However, I am not a medical professional. This information should not be considered medical advice. Please see a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
** Please note that I get a small percentage of sales from the Amazon link above. However, I drink a lot of Bigelow tea and I am personally recommending it to my readers.