You have a cold. Your throat is scratchy and swollen, making the simple task of swallowing a painfully monumental task. After three bags of cough drops, the soothing factor diminishes and before you know it, anything that looks or smells like cherry causes a gag reflex. Nothing short of a jackhammer seems capable of clearing up nasal passages and Grandpa Joe’s earth-shattering smoker’s cough sounds like Beethoven’s finest compared to your hack.
Millions of people hoof it to the doc each year for something as simple as a head cold or a sore throat. Although visiting the doctor may be a good idea after battling a sore throat for a few days, there are people out there who refuse to go to a doctor unless they’re bleeding from the head or have an appendage hanging. Therefore, more focus should be put on home remedies.
What do you have around home that you could try? Thankfully, there’s a website for everything. Myhomeremedies.com and howstuffworks.com gives just the information we’re seeking!
Most remedies involve lemon, honey, vinegar or salt. Granted, some of these options aren’t exactly mouth-watering, but admit it – you’re desperate. It’s not like you’re making a big sacrifice by passing up on your cough drops and syrup. You simply want to eat without feeling like you’re swallowing sandpaper.
So start digging through your cabinets, folks! Before you know it, you’ll be belting out your favorite 80s rock or 90s pop song pain free! Well, free of a sore throat at least. Shouting off-key Beach Boys and Brittney Spears songs could have your neighbors calling you a royal pain in the… umm… anyway! On with the remedies!
Home Remedy #1: Gargle anything and everything.
Seriously. Tea, sage, turmeric, warm saltwater, Listerine, or your own concoction consisting of some or all of the following: honey, milk, cider, lemon juice, grated ginger and vinegar. All are suggested as key ingredients in a gargling potion. In my research, I was unable to find recommendations to gargle ingredients like Captain Morgan or Bud Light. However, just because I couldn’t find it doesn’t mean some doctor out there wouldn’t recommend it. I’m sure if a person searched hard enough, they could find that “one out of five” who continually disagrees with the rest of them.
Home Remedy #2: Consume something disgusting.
Mix horseradish root with a teaspoon of honey and a teaspoon of ground cloves in a glass of warm water. Suck on garlic. Or just sip lemon or lime juice. If you think real hard, it might taste like lemonade! Probably not, but maybe.
Home Remedy #3: Consume something tasty.
Hard candy! Juice bars! Some doctors say sugar can help soothe a sore throat or a ticklish cough. If they’re wrong, hard candy at least helps keep your mouth and throat moist. While hot liquids help, eating something cold can help too, so go ahead and raid the freezer. If you eat the popsicles fast enough, you might be able to freeze the back of your throat, you know – numb it a bit. Then again, I’m not so sure the long-term effects would be beneficial.
Home Remedy #4: Pour yourself a special drink.
Okay, so it doesn’t sound all that special now, but you may feel differently after trying it. Mix one tablespoon of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey with 8 ounces of hot water and sip it slowly to aid in comforting your dry throat.
Home Remedy #5: Do drugs.
This seems too easy to be an option, but pop some aspirin or ibuprofen. These over-the-counter drugs can help a sore throat. Surprising, but true!
Home Remedy #6: Let things get steamy.
Create a “steam tent” over a bowl of steaming hot water by placing a towel over the back of your head so you can keep the steam in. This remedy is said to shorten the duration of a throat infection.
These home remedies aren’t exactly a hoot and shouldn’t be used for entertainment purposes. Most people wouldn’t have a kickin’ time making steam tents and munching on lemons and garlic while sipping vinegar. But you might as well quit your whining and give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen? Garlic breath? Don’t worry. Nobody wants to be around someone who is sick anyway.
Shootin’ the Wit is a column about everyday life that should never, ever be taken too seriously.