In this weather, with the heating cranked up and germs flying around the office, you’re almost guaranteed to pick up a cough, cold, tickly throat, or all of the above.
While many of us reach straight for the over-the-counter lozenges, or turn to antibiotics - which GPs have been told not to prescribe for a sore throat - here are some tastier ways to calm and soothe a raspy, sore throat.
Sap from the marshmallow plant has been used to treat all manner of colds for hundreds of years, and the candy variety may still have healing properties. Plus, they’re soft, slippery and full of gelatin (which can coat your throat) so are easy to get down a sore throat.
2. Chicken soup
Chicken soup when you’re poorly isn’t just an old wives’ tale, the hearty broth is packed with nutrients, will keep your energy up, and the heat of it will soothe on the way down. Remember though, the canned stuff won’t be as healthy as homemade versions with fresh chicken.
3. Ice cream
Cool that burning oesophagus with something frozen: ice cream, ice-pops, frozen yogurt – they’ll all do the trick.
If it all gets too much and you’re gagging for an alcoholic drink, mix your usual whisky with water and gargle it - it’s a sure-fire way to numb your throat and banish irritation, for a while at least.
Pungent as it is, garlic contains allicin which boosts your immune system and has antibacterial properties – both of which mean you’ll be better placed to fight off that sore throat.
6. Lemon (and honey)
Don’t start chowing down lemon slices, but do squeeze the citrus fruit into hot water and swirl with honey. It’s essentially a lozenge in healing liquid form.
Boost your honey and lemon with a hit of antioxidant-heavy ginger for an even more revitalising throat treatment. Alternatively, dunk ginger nuts in ginger tea until they go soft for a mood-improving sugary snack.
Cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties so will help reduce swelling in the throat – it’s also laden with vitamins and has been shown to relieve headaches, so you’ll be able to tackle your cold on all fronts. Coleslaw for lunch it is.
Mush up a banana and you have a soft, super healthy, vitamin-rich baby food for your sore throat. Blitz it into a smoothie if you’re really struggling to eat, or slice it into chunks, freeze and snack on it as a cold treat later.
Easy to eat, porridge is great for releasing energy over time (it’ll keep you going) and promises a good whack of vitamins and fibre. Step away from the toast – it might be standard food for poorly people, but it’ll just scrape your throat on the way down.
Containing good levels of protein and omegas, eggs are soft – however you prepare them – and will slide nicely down your throat. Scrambled definitely makes most sense.
12. Liquorice (root)
Put the Liquorice Allsorts down and instead start sipping on liquorice root tea. It fights infection and has been proven to soothe throats, particularly after surgery.
In traditional Chinese medicine, cinnamon not only helps heal a sore throat, if you want to get ahead of the game, it can also ward one off entirely.
Cloves have loosening properties, so drinking a tea with them in can help break up mucus in the chest, making coughing up phlegm less painful (weirdly, they also help with earache).
Having been used as a herbal remedy since ancient Egyptian times, a few sage leaves infused in a mug of hot water can soothe and reduce inflammation.
How do you soothe a sore throat? Let us know in the Comments section.