Lauren and I, our families, and so many of our friend’s families, have recently come down with a terrible cold. The kind of cold that has you literally blowing through a box of Kleenex a day, snoring when you don’t normally snore, a sore throat, a hacking cough, ear ache and to top it off, sinus pressure. It’s a doozy and I have been fighting this nastiness for three weeks. I am definitely, sick of being sick. From others who experienced my same symptoms, I’m told it’s about a six-week cough/cold bug. For Lauren, it lasted 7 weeks. Seriously?! Who has time for a six or seven-week cold bug?! No one. As I trudge on, below are some natural ways to help relieve a sore throat, ear ache, and sinus pressure which are three of the aliments that can hurt the most.
Natural Sore Throat Remedies
- Gargling Salt Water – I’ve been doing this trick since I was in grade school. Warm a glass of water and stir in 1 tsp of table salt. Gargle for 30 seconds and spit the salt water mixture out. Repeat as many times throughout the day as needed to help relieve an itchy sore throat. In addition to adding salt to warm water, you can also add turmeric, ginger and honey. Check out some additional gargle recipes HERE.
- Manuka Honey – This is a new method for me introduced by my mother-in-law. Manuka honey is a unique form of honey produced by bees in New Zealand. Manuka honey has antibacterial properties and natural ingredients that help soothe a sore throat and can aid with digestive issues. There are different grades of Manuka honey, all are measured by a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). You will want to purchase a grade that is at least 15+ or more. I purchased this Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 15+ from Amazon. I took one teaspoon of the honey raw (my mother-in-law did thorough research and mentions taking the honey raw honey is the best way to take it) every morning for two weeks and it absolutely helped with my sore throat. I felt relief almost right away. I will say that I don’t really enjoy the taste. It’s a bit on the thick side and in my opinion, isn’t Although, comments from Amazon say I’m in the minority on not liking the taste. I will do my best to continue with it as it says for maximum benefits to take a teaspoon every morning even when healthy. This honey is costly ($50+) for an 8 oz. bottle. At that price, I want to get the most out of it.
- Drink Warm Lemon Water – I drink warm lemon water every morning before coffee. The article in the link gives 10 health benefits to drinking warm lemon water. One of them noting it can help with chest infections and coughs. I usually warm my water up in the microwave for 30 seconds then add lemon. Our bodies naturally dehydrate overnight, so this is the best way to rehydrate in the morning.
- Use a Humidifier – Using a humidifier can help with a dry throat and clear nasal passages. The humidifier shown in the link is great as you can also add essential oils to for an extra healing boost.
Natural Ear Ache Remedies
- Put a Clove of Garlic in Your Ear – We normally have garlic around the house so I could give this remedy a try and was pleasantly surprised that it worked. I peeled one clove and cut the top of the clove off so the core of the clove was exposed and placed the garlic inside my outer ear. It is important to not put the garlic in your ear canal.
- Warm an Onion or Use Onion Juice – I used the method of cutting the onion in half and warming it on a skillet that the article refers to on my young son. He preferred this to any type of drop as he doesn’t like to have things in his ear. I made sure the onion was warm and not hot like the article notes, and I covered it with a light weight cloth. He went right back to sleep after about 10 minutes of holding the onion to his ear. I plan to try the onion juice method in the future as he gets older and on myself for when I get ear aches.
- Warm Compress – Use a wash cloth or a hot (or cold) pack and fill with warm water. Hold over your ear for 10 minutes to relieve ear pain.
- Salt Sock – I have never done this but will be giving this method a try the next time ear aches come up in my family. The directions say to fill a clean white sock with coarse sea salt and warm on a skillet for about 4 minutes then place over your ear. The article notes the importance of using a white sock verses a colored sock due to the flammability in colored threads. The article also mentions using a microwave will work but cautions the flammability as well and to warm in 5 second increments.
- Drop of Hydrogen Peroxide – One drop of hydrogen peroxide in my ear gave me immediate relief. I filled a dropper with hydrogen peroxide and slowly released the drops in my ear canal. I immediately felt my ear bubbling and then felt relief.
Natural Sinus Remedies
- Flush your Nasal Passage with a Saline Nasal Spray – I found this method to be great for keeping my nasal membranes moisturized. The dryness in your nasal cavity is what exacerbates a sinus infection. You can buy a can of gentle saline nasal mist at any drug store and it is more sterile that using a Netti Pot. The Netti Pot can work great when you have nasal allergies, however I find that the Netti pot can sometimes make my blockage worse when I am really stuffed up or bother my ears with water flowing into them.
- Apply a Warm Compress and then a Cold Compress – Lauren had terrible sinus pain when she was sick. One of the main things that gave her some relief was applying a warm compress directly to her cheeks and forehead, and then a cold compress immediately afterwards. The warm compress opens the sinus cavities and steams them and the cold compress reduces the painful swelling. For the cold compress; place a wet paper towel or washcloth in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. While you wait for it to freeze, make the hot compress. For the hot compress; get a wash cloth wet, place it in a baggy and microwave it for 30 seconds. It will be very hot so proceed slowly with applying it to your face. Apply the hot compress to your face for 5 minutes. Once complete get the cold compress and use it for another 5 minutes. Repeat 3 times until you feel relief.
- Use a Humidifier – Just like the sore throat remedy, using a humidifier is key for clearing a sinus infection. The dryer the air, the more the sinuses will become swollen and irritated.
These remedies worked for us. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your doctor on all of this. We don’t intend to give medical advice. Do you have any natural remedies for throat and ear aches or have you tried any of the ones noted above? Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear what has worked for you.