Cough and sore throat are some of the more common illnesses we experience throughout our lives, especially during flu season. They are normally nothing to worry about and can often be treated at home. However, the recent pandemic has spiked up concerns and with people needing to isolate, more have turned to natural cures to deal with the symptoms. So what exactly are some home remedies you can try to cure cough and sore throat?

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Ginger helps treat cough and sore throat by relieving pain through its anti-inflammatory effects. Gingerols and shogaols, the compounds that make ginger pungent, are mainly responsible for this along with other medicinal properties.  A 2011 study even found that ginger extract had superior antibacterial effects compared to antibiotics against two pathogenic bacteria that cause strep throat.

Ginger can be taken in a number of ways. Simply chewing on a piece of fresh ginger root is highly effective though the pungency may be too much for most people. A less intense alternative would be in the form of lozenges you can suck on. However, the most common way is to make warm ginger tea.


Thyme helps ease coughs and colds through decongestion. It thins out the mucus and also reduces inflammation and relaxes the muscles in the throat. In fact, a review on herbal medicine for cough has shown that a preparation of thyme, ivy, and primrose helped alleviate cough symptoms in patients in terms of frequency and severity.

Black Currant

Black currant alleviates flu symptoms by boosting the immune system. It contains many vitamins and even carries four times the amount of Vitamin C compared to oranges. In addition, it has several beneficial properties like being antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitoxic, and is high in antioxidants.

Freshly pressed juice from the berries would be most effective, but they are usually hard to come by during flu season. You can instead take it as tea by dissolving a large tablespoon of black currant  jelly or jam into half a pint of boiling water.


The pungency of onions helps with decongestion by thinning down mucus. In a 2004 study published in the Journal of Food Chemistry, it was found that stronger-flavored onions like Western Yellow, New York Bold, and Northern Red have higher antioxidant activities compared to milder onions. This is due to a higher concentration of flavonoids, a component that has health properties like being anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic.

Salt Water Gargle

The American Cancer Society, Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, and the Mayo Clinic all recommend a salt water gargle to ease sore throats. It may not be an instant cure, but it does speed up the process by keeping the mouth clean and preventing further infection. The solution can kill some bacteria, but more importantly, gargling salt water draws the bacteria to the surface which you can then rid your body of when you spit it out.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of home remedies available to alleviate cough and sore throat. Some of which require ingredients you can easily find at home. However, if symptoms persist more than a week, it would be best to consult a doctor.

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