Cold and flu season is officially upon us. And while we sniffle our way into work and suffer throbbing headaches throughout the day because of winter viruses, we think it's a scratchy, sore throat that can be the hardest to treat. 

If you rather ditch the prescribed medication and prefer natural remedies, keep reading because we have some fantastic and really effective ways to beat your sore throat. 

Top up your fluids 

Drinking is extremely important when you're feeling poorly but even more so when your throat is feeling inflamed and raw. Hot drinks are particularly effective at soothing, but try including a teaspoon of honey into hot water along with lemon or lime juice. Some doctors even tout honey mixed with apple-cider vinegar as the best sore throat remedy. Honey has natural antibacterial properties that will help fight off any infection. 

Gargle, gargle, gargle 

It may not be the most attractive of treatments, but gargling is the fastest way to banish a sore throat and beat infection. Saltwater is by far the most common solution to help, but did you know that both sage and turmeric have been linked to combating sore throats too? So whether to have herbs, spices or salt to hand, get gargling. 

Steam it out 

Steaming isn't only for a blocked nose - it can seriously help soothe a dry throat too. Make a 'steam tent' over a bowl of hot water, with a few added drops of eucalyptus oil if you have sinus congestion too, and hold a towel over your head as you lower your face towards the bowl. It might be an old wives' tale but studies have found it can help shorten the duration of a sore throat. 

No kissing 

Of course, puckering up to your loved one might be off bounds when you're feeling sick, but with this old remedy, I'm not sure anyone would like to be on the receiving end of a smooch. An old Amish tradition is to suck on a clove of garlic to help ease a sore throat as it contains allicin, a chemical that can kill off bacteria. Definitely not a remedy to try before date night.