When the weather gets drier and colder, throats get sore. To combat a sore throat and sleep a little better, home remedies are a way to tackle this condition before turning to antibiotics.

When your throat gets irritated and it’s hard to swallow, your day is pretty much ruined. For dry throats, the number one thing is to hydrate with water. Warm tea, especially chamomile, peppermint or green, is helpful for soothing throats and opening your airways. One of the most popular home remedies is honey, which has been shown to possess healing effects. Add a teaspoon to hot tea or take a spoonful straight to soothe your dry or sore throat.

Salt water will help rinse away and neutralize acids that may be irritating your throat. Mix a quarter of a teaspoon of salt into a cup of the hottest water you can stand (cold water won’t be effective) and gargle, but don’t swallow. Make sure you mix a new glass every time. If you don’t like salt water, a baking soda gargle can help. It can kill bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the capsaicin in hot sauce can help alleviate throat pain. In a cup of hot water, sprinkle in about ¼ tsp. of cayenne pepper or a few drops of hot sauce. This will burn, but try it every 15 minutes as it may prove effective. However, if you have visible sores in your mouth or on the back of your throat, skip this one.

Prevent sore throats from happening by washing your hands often, drinking lots of water and avoiding acidic foods and smoke. Colder weather is a lot more enjoyable without a sore throat.