Natural Sore Throat Remedies
The season is upon us. Kids have returned to school, Fall is in the air and you have a sore throat. It seems every year we have the same old ailments that goes with the change of season. While some are lining up for flu-shots, the pharmacies are making money off of cold and flu remedies that can help with our sore throats.
A sore throat is an infection that can be either viral or bacterial. It is most commonly caused by a contagious viral infection (such as the flu, cold or mononucleosis), although more serious throat infections can be caused by a bacterial infection (such as strep, mycoplasma or hemophilus).
Severe sore throats can be caused by mono (mononucleosis), which often affects young adults, or strep throat. Sore throats can also be a symptom of other conditions, such as tonsillitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, or laryngitis.
Instead of handing out more money why not think about going natural with your sore throat relief and try some natural sore throat remedies.
- Gargle and rinsing your mouth with salt water several times a day. To make a salt water gargle, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
- Drink plenty of fluids, which keeps the throat lubricated. You might get relief by sucking something cold, such as a popsicle, while some find warm drinks, such as warm water with honey, helpful.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Sip chicken broth.
- Eliminate dry air, which can irritate a sore throat.
- Tea made with lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, and honey. A typical recipe would be made by adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water and then stirring. Typically, up to four cups a day is suggested.
- To help relieve the pain, apply a warm heating pad or compress to your throat.
- Try steam inhalations to ease the pain. Run very hot water in a sink. With a towel draped over your head to trap the steam, lean over the sink while the hot water is running. Breathe deeply through your mouth and nose for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day. Always be careful not to burn yourself with the hot water or steam.
- Horseradish cocktail (popular in Russia): Mix 1 tablespoon pure horseradish or horseradish root with 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Mix in a glass of warm water and drink slowly.
- Eat some marshmallows; while there’s no scientific evidence behind it, the sap from the marshmallow plant has been used to treat sore throats for centuries.
A doctor’s visit is necessary to rule out a more serious condition, especially if any of the following are present:
- Sore throat or hoarseness that lasts for more than several days
- Severe throat pain or difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Blood in saliva, sputum, or phlegm
- Tender or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- White or yellow patches or pus at the back of the throat
- A temperature of more than 101 degrees
- Excessive drooling in children
- Severe pain in the sinuses
- Pus at the back of the throat
- Cough that produces mucus
Since most sore throats from infections are caused by viruses related to colds, antibiotics (used for bacteria) are not usually needed to speed recovery from a sore throat.
Treatment for sore throats and colds from viruses are done to relieve symptoms, so home remedies may be just as effective as over-the-counter or prescription medicines.