Pharyngitis, also known as sore throat, is the irritation, swelling, and inflammation of the pharynx, in the back of the throat, between the tonsils and the larynx (the voice box). Sore throat often makes it painful and difficult to swallow.
Causes of sore throat include; cold, coxsackie virus and the flu. Bacteria infections could also cause sore throat.
Risk factors that could increase the chances of having pharyngitis are; the flu, cold, repeated contact with a person that has sore throat, smoking, dry air, allergies and sinus infection.
The main symptom of pharyngitis is sore throat. Other symptoms of pharyngitis include; swollen lymph glands around the neck, difficulty swallowing, red swollen tonsils, scratchy feeling in the throat, headache, fever, and muscle aches.
Here are tips and good practices, to consider, when trying to prevent sore throat;
- Avoid smoking tobacco and stay away from areas with a lot of cigarette smoke.
- If you are susceptible to having sore throats, try to change your brush every month as the bristles of your brush could harbor germs.
- Avoid close contact with people that have sore throat.
- You could use humidifier if the air is very dry.
- Eat healthy, rest and relax a lot and avoid stressful situations. These would help boost your immune system.
- When using public telephones, avoid touching them with your mouth or nose.
- You could use air purifier in your house to improve the quality of the air indoors especially if you live in highly polluted neighborhoods.
- Avoid consumption of alcohol as it tends to dehydrate you.
- Avoid sharing eating and drinking utensils with others.
Below are natural treatments and home remedies for treating sore throats;
1. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that give instant relief from sore throat. In addition to that, it’s able to stimulate the immune system. This helps the body to fight the infection that caused the sore throat.
To make chamomile tea, you can either use fresh or dried flower buds. You should put one bag of chamomile tea in a hot glass of water and let it steep for about fifteen minutes. For better taste, you can add some lemon or honey. Drink this tea three times a day until the sore throat subsides. Unlike other cough depressants, chamomile is more effective at taming night coughs.
The anti-inflammatory properties of honey help to soothe irritation within the mucous membranes. Besides that, honey can subdue viral and bacterial infections. Studies have also shown that honey reduces the swelling and drains water from the inflamed tissue. Unlike over-the-counter medications, you can use honey without any side-effects.
To treat pharyngitis, just add one tablespoon of honey in warm water and drink two times a day. Alternatively, you can take one teaspoon of raw honey before bed. It’s more effective when combined with apple cider vinegar and water.
3. Licorice Root
Licorice is a powerful expectorant. It reduces the inflammation, soothes irritation and expels the mucus from the throat. Licorice contains flavonoids that inhibit the bacterial growth. To get some instant relief, you should drink licorice tea. Boil one tablespoon of licorice in a cup of water for ten minutes. Take the tea three times a day until the infection disappears. Both pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use this treatment.
4. Saltwater Gargle
Saltwater can eliminate the acidity that leads to throat irritation. Apart from that, saline water helps to inhibit the microbes in the throat. To soothe the inflammation, simply dissolve one tablespoon of salt in a cup of water and gargle for about a minute. By gargling every hour, you’ll eliminate throat discomfort and reduce the swelling.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for throat infections. Since vinegar contains antimicrobial properties, it’s able to neutralize infections that cause pain. If you have pharyngitis, try dissolving two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in warm water. Swish the solution in your mouth at least three times a day. Basically, a higher concentration of ACV will treat the symptoms more effectively.
6. Clove Oil
Clove oil has a wide-range of antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It’s commonly used as an aesthetic in natural medicine. Clove releases eugenol which helps to numb the pain in the throat. Since clove causes burn in the mouth, you should dilute it. Add five drops of clove oil in a glass of water and gargle at least three times a day. You can also spray the oil directly into your mouth.
7. Baking Soda
Baking soda is one of the straightforward treatments for sore throats. Other than inhibiting the bacteria that cause sore throat, baking soda balances the pH. This helps baking soda to soothe the swollen tissues in the throat. Baking soda is more effective when combined with salt. You should mix one tablespoon of salt and one tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water. Once you pour the solution in the throat, let it sit for 1-2 minutes before spitting it. You can use this treatment three times a day for one week.
8. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin, in cayenne pepper, works as a pain inhibitor. Furthermore, cayenne pepper helps to reduce the swelling in the throat. For maximum pain relief, dissolve cayenne in a cup of hot water and then add a few drops of lemon or honey. Take the resulting solution two times a day until the symptoms disappear.
9. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil has a strong mint aroma that aids in soothing sore throats. It also contains strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties that thin out mucus. For fast relief, rub one drop of peppermint oil at the back of your neck and another drop on the forehead. Alternatively, you can use a diffuser to disperse the healing benefits into the air or you could take peppermint tea.
Steam cleans the nasal passage, especially when you have a stuffy nose. To get some relief from pharyngitis, boil three liters of water in a pot. After that, inhale the hot steam by holding your head over the boiling water. Make sure you’ve covered your head with a towel. You can also try to breathe in the hot moisture from your shower when the door is closed. Alternatively, you can do a warm compress to soothe the lymph nodes. Continue with this treatment until the sore throat disappears.
11. Drink Plenty Of Water
Water keeps the throat moist and prevents dehydration. Although most people don’t feel comfortable when drinking warm water, it would make you feel better when you have sore throat. When you are dehydrated, your body cannot produce enough mucus which helps to keep the throat naturally lubricated. Ideally, you should take more than eight glasses of warm water throughout the day to flush out the toxins. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they tend to dehydrate the body.
The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of garlic help to fight infections. For instant relief from sore throat, boil a few garlic cloves for thirty minutes. Once the solution cools down, drink it at regular intervals. However, if you love the taste of garlic, you can crush a few cloves in your mouth. Furthermore, you can mince the garlic cloves and then add some honey before consuming. Rinse your mouth thoroughly to get rid of the smell.
13. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is an old but effective remedy for sore throat. Chicken soup can soothe the irritations along the nasal passage. It also helps to soothe the sore throat, not to mention it’s packed with nutrients. This makes it the perfect choice if you are not able to take solid foods. For optimal benefits, you can add some pepper. And since it has no side effects, you can take it as many times as possible.
14. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is one of the most sought-after remedies for sore throat. It stimulates the body’s immunity and improves respiratory circulation. To relieve a sore throat, rub a few drops of eucalyptus oil on your throat and chest. You can also put a few drops in a diffuser and disperse the therapeutic benefits into the air.
15. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root has been used for hundreds of years to treat sore throats. Other than that, marshmallow root helps to treat the irritated tissues and swelling around the throat. Since it hurts to swallow anything when you have a sore throat, marshmallow tea can provide some relief thanks to the gelatin component. You should take this herb three times a day until the sore throat is gone.
16. Lozenges And Sprays
Lozenges help to ease sore throat symptoms. Some have topical anesthetics, so they will temporarily ease the throat pain. For added benefit, you should choose those with menthol or eucalyptus. Although they won’t cure the sore throat, they will provide temporary pain relief. You should not use lozenges and sprays for more than five days. Also, they should also not be given to toddlers and young children.
17. Bone Broth
Bone broth reduces inflammation, heals a leaky gut, and promotes digestion. To prepare a broth, you need a few ingredients like vegetables, animal bones, and herbs. In order to get that rich delicious flavor, you should cook for a number of hours. The long cooking time helps to extract the essential nutrients for relieving sore throats. You may also want to add some vinegar for more benefits. Since all the ingredients are in their natural form, you can take the bone broth as many times as possible.
A humidifier can help to alleviate symptoms associated with sore throat. Dry air can irritate the nasal passage. As such, dry air can make you more susceptible to colds and other forms of throat and nasal irritation. However, a humidifier keeps your throat moisturized to soothe the swollen sore throat.
You should clean the humidifier on regular basis so that it does not turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. Make sure you select a unit that can regulate the amount of humidity in the air. The good thing about a humidifier is that it can be used by babies or toddlers on regular basis. Always use a humidifier when your indoor air gets dry.
The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help to soothe the sore throat. Ginger has been used for years as a natural treatment for colds. The best way to take ginger is in form of tea. Just peel the skin off a ginger root, slice it into small portions and then boil in water for thirty minutes. You can also take ginger in powder form. To ensure you get the right immunity, make ginger part of your everyday diet.
Fenugreek has strong antibacterial properties that help to soothe sore throat. This herb’s seed works as a natural remedy for a number of ailments. Fenugreek can be taken in form of tea or topical oil. Simply, boil the seeds in a pot for about one hour and then gargle the resulting solution. Follow this remedy up to three times a day until the sore throat symptoms subside.
21. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm naturally relieves irritation in the mouth and the mucous membranes. Slippery elm’s high mucilage also coats the throat and act as a pain reliever. For this remedy to work, you should mix one cup of slippery elm with two tablespoons of honey. After that, add the mixture in a pot of water and boil for twenty minutes. You can also mix the herb with licorice tea. Take the tea three times in a day until the sore throat subsides.
22. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric contains curcumin which makes it an effective remedy to treat a sore throat associated with cold or flu. Turmeric also contains a wide range of minerals and vitamins making it a powerful antioxidant. Turmeric works by relieving symptoms like itching, burning, and swelling. Just dissolve one spoonful of turmeric tea and one tablespoon of salt in a glass of water. For optimal results, gargle the solution for several times within a thirty minutes period.
23. Hard Candy
A hard candy will keep your throat lubricated, moist and stimulate the production of saliva. Just like lozenges, they stimulate the production of saliva and help to soothe soreness in the throat caused by dry sore throat. This remedy could be helpful for kids 5 years and above. However, do not give hard candies to toddlers as they could be a choking hazard for them.
24. Acupuncture Therapy
Acupuncture may be helpful in soothing sore throat symptoms. However, there are mixed reactions for the use of acupuncture as a remedy for numerous ailments. Practitioners of acupuncture claim that there are several points, on the body, that can be stimulated to provide relief from sore throat.
Resting is the easiest yet most effective remedy for pharyngitis. By getting a good night sleep, you naturally boost your immune system to fight off the virus that causes the sore throat. Also, when you rest, you give your throat time to heal. During this period try not to speak unless it’s necessary. You can take as much rest as possible to achieve much-needed results.
26. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It has the ability to kill disease-causing pathogens. Colloidal silver is especially effective in controlling antibiotic-resistant bugs. For best results, you should use colloidal silver three times a day until the symptoms improve. Colloidal silver is also used in the treatment of common cold, flu, and even pneumonia.
27. Zinc Supplements / Zinc Lozenges
When you take zinc, your immune system improves, thus, making your body less susceptible to diseases. You could take zinc lozenges the moment you notice the first signs of pharyngitis. Due to zinc’s antiviral effect, zinc would speed up the healing process. You could also take zinc supplements as directed by your physician.
These are the good bacteria that help to eliminate the bad bacteria. Probiotics are available in natural form as well as supplements. For example, when you take yogurt, you increase the good bacteria in your body. This way, you boost your immune system.
Lemon helps to flush out the toxins from your body. Also, lemon’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties make them an effective home remedy for sore throat. Since lemons are available in form of essential oils, you can inhale lemon directly from the bottle to increase salivation. By doing this, you keep your throat moisturized. Alternatively, you can make some lemon tea.
30. Vitamin C
Vitamin C comes from fruits of the citrus family and vegetables. Several studies have shown that citrus fruits help to boost the production of white blood cells. If you have any signs of sore throat, you should consume foods like strawberries, oranges, guava, and kales. In case you experience some problems when swallowing them in their solid form, you can prepare a smoothie.
31. Echinacea/Sage Throat Spray
Echinacea and sage are natural herbs that help to fight inflammation and help numb the pain in your sore throat. When Echinacea and sage are combined, they form a powerful throat spray. If you have an irritated throat, spray a few drops at the back of the throat every few hours until the symptoms subside. Alternatively, you can add a few drops in a glass of warm water and swish the solution in your mouth. Use this remedy to ease pain and inflammation.
32. Stop Smoking
Smoking tobacco can exacerbate the irritation and inflammations that results from sore throat. Also, the heat from these tobacco products, when smoking them, increases the likelihood of having a sore throat. Also, avoid secondhand smoke as they are equally as bad for your health and could cause sore throat.
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