Sore throat is a condition that arises as a result of the inflammation of the pharynx. The pharynx is basically the tube that extends from the back of your mouth to the esophagus. In fact, the technical name for the throat is pharynx.
Sore throat could be caused due to viral, bacterial or fungal infections. Allergic reactions could also bring about sore throats. Furthermore, irritants, such as smoking, dry air, acid reflux, or pollution, could cause sore throats. Excessive yelling or shouting could also cause sore throat.
Sore throat can be a source of discomfort and pain and could be accompanied by swollen glands, stomach pain, headache and common cold.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with sore throats;
- Gargle salt water for quick relief.
- Suck lozenges especially the ones containing menthol.
- Ensure you stay hydrated.
- Use a humidifier, in your home, to help thin out the mucus in your throat.
- You could take a steam shower. This would also provide some relief.
- Add honey to your tea. Honey has potent antimicrobial properties that would help hasten the healing process.
- If possible, stay at home and avoid activities that would cause you to strain your voice.
Below are home remedies and natural treatments for sore throats;
Salt water is an effective remedy for a sore throat as it helps in breaking down the mucus that develops in the throat. The high salt content further inhibits the growth of bacteria and relieves pain. Take a glass and fill it with warm water. Make sure it is not too hot to gargle. Add half teaspoon of salt and stir well to dissolve it completely. Use this warm salt water solution to gargle every 3-4 hours when you have a sore throat.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has infection-fighting abilities which prove to be beneficial for relieving a sore throat. ACV kills the bacteria and prevents its spread. Furthermore, apple cider vinegar’s acidic nature aids in breaking down the mucus that develops in your throat, thereby relieving pain.
To a cup of warm water, add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix well. Now add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Mix well and sip it slowly. Repeat this remedy 2-3 times in a day until there is a considerable relief from pain.
The antimicrobial properties of garlic are great for combating a sore throat. Garlic has high medicinal properties that speed up healing. Raw garlic contains a compound called allicin that inhibits the bacteria causing the sore throat.
Simply eat 1 raw garlic clove every day to fight the infection. You may also gargle with warm water mixed with a little garlic oil for effective results. If you are not comfortable using garlic in the above ways, you may take garlic pills for a few days until you notice an improvement.
Lemon can help you get rid of mucus in a fast way. It would reduce pain and cure a sore throat in a natural way. Simply drink hot lemonade made by mixing the juice of half a lemon with some honey in warm water. Sip it slowly to get rid of a sore throat. You may also add lemon juice to a glass filled with warm water and gargle it. Slowly licking a lemon sprinkled with salt is also useful in relieving a sore throat.
Cinnamon is antibacterial in nature and may help greatly in inhibiting the bacteria responsible for a sore throat. Cinnamon is also high in antioxidants which enables faster healing. Fill a glass with warm water and to it add a teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and powdered black pepper. Strain and drink it 2-3 times every day. Alternatively, add a little cinnamon oil to 1 teaspoon of honey and consume it twice daily.
6. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm tends to form a gel when mixed with water. It soothes the throat by creating a protective coating, thus providing relief from the associated discomfort. Take slippery elm bark powder in a glass and pour hot boiling water over it. Stir well and drink it for a fast relief.
The soothing and cooling action of menthol, present in peppermint, is great for thinning the mucus present in the throat. In addition to that, the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity of peppermint promotes faster healing.
For this remedy, take a cup of warm water and add a handful of fresh leaves of peppermint. Let it steep for 15 minutes. Then, strain it and sip the tea. If peppermint leaves are not readily available, you may suck peppermint candies that are readily available in stores.
Honey is a sure shot remedy for infection and would help in relieving a sore throat to a great extent. Honey has a unique characteristic of drawing out water from the affected tissue and reducing the associated swelling. For this remedy, fill up a cup with hot water and add 2 tbsp of honey to it. Drink this tea several times during the day.
9. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a powerful antibacterial agent and would help in relieving the sore throat infection in a natural way. Fill a cup with warm water and add a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to the water. Also, add 1/8th teaspoon of salt to this baking soda solution and gargle this solution. Do this every three hours to alleviate the sore throat.
Chamomile has a soothing action on the body. In addition to that, chamomile’s high medicinal value makes it an excellent tonic for a sore throat. Chamomile reduces inflammation to provide relief from pain and swelling. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea would soothe your throat while healing it in a natural way. You may also inhale chamomile steam to relieve symptoms of a cold.
11. Marshmallow Roots
Marshmallow roots have been used in medicine for many years to soothe a sore throat. The gelatin-like substance, present in marshmallow roots, coats the throat and makes swallowing easy.
For this remedy, fill up a 1-liter jar with water. Now put some marshmallow roots, tied in a clean cheesecloth, into the jar. Screw the lid of the jar while placing the tied end of the cheesecloth bundle on the lip of the jar. Let the marshmallow infuse into the water overnight or for 8 hours. Remove the bundle and drink it throughout the day.
Fenugreek would help in dissolving the mucus and clearing your throat. Fenugreek reduces swelling, inflammation, and pain in a natural way. All you have to do is take about 6 cups of water and to it, add fenugreek seeds (2 tablespoons). Put it on a flame and let it boil for half an hour. Then, let it cool down to room temperature and strain the liquid. Use it to gargle at least 3-4 times in a day until the condition improves.
13. Licorice Root
Licorice has aspirin-like properties that have a beneficial action on the sore throat. Licorice root can significantly reduce throat pain caused due to the sore throat. You can buy licorice root tea from a local grocery store and prepare a tea to drink or use it as a gargle. The tea can also be made by steeping licorice roots for 5 minutes in hot water. Strain and sip the soothing tea slowly.
Acupuncture is another age-old technique to treat many health conditions. Acupuncture may also help you get rid of a sore throat. There are specific points located in your hands that would help in relieving a sore throat. Consult an acupuncture practitioner to effectively locate and apply the correct pressure to treat your sore throat in an effective way.
15. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper contains capsaicin which relieves pain and provides soothing relief. Capsaicin also temporarily numbs the receptors that transmit the sensation of pain to the brain. Mix cayenne pepper with honey and consume it several times during the day. Cayenne pepper may cause discomfort as it irritates the lining of the stomach, hence, it may not be suitable for everyone. Alternatively, you may mix this pepper with vinegar and use it for a gargle.
Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent that helps in reducing a sore throat. Turmeric’s antiseptic nature inhibits infections and reduces bacterial growth in your throat.
Take 1/4th teaspoon of powdered turmeric and add it to a glass filled with warm water. Stir well and drink the solution once every day for 3-4 days. For a fast action, you may add powdered turmeric to 1 glass of warm water. Also, add half a teaspoon of salt and gargle this solution several times in a day.
17. Sage and Echinacea
Sage is an anti-inflammatory herb that may help in controlling sore throat. Echinacea is another herb that may aid in reducing infection of the throat and promote faster healing. Both herbs have unique medicinal properties that combine together to provide you relief from a sore throat.
Boil some water in a pan and add 1 teaspoon each of sage and echinacea. Let it steep for at least 30 minutes. Then, strain it and add half a cup of hard liquor. You may avoid adding alcohol if you don’t consume it for any reason. Fill up a spray bottle with it and spray it directly on your throat every 2 hours.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which may help greatly in relieving swelling and pain in your throat. Ginger also kills the bacteria that irritates the throat. Take some fresh ginger root, peel it and grate it finely. Then, take some water in a pan and bring it to boil. Now put a tablespoon of the grated ginger in the pan and cover the pan with a lid. Steep it for at least 10 minutes. Strain it and add lemon juice or a sweetener. Stir well and consume the resultant tea.
19. Frozen Foods
Frozen foods may help in relieving a sore throat. These foods cool down the irritated tissue and ease swallowing. Try consuming sorbet or popsicles to slowly reduce the sore and pain. You may also eat low-fat ice-cream if dairy products do not tend to worsen your sore throat condition.
Staying hydrated may speed up the healing process in an incredible way. Staying hydrated will ease the congestion and help in thinning the mucus. Fluids may also keep your throat moist and reduce discomfort. Keep drinking enough water, hot beverages and cold ice water to soothe your throat as well as replenish the lost fluids in your body. Don’t consume caffeinated beverages, sodas or alcohol as they may dehydrate your body and worsen your condition.
21. Coconut Oil
Besides having numerous health benefits, coconut oil could effectively alleviate a sore throat. All thanks to its anti-inflammatory and lubricating properties. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to tea, soup or hot cocoa.
You may also put some coconut oil in your mouth and allow it to melt and pass down through your throat. Make sure you do not exceed the limit of 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a day. If you are consuming it for the first time, start with a lower dose of 1 tablespoon at first, then gradually increase your dose to 2 tbsp.
22. Warm Compress
Applying a warm compress to your neck will soothe the lymph nodes and relieve pain. Place a warm heating pad on your neck to apply heat to the affected area. You may also use a hot water bottle or a hot towel as a warm compress to relieve a sore throat.
23. Herbal Throat Lozenges
Throat lozenges are a great way to relieve pain from the throat. They would soothe the area as well as reduce discomfort in a natural way. Simply buy throat lozenges from a store or prepare your own homemade lozenges with slippery elm to calm your irritated throat.
24. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup not only soothes a sore throat but also increases your fluid intake to promote a faster recovery from the condition. Drink a bowl of chicken soup for an instant relief. You may add garlic to it to increase its efficacy.
25. Ice Pops
If your kids refuse to swallow food during a sore throat, an ice pop may help in reducing the pain. Simply make ice pops of sweetened fruit juices, herbal teas, and custard and they will happily consume it.
26. Fennel Tea
Fennel or sweet anise is used in many herbal preparations and has a potent medicinal value. Usually, it is used to treat colic in small babies, however, it can also relieve an irritated throat. Simply make fennel tea by boiling a teaspoon of fennel seeds in 1 cup of water for at least 5 minutes. Cool it and strain it. You may either drink this tea slowly or use the tea to gargle a few times during the day.
Placing a humidifier in your room will reduce the dryness from the air and soothe the throat. If a humidifier is not available, you may bend over a bowl of hot water to inhale the steam. This can be an effective remedy for a dry sore throat.
28. Clove Oil
Clove oil has a numbing action on tissues. Therefore, it would help in reducing pain and discomfort to some extent. Fill a cup with warm water and add 5-6 drops of clove oil. Stir well and use it to gargle. Repeat this remedy 3-4 times a day. Alternatively, you may also fill this solution in a spray bottle and spray it directly on your throat as needed.
29. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide acts as a disinfectant which helps in alleviating a sore throat in a natural and cheap way. When used, hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen that kills anaerobic bacteria. Take equal parts of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water and mix well. Gargle this solution. Make sure you don’t swallow it.
30. Pomegranate Tea
A tea made from pomegranate fruit peel may foster beneficial effect in reducing a sore throat. Pomegranate has astringent properties which act in a fast manner to reduce pain and inflammation. Take some fresh or dried pomegranate fruit peels and boil them in water for 5 minutes. Let it stand for another 30 minutes, then, strain it. Drink this tea slowly to soothe the throat.
31. Hard Candy
Hard candies may stimulate the production of saliva and continuously lubricate the throat relieving pain and discomfort. Hard candies can be given to children above the age of 5. Avoid giving it to small children as there is a risk of choking.
32. Shallots And Honey
The medicinal properties of shallots are suitable for effectively treating a sore throat. Shallots have been used for many years to relieve cold symptoms. Prepare a shallot and honey syrup by making thin slices of shallots and steeping it in honey. Consume 1/2 teaspoon of it a few times in a day.
33. Avoid Smoking
If you have a sore throat, smoking may worsen your condition. A cigarette contains numerous toxic chemicals that would aggravate the irritated tissues of the throat. Also, avoid second-hand smoking as it could affect and aggravate a sore throat.
34. Throat Coat Tea
Throat coat tea is specially prepared for reducing a sore throat. It contains a perfect blend of licorice, marshmallow, and elm inner bark. These ingredients work in an excellent way to relieve the condition. People who consume it often find a reduction in pain after 30 minutes of consuming it.
Adequate sleep is essential for a faster recovery. It is important to get enough rest if you have cold symptoms or a sore throat. Rest strengthens the immune system making the system fortified to inhibit the bacteria and virus that are responsible for a sore throat. Endeavor to talk less in order to provide some rest to your throat too.
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