A sore throat usually goes away on its own and most cases you don’t have to see a doctor. Unfortunately, you will have to deal with a lot of discomfort that comes with it. Pain and itchiness can be quite annoying but don’t worry, there are numerous simple remedies you can try at home. If you want some help in fast tracking your recovery, here are natural sore throat remedies.
- 1 Causes of Sore Throat
- 2 Sore Throat Symptoms
- 3 Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat
- 4 Natural and Quick Sore Throat Remedies
- 4.1 1. Eucalyptus
- 4.2 2. Chamomile Tea
- 4.3 3. Garlic (Allium sativum)
- 4.4 4. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- 4.5 5. Echinacea Herbal Tea
- 4.6 6. Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
- 4.7 7. Raw, Undiluted Honey
- 4.8 8. Sea Salt Water Gargle
- 4.9 9. Ginger Root
- 4.10 10. Marshmallow Root
- 4.11 11. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 4.12 12. Cayenne Pepper
- 4.13 13. Cinnamon
- 4.14 14. Baking soda
- 4.15 15. Mouthwash
- 4.16 16. Rest and Drink Plenty of Fluids
- 4.17 17. Use a Humidifier
- 4.18 18. Sage
- 4.19 19. Horseradish
- 4.20 20. Chicken Soup
- 4.21 21. Avoid Dairy and Sugary Products
- 4.22 22. Steam
- 4.23 23. Stop Smoking
- 4.24 24. Avoid Spicy Food
- 4.25 25. Toss Out Toothbrush
- 4.26 26. Eat Food Rich in Vitamin C
- 4.27 Conclusion
Causes of Sore Throat
Most sore throats are brought on by viruses that cause the common cold and flu but there can be other infections that lead to a sore throat.
Most viral infections are caused by common cold or flu. Other infections include: mononucleosis, chicken pox, measles, and croup (mostly in kids).
Strep throat, whooping cough, and diphteria.
Allergies such as pet, mold, dust, pollen, and some cases food allergies can also cause a sore throat. People who suffer from seasonal allergies are more likely to develop a sore throat.
Pollution, smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol,low humidity, and spicy foods can irritate the throat. Also, post nasal drip can irritate and inflame the throat.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
GERD can lead to a sore throat. It is a digestive system disorder which pushes stomach acids back up to the esophagus (food pipe). This damages the inner lining of the throat, thereby causing a painful throat.
HIV infection can be responsible for a sore throat. People who suffer from HIV may have a chronic or recurring sore throat caused by a secondary infection.
Sore Throat Symptoms
Throat pain is the main symptom of a sore throat. You may also experience:
Scratchy sensation in the throat with difficulty swallowing
Fever and headaches
Muscle aches and joint pain
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Swollen red tonsils
White patches in your throat
Hoarseness in your voice
Sore Throat vs. Strep Throat
Sore throat from a cold gets better or goes away after 1-3 days. Runny nose or congestion may follow and stay for about a week.
Strep throat, caused by a streptococcus bacteria, has more severe symptoms. It causes inflammation of the tonsils, larynx, and pharynx. Sore throats usually affect only the pharynx. Strep throat symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, and swelling of the throat and tonsils. Sometimes white or yellow patches appear on the tonsils. You may also have small red spots on the soft or hard palate. Strep throat may lead to rheumatic or scarlet fever and require immediate medical attention.
Natural and Quick Sore Throat Remedies
The dried leaves and oil derived from the eucalyptus tree are popular for medicinal purposes. They have been extensively used to disinfect wounds, alleviate inflammatory conditions, and treating symptoms of respiratory tract infections, like a painful and swollen throat.
Although the studies prove these health benefits of eucalyptus are not particularly abundant, there are several studies that suggest that eucalyptus oil helps reduce the thickness of mucus in the upper and lower airways.
In a 2009 study, researchers identified cineole, as the active ingredient in eucalyptus oil. This double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Respiratory Research involved participants with stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For six months, they were given either placebo or cineole (200 mg) thrice daily as a concomitant therapy.
Researchers found out that cineole didn’t only improve the participants’ lung function and lessened exacerbations, but it also controlled the inflammation of the airway mucus membrane. This is common in flu and colds. This anti-inflammatory action of cineole could greatly help in alleviating sore throat.
What’s more interesting is that the fruits of the eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus) is said to have antibacterial activities against multi-drug resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a gram-positive bacteria that causes sore throat. The antibacterial action of the fruit essential oils, which has an active ingredient called aromadendrene, is even more potent than the eucalyptus leaf oils.
Of course, eucalyptus has its limitations. For one, it doesn’t work on a sore throat caused by viruses or gram-negative bacteria.
How to use eucalyptus for sore throat:
- You can use eucalyptus essential oil through aromatherapy. You could add up to two drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a steamer or humidifier.
- As a tea, the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that adults drink a maximum of three cups.
- You can also gargle with eucalyptus. Simply mix one to two drops of food-grade eucalyptus oil with water.
- Never take undiluted eucalyptus oil, especially at an amount that’s more than 3.5 ml. It can cause serious, or even fatal consequences. Symptoms of eucalyptus oil poisoning include the following: muscle weakness, dizziness, choking sensations, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach ache, and so on.
2. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is probably one of the most popularly used remedies. For thousands of years, it has been used in folk medicine to promote sleep, soothe an upset stomach, alleviate anxiety, reduce inflammatory conditions (e.g. arthritis), and so much more. The common chamomile varieties used for health conditions are Chamaemelum nobile (Roman Chamomile) and Chamomilla recutita (German Chamomile).
Scientific studies have shown that chamomile is also helpful in fighting common cold symptoms, such as a throat infection. One of these studies was led by Elaine Holmes, Ph.D., a chemist in the Imperial College London. It involved 14 participants.
What the researchers used was the flowers and leaves of German chamomile, also called as Manzanilla. This was brewed as a tea. All the participants drank 5 cups of this chamomile tea every single day for 14 days. During this period, the researchers also collected and analyzed their urine before and after drinking chamomile tea.
So, what did they find out?
Well, they detected traces of increased levels of hippurate in the tea drinkers’ urine. Hippurate is a by-product of phenolics, which are plant-based aromatic compounds that play important roles in human health. In fact, some phenolics have been studied for their increased antibacterial activities.
Researchers said that increased levels of hippurate may help explain why drinking chamomile tea seems to enhance our immune system function. It can readily fight infections associated with common cold, which is a cause of sore throat. But what’s even more interesting is that the effect of chamomile tea remained for up to 2 weeks after the study.
How to use chamomile for sore throat:
- Since chamomile is so common herbal remedy, there’s really no standard dose of chamomile. However, some studies used chamomile capsule containing 400 mg to 1,600 mg. [Source: WebMD]
- The recommended steeping time for chamomile tea is 5 to 10 minutes. To fight infection caused by a common cold, drink at least 5 cups every day.
- If you’re allergic to daisies, marigolds, ragweed, and chrysanthemums, you’re most probably allergic to chamomile. If that’s the case, it’s best to avoid taking this herbal tea to avoid allergic reactions, like skin rashes and shortness of breath.
3. Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic has a long track record as a medicinal food. In the olden times, garlic was even believed to protect people from the plague. Today, garlic is said to protect people from heart ailments, cholesterol imbalances, high blood pressure, cancer, and inflammatory health conditions.
The major active ingredient in garlic is referred as allicin. However, allicin is only formed when garlic is damaged by chopping or crushing. Many scientific studies attribute garlic’s health benefits to this active ingredient. Since it has antioxidant properties, allicin helps fight off excess free radicals that cause various health issues, like common colds.
Why do you need to treat upper respiratory infections, such as a flu or common cold?
It’s because of post-nasal drip. This happens when the mucus that accumulated in your nose begins to trickle at the back of your throat. And as you may have done, the most natural reaction is to swallow the mucus. This in turn causes throat inflammation and soreness.
In a study led by the East Sussex Garlic Centre Director Peter Josling, researchers reveal that individuals who take one garlic with allicin capsule reduces their risk of the common cold by over 50% compared to those who do not take this supplement. This study involved 146 people who were divided into two groups: the garlic with allicin group and the placebo group.
For a period of 3 months, both groups took either one capsule of Allimax or placebo every single day. Results have shown that the garlic treatment group experienced 24 colds during that time period, while the placebo group had 65 common cold cases. Furthermore, the treatment group had a faster recovery rate and greatly reduced their risk to re-infection after getting a cold.
However, researchers are quick to add that more research is needed to support their data. And besides, another study pointed that garlic is still not a 100% replacement for antibiotics, but it can be used as a complementary treatment.
How to use garlic for sore throat:
- According the University of Maryland Medical Center, adults can consume two to four grams of chopped fresh garlic clove every day. Note: One garlic glove is equivalent to around one gram.
- You could also take two tablets of 200 mg garlic (freeze-dried) three times daily.
- Some of the side effects of fresh garlic and garlic supplements include the following: bloating, upset stomach, extreme tiredness, poor appetite, headache, dizziness, and allergic reactions.
4. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
The leaves, oil, and flowers in thyme are traditionally used to treat various respiratory ailments, like cough. Even the German Commission E, an organization of toxicologists, researchers, physicians, and pharmacists, approves of this medicinal use of thyme.
Thymol, the active component in thyme, has been recognized as an effective treatment for both acute and chronic bronchitis. Bronchitis usually happens when your lung’s airway passages are irritated. A few of the signs and symptoms of acute bronchitis are sore throat, yellowish to greenish mucus, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Normally, thyme is combined with other herbs, just like in this 2007 study. Researchers focused on the effectiveness of thyme-primrose combination versus placebo in the treatment of acute bronchitis for a period of eleven days.
Good news: Thyme proves to be more effective than placebo. Plus, it was proven to be safe and well-tolerated by the study participants.
The effectiveness of the combination of thyme and primrose was based on the number of coughing fits reported by the participants and the researcher’s evaluation on major acute bronchitis symptoms. Compared with placebo, participants who took thyme-primrose experienced a 50% reduction in coughing fits two days earlier. Symptoms of acute bronchitis also rapidly declined in this group.
How to use thyme for sore throat:
- Thyme is available as a syrup, tincture, infusion, oil, and mouthwash. If you decide to use thyme syrup to treat throat soreness and cough, you can take two teaspoons three times a day. You could also add honey to thyme syrup, if you want.
- Thyme preparations are generally safe when ingested in recommended food amounts and for a short period of time. However, thymol may cause side effects, such as muscle weakness, headache, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea.
- As always, please contact your healthcare provider before consuming thyme for medicinal purposes.
5. Echinacea Herbal Tea
Echinacea used to be the popular “cure-all” herb four centuries ago. People during these times used it to treat a variety of health conditions, from malaria down to syphilis. Today, scientific studies suggest that echinacea also contains different substances that reduce inflammation, enhance the immune system, fight off viruses and bacteria, and alleviate pain.
Three of the most commonly used varieties of echinacea for healing are Echinacea angustifolia, Echinacea pallida, and Echinacea purpurea. So far, it’s not yet clear what particular components of echinacea that give its therapeutic effects. But some sources suggest that the active ingredients in echinacea are flavonoids, glycoproteins, polysaccharides, alkamides, and volatile oils.
In Germany, parts of the Echinacea purpurea located above the ground are permitted to be used to shorten the length of the common cold and flu. Including their symptoms, like cough and tender throat. It also kills pain by numbing the affected area. Up until now, however, it’s still under debate whether echinacea is truly an effective remedy for respiratory tract infections or not.
Based on one 2010 study, researchers revealed that echinacea plays two crucial roles: anti-inflammatory agent and bacteria destroyer. The study used a standardized preparation of this herb, which is Echinaforce®, to kill a few major respiratory bacteria.
Results showed that Legionella pneumophila, Hemophilus influenza, and Streptococcus pyogenes, which are often associated with sore throat, were all destroyed by Echinaforce®. Plus, it completely reversed the inflammation caused by the respiratory bacteria used in the study.
However, it’s still not yet fully known what particular components of echinacea are responsible for its anti-inflammatory and bactericidal actions.
How to use echinacea for sore throat:
- According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, echinacea can be taken three times daily, but it shouldn’t exceed seven or ten days. If you’re planning to use it as a tea, use one to two grams of its dried root. You could also use 15-23 drops of stabilized fresh echinacea extract and 20-90 drops of echinacea tincture.
- You shouldn’t be taking echinacea preparations if you have the following health issues: autoimmune diseases, diabetes, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, AIDS, HIV, tuberculosis.
- When buying standardized echinacea preparations, make sure you’re buying from a reputable brand. There are some echinacea dietary supplements that don’t even contain this herb at all. That’s why it’s best to buy a product that completely lists the ingredients used.
6. Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
Holy basil, or Tulsi, is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine to fight stress, prolong life, and treat a host of ailments, such as high blood sugar, stomach problems, malaria, and sterility. It’s even used as a major component of Ayurveda cough syrups. Its role is to loosen up mucus for easy expectoration.
Trivia: Tulsi in Hindu means the “Incomparable One.”
Holy basil also contains properties that curb inflammation. That’s why it’s believed to be an important healing agent for sore throat and respiratory system infections.
Is this backed up by clinical studies?
Fortunately, there are several studies that confirm the effect of holy basil. One study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology identified the anti-inflammatory mechanism of holy basil.
Researchers found out that it stopped the inflammation in rats with paw edema by blocking the arachidonic acid metabolism pathway, which is one of the main actions that lead to pain and inflammation. By interfering with the arachidonic acid metabolism, holy basil also inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.
In fact, some scientists say that holy basil is a good alternative to medical marijuana (cannabis). Why? It’s because it curbs inflammation without causing addiction or other side effects.
Another way holy basil helps alleviate sore throat is by targeting pathogens that cause respiratory infections. In one 2009 study, researchers from the Panjab University discovered that oils extracted from holy basil and clove offered rats protection against Klebsiella pneumoniae, a Gram-negative bacteria that’s responsible for pneumonia. However, it took 30 days before holy basil oil reduced bacterial load.
How to use basil for sore throat:
- Boil 3-5 holy basil leaves in 240 ml of water. Let it simmer for 4 minutes. After it has cooled, strain the concoction and drink it. If you prefer, you could also add honey for sweeter taste.
- You could also purchase holy basil as tea. Depending on the manufacturer’s instructions, holy basil tea can be steeped for up to 5 minutes, or even up to 20 minutes, in order to free more of its healing components.
- Holy basil is generally well tolerated and safe. However, it does interact with other medications, especially those that slow down blood clotting. Examples of these are aspirin, heparin, and clopidogrel. Holy basil may possibly enhance their effects, thus the chances of bruising and bleeding are also increased.
7. Raw, Undiluted Honey
Well, it’s hardly surprising that honey made the cut on this list of sore throat remedies. Traditionally, honey has long been used to cure a variety of illnesses. For one, it has a solid reputation for destroying or stopping the replication of different disease-causing bacteria, including Streptococcus pyogenes.
Honey has highly increased sugar content, which is a tough environment for pathogens to live in. Too much sugar creates a waterless environment for bacteria. And as you may know, bacteria need water for their survival and replication process.
Another reason for honey’s antibacterial effect is its acidic pH level (3.2-4.5). Bacteria’s growth and survival is also pH-dependent. For Streptococcus pyogenes strains, an environment with a pH level that’s below 5.5 would allow them live for only a week max. A stable pH level of 6.5 and up, on the other hand, would allow them to live for at least 70 days.
Honey also has an anti-inflammatory effect. This ability helps alleviate sore throat by reducing the swelling and pain.
A study, as reported in Mayo Clinic, reveals that children two years and older with upper respiratory tract infections have improved sleep and reduced nighttime coughing after they were given two teaspoons of honey before going to bed. This is because honey coats the throat better than cough syrups. Adding to the advantage of honey is its affordability. However, children below one year old should not be administered with honey due to infant botulism.
Tip: Manuka honey has the most medicinal properties. When buying Manuka honey, choose varieties with a UMF mark of 10 and above. UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. This trademark ensures that you’re getting all the antibacterial and antiviral properties that are unique to this honey strain.
How to use honey for sore throat:
- As much as possible, stick to raw, undiluted honey. Studies show that the darker the color of the honey, the more nutritional value it has.
- If you don’t like the taste of raw honey, you can just add a few tablespoons in your lemon juice or tea. It’s important not to exceed more than ten tablespoons a day.
- As I’ve mentioned, exceeding more than ten tablespoons of honey daily is discouraged because it can cause diarrhea, bloating, nutrient absorption interference, stomach cramps, and other gastric problems.
- Honey shouldn’t be given to children under one year of age to avoid botulism, a serious illness that causes muscle paralysis.
8. Sea Salt Water Gargle
You don’t have to look far to find this remedy. Sea salt, which you could readily buy from your local grocery store, has been known for hundreds of years because of its anti-viral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Don’t mistake sea salt with your ordinary table salt. Sea salt, like Himalayan salt and Dead Sea salt, is more beneficial because it hasn’t undergone a refining process, which would strip off its 84 minerals. One of these important minerals is magnesium. This is particularly helpful in conditions characterized by inflammation.
But what’s great about the minerals in sea salt is that they can reduce throat soreness by removing excess water. They do it without drying your throat.
The sea salt also effectively kills bacteria in the throat, which primarily causes the inflammation. Salt water gargle likewise reduces the pain by shrinking the swollen cells in the throat. When administering salt water to children, remind them to spit the solution out after gargling. Salt water gargling must be done with warm water and not hot as you don’t want to burn your throat.
Salt water gargling has been used many times in various references as an old-fashioned home remedy. The best way to get rid of the bacteria that causes a painful throat is to deprive them of a good condition where they could proliferate.
This is what exactly salt water gargling does to the throat. Osmosis take place when solvents move from lower to higher concentrations, which at the same time, pull out excess liquid that contributes to the swelling of the throat. It is important to note, nevertheless, that warm salt water gargling does not completely remove a sore throat as it only makes the environment less hospitable for bacteria.
How to use sea salt for sore throat:
- Simply combine one glass of warm water and a pinch of sea salt. Stir, and then gargle.
- So far, there are no noted side effects of gargling with sea salt.
9. Ginger Root
Drinking ginger root tea is believed to be beneficial for sore throat, too. However, there’s a lack of scientific studies to support this claim. In one study, researchers discovered that garlic actually has the same therapeutic effect as ibuprofen and mefenamic acid, which are pain killer medicines.
However, ginger is loaded with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B complex, C, and E. As an antioxidant, ginger helps fight harmful free radicals that cause certain diseases.
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties boost the immune system. For sore throat caused by colds, ginger’s warm and relaxing aroma relieves the nasal passages while it loosens mucus in the throat.
How to use ginger for sore throat:
- Add ¼ cup of sliced ginger root to 4 cups of boiled water. Let it steep for at least 10-15 minutes before straining the mixture. If you want, you could add honey and lemon for better taste.
- Ginger doesn’t generally produce serious side effects. Some of the discomforts you could expect from taking ginger are diarrhea, menstrual bleeding, heartburn, and other stomach discomforts.
- If you’re a diabetic, please be informed that ginger may lower your blood sugar.
10. Marshmallow Root
Another effective remedy for sore throat is the root of the marshmallows. They are available dried or raw. It is loaded with polysaccharides, which interacts with the infected surface to ease the inflamed tissues. Marshmallow root is believed to loosen mucus while coating the throat tissues to avoid infection.
This plant holds mucilage, a gel like substance that protects the swollen mucus membrane.
How to use it:
- Marshmallow roots may be infused and consumed as tea. Although marshmallow is generally not harmful, it can lower the blood sugar level.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar
When treating a sore throat, it’s important to clear the throat from bacteria. In doing so, you can use some apple cider vinegar. Aside from its use as salad dressing and as a primary ingredient in detoxification, apple cider vinegar is packed with several properties that are best for sore throat. It contains a high level of acidity that offsets the pH level of the tissues, thereby killing the bacteria. A higher concentration of the apple cider vinegar in the solution will treat the ailment more efficiently. You can feel the relief in your throat because the apple cider vinegar softens or loosens the phlegm.
Moreover, it boosts your immune system through the pro biotic insulin, which increases the amount of white blood cells and T-cells.
How to use it:
- To use apple cider vinegar as a treatment for sore throat, mix it with water or just pure vinegar.
- When doing the latter, follow it up by drinking a warm water to avoid contact with the affected area.
12. Cayenne Pepper
While we often use cayenne pepper to add spice to our favorite dishes, it is also great as an antibacterial agent that effectively combats pain from sore throat. Such agent is called capsaicin, which reduces the swelling of muscles in the throat and at the same time eliminates infection.
This spice is also capable of regulating pain by blocking pain signals to the brain.
How to use it:
- When using cayenne pepper, you can simply mix it with water for gargle. However, this is not advisable if your sore throat comes with open sores as it may cause extreme burning sensation. Excessive intake of cayenne pepper may upset your stomach so small dose of cayenne pepper is advised
Whether in sticks or powder, cinnamon helps relieve pain one feels from sore throat. The benefits of cinnamon find relevance in sore throat that arises from colds. The aroma of cinnamon loosens the sinuses to help you breathe easier. The antioxidant properties of cinnamon fight off bacteria or foreign elements that lead to illnesses.
If you want to add flavor or taste to your water, adding cinnamon to the liquid is also a good choice.
How to use it:
- Boil some water with cinnamon sticks or powder.
- If you are using cinnamon sticks, remove them before adding your choice of tea for additional flavor.
14. Baking soda
Next on the list is another kitchen staple- baking soda. Aside from the salt water gargle, there is the baking soda gargle. Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda has antibacterial features that soothe the inflammation. The use of baking soda for rashes is similar to its effect on the swollen tissues in the throat. It also helps alleviate the pain from sore throat.
How to use it:
- To prepare a baking soda gargle, make a mixture of a cup of warm water and baking soda.
- Stir until dissolved.
- Make sure that the water is just warm and not hot.
- Before gargling, let the mixture rest on the throat.
Focusing on a certain task could be very challenging when sore throat diverts your attention to the pain. The first thing you want is to reduce or remove the pain in the throat. If your sore throat is caused by some bacterial infection, it is best to get rid of the cause as soon as possible. This prevents sore throat from staying longer or coming back.
One immediate relief for sore throat is found in your bathroom- the mouthwash. Mouthwash has antiseptic properties, which kills bacteria and germs that produce bad breath.
Similarly, the mouthwash kills the bacteria that causes or triggers the sore throat and provides faster healing.
How to use it:
Just add a small portion of mouthwash into the water and gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
16. Rest and Drink Plenty of Fluids
Your body needs to rest to repair and fight off the infections faster. For better results, combine it with other natural remedies to boost their effectiveness as well.
When your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, it may lead to dehydration. It’s essential to drink lots of water or liquids to hydrate the body. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks as they increase the risk of dehydration.
Our bodies need at least eight glasses of water a day. Sore throat may also indicate a dehydration. So be sure to keep fluids coming in to your system as it reduces the dryness in your throat. And in cases where sore throat is caused by a strep throat or other bacterial cause, taking liquids like water would maximize the effect of antibiotics. Cold liquids, water, mild fruit juice, and ice pope may soothe the throat.
Drinking water is a good supplement to maximize your home remedies. If you don’t want the plain taste of water, you can drink tea instead. Like stated above, ginger, Echinacea and Chamomile tea may be a good option because of its antibacterial properties.
Aside from that, chamomile tea is capable of soothing your muscles so you can relax or take a good rest after. Let the tea cool down before drinking it as hot beverages may cause even more pain.
17. Use a Humidifier
When suffering from a sore throat, your throat has a tendency to feel dry. If you have a humidifier at home, you may use it to moisten the air around you. The cool mist produced by the humidifier will effectively ease or sooth your throat and alleviate pain discomfort. This way, it adds moisture to the mucous membrane drying out because of the indoor air. It is, however, advised to clean the humidifier regularly so as to prevent molds from forming inside.
There is always threat of acquiring a cold and flu, especially now that people spend more time in their gadgets and computer, which are carriers of bacteria. This is why using humidifier at home is beneficial to limit the chance of survival of viruses.
Aside from its capability to treat a sore throat, humidifier can also prevent dryness, which is among the reasons that drive a sore throat. This finds more relevance if you have children at home. Since children have smaller nostrils, they get stuffed up more easily. With humidifier, they are relieved from congestion improving sleep at night.
Sage is great for treating cough. Since cough and sore throat are closely related, you can take sage for homemade sore throat cure. Sage, botanically known as Salvia officinalis, has antibacterial and antiseptic composition. Revising the past, sage was a popular natural remedy for ulcers, bleeding, and swelling. Sage may be infused to make a tea or juice.
The dried sage produces an aroma that soothes the nasal passages and the throat itself. If you do not like the strong taste of sage, use it as gargle instead of drinking as tea or juice. There are also the sage extracts available that are incorporated into medicines for cough and throat pains.
How to use it:
- Boil a cup of water, add either fresh or dried sage leaves.
- Let it simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes before straining it.
- You may add honey or lemon for flavor.
- While letting your sage mixture cool down, inhale its aroma to clear congestion.
Horseradish was a native in Europe before it has been widely cultivated around the world. It has been used both as a medicine and food. It is rich in vitamin C that functions for body resistance and as an antioxidant. The mixture of pure horseradish with honey and water is a Russian home remedy for sore throat. Thanks to its antibiotic properties that horseradish eases the throat and upper respiratory tract infections.
How to use it:
- Add 1 tablespoon of horseradish and 1 teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water and drink it slowly.
20. Chicken Soup
Back when we were young, our mothers or grandmothers would prepare a chicken soup in the pot whenever we feel like catching a cold or fever. The combination of chicken and vegetables yields vitamins and minerals essential for recovery. Since eating with sore throat becomes a challenge, a tasteful chicken soup will help fuel your body with the nutrients you need.
The sodium used in preparing chicken soup has also anti-inflammatory properties to soothe the pain in the throat.
21. Avoid Dairy and Sugary Products
If there are major points on what to do or what to take when having a sore throat, there is also a list of foods to avoid. Treating a sore throat at home may call for avoidance of foods that contain dairy such as milk and butter. This is however not true to all sore throats.
Getting rid of dairy products is only advisable to those whose sore throats come with congestion. Milk, for example, increases the production of mucus. Similar to dairy products, food with excessive quantity of sugar may add irritation to the throat, which could lead to something even worse.
An old fashion way to clear nasal passageway is by steaming. But the effects of steaming extend to store throat. Aside from clearing the mucus, it also alleviates the pain due to the inflammation or swelling of muscles in the throat.
If you want a more concentrated remedy than using a humidifier, take a steam bath or make a steam tent. The latter, being the more common, only requires a bowl of steaming hot water and a towel.
How to do it:
Place your face above the bowl and cover your head with a towel to contain the steam. Continue steaming for about 10-15 minutes. You may add eucalyptus oil or even chamomile tea onto the bowl.
23. Stop Smoking
Smoking can worsens the condition of the walls of your throat. It may lead to irritation because of the smoke entering the throat. Also, avoid tobacco products and secondhand smoke.
24. Avoid Spicy Food
Spicy or fried food may just aggravate your sore throat even further. Instead of adding hot spices to your food, try adding fresh garlic which can help to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat.
Fried food often have a breading that is rough and dry which can irritate the sore throat. Instead, choose foods that are moist and soft.
25. Toss Out Toothbrush
If every now and then, the sore throat keeps coming back, it is advisable that you get a new toothbrush. While it may be not necessary to toss out your toothbrush after acquiring a sore throat, however for hygienic purposes and when sore throat keeps coming back, getting a new toothbrush would be a good idea. This way, you prevent the same bacteria from coming back and infecting the throat.
26. Eat Food Rich in Vitamin C
Furthermore, to treat, recover, and prevent a sore throat, it is important to be knowledgeable about the natural cures for achy throat. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which fights off harmful free radicals that damage the cells in the body resulting to acquisition of illnesses. Vitamin C also develops body resistance from infectious elements.
Food high in vitamin C are commonly fruits and vegetables including mango, watermelon, citrus like lemon and oranges, papaya, pineapple, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach. Meanwhile, food rich in antioxidants are apples, blueberries, blackberries, and kidney beans.
When suffering from the painful throat, eat food that are easily ingested. Banana is soft and naturally creamy. You may also choose to take a banana by mixing it into a smoothie. In certain conditions falling under an achy throat, antibiotics yield a small contribution. What you need is to keep your immune system up and working. To do so would require you to eat food with enormous supply of vitamin C and other antioxidants.
Sore throat may be a minor ailment and most often a symptom. However, when a person suffers from a sore throat that is accompanied with fever over 101 F, he or she must seek medical care. Moreover, severe pain, difficulty in breathing, and significant dehydration are some indications of a more serious condition. Thus, the need to see a doctor.
It is important to remember that home remedies are not intended to substitute medications, but rather as suppletory means to reduce ailment or pain. While a mild sore throat may be treated using above listed home remedies, severe sore throat, like strep throat may warrant a drug prescription.
When taking home remedies for sore throat, it is more important to identify which among the different contributing factors have triggered or caused the sore throat. This is crucial because certain remedies do not apply to certain causes. For example, home remedies cutting out or killing bacteria that cause a sore throat may not be effective to cure a sore throat that arose from smoking or voice strain.
Aside from homemade cures, self-care techniques and prevention will also help the spread of the infection, in cases where sore throat is caused by virus or bacteria. Do not forget to fuel your immune system with supplements like vitamin C.
These were just some of the examples of sore throat remedies. Remember, although they’re considered all-natural, always consult with your health care provider first before using any of these herbal treatments.