It’s important to understand the sore throat causes in order to apply proper treatment. Also known as pharyngitis, this condition affects your voice and may cause a mild cough. Fever, feeling sick, and headache are other symptoms of this condition.
Most sufferers look for natural ways to heal a sore throat as this condition would cause them pain and discomfort.
Should you see a doctor?
Sore throat causes are usually viral in nature. Thus, there’s no need to see a doctor. However, if your condition is associated with fever and/or soreness found on your neck, then you should check with your doctor.
It’s also highly recommended to see a doctor when sore throat is accompanied by a difficulty swallowing or breathing. This can be a symptom of a more serious condition than just a viral infection.
Consider checking in with your doctor if your condition doesn’t heal after a week.
Is sore throat considered as strep throat?
Strep throat can cause a sore throat. But the nature is of bacterial. It’s important to understand that not all sore throat cases are a strep throat. Strep throat may cause a sore throat but it’s specifically brought by a bacterium belonging to the Streptococcus family. The best way to assess it is to undergo laboratory testing.
In addition to bacteria and virus, what are the other sore throat causes that you must be aware of?
Sore throat causes and remedies
Sore throat from allergies
An allergy can cause the sore throat to occur. Its symptoms are similar to common cold. They both cause nasal congestion, sneezing and post nasal drip. However, common cold doesn’t cause itching of the eyes, throat, ears and nose. These symptoms will only occur when you have an allergy.
What to do for a sore throat caused by allergies
- Remove the allergens. It’s the first thing that you must do to treat your sore throat that has been caused by allergies.
If the cigarette smoking is making your throat sore, then avoid inhaling it. You may wear a mask when you need to be in a place where smokers are around.
- Use quercetin. It’s rich in bioflavonoid. This herb helps in preventing the body from releasing more histamine. Since it’s also rich in antioxidant, quercetin can boost your immune system to further get rid of your allergies and sore throat.
- Saline rinse. It’s not an herb but it’s also a great way for you to treat your sore throat caused by allergies.
To use this remedy, you can use a Neti Pot that’s filled with saline solution. The solution must be clean to avoid causing other problems. It flushes out allergens and irritations around your throat.
To make a saline solution, you’ll need to use a sea salt. Dissolve it in a quart of hot distilled water. Allow it to cool down first before transferring it to the Neti pot. Pour the pot to one nostril and allow the solution to drain out through the other nostril.
- Nettle leaf. It can soothe a sore throat while treating your allergies. You may use a capsules filled with the nettle leaves. However, many sufferers swore that drinking a nettle leaf tea is more effective in treating a sore throat caused by allergies.
To make a nettle leaf tea to alleviate the pain in your throat, boil a cup of water. Add some dried nettle leaves. Allow it to steep for 15 minutes. Strain the leaves and drink the tea.
- Local honey. It must be a real honey and organic honey is always preferred. Consuming a raw, organic honey won’t only help with your sore throat but it’ll also assist your body in adapting to the allergens found in your environment. According to a theory, it works like a natural allergy shot.
Take a teaspoonful of honey 1 to 2 times a day to alleviate your sore throat symptoms and get rid of allergies. Since it doesn’t have a downside, you may want to take your honey every day before the allergy season comes in.
- Stinging nettle. It’s considered as a natural anti-histamine. What’s great about it is that it’s as effective as the drugs for allergies but without causing nasty side effects, like dry mouth. It also doesn’t cause any further soreness in your throat.
The best way to take it is through a tea. You may also take a capsules filled with extract of stinging leaves. It’s advisable to take around 300 mg of it each day when you have a sore throat.
- Change your diet. If you suffer from an allergy sore throat, then it’s best to consider changing your diet. Some foods can trigger a histamine release causing symptoms of allergies, including a sore throat. By eliminating those foods, you can avoid having to suffer from allergies.
Sore throat from sinus drainage
Allergies can cause a sinus drainage or a post-nasal drip. However, a sinus drainage may still occur without allergies. It can still lead to a sore throat, especially if it’s left untreated.
Thankfully, there are great herbs and natural treatment options you can use to treat a sore throat caused by a post nasal drip.
When your sinuses are inflamed, there’ll be a mucus buildup. This will lead to a soreness in your throat. To open up your nasal passages, you may use an eucalyptus oil and add it as a steam solution. Just add it to your humidifier and inhale its steam. You’ll find a relief to a swollen sinus and inflamed throat after inhaling it for a few minutes.
Eucalyptus oil must not be taken internally without diluting it first. You should talk to your physician if you’re planning to use it internally for the treatment of your sore throat and sinus drainage.
It’s a well-known herb that’s effective in clearing the sinus passages. This isn’t only useful in clearing your blocked sinuses but it’s also useful in alleviating sinusitis, thereby, preventing a sore throat.
Horseradish also contains an anti-bacterial properties that is useful in treating a sore throat that’s bacterial in nature.
To use it, you may eat a raw horseradish. But don’t remove its juice as the beneficial components of this herb are in it. You may add a pinch of salt to a better taste.
It has a mucolytic properties that can dissolve the mucus. Cayenne’s Oleoresin capsicum is the main component of this herb that relieves a sore throat and sinus symptoms. It also stimulates the nerve endings. It swells up and declogs the sinus secretions.
However, you must first talk to your doctor about taking a cayenne extract. This is especially true if you think that you’re allergic to it. If you take it, you’ll only aggravate your sore throat and your blocked sinuses.
Baking soda is a great natural treatment for a sore throat. Make a solution out of mixing a baking soda and water. For better results, use a distilled or filtered water to make sure that your solution is clean and free of any harmful contaminants found in a tap water.
Then, place the mixture in a bottle with a dropper. You may obtain this in a drugstore. Lie down and place drops of this solution to your nose. But make sure that the dropper isn’t touching your nose to avoid re-infection.
You may also sniff the solution by placing the solution to your clean palm and inhale it, one nostril at a time. Don’t get up immediately. Wait for 30 minutes before getting up to make sure that the solution remains in your nostril and eliminates blockages in your sinuses.
Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to further eradicate extra mucus and throat soreness.
Sore throat from acid reflux
Acid reflux is a symptom of gatroesophageal reflux (GERD). When the acid flows back to the esophagus up to the throat, it’ll cause an inflammation in the throat, signifying damage to the throat. This will lead to a sore throat.
To treat a sore throat induced by an acid reflux, try these natural treatments:
The juice of aloe vera is popular for its healing effects in treating minor burns, scrapes, as well as irritation on the skin. In addition to these, it can also soothe your gastrointestinal tract, thereby, effective in treating GERD and sore throat caused by acid reflux.
Here’s how to use it:
- Take the recommended dose as suggested by the bottle
- Drink it as needed
- Repeat it as necessary or as recommended by the maker of the juice
It’s not advisable to drink the juice from the plant because it’s contaminated with latex. Thus, it is best to opt for juice preparations that are intended for internal use.
It’s a popular sore throat natural remedy, which is especially effective in treating throat soreness as a result of acid reflux.
The inner bark of this plant has a gel-like substance that swells when you mix it with water. This reaction is one of the reasons it’s being used as a sore throat remedy, the gel will coat the esophagus, thereby, reducing the irritation.
There’s no need for you to prepare this plant by yourself as you can easily obtain the sore throat lozenges containing a slippery elm.
Since its safety in pregnant and breastfeeding women hasn’t been established yet, it is best to avoid it when you’re pregnant or lactating.
It’s another natural sore throat remedy that contains mucilage, like the slippery elm. It coats the esophagus and soothes the soreness from acid reflux.
Here’s how to take it:
- Add a teaspoon of marshmallow dried root to a cup of boiling water
- Let it steep for 10 minutes
- Strain and drink it
You may drink this tea up to 3 times a day.
Although it’s an effective remedy for sore throat, you must consult your physician before taking it. This is especially true if you’re diabetic. When it’s combined with some medicines for diabetes, it may cause your blood sugar to drop significantly.
Since acid reflux can be the result of a poor diet, you should avoid foods that can trigger heartburn and sore throat.
Here are some foods that you must avoid:
- Citrus fruits
- Raw onions
- Black pepper
- Fatty foods
You should also avoid drinking any alcoholic beverages. If you’re prone to acid reflux, you should prevent eating your dinner 2 hours before bedtime or consume smaller portion sizes.
You must also be mindful of what you’re eating. Pay a full attention to what’s on your plate so you can chew slowly.
Sore throat from smoking
Smoking is one of the most obvious sore throat causes. If you smoke too much, you may experience painful throat more frequently. Although you can alleviate the pain with home remedies, the best way to relieve soreness in the throat is to quit smoking.
While you’re trying to quit smoking, you can try these natural remedies for sore throat.
This is the most popular sore throat remedy. It relieves inflammation of the throat, thereby, alleviating the pain associated with the swelling.
Here’s how to make a salt water gargling solution:
- Prepare a cup of warm water
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt into it
- Make sure that you rinse your throat before spitting
When using this remedy, make sure not to swallow the water with salt. This will only cause you to dehydrate, which isn’t helpful in your case.
Another smoking-induced sore throat remedy that you can try is honey. It has some properties that can coat the swollen throat, thereby, healing the soreness. Although it won’t help you quit smoking, it’s one of the best remedies for treating a sore throat.
Here are the steps to use honey for sore throat:
- Prepare a cup of lukewarm water
- Add 4 tablespoons of honey
- Mix it thoroughly
- Drink it
You may also add a lemon juice to further soothe the sore throat.
This is another effective way to heal a sore throat caused by smoking. Garlic has antiseptic qualities and antibacterial properties that can treat infection of the throat.
Eat raw garlic as much as possible. However, if you can’t swallow garlic, you may opt to take some garlic capsules.
Ginger has effective healing properties and is great for a sore throat. Make a ginger tea to soothe the pain in your throat.
How to prepare a ginger tea?
- Prepare a cup of water
- Boil it
- Add fresh crushed ginger
- Let it steep for 10 minutes
- Allow it to cool down before drinking it
It’s safe to drink this tea 3 times a day.
You can also reduce the inflammation of the throat using a chamomile tea. It alleviates soreness in the throat. But don’t drink this tea if you need to drive or perform activities that require your full attention. This is because chamomile has relaxing properties and make you sleepy.
Prepare 2 tea bags of this herb. Allow them to steep in a cup of boiling water. Drink while it’s still hot.
You may also opt to add honey for sweeter taste. As previously mentioned, honey is a good natural remedy for sore throat.
Sore throat after cold
Common cold can cause a sore throat, along with other symptoms. The inflammation of the throat is usually a symptom that indicates you have a cold. The soreness will go away after the condition is treated.
Try these home remedies for sore throat.
The menthol content of peppermint soothes the inflamed throat caused by a cold. This is also great if you have a sinus drainage or allergies.
You may drink a peppermint tea or rinse your mouth with this tea. To prepare a tea, here are the steps:
- Prepare a cup of water
- Boil it
- Add peppermint leaves
- Steep for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow it cool down
- Drink it
Before drinking this tea, make sure that it has cooled down to avoid burning your tongue. Drink this tea 3 times a day, or as needed.
It contains anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties making it a perfect natural treatment for sore throat. When you opt for this remedy, you need to prepare a red onion and a brown cane sugar. To further give this remedy a boost, opt to add a raw honey.
To use it, follow these steps:
- Peel 1 red onion
- Slice it horizontally
- Prepare a raw honey and brown cane sugar
- Add these ingredients to a blender
- Blend them well
- Drink 3 times a day
This mixture contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals.
It’s rich in vitamin C making it an ideal remedy for sore throat. It also prevents a cold from coming back. Lemon is high in nutrients and enzymes that can effectively remove bacteria and viruses causing infection in the throat.
When you pair it with a raw honey, you’ll be creating a powerful sore throat treatment.
To use it, follow these steps:
- Mix lemon juice with honey
- Mix them well
- Sip it 3 times a day or as needed.
It’s another great way to soothe a sore throat. Despite that, it’s a powerful remedy for alleviating cold and flu and relieving sore throat, it loosens mucus build up, thereby soothing a swollen throat.
Here’s how to prepare a mullein tea
- Fill your pot with 2 cups of water
- Boil it before adding the dried mullein herb
- Steep for 10 minutes
- Remove from heat and allow it to cool down before adding a raw honey
- Drink while it’s still hot
You may drink this tea once or thrice a day. Your sore throat from cold will be relieved within a day or two. If not, you should consider consulting with your physician. Or you may try other natural remedies listed here.
Sore throat after flu
After having a flu, sore throat may develop or persist. You may use the natural remedies mentioned above.
If you want to add another item to this list, consider getting sage.
It’s an herb that doesn’t only treat flu and cold, but it can also alleviate gum disease and tonsillitis.
It’s easy to make a garden sage tea. Just allow it to steep for 15 minutes before drinking it. You may also use this tea as a gargling solution to ease your sore throat and scratchy or itchy throat.
Oftentimes, the pain caused by a flu can be relieved after drinking the first cup of this tea. The best dose for this tea is up to 4 cups a day. When you do use it, don’t forget to swish this tea around your mouth and make sure that it reaches the back of your throat too.
To make the sage more powerful, just add some lemon and honey to it.
Sore throat can be easily treated and prevented by using these natural remedies mentioned.
If your sore throat doesn’t go away after a week of treating it, consider visiting your physician. This could be an indication that you’re having a bacterial infection.
While following these natural remedies, you should drink a lot of fluids and have plenty of rest. If your throat is too painful, try not to talk a lot and avoid smoking and other irritants.