Natural Methods of Treating a Sore Throat
A sore throat is common in the winter, because of allergies, or during changes in season. According to WebMD, a sore throat is characterized by swelling, pain in a throat, irritation, inflammation, and itchiness. Additionally, when you are suffering from an infection or strep throat, you may experience difficulties while swallowing liquids or foods. A sore throat can be a symptom of a common cold or the first sign of a more serious throat infection. In both scenarios, you may need medical assistance. Alternatively, you can try to achieve pain relief with natural sore throat remedies.
Common sore throat causes
The Mayo Clinic staff say the biggest culprits responsible for a throat irritation and pain are:
- If you have a swollen throat that causes difficulties with swallowing, it is probably the main reason for the pain. To treat a sore throat, you may try, at first, to reduce swelling with medications or natural remedies.
- You may consider using a humidifier at your home and workplace.
- Bacterial infections that can be treated with antibiotics.
Recommended home remedies for a sore throat
There are certain foods and herbs that may ease the pain in a sore throat, reduce swelling and lessen the inflammation. Dr. Josh Axe, who is an expert in natural remedies, recommends using the following homemade recipes for sore throat relief:
Honey for a sore throat
You have probably heard about the numerous healing properties of raw organic honey. For many people, honey is one of the most affordable home remedies for minor health problems, including a sore throat.
You may add some organic honey to any herbal tea and sip throughout the day. Tea with honey can help to soothe pain and lessen the swelling. Honey can also be very helpful as a natural cough suppressant, especially at nighttime.
Salt water rinse
A saltwater gargle can lessen swelling. According to the experts working at the University of Connecticut, a saltwater gargle may break down secretions. Salt water can also be used as a natural anti-bacterial agent. To make a saltwater gargle, add ½ teaspoon of table salt to a glass of warm water. Repeat the gargle with salt water every 3 hours.
Gargling with baking soda
While a salt water gargle seems to be a very common natural remedy for a sore throat, the National Cancer Institute advises using a gargle made of a mixture of a ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, a 1/8 teaspoon of table salt and 1 cup warm water. They recommend repeating this procedure every 3 hours daily.
If you are wondering how to get rid of a sore throat at home, you may consider using a sweet licorice root for a gargle solution. A 2009 study proved that this remedy can soothe a painful throat and prevent coughing. A DIY licorice root gargle can help cleanse mucous from the throat, nose, and lungs.
The natural sore throat treatment for children
If you are a parent, then you have probably noticed that children commonly have a sore throat. If you are wondering how to cure a sore throat in a child, there are some common natural remedies that may be helpful:
- Oregon grape root (also known as Mahonia aquifolium) can be used as an affordable and effective sore throat remedies for little children. This remedy can destroy many bacteria, including the ones causing strep throat. Its taste is bitter, so you may consider giving it to your child in capsules mixed with something tastier.
- “Usnea” is a green-gray lichen that may be a helpful strep throat home remedy. It is known thanks to its natural antibiotic properties. It can help reduce inflammation and stimulate the immune system of a child. You may consider adding this remedy to an herbal tea.
- Lemon balm
During test-tube studies, lemon balm showed that its volatile oils can destroy bacteria and fight against a variety of viruses, particularly the ones responsible for flu symptoms. You can add this sweet remedy to any herbal tea.
Honey can be given only to children who are older than 12 months. Otherwise, honey is not a helpful for sore throat relief in children. You may also want to keep your ill child hydrated, especially if he or she has signs of strep throat, and encourage them to drink as many warm liquids as possible. But, it will probably be wise to avoid any popsicles or juices with lots of citruses because they can irritate a sore throat even more.
Over-the-counter remedies for a sore throat
There are few over-the-counter (OTC) medications that may be helpful for people who could not find a natural remedy effective. It is commonly not recommended to use any medications as a long-term sore throat remedy. Try to take the following OTC medications only for a short sore throat relief:
- Ibuprofen can work as an effective sore throat remedy because it reduces the inflammations and soothes the pain;
- Acetaminophen can soothe a sore throat and this pill can be helpful for little children.
- Lozenges and numbing sprays can also provide quick throat pain relief, especially if you have a swollen throat.
General tips for sore throat relief
- You may install a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to dry air.
- Try to cease smoking or, at least, reduce the amount of the cigarette smoke that you inhale daily. Cigarettes can cause irritation in your throat that may lead to many problems, including dry cough, throat pain, irritation and swelling.
- Considering buying a new toothbrush and change your toothpaste to kill the bacteria in your mouth. This replacement can be helpful for the prevention of a sore throat and tongue;
- The simple mixture of hot, home-made lemonade with organic honey can be helpful for sore throat pain. You can make this lemonade with a half lemon and hot water.
- A recent study found that the people who suck on 13 milligrams of zinc in lozenges can expect a 3-day sore throat treatment. According to this study, you may eat one zinc lozenge every 2 hours over a period of 3 days to fast sore throat treatment. You may consider avoiding the intake of these lozenges for longer than three days because of the possible side effects.
If you experience throat pain along with a dry cough, cough with bleeding, and fever, there is a high chance that you may need medical assistance.