There are many reasons why you might have a sore throat. The condition is characterized by pain or a scratchy feeling in your throat and can be caused by a number of things.
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According to the Mayo Clinic, a sore throat is most often caused by a viral infection, such as the common cold or the ‘flu. Sometimes a sore throat is caused by the strep bacteria. Other illnesses that can produce a sore throat include the measles, chickenpox, croup or mono. In some cases, you can treat the sore throat at home with home remedies such as the ones found below. In other cases, you will have to see your doctor for more aggressive treatment.
If your sore throat can be blamed on a cold or the ‘flu, home remedies are entirely appropriate. If the symptoms don’t go away or you suspect something more serious, make an appointment with your physician right away.
Steam With Herbs
Steam is great for breaking up congestion and helping relieve you of the symptoms of a sore throat. When you add herbs, you can increase the benefits. Start by boiling some water on the stove. Once the water is heated and boiling, add a teaspoon of thyme, a teaspoon of oregano and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The herbs have antibiotic properties that are enhanced when they are added to the steaming water. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam for several minutes. This should help relieve the discomfort of a sore throat and help speed the healing process.
Soothe With A Poultice
A poultice is basically a mixture of medicinal plants soaked into a cloth and applied directly to the skin. To make a poultice for your sore throat, start by making an herbal tea. Experts suggest using tea that contains ginger or chamomile. Licorice root and marshmallow root are also good choices. Brew about three to four cups of the tea, and then soak a cloth in the mixture until fully saturated. Wring out the cloth to remove excess liquid. Wrap the cloth around your throat and leave it in place until it cools off. You can reheat the tea and perform the treatment again as needed until you start to feel better.
Whip Up A Batch Of Homemade Lozenges
You don’t have to buy lozenges if you prefer natural and homemade remedies for your sore throat. You can make them yourself at home so that you know what’s in each lozenge, giving you peace of mind, while also making your sore throat feel better. Start by heating a pan of water on the stove. Dissolve a spoonful of marshmallow root powder in the water. Combine the water with honey. Next, make a well in a mound of slippery elm bark and pour the honey water mixture into it. Use your hands to combine the ingredients, and then roll then into lozenges. Dry the lozenges for about 24 hours before wrapping them. Eat one to soothe a sore throat as often as is needed.
Gargle With Salt Water
This is an old method that is still recommended because it works. The salt helps heal a sore throat and helps alleviate the discomfort at the same time. It’s easy to prepare and can be done as often as necessary to keep a sore throat from interfering with your day. Start by stirring a spoonful of salt into warm water and stir the mixture until the salt dissolves. Take a mouthful of the salt water and gargle with it for a minute or so before spitting out the mixture. Try not to swallow too much of the salt water as it can give you an upset stomach.
Brew A Cup Of Herbal Tea
Much like hot water with herbs mixed in can be beneficial, so too can herbal tea. However, instead of inhaling the steam, you’ll drink the tea itself. Herbal tea is loaded with antioxidants, which can boost immunity and help you speed your recovery time. Most kinds of tea will do the job, so go ahead and brew your favorite cup of tea. The heat of the tea is also beneficial for a sore throat so make sure you drink it warm and not cold. A bit of honey or lemon juice added to the tea enhances the benefits by increasing the antioxidant content and providing the soothing sensation you want when you have a sore throat.
Have A Bowl Of Chicken Soup
Chicken soup is backed by research when it comes to helping you heal when you’re sick. According to researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and reported to ABC News, eating chicken noodle soup when you’re feeling under the weather can make you feel better instantly. While the entire process isn’t fully understood yet, it appears that chicken soup helps slow the increased activity of white blood cells, which can help you heal. When you have a sore throat, the combination of ingredients help you feel better while also soothing the pain and scratchiness of the sore throat. Experts say that homemade chicken noodle soup works well, but if you’re too sick to prepare soup, you can rely on canned versions for similar benefits.
Drink More Fluids
Being sick can often cause you to become dehydrated, but drinking extra fluids can ward off the condition. Cold water, juice or frozen fruit pops can help soothe a sore throat and keep you comfortable while it heals. Lukewarm fluids are your best bet because the extreme temperature of really cold or really hot fluids can make a sore throat sting. While fluids are great for soothing a sore throat, they are also important for helping your body fight off the virus or bacteria that is causing your sore throat in the first place.
While using a home remedy for your sore throat is typically a viable option, the one you choose should never replace any medications or treatments your doctor has prescribed for your condition. If your home remedy doesn’t seem to be helping, or your condition gets worse, it’s time to call your doctor and make a quick appointment. In some cases a sore throat can indicate a health issue that needs treatment, such as allergies, strep throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease, diphtheria, whooping cough or a tumor, so you don’t want to let the condition go on longer than it should.
When using herbal remedies for your sore throat, be sure you discuss them with your doctor before use as some of them can interfere with prescription medications. Likewise, if you have certain health issues, are pregnant or are breastfeeding, it’s important to be sure that using a home remedy is safe for your health. These methods should never be used on children without the consent of the child’s pediatrician.