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Natural Remedies For Sore Throat

A sore throat is one of the most common complaints of people who visit a health professional. A dry and itchy throat usually signals the onset of a virus, the flu or a cold.

Causes of Sore Throat

Sore throats are usually caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold and the flu (influenza). A sore throat may also be caused by other viral infections such as mononucleosis, measles, chicken pox, and croup. If the cause of a sore throat is not viral, then it may be the result of a infection from streptococcal bacteria or tonsillitis.

In cases other than viral and bacterial infections, a sore throat may develop due to an allergy, dryness, pollution and other irritants, yelling, reflux, HIV infection, and tumours.

Children tend to suffer more from sore throats than adults.

Signs and Symptoms of Sore Throat

A sore throat arising from a viral infection is often accompanied by dry, scratchy, itchy or swollen throat and pain when swallowing, breathing or talking. On the other hand, a streptococcal or bacterial infection of the throat can result in abscess in the throat or tonsils, vomiting, inability to swallow, skin rash, headache, swollen tonsils and very high fever.

Remedies for Sore Throat

Here are a dozen home remedies to help soothe and get rid of sore throats, these are simple to whip up and treat yourself with–nothing too fancy for ingredients and you likely have many of these items in stock at home.

Items noted with * are to be used as a gargle every other hour or so (unless directed otherwise)

  1. *Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/8th of a tsp of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. *Salt: Add 1 tsp of table salt to a cupful of warm water.
  3. *Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water.
  4. Ginger: Make a strong brew with freshly grated ginger (about 3 tsp per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.
  5. *Thyme: Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain before using.
  6. Honey & Lemon: Mix two tsp honey and 1 tsp lemon juice with one cup of boiling hot water. Allow to cool a bit then drink.
  7. Licorice Root: Make a brew with licorice roots (one or two pieces per cup) and sip. You can also brew licorice tea bags or chew on a piece of licorice root to help relieve the pain. Licorice root can affect blood pressure if too much is consumed, not recommended for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
  8. Cloves: Slowly chew on a few cloves.
  9. Green Tea: Sipping a cup of this can help, but gargling with it is also recommended since it naturally fights infections. See this page for more info on its health benefits.
  10. *Baking Soda & Salt: Mix 1/2 tsp of each baking soda and salt with a 1/2 cup of warm water.
  11. Chamomile: Best to start sipping this tea as soon as you feel one coming on.
  12. Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

Few More Tips

  • Run a humidifier in your room at night to help prevent your throat from getting too dry, aHerbal Decongestant Steam can also help.
  • Sucking on hard candies or lozenges can be soothing.
  • Throw out your toothbrush and start a fresh one to avoid reinfecting yourself.
  • If coughing is the problem, see this page for help.

Sore throats are a common symptom of a cold or flu developing but they can also be a sign of bacterial infection that can lead to problems if untreated (strep, tonsillitis, etc.). If it doesn’t seem to be getting better after two or three days, make sure to see a doctor since you may need antibiotics to fight the infection.

Note: These are simply tips I’ve collected, they’re not professional medical advice. Be aware that some spices and herbs may conflict with prescribed medicines–always check with a doctor before treating yourself.