Home Remedies For A Sore Throat
A sore throat can be the first sign of a cold, a side effect of strained vocal cords, or an indication of something more serious (like strep throat). Regardless of the cause, your immediate concern when soreness strikes is how to get relief, fast. You may be tempted to run to your doctor, but some of the best treatments are home remedies. Sore throats are often caused by viral, not bacterial infections. That means antibiotics won’t help.
Allergies, dry air, and outdoor pollution, as well as illnesses like the common cold, flu, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis (mono), and the croup, can all cause sore throats. These illnesses are all viral infections that will not respond to antibiotics. Bacterial infections are responsible for only a small percentage of sore throats, including those linked with strep throat, whooping cough and diphtheria. Most doctors recommend calling a doctor only in cases of severe sore throat accompanied by a fever, or when swollen tonsils block the throat.
A sore throat can be a royal pain. Like blinking, we never notice how much we swallow until we start paying attention to it and when it hurts like nobody’s business, it’s kind of difficult not to pay attention. But before you go getting down about how long you’re going to have to suffer with it, consider taking some action-relief that may be closer than you think. Gargling is a simple and remarkably effective way to kill germs and soothe a sore throat. Below are 22 simple at home sore throat remedies that will help you get started on naturally soothing the ache.
One of the most effective treatments for sore throat is probably already in your medicine cabinet: an over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Advil or Motrin.
These medicines are combination pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, so they’ll make you feel better and they’ll also reduce some of the swelling associated with a sore throat. If you have a fever that’s also contributing to your symptoms, they can help reduce that as well.
Honey mixed in tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Scientific studies have confirmed this natural wonder works. A study of 139 children with upper respiratory infections, for example, found that honey was even more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants.
Studies have also shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats.
Several studies have found that gargling several times a day with warm salt water can reduce swelling in the throat and loosen mucus, helping to flush out irritants or bacteria. Doctors generally recommend dissolving half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. If the salty taste is too unpleasant for you, try adding a small amount of honey to sweeten the mixture slightly. (Just remember to spit the water out after gargling, rather than swallowing!)
Kick It With Cayenne
Drinking warm water with cayenne can actually make you feel better. This is another one of those really funky sounding home remedies, but again, a lot of people swear by it. Dumping something involving hot peppers in any way, shape, or form down your already searing throat seems counterintuitive to helping it, but there’s a method to the madness. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) have a chemical compound called capsaicin that temporarily relieves pain, much like Advil or Aspirin does. It accomplishes this by hindering something called substance P, which is what transmits pain signals to your brain. Thus, the discomfort from your sore throat is diluted when coming in contact with the Cayenne-and quickly to boot.