Sore throat scientifically known as pharyngitis is among the most common health conditions, especially during the winter. They are typically caused by infections like the common cold, flu and strep throat.
Sore throat symptoms could be very unpleasant to bear sometimes. Your saliva goes down like sandpaper, every cough makes you wince, and the only thing you can think about is making that lump in the back of your throat go away.
According to a study titled: Incidence, causes, severity and treatment of throat discomfort, a four-region online questionnaire survey published on National Library of Medicine, it was discovered that acute sore throat is commonly associated with viral infections. Patients typically rely on over-the-counter treatments and other remedies to treat symptoms.
The aim of this study conducted by Dilys Addey, was to investigate perceptions of throat discomfort and how these influence attitudes and patients’ behaviour with regard to treatment.
Here are six natural sore throat remedies:
From its warm, amber colour to its thick, syrupy consistency and mild sweet taste, honey is nature’s sore throat remedy. Honey boasts of a range of anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties.
If you’re suffering from a bad cough in addition to your sore throat, honey may also act as an effective cough suppressant. Mix two tablespoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea and stir it well. Drink several times a day as needed.
It’s important to note that honey should not be given to infants under the age of one.
2. Toss your toothbrush
Believe it or not, your toothbrush may be perpetuating—or even causing—your sore throat. Bacteria collect on the bristles, and any injury to the gums during brushing injects these germs into your system.
As soon as you start feeling ill, throw away your toothbrush. Often that’s enough to stop the illness in its tracks. Changing your toothbrush is often recommended for patients with bacterial throat infections to eliminate the spread of infection.
If you do get sick, replace your brush again when you start to feel better and when you feel completely well. That keeps you from re-infecting yourself.
3. Humidifier to open the sinuses
If you’ve noticed an increase in the number of sore throats you’ve had this season, then it may be time to invest in a humidifier. Dry air, especially during the harsh, cold days of winter, may be the cause of your sore throat.
A humidifier will keep the air moist and open your sinuses. Add in a tablespoon or two of vapour rub or hydrogen peroxide solution to provide additional relief.
Whiskey (a small amount; too much can dehydrate you) breaks up and thins mucus. Whiskey also dilates your blood vessels on the surface of your throat, so immune cells in your blood can multiply and fight the infection.
Put your head on your pillow at a decent hour and close your eyes. Repeat as necessary. Don’t underestimate physically resting your body and voice.
But beware: Lying flat can sometimes cause swelling due to an increase in pressure at the back of your throat. Instead, try elevating the bed or sitting propped up or in a chair to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
6. Saltwater gargle
Gargling with warm saltwater can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat. Make a saltwater solution by adding a half-teaspoon of salt to a full glass of warm water. Gargle with it to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clear.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, people with a sore throat should perform a saltwater gargle at least once an hour.