Experiencing a sore throat is never a fun or exciting process. In fact, it feels like you are walking around all day with a piece of sandpaper stuck in your throat. Whatever, this situation is you probably know in the back of your mind that it could potentially lead to something worse like strep, the flu, or a cold. It could even be a sign that you need your tonsils removed. However, there are some cases when all you need to do is take some over the counter medication, stay in bed, and get some rest. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that there are a wide variety of natural home remedies that can help combat sore throats.
With that being said, before you go and start trying to cure your sore throat, there are some things that you need to be aware of like what causes a sore throat, and what you can do to prevent developing a sore throat in the first place.
Do You Have The Cold or Flu?
If you are experiencing a sore throat, there is a good chance that it is due to the fact that you are suffering from a viral infection like the cold or flu. It is true that it can be hard to tell the difference between the common cold and flu, but in most cases flu symptoms will tend to be more severe. For instance, you will probably experience high fevers, chills, and extreme muscles aches. Unfortunately, if your sore throat is viral-related, antibiotics are not going to do you much good. Instead, you will need to turn to other natural remedies and over-the-counter treatments.
Understanding Strep Throat
Just because you have a sore throat, it does not mean that it is viral-related. In fact, as mentioned above, it could be entirely possible that you are dealing with strep throat, which is going to be more severe. Strep throat is more than often times caused by bacterium, and you can usually tell right away from the symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms that you will experience with strep throat are extreme throat pain, white patches on the tonsils, and swollen lymph nodes. When you have strep you will not have a cough or runny nose like you experience with the common cold and flu.
It is true that anyone who is susceptible to strep throat. However, individuals between the ages of five and 15 more commonly develop the condition. In fact, only right around 10 percent of adults have been reported with developing strep throat.
Causes of a Sore Throat
While the viral infection appears to the most common cause of a sore throat, there are other factors that are linked to this condition. Smokers and people who have been diagnosed with acid reflux tend to frequently experience sore throats. If you are a smoker who experience frequent sore throat, you should consider stopping. Your condition will only continue to worsen, if you fail to heed to this recommendation.
People who have been diagnosed with acid reflux it is highly likely that you will experience sore throat from time to time. Your physician will recommend medications to relieve the symptoms linked to your condition. However, it is also crucial to avoid spicy, fatty and fried foods.
Other factors related to a sore throat include allergies, dry air, mouth breathing, shouting, singing, food allergies, polyps and tonsillitis. Speak with your physician, if you experience frequent sore throats, because the symptoms may be a sign of something more than just a sore throat.
1. Use Ice Chips For Relief And Hydration
Ice chips can be extremely helpful when it comes to battling a common sore throat. Simply, just sucking on ice chips can provide your painful throat with the comfort and coolness that it needs to ease swelling and pain, but when the chips melt they actually keep you hydrated, which is something that is extremely important when you are sick.
2. Sweeten The Pot With Honey
Honey can be added to just about any drink to sweeten it up a little bit. You can add it to tea, coffee, or even just put it in water. Well, you might be truly surprised to learn that honey is loaded with antibacterial properties and can help ease your sore throat. In addition to this, it can ease and eliminate coughing, which is one condition that might be contributing to your sore throat in the first place.
3. Warm Salt Water
Most people who experience a sore throat do not want to visit their primary care physician every single time. Instead of scheduling an appointment with your physician, you should create a gargle with salt water. All you need is eight ounces of warm water and a half-teaspoon of table or iodized salt. Just let the salt granules dissolve before you start to gargle, so they will not irritate your throat.
Salt has anti-inflammatory properties capable of reducing the swelling and redness that is responsible for the sore throat. It is recommended to gargle for about 60 seconds three times a day. However, you can gargle as much as needed to relieve the pain. It is also a good idea to do it before you go to bed and as soon as you get up in the morning. These are the times, when the sore throat will be at its worse.
4. Hot Bourbon Toddy
Hot bourbon toddy is a great sore throat home remedy for adults. Bourbon contains pain-relieving properties that will prove to be valuable for sore throat sufferers. When the bourbon glides over the throat, it will instantly soothe the pain. In fact, the bourbon will continue to ease the pain for several hours, so you should not need to repeat the treatment more than three to four times a day.
If you do not like the taste of bourbon, you can always switch it out with another type of alcohol or add a teaspoon of honey to your toddy. The honey will eliminate the bitterness and stinging sensation that may be experienced, while consuming the toddy.
If your symptoms persist after trying a natural remedy, consult your healthcare professional.
Know of any other natural remedies for a sore throat? Share them in the comments section below!
**Disclaimer: All content on this site is a suggested approach to help alleviate symptoms. The suggested remedies may have varying effects for each person. Please read our full disclaimer here**