10 home remedies for sore throats
It’s another morning. The alarm goes off and you’re ready for the day, but you notice discomfort in your throat. Getting sick is not on your to-do list. But before you dash over to the doctor, consider these natural treatments.
- Gargle warm salt water: Half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water can help to soothe a sore throat and break down secretion. Gargle the mixture 3 -4 times a day for best results. It is also known to help kill bacteria in the throat and can help to reduce swelling.
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): Even though the combination of apple cider vinegar and honey isn’t the most appetizing, the high levels of acidity can kill bacteria and the honey coats the throat helping to ease soreness. Mix a tablespoon of ACV, honey and warm water into a glass and enjoy. Be careful not to drink the ACV separately as the acid can cause tooth enamel and harm the esophagus.
- Drink up: Lots of fluids can help to loosen congestion and prevent dehydration. Drink lots and lots of fluids like water, chicken broth, hot tea. Be careful not to drink coffee and alcohol as it can make your dehydration worse when you are sick.
- Anti-inflammatories: An over the counter NSAID such as Advil or Aleve can help to reduce some of the swelling and can help you feel better if you have a fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sore throats, which are usually caused by viruses, cannot be treated with antibiotics.
- Lozenges and sprays: Lozenges that contain menthol or eucalyptus can help numb the tissue in your throat providing temporary pain relief. Sprays like Chloraseptic® can also help. Children should not be given lozenges or cough drops as they can be a choking hazard.
- Zinc: The potential health benefits of this vitamin can build a better immune system and help heal wounds. Although studies have not proven that zinc can completely ward off illness, some research found that taking zinc 24 hours after cold symptoms arise has shown positive results.
- Vitamin C: It’s an antioxidant that can help maintain healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs. Research shows that the vitamin can’t prevent the common cold, but it can help to support a healthy immune system.
- Humidity: Colds are common in cold weather due to dry conditions. A humidifier can add moisture to your home to help prevent stuffy nose and a scratch throat from the dry air.
- Chamomile or honey tea: The hot drink can be soothing on your throat and can help you sleep more soundly at night.
- Sleep, sleep sleep: The best and most important remedy is to get sleep. When your body is breaking down and getting sick it’s telling you it needs rest. Giving yourself some extra shut-eye can help promote more rapid recovery.
“I do stress that if your throat is swollen, red, you have a hard time swallowing and/or you have a fever, see your primary physician,” says Dr. Hampton. “Strep throat is highly contagious. Having a physician do a throat culture or rapid antigen test can confirm if streptococcal bacteria is present.”
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.