10 home remedies for sore throats

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.

Dr. Tony Hampton, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group in Chicago, offers these ideas as your first line of treatment:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Chamomile or honey tea: The hot drink can be soothing on your throat and can help you sleep more soundly at night.
  10. 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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Comments

6 Comments

  1. It is unfortunate that most people are not told that Strep Throat is caused by Stretococcus pyogenes or Beta Strep Group A and not just Strep which is in the normal flora of everyone’s
    throat.

  2. Regardless of what the cause is, a sore throat is a sore throat. The most recommended remedy is gargling with salt water. There is a product out in the market called “GoGargle!” which is a salt based gargle for sore throats but it is more than what you can make at home. It has zinc, honey, aloe, chamomile and more and tastes minty fresh. It’s easy to use and works like a charm. It can be used for any sore throat whether from a cold/flu, allergies, over use of voice, etc.. It’s a simple tablet that you drop into 1/2 cup of warm water, let dissolve and gargle. No more measuring or guessing how much salt and no more bad tasting salt water. Keep this on hand year round. It works!

  3. I have 8 years baby boy. When my boy faces this problem I usually follow this technique: Take some slices of ginger and chew them with a little salt. If you think that your baby can’t chew raw ginger, then mix some sliced ginger extract with hot tea.

  4. Thanks for the information. All these remedies are useful and effective for throats. I was suffer same problem last year and I use honey with ginger juice. Honey mixed with ginger juice is the best for relief from sore throat. It works every time for me. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I gargle with room temp raw ACV watered down a little and then just drink it. Gargling with it helps a sore throat too…will have to try to warm with honey.

  6. Honey mixed with ginger juice is the best for indtant relief from sore throat, cough rtc.
    It works everytime for me.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.