Several underlying conditions, like viral infections (flu or cold), bacterial infections (mostly from streptococcus), infected tonsils, mumps, food allergies, etc., can lead to an inflammation of the pharynx called pharyngitis, causing a scratchy and tender throat that makes swallowing difficult.
Even though, a sore throat is not a very serious ailment, it can cause a lot of discomfort and lead to serious problems, if left untreated. Mild sore throats that last for about two to three days can be treated using home remedies, a few of which have been listed here.
Tips To Cure Sore Throat Naturally
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water is one of the most effective and inexpensive way of healing a sore throat. Salt acts as a natural dehydrator by drawing out liquid from phlegm, the fluid that harbors clumps of bacteria and viruses that are responsible for causing sore throat, thereby acting as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water and gargle this solution every three to four hours a day. One can also add half teaspoon of baking soda to this solution. However, too much of salt can harm the mucosa and hence, one needs to gargle in moderation.
A dry throat can result from sleeping with your mouth open while having a congested or a blocked nose. This dryness in the nose can be cured by using honey which can moisturize your throat, removing the scratchy feeling that can in turn lead to cough. They are many ways of consuming honey. For an instant soothing effect, you can have a spoonful of honey as often as you can.
The combination of honey and cinnamon has been used for centuries, for its ability to fight inflammation of the throat. This mixture when consumed early in the morning by mixing one teaspoon of honey in warm water and sprinkling cinnamon powder on it can bring great relief.However, honey should not be fed to children under the age of two years, since honey can harbor bacteria, known to cause food poisoning or infant botulism and allergic reactions in very young children. It is safe only when consumed by older children and adults.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar kills the bacteria causing sore throat, due to its high acidity, thus imparting a soothing effect to the throat. One way of using it, is to mix one teaspoon salt, half cup of cider vinegar in one cup of warm water and gargle using this solution, every 15 minutes. Another way is to sip it slowly by mixing one tablespoon honey, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar in a mug containing 8 ounces of hot water.
However, drinking too much of apple cider vinegar can aggravate the symptoms of sore throat by burning your throat and esophagus, leading to more pain and discomfort. Hence, it is important to consult your doctor before using it, since it can interact with drugs like insulin and diuretics, leading to a stomach upset.
Hot drinks like herbal teas are the best way of easing a sore throat, since it not only helps in soothing a sore throat but also clears up congestion in the nose that can worsen the condition of a sore throat. You can make your own herbal tea by adding small pieces of ginger, 2-3 garlic cloves, a few drops of lemon juice and honey to hot water for treating chest congestion, cough and sore throat.
Honey helps to coat the throat and can also act as a sweetener. If you are not fond of teas, you can also have chicken broth that is not only nutritious, but can also serve to relieve sore throat, since the heat eases nasal congestion and the fat adds a coating to your throat.
Garlic has been used in homeopathic treatments, since decades for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Acting as a natural antiseptic, it stops the infection from spreading by ba. Hence, it helps in strengthening your immune system and when combined with natural immune boosters like vitamin C found in lime and other citrus fruits, it can help to keep many bacterial infections at bay.
Simply chew a garlic clove, allowing the juice to trickle down your throat or consume it in the form of a garlic tea by adding several medium-sized pieces of garlic to boiling water along with 1/4th teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of cayenne pepper to enhance its antiseptic effect.
Consuming warm milk by adding a pinch of turmeric and pepper, before going to bed, exerts its anti-bacterial action thereby,serving as a soothing elixir for treating a sore throat. Curcumin is its active ingredient that is responsible for killing the infection causing bacteria, thus reducing the inflammation and irritation experienced in the throat.
Steaming can treat a sore throat by lubricating the dry tissues of the throat, thereby providing a soothing effect and reducing the duration of the infection. Inhaling steam with your head covered with a towel, from a bowl of hot water containing 1-2 drops of olive oil, almond oil or eucalyptus oil, has been proven to be an effective way of relieving sore throat.
Known for its anti-fungal and anesthetic properties, cloves help in mitigating the pain associated with sore throat, thus making swallowing easier. Drink one cup of clove tea containing honey, lemon, cardamom and cayenne pepper to reduce the inflammation of the pharynx.
Onions possess the antiseptic properties, that helps in eliminating bacteria that accumulate in the throat. Fresh onion juice with jaggery or consumption of a teaspoon of honey with onion slices soaked in it for an hour, can work wonders for relieving sore throat, cold and fever.
Fenugreek has been considered as a valuable medicine in treating sore throat from time immemorial, due to its ability to dissolve the mucus that harbors the bacteria causing throat infection. Gargling with lukewarm water containing a few fenugreek seeds, helps in easing the irritation caused by sore throat.
Even though, most of these remedies can bring relief from sore throat, they do not cure the ailment, thereby making it mandatory for you to consult your doctor, if you continue to experience the symptoms for more than two to three days. Also, it is important to seek the advice of a doctor before replacing or taking these remedies along with the prescribed medicines, to avoid possible drug interactions that can lead to fatal consequences.
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.