Sore throat is a painful, dry, or scratchy feeling in your throat. You can treat with the help of home remedies like herbal teas for sore throat as well as will OTC medications.
The most common symptom of sore throat is pain and it accounts for more than 13 million visits to the doctor each year.
Causes of sore throat can be an infection or due to environmental factors like dry air.
There are 3 types of sore throat and depends on the part of the throat they affect. These are:
Pharyngitis: It affects the area right behind your mouth.
Tonsilitis: Is swelling and redness of your tonsils
Laryngitis: It is swelling and redness of your voice box or larynx.
This article sums up the Signs and Symptoms, Causes, and 10 home remedies for Sore Thorat.
Symptoms of Sore Throat
Depending on the cause of sore throat, the signs and symptoms can vary, however, it can feel scratchy, burning, ray, or dry.
Moreover, you might feel tender and irritated.
A sore throat can also hurt while you talk or swallow, and your tonsils might look red.
In some cases, you might notice white patches or areas on the tonsils, which is common in strep throat.
Along with sore throat, you can have nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, cough, and fever.
Moreover, it can cause chills, swollen glands, hoarse voices, body aches, headaches, and appetite loss.
Causes of Sore Throat
There are different causes of sore throat.
Let us discuss them:
1 . Colds, Flu, and Other Viral Infections: According to a study, the virus causes about 90% of sore throats and the viruses are common cold, influenza, mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox, and mumps.
2 . Strep Throat and Bacterial Infections: Bacterial infections can also cause sore throat, one of which is strep throat.
It causes almost 40% of sore throat cases in children.
Tonsils and STD infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause it.
3 . Allergies: Allergies can also trigger sore throat. These include pollen, gas, and pet dander.
Moreover, it releases chemicals that cause nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose, and throat irritation.
4 . Dry Air: It can suck moisture for your mouth and throat and leave it feeling dry.
5. Smoke and other Pollutants: Different chemical and environmental pollutants like tobacco, air pollution, and cleaning products can cause it.
6. Injury: An injury to the neck, or food sticking in your throat can cause it.
7. GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux diseases on which acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus can cause sore throat.
8. Tumor: A tumor of the throat, voice box, or tongue can cause it. Although it is rarely the case.
Home Remedies for Sore Throat
You will likely be affected by a sore throat throughout your life.
Itching, scratching, or burning sensation and cause irritation especially when accompanied with other symptoms.
Sometimes, they can be very miserable.
However, you can find relief without immediately running to your doctor.
The following are the 10 home remedies for sore throat.
1# Saltwater Gargle
One of the best home remedies for sore throat is a saltwater gargle.
When you gargle with salt water it can help to soothe a scratchy throat.
The salt has the ability to pull mucus out of your swollen, inflamed tissue and helps to relieve the discomfort.
According to Mayo Clinic, adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of table salt or a teaspoon of salt to 4 to 8 ounces of warm water will do.
Stir the water until the salt dissolves completely. Then gargle with it for several seconds and spit it out.
You can repeat this remedy several times a day.
If you mix honey in tea or tale it simply, then it soothes the throat.
According to a study, honey is more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common suppressants.
Other studies suggest that honey is an effective wound healer, which means that it can help speed the healing process.
3# Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has several natural antibacterial uses.
Different studies show its antibacterial effects in fighting infections and because of its acidic nature, it can help break down mucous in the throat.
This helps to stop bacteria from spreading any further.
If you feel like sore throat then try diluting 1 to 2 tbs of ACV in one cup of water and gargle with it.
After it, take a small sip of the mixture and repeat the whole process again.
However, it is important to drink a lot of water when you gargle.
Garlic is known for its antibacterial properties and contains allicin which is a compound that fights infections.
Studies indicate that taking its supplement on regular basis can help to prevent the common cold virus.
Adding fresh garlic to your diet can also a way to gain antimicrobial properties.
You might remember your grandma advising to chew or suck a clove of garlic to soothe a sore throat.
Moreover, as garlic has healing properties, you might want to try this, although you will have to brush your teeth to protect them from enzymes and improve your breath.
Learn more about bad breath and eucalyptus oil for healthy teeth.
5# Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a popular beverage known for its health benefits.
It is a herb that comes from day-like flowers and has been consumed for centuries.
It is a naturally soothing tea and has been used for medical purposes like soothing a sore throat.
Moreover, it is often used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties.
A study indicates that inhaling chamomile steam can help to relieve the symptoms of cold, including sore throat.
Moreover, drinking its tea can offer the same benefits.
It stimulates your immune system to help your body fight the infection causing a sore throat.
Learn more about tips to boost the immune system.
6# Steam Shower
A steam show is an effective and one of the good home remedies for sore throat.
If you do not have a humidifier at home, you can still get relief from moist air.
Breathing in the steam from a hot water shower can help reduce swelling and ease the pain of a sore throat.
Moreover, you can also create steam by running very hot water in the sink. You will have to drape a towel over your head and lean into the sink to breathe in the steam.
Keep taking deep breaths for several minutes and repeat the process when you want to ease the throat.
You can also try and boil water in a pot to increase the humidity in your house.
Pro Tip: Adding a tbs of methanol ointment like Vick’s VapoRub can help more.
Peppermint is often used by people because it has the ability to freshen your breath.
Diluting the peppermint oil spray can also relieve sore throat.
Peppermint contains methanol which has the ability to thin mucus and calm your sore throat.
Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-viral properties that can encourage healing.
However, it is important to use essential oils after diluting them with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil.
You can mix 5 drops of peppermint oil with an ounce of carrier oil to use it.
Learn more about essential oils.
8# Gargle with Baking Soda
While saltwater gargle is a very common remedy for sore throat, people also use baking soda.
Gargling with baking soda can help to relieve a sore throat also.
It helps to kill bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast and fungi in your mouth and throat.
The National Cancer Institute recommends using 1 cup of water with 1/4 or 1/8 tbs of baking soda and gently swish it.
Afterward, rinse every three hours as required to treat sore throat.
Fenugreek has different health benefits and is present in many forms.
You can eat them, use them as a topical oil, or drink fenugreek tea.
Moreover, its tea is a natural remedy for sore throat.
Research shows the healing powers of fenugreek and has the ability to relieve pain and kill bacteria that can cause irritation or inflammation.
It is also an effective antifungal.
However, pregnant women should avoid using it, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
10# Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow roots contain a substance that is like mucus that coats and soothes a sore throat.
By simply adding it into a cup of boiling water to make tea.
Sipping it 2 to 3 times a day can help ease a sore throat.
However, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes should consult their doctor before using it.
Animal research suggests that its use can cause a drop in blood sugar levels.
Sore Throat Remedies for Infants and Children
Sore throat in children and infants is not fun, however, it is rarely a sign of a medical emergency.
Still, treating it can be different for infants and children.
The following are a few tips and remedies:
- Keep your children hydrated by encouraging them to drink as much as possible and avoid juices or popsicles with lots of citruses.
- Children under 5 years should not be given hard candy cough drops or anything else that might pose a choking risk.
- Use caution when giving cough drops to children especially those under 10 years.
- Don’t give honey to children who are younger than 1 year.
- Try to add a cool mist or a humidifier to your child’s room. Moisture in the air can help relieve pain from a sore throat.
Prevention of Sore Throat
To prevent sore throat, avoid exposure to the germs that cause sore throats is to wash your hands with warm water and soap throughout the day.
If you don’t have access to a sink, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Moreover, washing your hands whenever you touch a common surface is important to avoid germs and bacteria.
Try to avoid being around anyone who is sick.
Don’t share personal items and keep up your body’s resistance by eating right, sleeping well, and exercising.
Furthermore, avoid spicy or acidic foods, and stay away from chemical fumes or smoke that could cause inflammation.
When you are unable to treat sore throat with home remedies, then you can use different OTC, over-the-counter medications, and pain relievers.
Acetaminophen is effective for sore throat, and it can be given to young children.
Moreover, over-the-counter options like lozenges or numbing sprays can also provide relief from sore throat.
Other potential soothers include eucalyptus, which you will likely find in natural throat lozenges and cough syrups.
Sore throat is a common infection due to viruses, bacteria, pollutants, or other environmental factors.
You can use the above home remedies to treat it at home as in most cases you do not need to see the doctor. However, if it does not go away with these remedies, you can use OTC medications to treat it.
Special care should always be taken when treating sore throat in children and infants.