Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Do you have a slight irritation that feels like a dry or sore sensation in your throat? This could simply be the effects of stress and could be a sign to rest and take it easy, or it could be the early signs of a cold, the flu or something more serious.
A sore throat is never pleasant. This article will teach you all about the natural remedies for a sore throat and how to know when to see a doctor.
Natural Home Remedies
Sore throats can vary in how uncomfortable they feel and the best time to take action to is the moment you start to feel unwell. This helps combat any germs that are trying to take hold. Our bodies do a wonderful job of keeping us strong and healthy but can occasionally do with help and support. The below suggestions will target and soothe a sore throat and some will specifically boost the immune system.
Dose Up on Vitamin C
Vitamin C has got heaps of scientific studies that back up its immune boosting properties. A study shows that patients with tonsillitis benefited from vitamin C supplementation, especially if they were deficient in it. Another review found that vitamin C was effective in helping reduce the incidence of common respiratory tract conditions, that the mouth and throat are a part of.
Take Echinacea Herbs
This is a great apoptogenic herb that is often used by herbalists to help boost the immune system. It has been found to reduce the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications. In a study, it is found that it helps reduce the duration of common cold symptoms (which can include a sore throat) by an average of 26%. Always follow the dosage instructions if you try this method.
Gargle With Salt
Evidence exists to demonstrate that gargling with warm water with dissolved salt can help relieve a sore throat. It helps to kill bacteria. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) recommends this mouth wash for patients undergoing chemotherapy and immunotherapy who experience a sore throat.
Spray With Sage
Another way to soothe a sore throat is directly spraying your throat with sage spray (some combine sage with echinacea). A study has found that this spray is also efficient and well tolerated, compared to conventional treatments such as chlorhexidine/lidocaine throat sprays.
Use A Humidifier
Using a humidifier is a great way to soothe a sore throat, as it adds moisture to the air. By adding moisture, it can help loosen any mucus from your nasal passages that could be effectively sitting and building up in your throat, causing it to be sore.
This may seem like a basic thing to say, but its importance is often overlooked. While your body works hard to resolve a sore throat, it needs extra fluids to help keep the body sufficiently hydrated, as well as flush out any toxins caused by bacteria or viruses. Aim for at least 2 liters of purified water per day.
Ensure Your Home is Irritant Free
Many harsh chemicals, from cleaning products to cigarette smoke, can irritate a sore throat. So, be sure to remove these from your home. Doing this also benefits your overall health.
When is a Sore Throat Serious?
If you have tried some of the sore throat home remedies but still have a sore throat after two to three days, or if the pain is gets worse, it is a sign that there is something more serious going on. This could be a viral or bacterial infection, both of which are explained in more detail below.
Bacterial Throat Infections
If you have a throat infection from a type of bacteria, this means small microbes that are too small to be seen by the human eye have infected your body and your immune system will kick in to try to stop this threat to your overall health.
Many types of bacteria are harmless but occasionally the 1% that causes disease can affect the throat. Also, bacteria do not need a host to survive. Symptoms of serious bacterial throat infections include: a scratchy throat, tonsillar exudate and tender lymph nodes. Common bacterial infections that can cause symptoms of a sore throat include pharyngitis and strep throat.
Viral Throat Infections
Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and do need a host to survive.The main difference is that most viruses cause disease, unlike bacteria. Viruses are also quite specific in which cells they attack such as the liver cells, blood cells and respiratory system cells.
Common viral infections that can cause symptoms of a sore throat include:
- The common cold
- The flu
- Infectious mononucleosis
Don’t Ignore Sore Throat Symptoms
Several of the natural remedies for sore throat are listed here, like vitamin C, echinacea and saltwater gargle, target bacteria and viruses, and also help to boost the immune system. But in some cases, if your sore throat is a serious viral or bacterial infection, it may not be enough to resolve your sore throat.
So, if after two or three days your symptoms are still there or they are worse, please visit your doctor immediately. You may also need to see a doctor if you keep getting recurrent sore throats as this could also be a sign that your health needs further attention.
- PubMed (Vitamin C deficiency in patients with chronic tonsillitis)
- PubMed (Echinacea reduces the risk of recurrent respiratory tract infections and complications: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials)
- PubMed (Echinacea/sage or chlorhexidine/lidocaine for treating acute sore throats: a randomized double-blind trial)
- NHS (Echinacea cold study claims analysed)
- Medical News Today (What to know about gargling with salt water)
- National Cancer Institute (Mouth and Throat Problems during Cancer Treatment)