A sore throat is one of the most common complaints among people who visit a health professional. A dry, itchy and scratchy throat that affects the vocal cords is usually the result of a virus, the flu, or the common cold. However, there are other factors that can weaken your body's immune response and cause an irritated throat. The good news is that the world abounds with natural sore throat remedies that are not only safe but can also put an end to throat infections. Five of them are covered in this article.
Causes of Sore Throats
Sore throats are usually caused by the same viruses that cause common cold symptoms and the flu (influenza). A sore throat may also be caused by other viral infections such as mononucleosis, measles, chickenpox and croup. If the cause of a sore throat is not viral, then it may be the result of an infection from streptococcal bacteria or tonsillitis.
Children tend to suffer more from sore throats than adults.
Signs and Symptoms
Sore throat symptoms can be excruciating. You constantly feel throat pain, every cough makes you flinch, your voice is hoarse, your head hurts, and all you can think about is getting rid of that thick glob in the back of your throat.
A sore throat arising from a viral infection is often accompanied by a dry, scratchy, itchy or swollen throat and pain when swallowing, breathing or talking. On the other hand, a streptococcal or bacterial infection of the throat can result in scarlet fever, which is characterised by abscess in the throat or tonsils, vomiting, inability to swallow, skin rash, headache, swollen tonsils, and very high fever.
Treatment for Sore Throat Pain
There is no known cure for sore throats that are caused by viral infections, and pain relievers are not that effective in treating them. The virus usually goes away on its own without medical treatment. There is some debate, however, in the case of bacterial or strep throat as to whether an antibiotic treatment should be considered, given the alarming increase of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. While its antibacterial properties can provide symptom relief for people suffering from sore throats, it can also cause a slew of adverse effects, including:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Body aches
5 Natural Remedies to End Your Sore Throat
You can treat the symptoms of your sore throat by simple home remedies. Gargling with warm salt water solution and sipping warm tea with honey and lemon juice are among them. The top five natural remedies for sore throats listed below can help relieve throat irritation and inflammation that is causing your pain.
Use a vaporiser or humidifier
This device will help keep your throat moist and alleviate symptoms of your sore throat by adding moisture to the air.
Increase your fluid intake
Drinking plenty of water not only prevents dry throat and provides symptom relief, but it also helps the body absorb the nutrients it needs to fight bacteria and viruses that cause sore throats and other diseases. Try to drink one glass of water every 30 minutes. It can also be beneficial to drink more citrus juices, tea, or to sip warm soup.
Take a herbal remedy
Herbal medicine has long been used to treat sore throat pain. Its bioactive compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that boost the body's immune response to fight throat infections. Licorice root, marshmallow root, honeysuckle flowers, barberry root, eucalyptus, chamomile and slippery elm are some herbal plants that can help relieve sore throat symptoms. Taking echinacea in the early stages of a sore throat can help speed up recovery. Its other beneficial effects include healthier skin and normalised blood sugar levels.
Gargle with saltwater
Saltwater relieves swelling, inflammation and irritation. Every hour or so, gargle with 1/4 teaspoon salt in one cup of warm water.
Have a bowl of chicken soup
Chicken soup is a popular natural cold remedy for sore throats. It also helps encourage sick people to drink more fluids. Consider adding garlic to the soup as it contains bioactive compounds that can be beneficial during illness.
If your sore throat is caused by an allergy or air pollutants, you should avoid exposure to smoke and chemical pollutants such as those in laundry detergents and cleaners.
Sore throats can be avoided by implementing some simple hygiene measures, including frequent and thorough handwashing, not sharing utensils, and disinfecting high-touch objects and surfaces like your mobile phone, door knobs, the TV remote, computer keyboard, and car keys.
Viruses can be very contagious, so avoiding people who are unwell is best, particularly if your immune system has been compromised.
If you have a persistent or recurring sore throat, it could be an indication of a more serious illness, and you should see your healthcare professional. They will investigate the causes further and recommend the best natural health products and functional foods to get your body back in shape.Originally published on Nov 30, -0001