Five Best Natural Home Remedies for Sore Throat
Are you feeling an irritation, scratchiness and pain in your throat? Do these troubling sensations get worse when you swallow? If yes, you are down with a sore throat. While it is always easy to go for a non-prescription medication, you may also want to try out some natural home remedies for sore throat.
A sore throat can really be irritating. It makes your feel sick. You just don't feel like getting out of bed and doing your activities. Furthermore, it also does not let you sleep if you just want to curl under your blanket and get two winks. No wonder, at the first sign of that pain, people tend to go for some or the other medication. However, in most cases you could easily take care of a sore throat with the help of some home remedies.
Before we take a look at some natural home remedies for sore throat, let's have a look at some of the causes of this health problem.
What are the causes of a sore throat?
It is most likely that you sore throat is due to a viral infection. The most common viral infections include the common cold and influenza (flu). Mumps, chicken pox, and mononucleosis ("mono" for short) are some other viral infections that may give you a sore throat. In children, croup is a condition that can lead to a sore throat. Croup is characterized by a harsh, barking cough. If your voice box gets infected, it means that you have laryngitis.
While viral infections are the most common cause of a sore throat, it is quite possible that you have a bacterial infection. Strep throat is the most common bacterial infection. It is caused by a bacterium known as Streptococcus pyogenes. Whooping cough and diphtheria are other likely bacterial causes of your sore throat. Often, an inflammation of the tonsils is also bacterial in nature. In some cases, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia and gonorrhea could be the cause of your sore throat. However, it is highly unlikely unless you tend to engage in high-risk sexual behavior.
If you are allergic to molds, dust, pollen, pet dander and other such things in your environment, you are likely to get a sore throat whenever you are exposed to these allergens.
Constant exposure to air pollutants whether indoors or outdoors is another reason for a sore throat. People who live in close vicinity of a busy road or a smoke-chugging factory are likely to often get a sore throat. Tobacco smoke is possibly the most common indoor air pollutant that can lead to throat irritation.
Dryness in the air
Some people notice that they tend to get a sore throat in dry season. This is why most people develop throat irritation in the winters. Use of room heaters indoors in the winter season often dries the air and can cause throat pain. For such people using a humidifier may help.
Breathing through the mouth
If you are in a habit of breathing through your mouth especially while sleeping, you are likely to experience throat dryness. Often, people with nasal congestion breathe through their mouths and this can dry the throat.
Overstraining the vocal chords
If you have just been to a game where you were cheering your favorite player or team way too loudly, you are likely to feel that pain in the throat when you get back home!
In some people, the acids and other content in the stomach back up into the food pipe. These people often experience heartburn, hoarseness, and a lump in the throat. This medical condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux for short. If the contents of your stomach back up into the food pipe too often, your throat is going to be constantly irritated.
Eating spicy foods, chewing tobacco, smoking, and drinking alcohol may also be the cause of throat pain in some people. Sometimes, a sore throat is the first symptom of an HIV infection as well. Cancer of the throat, tongue or voice box may also be a likely cause of a sore throat.
So, now you know the likely causes of sore throat. Let us have a look at some wonderful natural home remedies for sore throat now.
Top Five Natural Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the lesser known natural home remedies for sore throat is turmeric. An Indian spice, turmeric is known for its anti-bacterial properties. The ideal thing to do is to add the turmeric to your salt water mixture and gargle with it. For this, just add half-a-teaspoon turmeric and half-a-teaspoon of salt to warm water. Gargle at least four times a day.
Another way of using this wonderful home remedy for throat pain is to add half-a-teaspoon of turmeric to one cup of milk. The milk should be boiled and then the turmeric should be added to it. Drink it at night before going to bed and you will surely notice a difference in your throat irritation.
Gargling with cayenne pepper can help you get rid of throat pain in no time. It may sting your tongue and throat a little, but it just means that it is working its magic! Just add a little bit of cayenne pepper to warm water and gargle with it. You can, of course, add it to the apple cider vinegar tea mentioned above if you cannot handle gargling with it.
However, if you can handle it, do go ahead and gargle with it. About four times a day will do the trick. If you cannot handle it, just boil some tea leaves, add the cayenne pepper and some honey and sip it slowly.
A very effective natural home remedy for sore throat is ginger. Ginger has antibacterial properties which make it quite useful for throat pain. Just peel the ginger root. Pound it or slice it. Boil about two cups of water and add the ginger root to it. Let it boil for some time. Ideally, you should allow it to reduce to about one to one-and-a-half cup. Take it off the stove and add a little honey. A little bit of lemon juice added to this tea would give you a good dose of vitamin C, which will help fight the infection. If you cannot find fresh ginger root, you can always buy dried ginger root powder.
Tips for Relieving a Sore Throat
Just using one or two of the above natural home remedies for sore throat will be enough to bring relief. However, there are a few other simple things that you should keep in mind when you are down with a throat infection.
· Get plenty of rest for a couple of days or at least till the time you feel better.
· Drink plenty of liquids, especially warm liquids since these will promote healing. Warm liquids help in reducing the inflammation in the throat and are soothing as well.
· A Vitamin C tablet will boost your immunity and help get rid of the sore throat quickly.
· If dry air is a problem, consider using a humidifier in the bedroom.
What to do if these natural home remedies for sore throat do not work?
If these natural home remedies do not work, you may want to consult a doctor. Make sure to consult a doctor
· if your sore throat or hoarseness lasts for more than a week,
· if there is blood in the sputum,
· if you have a temperature of more than 101 degrees Celsius,
· if there is severe pain around the nose and the eyes,
· if there is pus at the back of the throat,
· if rashes appear.
You may also want to consider taking some homeopathic medicines for relieving a sore throat. These are perfectly safe to use for children, adults, as well as the elderly. Take a look at some of these homeopathic medicines right here.
While these natural home remedies for sore throat are generally quite effective, make sure not to use these if you are allergic to any of the ingredients or if you notice that you throat pain is getting worse. Of course, if it goes out of control, a visit to the doctor is the best thing to do.
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© Copyright Roohi Khan, 2012