You know how it feels when you’re down with a sore throat. For a start, you’ve a persistent itching sensation in your throat that is so irritating that you have to gargle frequently to clear your gullet. Moreover, you cannot feel the taste or flavour of any food as your nasopharyngeal passage is completely blocked out by phlegm and cough. Whenever, you try to swallow or drink something, you wince in pain as your throat is distended and tender.
You’re most likely to have a sore throat when you suffer from a common cold or flu. When you’re plagued with a sore throat, the pharynx gets inflamed or swollen. Every year, millions of people around the world have to battle with the symptoms of a sore throat. Sore throat is actually caused by the ‘streptococci bacteria’ and it is a very common bacterial infection. Though a sore throat is not harmful or damaging for your health, it can be a real irritant.
What Causes One To Have A Sore Throat?
You can be afflicted with a sore throat mainly because of a bacterial or a viral infection. Common cold and flu fall under the category of viral infections, and the usual symptoms are a runny nose along with high temperatures and an aching body. A sore throat that results from a virus is not curable but the symptoms are treatable. Anyway, your sore throat that is caused by a viral infection heals automatically as a matter of course.
However, if your sore throat is because of a bacterial infection (usually known as strep throat because of the streptococcus bacteria), the symptoms that are more or less similar to common cold, are more durable. Apart from having a high fever and a runny nose, you’re also likely to experience severe stomach pain, headaches, and nausea. The lymphatic glands become tender and inflated.
A bacterial infection that gives one a sore throat can be irreversibly detrimental for your kidney or heart, so you’ll have to go in for antibiotic treatment. You can also suffer from a sore throat due to excessive smoking, allergies, GERD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease), polypus, cancer, and tonsillitis. Generally, a sore or strep throat is quite harmless but at times it could be indicative of a major ailment or disease.
In case, your sore throat persists for over three days, you should seek medical intervention without delay. On the other hand, if your sore throat symptoms seem to be mild and mainly results from a flu, allergy or common cold, then are many homemade remedies that you can try. Since these home remedies are made from natural sources, (most of which are likely to found in your kitchen), they are almost free from any side effects. They are also quite affordable and can work alongside the conventional medications that you’d be taking. Some of the best Home Remedies For Sore Throat have been outlined below.
1. Gurgling With Warm Saltwater Is Still The Best Remedy
Gargling with saltwater that is lukewarm is perhaps the best of all home remedies to cure a sore throat. In fact, it is the most time-tested of all home solutions that is always effective. Common salt or table-salt not only works as a gentle antiseptic but is an efficient hygroscopic as well helping you to get rid of mucus and phlegm from the lymphatic nodes and mucous membranes.
For preparing a concoction, just pour a half tablespoon of salt in tepid warm water and stir until the salt dissolves fully. Gargle with your head tilted backwards and let the solution go deep down in your throat so that you can spit out the maximum amount of phlegm every time you gurgle. Gargle at least 3-4 times in a day for quick relief.
Honey has antibacterial and hypertonic properties that make it a very good home remedy for strep throat. Honey has long been in vogue as an excellent sore throat remedy. Honey being an osmotic, absorbs water and phlegm from the mucous membranes helping you to get relief from swelling and soothes your throat. You can make a good concoction by adding 2-3 teaspoons to a cup of herbal tea or a glass of warm water.
3. Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the slippery elm that is a species of the elm tree has been serving as a very effectual demulcent for a long time. The leaves and especially the inner bark of the slippery elm are rich in mucilage that forms a coating over your throat arresting bacterial activity and proliferation. To draw from the mucilaginous properties of the slippery elm, just ground 2-3 strips of the inner bark and soak them in a large cup of boiling water. Let the mixture stand for 5-7 minutes and then strain the concoction and gulp it down.
4. Horehound Herb
The horehound is actually a species of flowering herbal plant whose leaves and bark contain mucilage that aids in healing strep throats. The mucilage of this herbal plant particularly helps in thinning or diluting the phlegm and mucus lodged in your throat. You have to grind some leaves or thin strips of its bark with a mortar in a pestle and empty the contents into a cup of steaming hot water. Let the blend remain for roughly 10 minutes. Thereafter filter the mixture with the help of a sieve and drink it down.
5. Vinegar of Apple Cider
Apple cider vinegar has also been long used as an efficient remedy in the treatment of sore throats. You’d simply have to temper down the liquid in a saucepan containing warm water and transfer the content to a tumbler and start gargling. Adding 2-3 teaspoons in 10-12 ounces of water would be sufficient.
6. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is as competent as apple cider vinegar when it comes to treating sore or strep throats. Mix some of the peppers with water or simply use its powdery form. Immerse a brush deep inside the solution and daub the same over the backside of the throat. Or else, you can make a concoction with half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and lime juice and apply the paste to the back of your gullet.
7. Chicken Soup
Chicken soup works perfectly, especially when you find it painful to swallow or drink during a sore throat. It has long been a very popular home remedy for getting fast respite from a strep throat. Chicken soup is rich in salts like sodium that works as a splendid anti-inflammatory agent.
Chicken soup also feels savoury to the palate particularly when most other foods taste insipid. The vapours from a steaming bowl of chicken soup can help clear up your throat that is filled with mucus. Chicken soup can also supply you with the essential nutrients that can be instrumental in combating your infection.
8. Herbal Tea
Drinking a cup of tea made from green, brown or black tea leaves (usually classified as non-herbal teas) can offer you almost immediate relief. The juice of the herbal tea can calm down your inflamed throat in no time. Furthermore, the tea leaves are endowed with antioxidants that can help boost your immunity and also fight the infection.
In conclusion, it can be said that there are many other home remedies like garlic, onion, basil leaves, marshmallow roots, echidna, and so on that are quite effectual in curing sore throat. No matter whatever home remedy or remedies you resort to in treating your strep throat, remember to keep yourself well hydrated for the entire period. Drinking sufficient water helps you to pass out a large amount of phlegm through your urine and faeces. It also helps the mucous membrane to fight the bacterial infection more effectively.