Everyone has had a sore throat at some point in their life. If you are reading this because you have one right now, I’m sorry. While a sore throat goes away eventually on its own, it is extremely uncomfortable and whatever alleviation possible goes a long way. In this article, we will look at how to soothe a sore throat by looking at what you can eat, use or take for the most effective relief.
A sore throat, pharyngitis, is a very common condition that usually occurs as a symptom of a viral or bacterial infection, although sometimes it can occur for an unknown reason. If you have a sore throat, then you are most likely having trouble swallowing and you may have tender and enlarged glands in the neck.
A sore throat usually takes at least a week to disappear, however, some cases can take up to ten days. If it becomes really severe and/or persistent, then it is a good idea to take yourself to the doctors.
Sometimes, when you are ill, one of the best things you can do is rest. It may seem like a difficult thing to do, especially with a busy schedule, but resting allows the body to heal. So, if you don’t want to have your sore throat linger then be sure to get loads of rest. If you can’t rest when you are ill, when can you?
Get Plenty of Fluids
You should be drinking plenty of fluids anyway, but when you are ill, it is even more important. Your body needs fluids for optimum function. To prevent you from becoming dehydrated take small sips of liquids to ensure your throat stays moist. It doesn’t have to be water though I do not recommend alcoholic beverages or caffeinated drinks as these may lead to dehydration. I find with a sore throat, iced water with a straw goes down the best.
… At least until your sore throat has healed (although you should really give up). As an ex-smoker, I know how difficult this is, especially when you don’t think that there is a connection between the two – or refuse to believe that there is. Giving cigarettes a break for a while is one of the best remedies for throat pain as continuing to smoke when you have a sore throat will just cause you more irritation and make symptoms worse. Your throat will also take longer to heal.
Lozenges for Sore Throat
Lozenges are essentially a medicated hard candy. They are really good when you have a sore throat because they have a soothing effect. They also moisten your throat, which is important because a dry throat makes soreness worse.
Steam it Out
Steaming it out is a real age-old remedy for any sort of repository illness and works wonders if you have a sore throat. When you have a sore throat, it is often worse when the air around you is dry, by steaming your throat you will add moisture, making it less sore by reducing swelling and easing the pain. It will also help to reduce bacteria.
To steam your throat, you can use an actual face steamer, which can also be used for other things like cleansing the face to prevent acne. There are also smaller steamers designed for congestion that are also good. However, you can always just take advantage of a hot shower. You could also use a basin filled with hot water with a towel over your head.
Ginger, Honey & Lemon
Ginger, honey and lemon on their own have amazing health benefits and properties and have long been used for natural medicinal purposes. By combining all three, you get even more benefits.
Ginger has amazing antibacterial properties, which can help to fight off that nasty virus that is causing you so much pain. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help to reduce pain and swelling. Nb: ginger should not be consumed while pregnant.
Honey has similar properties to ginger, in that it has antibacterial properties and reduces inflammation. Honey will also create a protective film in your throat, which should give you some relief from irritation. It is better to go for an organic or raw honey as they are better regulated and thus the health benefits are better.
Not only are lemons packed full of vitamin c that will help to boost your immune system and fight of infection, but they will also reduce swelling making your throat a lot less sore.
Gargle Salt Water
You’ve probably heard this one already but for those of you that haven’t, then you should give it a try. Everyone, well most of us, have salt in our house and all you need to do is add a couple of teaspoons to a glass of warm water, mix, then gargle for at least 30 seconds. This will make it difficult for bacteria to grow while reducing swelling and soreness, which should leave you feeling better.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider is continuously being praised for its health benefits and is a tried and tested remedy for various conditions including weight loss and dandruff. It also makes a really good way to soothe a sore throat.
Not only is apple cider vinegar packed full of antibacterial properties that can help kill off infection, it is very acidic, which lowers the pH level of the throat tissue, preventing bacteria from growing. If you want to make an apple cider vinegar gargle, simply add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to ½ a cup of warm water and stir. Gargle and then spit out. You could also a little bit of honey to soothe and coat the throat.
Liquorice is a plant that is native to several parts of Asia, India and Southern Europe. While we associate liquorice with flavor, the root of the liquorice plant has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.
It has various health benefits, one being its ability to soothe and reduce the irritation of a sore throat. For a sore throat, you can find relief in drinking a nice blend of liquorice root tea or you could opt for liquorice lozenges, both are effective for a sore throat.
Chamomile is a daisy-like plant that has long been used for medicinal purposes, including an anti-inflammatory, which can help a sore and irritated throat. The tea will be more effective if you make it yourself, rather than using a teabag.
Note: Pregnant women should avoid drinking chamomile tea.
I’m guessing you have heard of Listerine. It is an antiseptic mouthwash that was originally formulated as a surgical antiseptic, later becoming a treatment for gonorrhoea, a floor cleaner and finally a mouthwash for halitosis.
Listerine contains antibacterial properties that can help to kill off bacteria in the throat, it also contains an ingredient that may offer you temporary pain relief. Gargling Listerine may burn a bit at first, but then you should start to get some relief.
While this may not leave you with long lasting relief, or cure your sore throat, it is a very effective way of giving you a quick break from all that pain. You are probably thinking that this is a great chance to eat ice cream without feeling guilty, but actually, ice cream is full of sugar, which could potentially make the situation worse.
Sucking on an ice cube or ice chips will offer you temporary relief by numbing the area, similar to what a local aesthetic does. As mentioned above, the last time I had a sore throat, I found that drinking water with a couple of ice cubes really helped me.
Most of the time, a sore throat will heal on its own, but hopefully, knowing how to soothe a sore throat will offer you some temporary relief. Remember, stay hydrated and get plenty of rest!