8 Natural Home Remedies to Soothe a Sore Throat
You've likely experienced the effects of a sore throat in the course of your life. The pain, irritation, and inflammation aren't fun, particularly when they're accompanied by other symptoms of a cold or a serious infection. A sore throat can make you completely miserable. The pain might be worse when you try to swallow, and you may have trouble getting down food and liquid
There are some at-home natural supplements remedies that can alleviate the pain and discomfort of sore throats.
Honey, stirred into tea or taken alone, is a tried-and-tested home remedy for sore throats. One study mentioned that honey was more effective in controlling coughing attacks during the evening or night. Other research showed that honey has some powerful healing properties. It helps speed up recovery from colds, sore throats, and inflammation.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling and rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help reduce the pain of a sore throat and eliminate secretions of mucus. It's also known to help kill germs and bacteria in the throat.
Prepare a saltwater solution by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle and swish it in your mouth to lessen swelling and keep the throat clean. Continue to do this at least twice a day for a few days to achieve the best results.
Chamomile tea is very soothing and a natural allergy relief medicine. This home remedy has long been used as a treatment for colds, sore throats, pain, and fevers. Chamomile tea is best known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties.
A few studies have demonstrated that inhaling the steam from chamomile tea can lessen the symptoms and effects of a cold, including a sore throat. Drinking tea can also bring relief. Chamomile tea rejuvenates your body’s immune system, helping it fight diseases and infections.
Peppermint is best known as a breath freshener. However, diluted peppermint oil can provide relief from a sore throat. Peppermint contains menthol, which reduces mucus secretions and soothes the throat. It also has healing, antibacterial and antiviral properties that can speed up the recovery process.
A word of caution
Never apply peppermint oil to the skin without a carrier oil, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or coconut oil. Blend five drops of peppermint oil with an ounce of your preferred carrier oil. Do not consume essential oils directly.
Baking Soda Gargle
While the saltwater solution is more widely used, gargling with a baking soda and saline solution can relieve a sore throat, too. Rinsing your mouth with this solution can eliminate bacteria and prevent yeast growth and fungal infections.
The National Cancer Institute suggests gargling and rinsing your mouth with a mixture of 1 cup of warm water, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. It also recommends gargling with this solution every two to three hours.
Fenugreek has myriad medical benefits. It can be taken in many forms. You can eat the seeds, apply fenugreek oil, or drink fenugreek tea. This tea is a very popular remedy for sore throats.
Research has shown the healing power of fenugreek. It can relieve pain and kill microorganisms that cause irritation. Fenugreek is also a powerful antifungal.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health recommends that pregnant women avoid using fenugreek.
Marshmallow root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and calms a sore throat. Add a small piece of the dried root to some boiling water to make tea. Sipping this tea a few times a day may help ease throat pain.
People with diabetes should consult their physician before taking marshmallow root. A few studies have revealed that it might cause a sudden drop in the blood glucose level.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many antibacterial properties. Several studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating infections. Due to its acidic nature, apple cider vinegar can reduce secretions inside the throat and kill bacteria.
If you feel the symptoms of a sore throat coming on, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water. Swish the solution around in your mouth, then swallow a sip of it. Repeat this process four to five times a day. Rinse your mouth with water after each use of the vinegar solution.
Sore Throat Solutions for Babies and Children
Sore throats can make newborns and infants irritable and prone to other infections. Sometimes, throat irritation can be an indication of a more serious health problem. In any case, the method of treating sore throats in infants and children is different. Here are a few of them:
- Place a humidifier in your child’s room. Moist air can help alleviate dryness in airways and irritation from a sore throat.
- Keep children hydrated by urging them to drink lots of water and fluids. Avoid juices or popsicles that contain a lot of citric acids.
- Children under the age of 5 should not be given cough drops or lozenges. These could cause them to choke.
- Try not to offer honey to children who are under a year old
Doctor's Advice:“If you have a sore throat, I recommend avoiding any foods that may be difficult to swallow. I suggest sticking to soups and soft foods until the sore throat pain has resolved. If you’ve tried at-home remedies and they do not seem to be helping, schedule an appointment with your physician right away. You should also seek treatment from your doctor if your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, chills, difficulty swallowing, or if you are unable to drink fluids, as this could be a sign of a more serious illness,” says Dr. Charlotte Smith, MD, a physician at Penn Medicine Urgent Care South Philadelphia.
Precautions and Prevention
One way to prevent exposure to germs that cause sore throats is to wash your hands with warm water and soap multiple times a day. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Wash your hands whenever you touch objects like door handles or consoles, shake hands, or are around people who are coughing or sneezing.
Also, maintain distance from anyone who exhibits symptoms of fatigue or feels unwell. Try not to share personal items like toothbrushes, glasses, and utensils with any other person. Most importantly, keep yourself healthy by eating a balanced diet and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.