If you have a sore throat, you know just how irritating it is. The constant pain and irritation can make it painful to talk, eat or even drink. If your sore throat is severe or lasts for more than a few days, you should always go to the doctor but most people want to put off that option. The good news is that there are plenty of home remedies for sore throat that can help you feel better in a short amount of time. They tend to work well for cases where the soreness is not due to a serious problem (such as strep) and even in those cases, they may relieve the symptoms even if they don’t help with the cause. Here are some of the best treatment options you have right in your home that don’t involve medication.
Clear Nasal Passages
One of the most common reasons for a sore through is when the nasal passages become clogged. That is because when the nasal passages get clogged, people tend to sleep with their mouth open, causing dry throat or post-nasal drip. The easiest way to treat this is to take a decongestant. You can also try one of the home remedies that are specifically designed to clear out your nasal passages such as inhaling the steam from a hot shower or investing in a humidifier.
No matter what caused your problem, one of the best home remedies for a sore throat is to get some rest. This is simply because when you use up less energy, your body will have more of it to help you fight the infection.
We already mentioned that a humidifier can help a sore throat caused by clogged nasal passages, but that is not the only way it can help you feel better quickly. It will also relieve any hoarseness and sooth your air passages that are swollen. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can get the same results by filling a shallow pan with water (out-of-the-way to avoid accidents) as the air will evaporate, providing moisture throughout the room.
Similarly, you can try making a “steam tent.” This involves filling a bowl with hot water (steaming hot) and then placing your head over it, covering yourself with a towel. This will keep the steam in and can actually help relieve a throat infection.
Gargling is a great option and it is actually several different home remedies for sore throat. When gargling, you have several liquids to choose from.
- Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water and do this at least one time each hour. (It will relieve discomfort and reduce swelling.)
- Try gargling raspberry tea (use a cup of boiling water for two teaspoons of dried leaves, letting it steep and then straining it before gargling).
- Mix a teaspoon of sage in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep 10 minutes, strain it then add a teaspoon of honey and one of cider vinegar. Do this four times daily.
- Mix a half a teaspoon of turmeric, a half a teaspoon of salt and a cup of hot water. Do this twice daily. If you can’t handle the taste, skip the salt and replace the cup of water with warm milk, drinking it instead of gargling.
- Gargle using a mouthwash like Listerine. (But be sure to use a separate cup when you are contagious).
Eat Citrus Fruits
Most people will tell you that if when you are sick, you need to eat citrus fruits and drink their juice and this is also true for sore throats. That is because they have a great deal of vitamin C which is great for the immune system. Citrus fruits are also natural antimicrobial agents so they should help clear up an infection as well (but if you think you have an infection, you should always go to the doctor).
Anyone who has ever had a soreness in their throat knows that warm foods help soothe the irritation. This is because in addition to simply making it feel better, warm foods can help your blood circulation in the throat area, which means that it will heal faster as it will get the needed nutrients.
Just like warm foods, cold foods seem to give almost instant (if temporary) relief from pain, making them one of the most popular home remedies for sore throat. This is because the cold of the food will slightly numb the pain and it can also sooth any itching. One important thing to remember when going with a cold food such as a popsicle is to avoid sucking on it as this will increase the irritation. Instead, you should let the popsicle melt in your mouth.
Although it sounds anything but appetizing, making a horseradish cocktail has been a popular Russian home remedy for sore throats for centuries. Mix together a tablespoon of horseradish root or pure horseradish, a teaspoon of ground gloves and a teaspoon of honey. Then mix these items with warm water, drinking it slowly.
Another unappetizing one of the home remedies for sore throat is sucking on garlic. Simply take a fresh clove of garlic, peel it and then cut it in half. Put one side in each of your cheeks and use it like you would a cough drop. If you rub your teeth against the garlic, you will also release some allicin, which is a chemical that can help prevent or relieve strep.
Sometimes it seems as if apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home treatments no matter what the ailment is. You can choose to make a gargle or a drink. If you want to gargle the mixture, combine half a cup of cider vinegar, a teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water. If you prefer a drink, take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of honey and eight ounces of hot water. After mixing the ingredients, drink the mixture very slowly.
Everyone knows that no matter what minor illness you have, doctors seem to recommend drinking fluids. In the case of a sore throat, this can help keep it lubricated. That means that is much less likely to become irritated and dry.