A sore throat is certainly no fun. Not only is it painful (hence the name!) but it can also make a lot of tasks less enjoyable. You might wake yourself with painful snoring in the night (as well as your partner!), you may lose your voice and struggle to talk and food will certainly lose its luster. That’s the most offensive part of all…
There are many potential causes of a sore throat. Most often we will associate this ailment with colds and flu but actually it can come about for a whole host of reasons. Other common causes for instance include allergies – which can likewise cause inflammation and discomfort, singing too loudly, smoking, and more.
Whatever the case, it is important that you address the root cause of the problem as well as the symptoms. That way, you can ease the discomfort and enjoy eating and talking again as quickly as possible while you meanwhile drive out any infection that may be causing the problem and prevent it from coming back.
In this post, we’ll be taking a look at different remedies for a sore throat to set you off on the right track!
The single most effective and important remedy for a sore throat is water. Now, this isn’t going to help you to instantly gain relief from the pain and discomfort, however it will still offer some soothing thanks to the cool liquid and more importantly, it will encourage longer-term benefits.
For those who are experiencing a sore throat due to a cold or flu, phlegm build-up might be part of the issue. If this is thick and viscous, then it will mean you have a hacking cough and this might be what is causing the pain and discomfort. Drinking water will help to break this up and dilute it, thus reducing the amount of coughing necessary. Likewise, drinking water will increase the production of saliva which is anesthetic and antiseptic.
Do you ever wake up in the morning first thing with a painful throat? The reason is that you are dehydrated. So, drink up!
If you have asthma then using an inhaler is an important option when you struggle to breathe. Asthma might in fact be what is causing the sore throat.
Either way, when you use an inhaler you are essentially using steroids in order to reduce swelling and inflammation and thereby open up the airways.
This can be effective at reducing the discomfort caused by a range of types of sore throat. Check with your doctor first.
3. Fix the Air
Changing the quality of the air you’re inhaling can make a big difference. If the air is either too moist or too dry, then it can cause irritation and tickling in the throat and make you cough. Consider getting an extractor or a humidifier to solve this issue and repair the air quality.
Likewise, there are other considerations here too. If dander, dust, and pollen are causing you to cough and sneeze, then closing a window and installing air filters can of course make a big difference. Mold might also be a contributory factor, so call in mold remediation or take a stab at your own mold removal.
4. Consume Garlic
Chewing garlic is a popular choice for combating a range of different illnesses and symptoms. It won’t make you popular with your other half, seeing as it will make your breath smell rather pungent indeed!
But at the same time, it acts as a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic agent and can kill off bacteria.
This helps to fight a throat infection or a cold or flu and in fact, it is often described as being a natural antibiotic. It might be more effective than some prescribed medications when combating certain forms of resistant bacteria!
Honey is fantastic for a whole range of different problems and is something you should always have in your cupboard.
When consumed for a cough or cold, honey will instantly soothe the throat by coating it. It will give you a pick-me-up thanks to the sugar content and the small amounts of natural pollen could even help to treat allergies in the long term if it is sourced locally.
Not only that, but honey is hypertonic. This means it will draw out fluids from the inflamed tissues and thereby help to reduce the pain and coughing that you experience when you have a sore throat.
6. Talk Less
If you have a sore throat, then it’s a good idea to reduce your talking as far as possible. When you talk, you use the muscles in the throat and this can actually exacerbate and irritate the inflamed area.
Likewise, you should certainly refrain from smoking, from singing or from shouting. This is a good reason to take some time off of work, not to mention the fact that your cough would otherwise annoy everyone in the office!
No seriously: refusing to take a day off work even when poorly is thought to be a contributory factor in triggering tiredness conditions like ME.
Lemon is a fantastic source of vitamin C and this makes it very effective at supporting the immune system and helping you to overcome all manner of different illnesses and conditions that could be causing a sore throat.
At the same time, lemon is also thought to help alter the pH balance of the throat and to be soothing thanks to its astringent qualities. To benefit from this, try mixing a small amount of lemon in with your honey.
8. Stop Coughing
Talking less is hard enough but you also need to try and stop coughing. This is even more tricky as you can feel a real urge to cough and it might be quite uncomfortable if you don’t – you may even find yourself gagging.
Use some of the options on this list in order to stop coughing and more important still – try focussing on something else. Watch a good film or spend some time with friends. Distraction really makes a big difference.
9. Steam Inhalation
Steam inhalation involves filling a bowl with hot or boiling water, hanging your head over the top of it, and then hanging a towel over your head, and around the bowl. This traps the steam under the towel with you and leaves it with nowhere to go other than in through your nose and mouth.
This has the effect of easing the inflammation in the throat thanks to the heat, while the moisture is also likely to be soothing and beneficial. It can open up the airways, clear and break up mucus and even help to kill off germs.
10. Warm Bath
Want to benefit from steam inhalation without making a scene in the kitchen? Another way to get the same benefits is to take a warm bath.
You’ll naturally benefit from inhaling the steam as you soak while relaxing in the bath will help you to stop coughing and also to relax and soothe the muscles that are responsible for your coughing.
You can also drop some essential oils in for more added benefits, which we’ll explore in a moment.