Having a sore throat can be a trial. It’s painful especially when you’re swallowing. Sometimes, talking can also be quite painful. In addition, it’s itchy and there’s no way you can scratch it. If you have a sore throat right now, you’re just one of the 40 million people who are suffering from this condition each year.
So, what exactly is a sore throat? It’s quite simple really. Your pharynx, the tube that runs from your esophagus to the back of your mouth, is inflamed. So what causes the inflammation of your throat? Well, 80% of the time, the cause of your sore throat is a viral infection. Your sore throat could be a physical symptom that accompanies your cold, flu, measles, chickenpox, or mononucleosis (mono) – all of which are illnesses causes by viruses and cannot be treated with antibiotics. The good thing about a sore throat that is caused by a viral infection is that it usually goes away on its own after a few days.
Another common cause of a sore throat is bacterial infection such as streptococcal bacteria. Unlike a viral infection, a sore throat caused by bacteria is often more severe and lasts longer. Generally, an individual suffering from a strep infection is given antibiotics because it can lead to rheumatic fever or scarlet fever as well as heart and kidney damage.
Other Causes of Sore Throats:
Aside from viral infections, other factors can cause your throat to become irritated or inflamed.
- Dry air (especially if you breathe through your mouth while sleeping)
- Acid reflux
- Infected tonsils
- Food allergy
- Throat abuse through singing, coughing, or shouting
The usual treatment of a sore throat caused by a cold is over-the-counter cold medications. Pain relievers are also used to lessen the pain and tenderness of the throat. Some examples are acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Aside from medication, lozenges and sore throat spray are also used to soothe the throat and temporarily relieve the pain.
Honey has long been used as a remedy for sore throat. In fact, it is quite common for professional singers to drink honey before performances in order to soothe their throats. How does it work? Well, honey helps soothe the throat because it acts as a hypertonic osmotic. This means that honey helps draw out water from inflamed tissue which lessens the discomfort and swelling within the throat. In addition, it has antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria causing the infection which speeds up healing. This fact has verified over the years through studies. In 2007, a study was conducted on 139 children with upper respiratory tract infections. The scientists found that there was a significant improvement in the children who received a treatment of honey; honey was seen to have rated better at providing the children with relief from their coughs than dextromethorphan (DM) which is a common cough suppressant. Other studies on honey have
How to Use:
There are a number of ways. You can consume a spoonful of pure honey to soothe your throat. You can also mix four tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, and a pinch of salt then gargle the mixture. Lastly, you can opt to drink honey mixed with hot water or herbal tea. Just add several teaspoons to your drink.
Chamomile is a plant with many usages and it is mainly used as a tea or infusions. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent properties so it comes naturally that it is a great soothing for the sore throat. All the above makes it one if the most effective plant that fights germs.
Apart from having great healing properties, it comes with a nice taste and it is a natural lubricant, helping your voice get back on track, in case this is a problem as well.
How to use
Either use it as a tea, drink it to boost your immune system, and help fight the infection, or inhale chamomile steam. This will help relieve the sore throat and any other symptoms of a cold. As a tea, if you want to add an extra vitamin C you can add some lemon juice or a lemon slice.
Apple cider vinegar
This is very effective for treating sore throat. It will reduce the infection and prevent the swelling.
It works as a natural antibiotic and kills the bacteria. The positive effect it has on the sore throat is due to its acidity, which helps with thinning the mucus. It is also good for the throw up situations, when you feel throat soreness after vomiting. Taking a bit of it will reduce the burning sensation.
How to use
Make sure you do not use it by itself. Take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it with honey and warm water in a glass. This mix is good to have. You should not use it very often, though as the acidity of the vinegar can damage tooth enamel.
Just like vinegar, they are acidic and they help break up mucus and relief the sore throat. Moreover, they contain vitamin C, which will boost your immune system.
How to use
Take one tablespoon of lemon juice and mix it with a glass of warm water. Drink this and the sore throat will quickly disappear. If you cannot have it simple, add a bit of honey to sweeten it.