A sore throat is a medical condition where an individual feels throat pain, irritation, and itchiness making it very difficult to swallow. A sore throat is typically caused by inflammation due to a cold or other virus. It can also be accompanied by other symptoms, like sinus or nasal congestion, the flu, or a fever.
Available relief from a sore throat is temporary. There is no super drug, whether prescribed or over the counter, that provides immediate relief. At best, certain over the counter medications or home remedies can by utilized to help address some of the underlying sore throat symptoms like throat pain, irritation, and itchiness to promote healing and improve the person’s comfort.
Some people are wary of using over the counter medications or antibiotics to address a sore throat because of other medical conditions or a desire to seek natural solutions to common ailments. Antibiotics, often prescribed by medical doctors, may be ineffective if the source of the sore throat is a viral rather than bacterial infection. Many medical doctors are also reluctant to prescribe antibiotics because of overuse. Even if the source of the infection is bacterial, antibiotics are no longer effective in treating the underlying infection because the virus may be caused by an antibiotic resistant infection.
As with any prolonged and unresolved medical symptoms, consult with a medical doctor, if after a week there is no improvement to your sore throat or the sore throat is accompanied by a fever, rash, or difficulty breathing. The unresolved sore throat may be a sign of an upper respiratory infection or other more serious ailment.
For those of you interested in a natural solution to the common sore throat ailment, below is a list and discussion of seven natural remedies for sore throats. As a bonus, at the end of the applicable remedies, recipes will be provided to help you make some of these natural remedies at home.
Remedy No. 1 – Use Slippery Elm in Gargle Solution
Slippery elm is a plant that relieves coughs and sore throats. The herb can also be used to treat diarrhea and stomach problems. When combined with water, slippery elm becomes the consistency of gel. This gel mixture helps coat and soothe the mouth and throat, providing much needed relief to people experiencing a sore throat.
Make a gargle solution with Slippery Elm
Mix 1 teaspoon of slippery elm with eight ounces of water and gargle. Rinse the gargle solution in your mouth and spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times a day or until symptoms improve.
Remedy No. 2 – Gargle with Salt and Warm Water
Sometimes the best solution to a sore throat is found in a pantry with the assistance of tap water. A common home remedy for a sore throat is to gargle with salt and warm water. Gargling with salt and warm water helps soothe a sore throat. Salt and warm water gargles reduce swelling and keeps the throat clean by killing bacteria. For best results, make a fresh batch of the salt and warm water mixtures every time you gargle.
Make a gargle solution with Salt and Warm Water
Mix a ¼ teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of warm water. Rinse the gargle solution in your mouth and spit it out. Repeat 2-3 times a day or until symptoms improve.
Remedy No. 3 – Add Honey to Tea or Gargle Solutions
Honey is a sweet food made by bees. Honey is an excellent cough suppressant, especially at night and assists with alleviating the symptoms of pain that accompany a sore throat ailment. Honey has antibacterial agents that when used in a gargle or as a tea sweetener, kills bacteria on contact.
Make a gargle solution with Honey or add it to hot tea
Make any flavor of tea you wish and add honey as a sweetener.
Add a teaspoon of honey into a gargle solution to alleviate symptoms of sore throat.
Drink a teaspoon of honey directly to immediately soothe an itchy throat.
Remedy No. 4 – Use a Sage and Echinacea Nasal Spray to Treat A Sore Throat
You do not have to make all of your home remedies. Some manufacturers sell premade natural solutions for a common sore throat. One such concoction is a sage and Echinacea nasal spray. Sage is an aromatic plant used as a culinary herb for seasoning and flavoring. Echinacea is a plant that helps reduce swelling and irritation. Echinacea also helps treat infections. When combined together, particularly in a nasal spray, sage and Echinacea help reduce sore throat symptoms – particularly throat inflammation.
Remedy No. 5 – Add Marshmallow Root to Your Favorite Cup of Tea
Marshmallow root is an herb that contains mucilage, a compound also found in Slippery Elm, that helps sooth a sore throat and irritated mucous membranes. Marshmallow root helps soothe and moisten mucous membranes of the respiratory tract system. When sipped in tea throughout the day, Marshmallow Root alleviates sore throat symptoms.
Make Tea and Add Marshmallow Root
Add a teaspoon of dry marshmallow root to your favorite cup of tea.
Remedy No. 6 – Drink Peppermint Tea
Peppermint is a popular flavoring agent found in gum, toothpaste, ice cream, and cookies. Peppermint also makes a delicious refreshing tea. Peppermint is an herb that contains menthol. Menthol is a decongestant, soothes an upset stomach, and aids in digestion. It is especially effective at treating a sore throat.
Drink Peppermint Tea
Boil hot water and add peppermint to make tea. Sip throughout the day. For added strength include marshmallow root. If you must add sweetener, consider honey.
Remedy No. 7 – Use Licorice Root to Create a Gargle Solution
Licorice root is an herb that eases congestion and coughing by helping to loosen up the mucus that lines the bronchial airways. Licorice root is known to be effective at soothing soreness in the throat and assists the body in fighting viruses that cause respiratory illness and an overproduction of mucus. In addition to helping treat sore throats, licorice root also provides relief from the common cold, flu, and viral infections.
Make a gargle solution with Licorice Root
Mix 1 teaspoon of licorice root syrup or powder with eight ounces of water and gargle 2-3 times per day or as need to sooth a sore throat.