Top 10 U.S. Remedies for Sore Throat
Do you have a scratchy, dry throat? Does speaking or even swallowing hurt? You probably have pharyngitis, which is the medical name for a painful throat and which affects millions of individuals each year.
Even while sore throats can occur at any time of year, they are most prevalent in the winter when dry air permeates our houses and viral diseases like the flu and the common cold are at their peak. The majority of sore throats go away on their own, but the first few days of relief can be challenging. Knowing what painkillers to use and when to seek medical attention can make a world of difference.
Why Do I Have a Sore Throat?
There are several reasons of sore throats, but between 70% and 95% of them are thought to be brought on by viruses, such as:
- Cold viruses
- Influenza viruses (the flu)
- Mononucleosis (mono)
- Chicken pox
- Croup (a barky cough common in children caused by an infection of the upper airways)
- Coxsackie virus
Other less common causes include:
- Bacterial infections, such as an infection with group A Streptococcus (group A strep or strep throat)
- Environmental irritants like cigarette smoke or dry indoor air
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the tube that connects your stomach and mouth
- Breathing through your mouth
- Voice strain (i.e. from yelling or excessive talking)
What therefore makes the throat so prone to irritants and infections?
A family physician with the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, “the nose and throat tissues serve as the first line of defense to potential invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, smoke, environmental pollutants, dry air, and cold air.”
She continues, “They act as barriers to stop these potential invaders and inhalants from entering further into the body.” “Inflammation results when an infection does enter the nose and throat area.”
10 Expert-Approved Remedies for Sore Throat
Treatment options for many sore throats brought on by common illnesses, allergies, or environmental irritants include straightforward self-care techniques and home remedies. Think about the nine methods listed below the next time you have a sore throat. They are all backed by professionals.
1. Drink enough water
To stay hydrated and keep your throat moist, try to drink eight cups of liquids each day, such as water, non-caffeinated tea, broth, or soup.
2.Gargle with warm salt water.
The salt can help reduce inflammation, and the warmth of the water soothes the throat. The less inflammation you have, the less discomfort you’ll experience. The Cleveland Clinic advises mixing half a teaspoon of salt in warm water and gargling with the solution every three hours, taking careful not to ingest it.
3. Eat Honey
“Most studies support honey for cough, but one study specifically looked at manuka honey (a type of honey made from the nectar of the manuka tree),” adds Dr. Ayubcha. The ability to coat the inside lining of the throat, kill bacteria, and soothe the throat were identified as well as its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal effects.
“If you have high blood sugar, it’s crucial to be aware of the fact that honey does include glucose and fructose. A tablespoon could be added to a cup of herbal tea.
One warning: Never give honey to a youngster who is younger than one year old. Honey may contain a germ that is harmful to young children.
4. Consume a zinc lozenge.
Reviewing three studies, it was shown that taking high doses of zinc acetate lozenges (subjects took 80 to 92 milligrams per day, far beyond the 8 to 11 milligram daily dose advised) helped to decrease the duration of the common cold. The lozenges reduced the duration of hoarseness by 43%, sore throat by 18%, and scratchy throat by 33% overall.
5. Gargle Green Tea
Researchers observed that those who gargled with a green tea solution after the tube was removed had less throat pain than those who gargled with distilled water following tracheal intubation (a procedure in which a breathing tube is put in the windpipe to maintain an airway open). They point out that green tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds that could ease throat discomfort.
6. Include Ginger
Strong anti-inflammatory effects are present in ginger. Dr. advises washing, peeling, and slicing small pieces of fresh ginger. “Boil 8 to 12 ounces of filtered water, add a teaspoon of thinly sliced ginger, and let steep for five minutes. The everyday consumption of [this drink] is safe when experiencing acute symptoms.
7. Try out herbal supplements.
Two well-known herbal remedies that can also aid in easing sore throat discomfort are licorice root and slippery elm. They are easily ingested in tea and lozenge form. Just make sure to thoroughly read product labels and adhere to any directions.
8. Enjoy an Ice Pop
If you have a sore throat, the combination of the cold and fluids will help. Just be aware of how much sugar is in the frozen dessert you’ve picked. Freezing water that has been infused with fresh fruit and herbs makes it simple to create your own nutritious ice pops.
10. Boost the Humidity
Put a cool-mist humidifier in your bedroom to assist the throat-drying indoor air get more moisture. In any room of your house, humidifiers can be useful, but they can be especially helpful while you sleep, especially if you sleep with your mouth open (even if temporarily due to a stuffy nose).
Immune system-boosting effects of lemon
Lemons are excellent for sore throats because they can help break up mucous and relieve pain, much like salt water and honey. Lemons also contain a lot of vitamin C, which can strengthen your immune system and help it fight off infections. For immediate relief, add one teaspoon of lemon juice to a glass of warm water.
10. Take a look at over-the-counter painkillers
Use acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to lessen throat inflammation that causes pain. Dr. states that there is now “no solid evidence to recommend [one pain treatment over the other]”. “Ibuprofen does provide pain relief that lasts longer, but it also carries a risk of adverse effects and may not be appropriate for all people. Utilize the painkiller that your doctor has prescribed.
When to Visit a Physician
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat some sore throats, especially those brought on by bacteria like group A strep. There are some signs that your sore throat might be strep throat:
a minimum temperature of 101 degrees Fahrenheit
a sore throat that is unaccompanied by other cold symptoms like congestion or a cough
Tonsils that are occasionally white patches and red and swollen
tiny red patches on your mouth’s roof
lymph nodes in your neck that are swollen
aching joints (which may indicate rheumatic fever, a complication of strep throat)
If you have: Get emergency medical treatment.
Having trouble swallowing
Having trouble breathing
Having trouble opening your mouth Drooling uncontrollably
a single throat ache
All of these signs and symptoms could point to serious bacterial infections, like tonsil abscesses or infections of the tissue above the voice cords.
Finally, if your symptoms don’t go away after a few days, if they worsen, if you frequently get sore throats, or if you’re worried and just want medical advice, call your doctor.