If you’re dealing with a sore throat, you know the discomfort that comes with it. From the constant throat clearing to the difficulty of swallowing, a sore throat can make your life miserable. Fortunately, there are a number of remedies you can use to soothe your throat and get relief from the pain. In this post, we will discuss some of the best remedies, including natural, home-based options and medications. Read on to learn more about treating the condition.
What is Sore Throat or Pharyngitis?
It is also known as Pharyngitis (Scientific), Gale mein kharash (Hindi/Urdu), Ghasa khavakhavane (Marathi), Tontai vali (Tamil), Gontu manta (Telugu), Teantavedana (Malayalam), Houlong tong (Chinese), Dolor de garganta (Spanish), Dor de garganta (Portuguese), Gala byatha (Bengali), Bol’noye gorlo (Russian), sakit Tenggorokan (Indonesian). Pharyngitis refers to the inflammation of the pharynx – the area of the throat between the back of the nose and the beginning of the trachea and vocal cords.
Root Causes and Common Symptoms
A sore throat often goes hand in hand with a cold or the flu. It occurs frequently when a person has a cold or an attack of influenza. A raw throat is the first sign of the common cold or other respiratory infection. It is caused by irritation and inflammation of the throat. This inflammation may also involve the tonsils and adenoids if these have not already been removed. An irritating condition of the throat may range from the harmless to the potentially serious. Burning and dryness in the throat followed by chills, fever and some hoarseness or laryngitis are the common symptoms. The feeling is unmistakable a painful, raw scratchiness that intensifies when you swallow. The lymph glands along the sides of the neck may become swollen and tender. The back of the throat may become very red and even covered with a grayish white membrane. The patient may find difficulty in swallowing, especially during the acute stage. There may also be postnasal discharge if the irritation has spread to the nasal passages. Sore throat, caused by ‘ Streptoccal’ germs can lead into high fever and sharp pain with swelling. It is mainly caused by bacteria or a viral infection. Many different kind of ailments can give rise to this condition. The most common of these ailments are common cold and influenza. Other diseases which can cause sore throat are tonsillitis, mumps, sinusitis, measles, and diphtheria. Even leukemia on rare occasions may lead to sore throat. Other causes of this disease are excessive smoking, abuse of gargles or mouthwashes, general vitamin deficiency, food allergy and talking, frequent use of voice as in certain professions like singing, acting and teaching. Streptococcal sore throat, or strep throat, is an inflammation of the throat and tonsils caused by bacteria and is the most common type of strep infection. Onset is usually sudden and is accompanied by pain, redness, and swelling in throat tissues, pus on the tonsils, fever, headache, and malaise. If left untreated, strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever. Another viral illness that starts with a sore throat is mononucleosis, a condition that typically strikes teens and young adults. In addition to severe sore throat, signs and symptoms include extreme fatigue, malaise, decreased appetite, chills, fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, enlarged spleen, and sensitivity to light. The Epstein-Barr virus is the cause. It spreads from close contact with infected saliva or respiratory mucus – hence the illness’s nickname “the kissing disease.”
Home Remedies to Soothe Sore Throat
Sore throats usually resolve on their own in a few days. But there’s no need to suffer while you wait. It is generally quite easy to remedy using Ayurvedic methods. Try the following remedies to ease discomfort but if your condition persists for more than a few days even though you are trying these remedies, see a medical professional.
- Simple Kitchen Remedy: A simple and effective kitchen remedy for colds, sore throats, and coughs can be readily made by mixing a crushed clove of garlic with freshly squeezed lemon juice (Citrus lemon), 1–2 teaspoons of honey, and a pinch of dried ginger (Zingiber officinalis) powder or, preferably, a small piece of chopped fresh ginger root. Place in a mug, add hot water, and stir. Drink up to three cups a day.
- Ginger and Honey Cure: Crush a piece of root ginger to extract the juice, and add to a tablespoon of honey and 3 tablespoons of lime. Sip four times a day.
- Turmeric: Drinking 1 cup of hot milk boiled with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric is also helpful.
- Slipper Elm: Slipper Elm capsules will do the trick for a raging sore throat. Just remember that it is probably a portent of a cold, flue or strep to come.
- Treat Pain and Irritation: Thyme tea, made by steeping a handful of fresh thyme leaves in a cup of just-boiling water for 10 minutes, is also a time-tested remedy. Sip hot thyme tea to soothe, or transform it into an effective gargle by adding a teaspoon of salt to a cup of cooled tea. Stir until the salt is dissolved and gargle with small mouthfuls. Spit; don’t swallow.
- Gargle for Strep Throat: A sore throat is often soothed by gargling. Some effective gargles to be found in the pantry are: Sage tea, chamomile tea and blueberry tea. Sage tea is also used to ease the discomfort of tonsillitis/strep throat.
- Effective Home Treatment: A bark of mango (aam) is very efficacious in throat disorders. Its fluid can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a throat gargle. This gargle is treated by mixing 10 ml. of the fluid extract with 125 ml. of water.
- Soothing Tea: Try a few teaspoons of crushed Euclyptus leaves per cup of boiling water for a soothing tea.
- Reduce Swelling: The herb belleric myrobian (bahera) is also valuable remedy for sore throat. A mixture of the pulp of the fruit, salt, long pepper (pipli) and honey should be administered in the treatment of this condition. The fried fruit, roasted after covering it with a wheat flour, is also a popular remedy.
- Natural Sore Throat Remedy: Gargling with salt water is a simple and effective remedy. Stir a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until the salt is completely dissolved. Take a mouthful, gargle, and spit. Repeat hourly. OR Gargle with the hot water mixed with 1/4 teaspoonful of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt.
- Heal Discomfort: Betel leaves have proved beneficial in the treatment of this disease. The leaves should be applied locally for obtaining relief. The fruit of the betel tree, mixed with honey, can also be taken beneficially to relieve irritating throat cough.
- Folk Remedy: Another old remedy calls for mixing equal amounts of honey and apple cider vinegar (try 2 teaspoons of each) in a cup of hot water. Take frequent small sips of this mixture to ease pain.
- Simple Homemade Medication: Try lemon honey ginger tea. Ginger is antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and warming. Lemon inhibits some bacteria, is antioxidant, and provides bioflavonoids and vitamin C. Honey moistens irritated mucous membranes, soothes inflammation, and discourages bacterial growth. (Manuka honey, which comes from bees that extract nectar from the manuka flower in New Zealand, is active against strep bacteria.) Cayenne is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (despite the burn), and active against some bacteria.
- Thyme + Oregano + Sage Tea: Boil the water in the bottom of a double boiler. Place 1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon (4 g) fresh oregano leaves, 1 tablespoon (3 g) fresh sage leaves, and honey in the top of the double boiler. Gently heat the honey mixture for 30 to 60 minutes. Strain through a tea strainer. You’ll get about 1/4 cup [60 ml] or less and is just enough to coat the throat. Drink right away while still warm.
- For Acute Condition by Colds: An infusion of bishop’s weed seeds mixed with common salt can be used beneficially as a gargle in acute condition caused by colds.
- Tested True Formula: The spice cinnamon (dalchini) is also regarded as an effective remedy for sore throat, resulting from cold. Coarsely powdered and boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder and honey, it can be taken as a medicine in the treatment of this condition. The oil of cinnamon, mixed with honey, also gives immense relief.
- Shorten the Common Cold: Zinc lozenges can soothe a sore throat as well as help shorten the duration of a cold.
- Mucous Membranes: Warm fennel tea makes an effective gargle, soothing mucous membranes and relieving cough.
- Traditional Indian Suggestion: Try a gargle prepared from fenugreek seeds. To prepare this gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be put in a liter of cold water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. It should be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature. It should then be strained and entire quantity used as a gargle.
- Loosen Up Cramped Throat: Drinking linden flower tea will encourage perspiration and loosen up a cramped throat.
- Ease Painful Coughs: The water boiled with basil leaves should be taken as a drink and also used as a gargle in sore throat.
- Healing with Licorice Root: Try soothing herbal tea that is ginger-cinnamon–licorice tea. Take ginger 2 parts, cinnamon 2 parts and licorice 3 parts. Mix all the powders. Steep 1 teaspoon of the herbal mixture in water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink up to 3 times a day.
- Shrink Swollen Tissue: You can also practice bhramari (Humming Breath) and yoga posture known as the Lion pose is traditionally recommended for sore throats. The Yoga Mudra is also effective.
- Herbal Tea Formula: Take two teaspoons of dry raspberry leaves and brew with one cup of water. Allow the tea to brew for at least 10 minutes and then strain. Use as a gargle and spit out.
Tips to Prevent Sore Throat
- Avoid rapid changes in temperature like hot sun-shine to air conditioned rooms.
- Eat fresh garlic whenever possible, to absorb its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
- Avoid cold and sore foods which may irritate throat – dairy products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. Also avoid fermented foods.
- Stay away from chilled dairy products, which are mucus forming and will exacerbate your sore throat.
- Cranberry juice is a great gargle and an even better drink. it contains salicylic acid (the backbone chemical of aspirin), which eases inflammation and pain in the throat.
- To prevent the disease, avoid touching tissues, handkerchief, towels or utensils used by the patients suffering from sore throat.
- Stay warm and rest when you first come down with a cold. You’ll help your body’s immune system battle the infection.
- It is helpful to place a humidifier or vaporizer in your room to moisten the air. Using a cool or warm mist of air can relieve your throat by moistening and soothing air passages that are inflamed.
Q. What is a sore throat?
It is an inflammation or irritation of the throat that causes pain and discomfort when swallowing. Common causes include a cold, the flu, allergies, or a bacterial or viral infection such as strep throat.
Q. What is the cause behind a sore throat?
It can be caused by a variety of things, including a cold or flu virus, allergies, dry air, smoking, acid reflux, or a bacterial or fungal infection.
Q. Why do sore throats get worse at night?
Sore throats get worse at night because saliva production decreases while we are sleeping. This causes the throat to become dry, making the irritation worse. Additionally, allergens and pollutants in the air can also make sore throats worse at night.
Q. Does mouthwash help cure a sore throat? Does Listerine help relieve it?
Mouthwash does not help cure a sore throat. Sore throats are usually caused by viruses, and mouthwash does not kill viruses. But mouthwash gargle can be useful for sore throat as it can help to kill germs that cause the soreness. It can also help to reduce inflammation and provide short-term relief from sore throat symptoms. To use mouthwash as a gargle:
- Fill a cup with about 6 ounces of lukewarm water.
- Pour in 1 teaspoon of mouthwash. Make sure it’s alcohol-free and is antiseptic or anti-inflammatory type.
- Swish the mixture around in your mouth for 30 seconds.
- Spit the mixture out and rinse your mouth with plain water.
- Repeat the process up to four times a day, as needed.
Q. Can rum cure sore throat?
No, unfortunately rum cannot cure a sore throat. While it might temporarily numb the throat, it will not treat the underlying cause of the sore throat and may actually irritate the throat further. The best way to treat is to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest, and to consult a doctor if necessary.
Q. How can ice cream help against sore throat?
It is not a good idea to eat ice cream while having a sore throat. Eating cold foods can irritate sore throats, making them worse. Eating hot, soothing foods like soup can help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain. But some people believes that, ice cream can help reduce the pain and discomfort associated. Eating cold ice cream can help numb the throat and cool the area, which can reduce the feeling of pain and irritation. Additionally, the cold temperature of the ice cream can help reduce inflammation in the throat. But better avoid ice cream or cold beverages and try taking warm fluids.
Q. Will eating fruits while having a sore throat make the condition worse? Are there specific fruits that would make the sore throat worse?
No, eating fruits while having a sore throat will not make it worse. Eating fruits can help boost your immune system and provide essential vitamins and minerals that can help you recover faster. However, acidic fruits such as oranges and lemons can cause irritation and should be avoided. If you find that certain types of fruit make your throat more uncomfortable, then you should avoid them. Additionally, spicy fruits such as chili peppers and jalapenos can also irritate the throat and should be avoided.
Q. Is eating chocolate a bad idea if you have a sore throat?
No, eating chocolate is generally not a bad idea if you have a sore throat. However, if your problem is due to an underlying medical condition, it is best to consult with your doctor before eating anything, including chocolate.
Q. Why is honey supposed to be so good for a sore throat?
Honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce throat irritation and soreness. Its thick consistency helps coat and soothe the throat. It also contains antioxidants, which can help reduce swelling and boost the immune system.
Q. What are the best foods for a sore throat?
- Warm saltwater gargle
- Honey and lemon tea
- Ginger tea
- Chicken soup
- Licorice root tea
- Turmeric milk
- Marshmallow root tea
- Hot tea with honey and lemon
Q. What cures a sore throat overnight? What kills a sore throat fast?
There is no single cure that will work overnight to cure a sore throat. However, some home remedies may help to reduce symptoms and make you more comfortable. These include drinking warm liquids, gargling with salt water, sucking on throat lozenges, using a humidifier, and avoiding irritants such as smoke and alcohol. If your sore throat persists, you should see a doctor for further treatment.
Q. How to cure a sore throat? What is the fastest way to cure a sore throat? How to get rid of a sore throat?
- Gargle with salt water: Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle with it every two to three hours.
- Drink warm liquids: Drinking warm liquids such as tea, broth, or warm water can help soothe a sore throat.
- Honey: Honey has natural antimicrobial properties and can help soothe pain.
- Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce swelling and the pain.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties and can help reduce inflammation.
- Lemon: Lemon juice is high in vitamin C and can help boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce swelling and pain.
- Peppermint tea: Peppermint has natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain and swelling in the throat.
Q. What are some home remedies for a sore throat? How to soothe a sore throat? How do you get rid of a sore throat?
- Honey and Turmeric: Honey and turmeric are a powerful combination to treat sore throat. Mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk and add a teaspoon of honey to it. Drink this mixture two to three times a day for fast relief.
- Ginger and Lemon: Ginger and lemon are both known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties. Mix a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger in a glass of warm water and add a few drops of lemon juice to it. Drink this two to three times a day.
- Fenugreek Seeds: Fenugreek seeds are known to reduce inflammation and soothe the throat. Soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight and drink it in the morning for best results.
- Licorice Root: Licorice root is an effective home remedy for sore throat. Boil a teaspoon of licorice root powder in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Strain the tea and drink it several times a day. You can also gargle with a solution made with one teaspoon of licorice root powder and one cup of warm water. For maximum benefit, use this solution several times a day.
- Honey and Lemon: Honey and lemon are both known for their antibacterial and antiviral properties. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey and the juice of 1/2 lemon in 8 ounces of warm water and drink it 2-3 times a day to soothe a sore throat.
- Ginger Tea: Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce throat pain and inflammation. To make ginger tea, add 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger to a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and honey for extra flavor and additional healing benefits.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar helps reduce inflammation in the throat and kill bacteria. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of warm water and gargle with it every few hours.
- Turmeric Milk: Turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help soothe a sore throat. To make turmeric milk, heat 1 cup of milk in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric. Let it cool down and drink it 2-3 times a day.
Q. Does Sprite help with a sore throat? Does Coke help sore throats? Does grape juice help a sore throat?
No, Sprite, coke or grape juice does not help with a sore throat. In fact, drinking Coke, Sprite, grape juice or cold beverages can make a sore throat worse due to its acidic content.
Q. Does tomato soup help with sore throats and coughs?
Tomato soup may help provide some relief from sore throats and coughs, as it contains some essential vitamins and minerals that can help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. Additionally, the acidity in tomato juice may help to thin mucus and reduce congestion. However, it should not be used as a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
Q. Will thyroid cause a sore throat?
Thyroid problems are unlikely to directly cause a sore throat, but thyroid issues can cause a number of symptoms that may include a sore throat. These symptoms can include a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, and/or swelling in the neck. If you are experiencing a sore throat with other symptoms of a thyroid condition, it is important to see a doctor for evaluation and treatment.
Q. Are lemons effective in treating cough, sore throat and flu?
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that lemons are an effective treatment for cough, sore throat, or flu. However, some people may find that drinking lemon juice helps soothe their throat and make them feel better. It is important to speak to your doctor before trying any home remedies for these conditions.
Q. Does Vicks vapor rub help a sore throat?
Vicks Vapor Rub may help to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a sore throat, such as coughing, congestion and soreness. However, it is not a cure for a sore throat and should be used in conjunction with other treatments recommended by a doctor.
Q. Why does saltwater help cure a sore throat?
Saltwater helps to cure a sore throat by pulling extra fluid from the inflamed tissues in the throat. This reduces the swelling in the throat and makes it easier to swallow. Saltwater also helps to flush out bacteria and irritants that can cause sore throats. Additionally, the salt helps to reduce pain and provide a mild anesthetic effect.
Q. Is salt water or warm milk better for a sore throat?
It depends on the severity of the sore throat. Salt water can help to reduce swelling and loosen mucus, while warm milk can help to coat and soothe the throat. If the sore throat is severe, it is best to consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment.
Q. Can dehydration cause sore throat?
Yes, dehydration can cause a sore throat. When the body is dehydrated, it can cause mucus membranes to become dry and irritated, leading to a sore throat.
Q. Do professional singers ever suffer from sore throats after performing?
Yes, professional singers can suffer from sore throats after performing. Vocal strain, dehydration, or environmental conditions can all contribute to a sore throat. Additionally, if a singer is not warming up properly or is singing too loudly, they can also experience throat soreness.
Q. What are the worst foods for a sore throat?
The worst foods for a sore throat are those that are spicy, acidic, or high in sugar. These include citrus fruits, hot peppers, fried foods, tomato-based products, and candy.
Q. How can you treat a sore throat from smoking cigarettes?
There is no specific treatment for a sore throat from smoking cigarettes, but some steps can be taken to reduce the discomfort:
- Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal tea, and fruit juices, to soothe and moisten the throat.
- Try using a humidifier in your bedroom to increase the moisture in the air.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling.
- Gargle with warm salt water (1 teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces of water) several times a day.
- Avoid irritants such as smoke, dust, or strong perfumes.
- Quit smoking.