Sore throat is basically inflammation, infection or swelling of the pharynx which is the tube that connects the back of our mouth all the way to esophagus. Sore throats can be caused for numerous reasons including pollution, bacterial or viral infection, dust, smoke, stress or shouting, or even as an allergic reaction to something.
They are usually accompanied by fever, headache, swollen glands, stomachache etc. Sore throats can be excessively uncomfortable and intolerably painful at times and by the time you can see a doctor, or otherwise, you can follow few home remedies to get rid of a sore throat fast.
1.) Lemon Juice
Fresh lemon juice which is highly rich in citric acid is said to be very helpful in removing throat mucus. You can try having lemon juice mixed with warm water and a few drops of honey. Slowly sipping this concoction will help clearing mucus and the honey will help soothe your throat and reduce the irritation. Licking a raw lemon with salt and pepper, or gargling with lemon juice mixed in warm water are also effective home remedies for sore throat.
Cinnamon finds its way into a number of home remedies for throat related troubles because of its healing properties. Twice daily consumption of honey mixed with cinnamon oil or gargling with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and black pepper each mixed in warm water can come in handy to stop a sore throat from getting worse.
3.) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is widely known for its anti-bacterial properties and can help soothe a sore throat by fighting infection and reducing pain and swelling. In a cup of water, mix one teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar, honey and lemon juice and then drink it slowly. Repeat this 2-3 times daily to feel reduced pain and discomfort. Apple cider vinegar can also be used as a gargle solution by mixing in warm water along with some salt. Gargle a couple times a day to get best results and heal sooner.
Garlic is a very effective anti-septic and has anti-bacterial as well as medicinal properties which help cure or comfort sore throats. Raw garlic releases a chemical called allicin that essentially kills bacteria and bacterial infections. Eating a clove of garlic everyday can help immensely if you have a sore throat due to a bacterial infection. You can also have garlic in cooked food or use garlic oil in warm water as a gargle solution. Because of the strong smell of garlic, many people prefer consuming garlic pills available in most medical stores these days.
5.) Saline Water
Saline water or simply salt water is an unbelievably under-estimated sore throat remedy. Salt water basically cuts out the phlegm and clears the mucus membranes in throat. This helps reducing inflammation, swelling and pain. Mix generous amount of salt in warm water (if it is too salty for your taste, mix a little honey) and gargle 3-4 times a day for instant relief against sore throat. Ensure that you do not swallow this mixture though.
Slippery elm contains a gel called mucilage that helps reducing soreness and inflammation. Slippery elm comes in handy for most respiratory problems and is naturally very effective amongst other home remedies for sore throat. For best results add a little inner bark of slippery elm in boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes. Strain out this concoction and sip slowly while still warm. Slippery elm tablets are also available in drugstores all around if you do not have access to the herb.
Honey is used in every day home remedies for its anti-bacterial and healing properties. It is also hypertonic osmotic, which essentially means that it can easily draw water out of bruised of infected tissues. This helps reduce swelling and to stop a sore throat from deteriorating. Drink a glass of warm water with two spoons of honey at least 3-4 times a day to get relief from pain caused by sore throat and irritation. Its healing nature also helps soothe a sore throat and having a spoonful of honey right before sleeping keeps you comfortable and relaxed.
Turmeric is often used in a number of quick and effective homemade remedies mostly for its healing powers and for its anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties. Turmeric can be used in a number of ways to soothe a sore throat. You can mix powdered turmeric in warm water and drink it slowly early in the morning. Similarly you can mix powdered turmeric with ground pepper in a glass of warm milk and drink before you sleep at night. Turmeric powder along with salt mixed in warm water can also work as an effective gargle solution to help reduce pain and soreness of throat.
Fenugreek is extremely potent in clearing mucus and can give instant relief in case of sore throat. After boiling fenugreek seeds in water, let it cool down to almost room temperature. Then drain the mixture and use the solution to gargle 2-3 times a day to feel better instantly.
10.) Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is rich in mucilage which helps in providing a soothing coat when you are suffering from sore throat. Marshmallow root, although not advisable for diabetic people and pregnant women, can be used to make marshmallow root tea which is remarkably beneficial in curing sore throat, cough and cold. Heat marshmallow root in boiling water and let it sit for 20-30 minutes. Strain this mixture, pour in a little honey and drink it. 2-3 cups of this herbal marshmallow root tea is also among the more effective home remedies for sore throat.
Other useful tips (Dos and Don’ts)
- Keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of fluids. Try to avoid caffeine or pop beverages as they cause dehydration and more inflammation for sore throats.
- Limit talking or stressing your throat in any way. Do not try to yell or whisper or it can have adverse effects because they cause more strain in vocal cords.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and try to increase Vitamin C intake in your diet. Healthy food and proper hygiene (particularly hand and mouth) can prevent and protect from half the respiratory diseases caused by external factors.
- Don’t depend too much of cough drops or sprays as they have a lot of artificial chemicals and more often than not just provide a temporary relief while risking long term health conditions.
- Most importantly – Rest! Resting and giving your body enough time to recuperate is extremely essential to stop a sore throat from getting worse.
- These home remedies come in handy for instant relief or even as cure for sore throat depending on the cause. But trying these simple home-based remedies can give help you feel better.