Symptoms of a Sore Throat
Sore throats often accompany a cold or flu, but can occur independently of either, and other than the obvious painful throat, there are a couple of other symptoms to be aware of. These include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck
- Swollen sore tonsils, with or without white patches
- A hoarse voice
- General feeling of being unwell
What Causes a Sore Throat?
Some causes of sore throats include smoking, bacterial infections, chronic sinusitis, and other common viruses. These are usually gone within a week. However, Streptococcus bacteria can often present as a sore throat, commonly called strep throat, whilst an inflammation of the tonsils, or tonsillitis, often results in an acutely painful throat, and both of these requre medical intervention, and can last a couple of weeks.
Home Remedies for a Sore Throat
There are many effective and easily achieved home remedies to help with the symptoms and the underlying cause of your sore throat.
1. Salt Water
Salt water is very useful in terms of killing bacteria, especially in the mouth. It may give you some relief, but not immediately. Although, again, salt water is absolutely effective for getting rid of any bacteria, loosening mucus, and diminishing your throat pain. You can take my word for it. Plus, it’s easy to make at home: just add half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water (preferably 8 ounces), stir, and gargle for about 30 seconds. Do not swallow.
If you don’t feel like mixing up your own remedy, you can try this Sea Salt Mouth Rinse (that can also be used to help in the healing process of piercings) that acts as a mouthwash. It’s packed with minerals that speed up your recovery. You can use it everyday if you please, leaving you with a minty-fresh breath!
I absolutely love honey. I love it in my tea, on my bread, and I especially love it for my sore throat. Not only is it sweet, but it’s also actually comprised of antibacterial properties that may help in easing the soreness of the throat. Honey is also known to be an efficient cough suppressant.
Into a cup of hot water, add two tablespoons of honey. Nature Nate’s Texas Honey has a lovely fresh flavor and almost tastes of health and warm hugs. You can mix this into your tea, along with a slice of lemon or a couple drops of lemon juice. Enjoy this treatment several times a day.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar—or ACV—is popularly known for its versatility when taken. Some benefits are: lowering blood sugar levels, lowering cholesterol, different cosmetic purposes, preserving food … the list goes on. It has many antibacterial uses, too. Apple Cider Vinegar is also beneficial in terms of fighting infections—infections that can obviously lead to a sore throat.
Pour at least 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV, diluting it in one cup of warm water. Take a small sip and gargle. Ideally, you should repeat this process once or twice per hour. Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is a good choice.
4. Chamomile Tea
I use Chamomile Tea for its calming effects, drinking a cup before bed or at times when I feel anxious. Besides being a mild sleep-inducer, Chamomile Tea is also used for a number of medicinal purposes including—you guessed it—soothing a sore throat. It’s an antioxidant and astringent all in one.
You can try Dilmah Chamomile Tea with some honey or lemon. Containing 20 individually-wrapped tea bags, it smells and tastes amazing. Drinking Chamomile Tea is an easy at-home remedy that you can have once or twice a day.
5. Drink Lots of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids and keeping hydrated is very important. Yes, your throat may hurt from swallowing, but it is vital that you keep your throat’s mucus membranes hydrated to allow further healing. Keep those fluids coming at a temperature that you are most comfortable with.
Having a sore throat is uncomfortable and a bit of a nuisance. But, this is just your body’s immune response to any viral or bacterial infections. So, let your body do its thing with the help of these home remedies. However, if your sore throat lasts for over a week and is severely painful, then it is always best to consult your doctor.