This article is Medically Approved ✓ by Dr. Edward Salko
It’s painful, swollen, and simply unpleasant. That’s what sore throat is like in simple terms. Along with those observations, you may experience fever, fatigue, and appetite loss.
While a sore throat is treated mildly and can be managed in the comfort of your home for most cases, there are instances wherein the condition is linked to a bacterial or viral infection and will require medical attention.
Unfortunately, the latest infection associated with a sore throat is COVID, specifically the omicron variant infection.
According to reports, sore or scratchy throat along with dry cough, low back pain, and nasal congestion are the first set of symptoms experienced when contracting the said COVID variant.
Nevertheless, if you experience a sore throat, your instinct is to find a quick and effective remedy that will allow you to at least eat and drink without struggling with pain.
To help you soothe the discomfort of sore throat, here are some home remedies you can apply.
- Salt Water
Gargling salt water seems to be the go-to remedy for sore throat. All you have to do is mix and dissolve table salt at about ¼ to ½ teaspoon with 4 to 8 ounces of warm water.
You can prepare this antiseptic solution anytime, given that salt and water are typically available in the kitchen.
Aside from its simplicity and accessibility, not to mention low cost, gargling salt water is also effective in soothing and eliminating the cause of infection.
For example, salt can reduce the water content of bacterial cells, which potentially kills off the pathogen or causative agent of the infection.
Honey is another effective remedy that soothes your throat and accelerates healing.
Multiple studies uncovered the many medicinal properties of honey, including its activities promoting the elimination of bacteria and the reduction of inflammation in the cells.
You can combine two tablespoons of honey with warm water. If you want to enhance its soothing and healing effects, then mix it with tea.
- Herbal Teas
Drinking tea always has a relaxing effect, especially for the throat. If you have a sore throat, its calming effects can be more evident.
Herbal teas like peppermint, chamomile, green tea, licorice root, and black tea have anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain and swelling.
Likewise, drinking tea also keeps your throat hydrated, which helps in the healing process.
Eating lemon or drinking lemon juice can help lessen sore throat pain.
For starters, it aids in disintegrating mucus buildup in your throat, which clears the passageway of air and food. In addition, lemon shrinks the mucus making it easier to let it out of your system.
Then, of course, it’s general knowledge that lemon contains lots of ascorbic acids or vitamin C, which strengthens your immune system.
Likewise, it reduces swelling, considering lemon has anti-inflammatory properties providing quick relief to your sore throat.
Ginger is not just a spice used in the kitchen. It can also help in managing several health conditions, including a sore throat.
Studies have shown a myriad of medicinal benefits you can get from ginger encompassing anti-inflammation, anti-ulcer, antimigraine, and many other health properties.
With a sore throat, drinking ginger tea or ginger water can immediately soothe the pain and swelling. This is because ginger contains substances that block the protein that induces pain and itchiness.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar isn’t exactly the most delicious home remedy for sore throat.
Nevertheless, it remains effective, mainly because it has antimicrobial properties that help fight off the bacterial pathogen.
Moreover, the acidity in the apple cider vinegar breaks down the mucus clearing the pathway for oxygen.
- Cool-mist Humidifier
Dry throat is a gateway for sore throat. And when you develop the condition, it’s vital to always keep your throat hydrated and moist.
Unfortunately, if humidity is low, it may irritate your nasal cavity and throat passage.
Hence, using a cool-mist humidifier can help provide sufficient moisture in the air, which can prevent and soothe a swollen throat.
What Are the Main Causes of Sore Throat?
Sore throats are directly linked with infections. Your sore throat can be due to viral or bacterial infection triggered by dry pain, injury, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), or allergies.
Likewise, sore throat is a common symptom for viral diseases such as influenza, mononucleosis, common cold, measles, chickenpox, and mumps.
On the other hand, the bacterial infection causing sore throat is also widespread, with the Streptococcus bacteria as the primary culprit.
Types of Sore Throats
A sore throat can have a specific area where the pain and swelling concentrate.
If it’s affecting the tonsils, then the condition is referred to as tonsillitis. But if it causes inflammation behind the mouth, then it’s pharyngitis. On the other hand, if the larynx or the voice box is affected, the sore throat is due to laryngitis.
When To See a Doctor About Your Sore Throat
While sore throat can go away on its own, if it is accompanied by other symptoms, then you may want to consult your doctor.
If you experience a sore throat with fever for more than two days, do not hesitate to seek medical attention.
Sure, home remedies can provide temporary relief, but it is crucial to understand that sore throat is generally a symptom of infection.
Your doctor will most likely order a throat culture. In some cases, specific blood tests will also be requested.
For example, if your doctor suspects infectious mononucleosis, you may have to take a CMV (cytomegalovirus) Blood Test.
The Bottom Line
It’s no picnic having a sore throat. Not to mention you can’t enjoy anything from a picnic since you can’t eat comfortably.
Nevertheless, if you wake up with a sore throat, it’s essential to prepare the most accessible remedy there is to help you ease the pain and swelling. In most cases, gargling salt water is your only, if not the best option, for quick relief against sore throat.
However, if the condition is severe with other symptoms, consult your doctor and get the lab tests you need.