Natural Home Remedies for Sore Throat

A sore throat is caused by irritation of the throat and usually accompanies a cold or flu. Since these are caused by viruses, antibiotics will not help, although they may be prescribed for the bacterial infection streptococcus. See post for Strep Throat.

A sore throat may accompany other viruses, such as those that cause measles, chickenpox or croup.

A sore throat will usually resolve without medical attention, but if you experience some of the symptoms in the Cautions below, it would be wise to get a check-up.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain with swallowing
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Throat feels “scratchy”

PREVALENCE

Estimated to be 100 per 1000-person years, including bacterial and viral infection – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3775137

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

  • Common treatment is with over-the counter medications. Antibiotics for bacterial infections.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against infection and inflammation.  To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat.  The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth
  • Chicken soup
  • Coconut oil
  • Oregano oil
  • Acidic foods
  • Dry foods
  • Fatty foods

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • Inflammatory foods (processed foods)
  • Irritants, such as chemicals and smoke

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Black
  • Chamomile
  • Ginger root
  • Green
  • Honey in warm water (not for children)
  • Lemon juice in warm water
  • Licorice root
  • Peppermint
  • Slippery elm
  • Throat Coat
  • Turmeric

HERBS AND SPICES

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.  Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Bitter orange
  • Cinnamon
  • Echinacea
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Peppermint
  • Sage
  • Tea tree
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

The cost of having a blood test to determine if you have nutritional deficiencies is likely to be negligible compared to over-consuming expensive supplements that you do not need.

  • Allicin
  • Colloidal silver
  • Garlic
  • Probiotics
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin C if you are a physically very active person
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

It is important to keep your throat lubricated to aid in healing. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body.  Without it, you cannot survive for many days.  Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh.  If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial for overall health is undisputed. Exercise helps your body to strengthen the immune system, and that will help you fight infection. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can without making yourself feel worse.  Exercise in fresh air whenever possible.

SLEEP

Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. Your body needs a little extra rest when you are fighting off an infection so try for a little more than 8 hours.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm.  Anxiety undermines health.  Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate.  Do what works for you to stay mellow.  Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Avoid chemical irritants such as smoking or pollution.
  • Gargle with warm salt water.
  • Humidify your air as much as practical.
  • Rest your voice.
  • Stay out of the dry air.
  • Use herbal lozenges to keep your throat moist.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Acupressure – https://www.urbannaturale.com/accupressure-ancient-technique-that-can-cure-sore-throat-sinus-pain-and-more/
  • Acupuncture – https://www.jabfm.org/content/28/6/697
  • Chinese Medicine – https://www.euyansang.com.sg/en/soothing-a-sore-throat/eysimmunity13.html
  • Earthing – https://www.earthinginstitute.net/pain/
  • Homeopathy – https://homeopathic.com/homeopathic-medicines-for-sore-throat/

CAUTIONS

Consult a doctor if you or your child has difficulty breathing, earache, swelling, rash, high fever, blood in your saliva, lumps, or long-lasting hoarseness.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep

 

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