A sore throat is the inflammation of the pharynx, that is, the pipe situated behind the mouth cavity. The main causes of a sore throat are viral, bacterial or fungal infections, contamination, smoking, acid reflux, dry air, too much shouting or an allergic reaction. The symptoms of a sore throat are similar to a viral inflammation, and they are often accompanied by headaches, stomach aches, common cold and the swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck.
A sore throat is a very common, unpleasant and painful disease. In some cases it can be the symptom of a more severe illness, so it is important to treat it as soon as it appears. Before we see a doctor, we can try some simple home remedies that work as instant painkillers.
The 10 most effective home remedies to treat a sore throat:
1. Salty water
Salt works as a disinfectant and it helps drying out the mucous membrane in the throat. This process loosens up the mucus and reduces inflammation. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with warm water and gargle with it. Don’t swallow the water! If you don’t like the taste of salt, you can add a little honey to the mixture. You have to gargle at least twice a day to reduce the inflammation of the throat.
The antibacterial ingredients found in honey speed up the process of healing; in addition, honey helps extracting water from inflamed tissues, thus reducing the size and spreading of the inflammation. Add two tablespoons of honey to a cup of warm water and drink this mixture several times a day. Add honey to your usual daily cup of herbal tea, too, and eat a teaspoon of honey before going to bed. Honey will soothe the pain, so you will fall asleep easier.
Take half a lemon, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and lick the spices off the lemon slowly. Also, you can gargle with a half-and-half mixture of freshly squeezed lemon and warm water or make hot lemonade with lemon and honey as a quick painkiller: add the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of honey to a cup of hot water and drink it slowly.
Garlic has several medicinal properties; it works as an antibacterial and a disinfectant, among else. Cut a fresh clove of garlic in half and suck the juice out of it. Press the cloves with your teeth several times to release the compound called allicin. This substance kills the bacteria causing a sore throat. You can also use garlic oil: add a few drops of oil to a quarter of a cup of water and gargle with this mixture four times a day. Also, eat as much garlic as possible, raw or cooked. If you don’t like the taste of garlic, you can take garlic capsules instead.
Cinnamon is especially effective in curing a sore throat that is the result of catching a cold. Boil a small cinnamon stick and a pinch of pepper in two cups of water for several minutes. Strain the infusion and add a teaspoonful of honey to it. Drink it while hot, and the pain will soon subside. Repeat the cure daily for a week until fully healed. Another solution is to mix a few drops of cinnamon oil to a teaspoonful of pure honey. Eat this mixture twice a day to cure the pain and the inflammation.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to half a glass of warm water and drink it slowly. You can also gargle with apple cider vinegar: add a teaspoonful of salt and half a cup of vinegar to a cup of warm water, mix it well and gargle with the mixture several times a day.
7. Common marshmallow root
A mucous substance found in the root of the common marshmallow coats the throat, which makes this substance very efficient in treating a sore throat. Marshmallow root tea is the best solution to put an end to a sore throat, common cold or coughing. Add a tablespoon of the root to a cup of boiling water and soak it for about half an hour. Strain the tea, add some honey and drink it three times a day. Warning: diabetic patients and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use this remedy!
Elm wood contains a gel-like substance that coats the throat, thus soothing the pain and reducing the inflammation. Use the inner bark of the elm tree; take a teaspoonful and add it to two cups of hot water. Soak the bark for several minutes, and gargle with it while the infusion is still hot. This tea can be used to treat not only sore throat but it also helps in case of any respiratory disease or the inflammation of the larynx. If you can’t find elm tree bark, you can also use a meal supplement made of it. Don’t forget, however, that most tree barks are poisonous, so only those should use this remedy who can tell elm trees apart from other trees without any doubt.
To soothe a sore throat, you can make a mouthwash out of fenugreek seeds. Add two tablespoons of seeds to six cups of water and boil them for half an hour. Let the infusion cool to room temperature and then strain it and use it for gargling. The active ingredients in the fenugreek seeds soothe the pain and they reduce inflammation instantly. Gargle with this infusion 3-4 times a day.
Because of its disinfectant properties, curcuma can help a lot in curing a sore throat. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of ground curcuma to a glass of lukewarm water. Mix it well and drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. Repeat the cure daily for 3-4 days. As another option, add a teaspoon of ground curcuma and a teaspoon of ground pepper to a glass of warm milk, and drink this mixture before going to bed. Besides these, you can gargle with curcuma and water to soothe the pain: add half a teaspoon of curcuma and the same amount of salt to a glass of warm water. Mix it well, and gargle with this mixture twice a day.
Next time when you have a sore throat, try out a few of these simple home remedies for an immediate relief. However, if your throat stays sore for over three days, make sure you see a doctor!