A sore throat (also known as pharyngitis) is a very common symptom with allergies, cold, flu and other such ailments. Virtually any respiratory tract issue has the potential to cause pharyngitis. While a sore throat is almost always not serious, it can be exceptionally uncomfortable until the problem resolves itself. Thankfully, there are a number of remedies that may help for a wide variety of sore throat causes and that are a great alternative if you don’t want to simply suck on cough drops and wait.
Gargle. According to the Mayo Clinic, “A saltwater gargle of 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of table salt to 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of warm water can help soothe a sore throat.” In addition, salt may actually help eradicate the cause in sore throats that are the result of a bacterial or fungal infection. However, most sore throats are caused by a viral infection, and in these cases, the salt helps reduce itchiness and inflammation.
Soothe your throat. Aside from the soothing lozenges available in virtually every pharmacy, some types of food and beverages have shown to really help alleviate the discomfort of a sore throat. Many people prefer a warm, salty broth that has a similar value to gargling salt water. Tea herbs such as chamomile, peppermint and licorice may also be helpful.
Avoid irritation. Environmental factors and habits will potentially irritate a sore throat even more. The key things to avoid are cigarette smoke or strong cleaning products. This is not the time to be scrubbing out your tub with a bleach-based abrasive powder or dusting with that lemon-scented spray. Certain beverages, such as coffee or those with a high alcohol content, may also be irritating. Avoid very spicy foods and chewing tobacco until the symptoms of your sore throat dissipate.
Drink plenty of fluids. Water is an essential part of keeping your entire body hydrated, and it’s especially important in soothing and healing a sore throat. If you have difficulty swallowing cold water, consider either warm water or food with a high water content. Herbal teas are another great way to make sure you get enough water. In addition, if you live in a dry climate, a humidifier or water heated to a boil on the stove may help release more water into the air, further hydrating your throat and nose.