A sore throat usually doesn't indicate a serious illness, but knowing it doesn't alleviate the discomfort caused by the condition. The best way to get rid of feeling dry, itchy or something is scratching the spot is to drink plenty of fluids; water is the main thing, but leek broth, chamomile tea and honey tea with cayenne pepper all have beneficial ingredients that lessen pain and help ease discomfort. Sprays and lozenges are helpful in reducing pain, as well as steam treatments soothe irritation and help you relax and sleep well at night. Do your best to stay away from other people so as not to spread the infection; consult a physician if symptoms persist or worsen.
Method 1 of 3: Trying out solutions, products and sprays
Step 1. Gargle with warm saline water
This is one of the oldest remedies for a sore throat and it works very well; when there is irritation in the area, the membranes are swollen and inflamed, giving the sensation of pain and that there is something “scraping”. Salt draws water from the cells of the mucous membrane, combating irritation and alleviating sore throat. Prepare a saline water solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of table salt and 1 cup of hot water.
- It's no use rinsing your mouth with saline water; gargle it. Tilt your head back so that the solution reaches the back of your throat (which will be inflamed). Gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting.
- You can gargle saline water up to three times a day. Overuse can end up drying out the mucous membranes too much, increasing irritation.
Step 2. Make a hydrogen peroxide solution
This mild antiseptic can relieve sore throat; buy it at any pharmacy; prepare the mixture following the instructions on the label, which will generally recommend diluting hydrogen peroxide (the cap can be used for measuring) in 1 glass of water. Put the solution in your mouth and gargle it, reaching the back of your throat. Spit it out after a minute.
- Use product with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Review the label as the indication should be clear on the bottle.
- Hydrogen peroxide has a bitter taste. Add a little honey to the mixture to make mouthwash easier, if you like.
- Hydrogen peroxide may bubble in your mouth, which is perfectly normal.
Step 3. Use a “vaporub” ointment
It has aromatic decongestants (such as menthol or peppermint) that soothe the throat and help reduce coughing. Decongestants are mixed with petroleum jelly, forming the ointment; buy the product at any pharmacy and apply it to your neck and chest to help you breathe better and cough less. Another option is to make a "vaporub" ointment as follows:
- Melt 1 tablespoon with beeswax in a bain-marie;
- Mix 1/2 cup coconut oil;
- Add 10 drops of peppermint oil;
- Pour the mixture into a glass container and let it cool before applying.
Step 4. Make a mustard compress
This is an old homemade technique to reduce congestion and pain, very useful for those who have a deep cough and feel pain up to the chest region. Ground mustard is said to bring warmth and improve circulation to the chest and throat region. Initially, apply a small amount of mustard with the swab to avoid an adverse reaction.
- Mix 1/2 teaspoon with mustard seed powder and 1 tablespoon with flour. Add enough water to produce a thick paste;
- Spread the paste on paper towels. Make a “sandwich” of the paper towel by placing it between two tea towels;
- Place the compress over the throat and chest, not letting the mixture touch the skin.
- Leave it in place for 15 minutes or until the skin is warm and pink.
Step 5. Use a throat spray or lozenges
Both have ingredients that help to improve the throat and open the nasal passages. Look for honey-based lozenges that contain menthol or mint; another option is to buy these products with medical components, which have a mild anesthetic, numbing the throat and relieving pain.
Step 6. Take pain relief medication
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can be helpful in reducing the inflammation that leads to irritation in the throat. It is important not to take more than the dose recommended on the package insert.
- Aspirin is associated with a rare condition called Reye's Syndrome, so be careful when giving this remedy to children and teenagers. A better option may be to avoid the drug in less than 18 years. Dosing does not increase the chance of Reye's Syndrome.
- Children and teenagers recovering from the flu or chickenpox should not take aspirin under any circumstances.
- Generally, children should not take this medicine unless there is no other available. Alternatives such as Tylenol work well.
Method 2 of 3: Drinking Fluids to Soothe Your Throat
Step 1. Prepare a drink with honey and cayenne pepper
Honey is an ingredient that should always be included in teas and other beverages you drink while you have a sore throat. There are studies that support something that people have known to be true for centuries: honey creates a protective layer that reduces inflammation in the throat, as well as helping to improve a cough. Cayenne pepper is another ingredient that combats sore throat very effectively because it has capsaicin, a natural substance in peppers that acts as an analgesic.
- Prepare this healthy drink by adding 1/2 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of honey to 1 cup of boiling water. Allow the solution to cool and drink it slowly;
- If you are sensitive to hot peppers, reduce the amount of ground pepper to 1/8 teaspoon or less;
- Honey cannot be given to babies under the age of one, as there is a risk of botulism;
- Exchanging cayenne pepper for 28 g of whiskey and a little lemon makes the drink become a "hot toddy".
Step 2. Prepare chamomile tea
Scientific research shows that chamomile, a flower-scented herb that has been used for centuries, can be a weapon to fight sore throats and colds because it has substances that fight infection and relax muscles. Making a few cups of chamomile tea every day that sore throat is present will ease the pain and make you more relaxed. It's even better before bedtime, as it relaxes your body and helps you sleep a little better.
- Chamomile tea can be purchased at any supermarket or health food store. Review the ingredients and choose a box of pure chamomile flowers, or one in which chamomile is one of the main ingredients. Follow the instructions to make the drink.
- Add a spoon of honey and squeeze a lemon (astringent that helps to deflate tissue) for the tea to have even more benefits.
Step 3. Try some leek broth
Garlic is one of the best antiseptics and antibacterials, as well as having the ability to fight infections and strengthen the immune system. Its medicinal benefits are not yet scientifically supported, but practitioners of holistic medicine recommend that it be consumed to improve sore throats and respiratory infections.
- Prepare a salty garlic broth, relieving irritation in the throat. Peel 2 cloves of garlic and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them, finishing with a pinch of salt to make the drink even better for the throat.
- If the taste of garlic pleases you, the same benefits can be gained by peeling a clove of garlic, crushing it and sucking on it for a few minutes.
- If you're not very fond of garlic's distinctive smell and taste, try consuming garlic capsules.
Step 4. Drink licorice tea with cinnamon
Licorice has chemical properties that are supposed to improve sore throats by thinning the mucous membranes and reducing swelling. Licorice-flavored candies do not have such high concentrations of such properties, but you can get them by brewing tea with dried licorice root. Cinnamon has natural antibacterial properties, well complementing the flavor of licorice.
- To make a delicious drink, mix 1 tablespoon with licorice root and 1/2 tablespoon with cinnamon and 2 cups of cold water and a casserole dish. Boil the solution and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Strain it into a cup and drink.
- Mix a little honey or squeeze lemon to make it healthier.
Step 5. Drink water with ginger
Most likely, you already know that ginger helps soothe an upset stomach, but few are aware that this powerful herb is also good for sore throats. It opens the sinuses and helps clear the nostrils and throat, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties. Use only fresh ginger, not dried or ground, for full benefits.
Peel and slice about 2.5 cm of fresh ginger root. Pour into a mug and add a cup of boiled water over it, let the drink sit for three minutes, and drink. If you like, you can add lemon, honey or a dash of cayenne pepper to taste
Step 6. Make chicken broth.
If you are looking for some tasty drink to improve your throat, there is nothing better than good old chicken broth. Recent scientific studies have indicated that the idea that it has components that help fight infections and open the airways is not a myth. As it is rich in nutrients, chicken broth is a good choice for those who are not hungry enough to eat more consistent foods.
- The broth must be made “from scratch” or purchased from a place that prepares it with fresh chicken. Canned broths will not have the same benefit as one with fresh food.
- If you like, you can strain out the solid parts and just drink the broth.
Method 3 of 3: Taking care of the body
Step 1. Drink lots of water
The water will help your body recover, leaving your sore throat more hydrated. Stick to hot water, which relieves sore throat. Cold water will hamper recovery.
Step 2. Get plenty of rest
People who get up early and sleep late due to obligations do not give the body time to recover. If you don't want the problem to turn into a cold or the flu, you need to set aside time to rest and sleep well every night.
- When you feel the first “scrapes” characteristic of sore throat, slow down for the rest of the day. Drink lots of fluids, healthy foods and stay home at night instead of going out.
- It may be necessary to miss a day from school or not go to work for the body to rest. If that's not possible, check for times during the day when you can take a nap or at least rest for about 15 minutes.
Step 3. Take a hot bath (shower or bath)
The steam from the hot water will make your sore, dry throat more hydrated, relieving pain and congestion. If possible, breathe vapor through your nose and mouth, letting it pass through your throat and airways.
- When opting for a hot bath, use herbs or essential oils to improve healing properties. Add a few drops of mint or eucalyptus oil, fighting irritation in the same way as a “vaporub” ointment.
- To be able to inhale steam quickly (without taking a shower), close the bathroom door and let the water run at its hottest level until it produces steam. Stand or sit and inhale for five to ten minutes.
- Another option is to boil a pot of water on the stove. Turn off the heat, place a towel over your head and leave your face over the teapot so that the steam reaches your nose and throat in abundance.
Step 4. Connect a humidifier
When the air in the house is dry, the throat can suffer, especially when sore. Humidifiers make the air more humid so it doesn't irritate so much the soft tissues and membranes of the throat, which need to be hydrated to stay in good condition. A humidifier can be even more useful during the winter months when the air is drier.
Step 5. Make a warm throat compress
Sometimes a little heat is a better option than any other home remedy for pain relief. Let a little water fall onto a dish towel, wring it out, fold it over, and leave it on your throat until it cools. Heat encourages circulation in the area to reduce local swelling.
- Be careful not to scald your skin. The water must not be so hot that it causes pain when applying the compress to the neck.
- If you prefer, use a hot water bottle for a longer lasting application.
Step 6. Avoid anything that can irritate your throat
The home environment should be free of chemicals that can increase throat irritation. When inhaling stronger components and smells, the throat may swell and start to “scratch”. The air must not be infected with the following irritants:
- Chemical products such as cleaning supplies, room flavors, deodorants, scented candles and other scented items around the house;
- cleaning products such as bleach, window cleaners and detergents;
- Smoke from cigarettes and other sources;
- Allergens such as dust, cat hair, pollen, mold and anything you know is allergic to you.
Step 7. Keep your distance from other people
Sore throat can be transmitted; the best thing to do is to stay at home so as not to spread microorganisms. One student with a cough at school makes the whole class sick!
- If you are unable to stay indoors, put a mask around your nose in your mouth. Do not cough in the direction of other individuals and cover your mouth when conversing around someone. Try to stay as far away from everyone as possible.
- Even during the first signs of a sore throat, don't hug or kiss other people.
Step 8. Know when to see a doctor
When you notice that the sore throat does not go away after a few days, with the appearance of new symptoms, go to the emergency room or see an otolaryngologist, as there may be more than a simple cold. There may be a bacterial (streptococcal) infection, which the doctor will check quickly, or a viral contamination. It is essential to go to the hospital if there is shortness of breath, and see a doctor as soon as possible when you notice the symptoms below:
- Difficulty in swallowing;
- Joint pain;
- A lump in the neck;
- Fever over 38.3 °C;
- Blood in the phlegm;
- Red, inflamed tonsils, or pus-filled spots illuminating the back of the throat;
- A very bad taste in the mouth;
- When your throat is sore for more than two or three days, see a doctor. There is a possibility of sore throat, tonsillitis, or streptococcal and other infections.
- Take a long, hot bath to ease muscle tension, increase blood circulation, and soften mucus in the nasal cavity and throat.
- If the nose is also blocked, blow it with a handkerchief (blow gently into one nostril at a time). “Sniffling” will not help eliminate the runny nose.
- Avoid sugar as it irritates your throat when sore.
- Prepare a very hot herbal tea and, before drinking, let the steam reach your face while waiting for the tea to cool.
- When taking a hot bath, inhale some of the warm air and expel it. This can help a little with congestion.
- Use a nasal spray, which is very helpful for post-nasal drip sufferers.
- Rest your voice and don't talk.
- Eat hot oats, which should soothe your throat.
- Eat citrus fruits such as oranges or pomegranates for vitamin C.
- Take a few slices of ginger, crush them to get the juice out, and add a few drops of honey.
- If you experience a lot of pain when eating, just try to drink plenty of water and nutritious juices. The body needs fluid to fight bacteria.
- Go to the doctor if your neck is stiff and there is muscle pain, along with sore throat. You might have a cold.
- Despite being an irritating problem, sore throat is common. However, suffering from a constant sore throat or having prolonged periods of this disorder may indicate a more serious problem.When irritation persists for two or three days, see your doctor; he will culture the material from the throat with a cotton swab, which will be analyzed for any signs of strep.