Sore throats are a common problem. They often result from the common cold or postnasal drip. They are uncomfortable and can lead cause coughing from the irritation. Most of the time, sore throats can be taken care of at home. Here are some remedies that help.
Salt Water Gargle
Your first choice should be a salt water gargle. Dissolve one half-teaspoon of salt into one cup of warm water. Be sure to use warm water. Gargle and then spit it out. Do not swallow. Repeat several times a day and repeat it more frequently if you have postnasal drip. For added benefit, add one tablespoon of Listerine to the mixture before gargling. Discard any extra and make a fresh batch at the time you will gargle.
A sore throat and its associated conditions such as postnasal drip can lead to dehydration. Avoid this by making sure you get enough fluids. You should drink two liters of water per day. It may be better to drink warm or room temperature water. Limit alcohol and caffeine as these can act as diuretics. Avoid sugary liquids as these can irritate the throat. Remember that we get water from many sources such as fresh fruits and vegetables, so these contribute towards your two-liter per day quota.
Drink Lemon and Water
Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with one cup of pure water. Drink several times a day or sip throughout the day. Do not add sugar as this can irritate the throat. Consider having this drink warm or at least room temperature.
Avoid Air Irritants
Stop smoking and avoid environments with tobacco smoke. In addition to a direct effect on the throat, this will improve overall health as well. If you regularly smoke, find alternatives to smoking such as sugarless chewing gum. An even healthier alternative is to have carrot sticks, celery, or a radish instead of a cigarette. Also, avoid the fumes from household cleaners and aerosol sprays.
At meal times, have warm liquids such as soups or broths. Another option is hot tea. If possible, drink caffeine-free teas. These can be sipped throughout the day. A third easy option is to mix some pure honey in warm to hot water and keep this handy to have some often.
Keep Things Clean
Wash your hands frequently throughout the day. This is especially important after using the toilet and before meal times. Also, wash your hands after sneezing or coughing. These steps will help reduce the amount of germs in your environment. Consider using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer several times throughout the day or when you cannot wash your hands properly. For added benefit, store the bristles of your toothbrush soaking in a glass with Listerine. This will reduce the bacteria re-entering your mouth and throat from the toothbrush head.
Keep the Humidity Up
Consider using a humidifier in your home. This may be especially useful in the bedroom while you are sleeping. It should be a cool-mist humidifier. However, avoid allowing the room to become too damp or too cold. An alternative to a humidifier is to take a hot shower or sit in the bathroom with a steaming shower. Let the water vapor from the shower provide some humid relief.
Lozenges Can Help
A lozenge can help soothe a sore throat. It can be a change of pace from warm teas and gargles. Look for lozenges that have real lemon or honey. Be mindful of the amount of sugar in the lozenge. For small children, there may be a risk of a choking hazard, so this option should be avoided for them.
Honey, Ginger, and Lemon
Take a half-cup of warm water. Add one teaspoon of powdered ginger and an equal amount of pure honey. To this, add the juice of half a lemon. This combines the wonderful properties of several ingredients. Gargle with this mixture. Repeat at least twice a day.
Sage and Water
Consider making a gargle of sage and water. Just mix one teaspoon of sage with a half-teaspoon of alum. Stir this into one-quarter cup each of warm water and apple cider vinegar. Then gargle with this mixture. Repeat several times daily. One-quarter teaspoon of salt can be added for extra benefit.
Try having some clove tea to gain the medicinal benefits of cloves. Just mix three teaspoons of powdered cloves in some hot water. Let it steep for several minutes then strain. Drink as often as needed. For added benefit, mix in some licorice root syrup or powder too. An alternative is to let it cool until warm and then use it as a gargle.
- Sore throats are common and easily managed at home.
- Get at least two liters of water per day to avoid dehydration.
- Drink lemon and water throughout the day.
- Warm soups, teas, or simply honey and water are good.
- Wash your hands often and store your toothbrush head in Listerine.
- Keep the air humidified.
- Try some lozenges.
- Try a gargle of honey, ginger, and lemon.
- Gargle with sage and water several times a day.
- Drink clove tea and add some licorice too.
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