Sore throat is caused by a virus. It is a very common ailment in which your throat feels, raw, irritated and scratched. You may also have pain while swallowing. Unless it is strep throat where it is because of bacterial infection you do not need antibiotics and the problem usually resolves in a few days with effective natural remedies for a sore throat (1, 2, 3).
Strep throat where the infection is caused by streptococcus you will need treatment with antibiotics to avoid any complications. Streptococcal infection is not common. There are other reasons for sore throat which are not very common and they require medical treatment.
If sore throat persists for more than a week or if it is accompanied by fever or it is very painful or there is difficulty in breathing or you are unable to swallow while eating, you need a doctor to take a look at you.
Most of the time sore throat maybe because of something simple like cold and you may not have to go to a doctor and can be cured by natural remedies for a sore throat. But the scratchiness in the throat and the pain while swallowing may be troublesome and there are few things you can do to feel better.
Here are some natural remedies for a sore throat (1, 2, 4)
- Drink lots of fluids to keep your throat moist. Throat aches more early in the morning because it becomes dry in the night and that makes it more scratchy.
- Take hot tea with lemon or soup. These fluids will soothe your throat.
- You can suck on lozenges or hard candy to keep your throat moist. Children may have choking issues with these so avoid for them.
- You can suck on ice cubes or popsicles to feel better.
- Take honey with your tea or lemon juice, it helps in soothing and healing the throat as honey has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Keep a humidifier in the room to keep the air from becoming too dry especially in the night while sleeping.
- Gargle with warm salt water it will soothe the throat. Children cannot gargle properly.
- Sip on warm water it soothes the raw throat.
- Eat cool and soft foods.
- Do not eat spicy or hard food, it will irritate the throat further.
- Avoid smoking or being with someone who is smoking. It will irritate your throat.
- Take plenty of rest.
Sometimes acid reflux also causes irritation and pain in the throat. The acidic stomach contents travel up and cause the discomfort. Then these pointers may help.
- Eat small and frequent meals and do not eat large meals.
- Do not go to bed immediately after eat food. Eat at least 2 or 3 hour before sleeping.
- Sleep with your head at an elevated level by raising the bed on the head side.
Final word on natural remedies for a sore throat
Sore throat is a viral infection and it usually resolves by itself. Natural remedies will help soothe the throat and also resolve it quicker. But if sore throat persists or there are other symptoms such as fever check with your doctor.
- Centers for Disease Control and prevention (2019). Sore Throat
- National Health Services (2018). Sore throat.
- Mayo Clinic (2017). Sore throat.
- National Institutes of Health(2013). Soothing a Sore Throat