Although most sore throats clear up in a couple of days, home remedies can speed up the process and what better way without them being easy and natural.
90% of infections that cause sore throat do not require antibiotics, as they are not bacterial in origin.
Therefore, before a sore throat, it is best not to resort to antibiotics, and look for measures that reduce discomfort, such as:
• Take a hot tea with lemon.
• Gargle with warm water with salt.
• Drink cold liquids.
• Use a humidifier to add moisture to the environment and prevent the throat from drying out.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Avoid tobacco smoke.
If after three days the discomfort persists, it is better to go to the doctor for an adequate review and treatment. In addition, it is also convenient to consult the specialist if:
• Temperature is higher than 38 ºC.
• There is a rash.
• There is joint pain.
• Hoarseness for more than 2 weeks.
• Blood in saliva or phlegm.
Sources: National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.
Tips and Remedies
Gargle with warm salt water
One of the oldest home remedies for a sore throat, is to gargle with hot water which can help relieve pain, break down mucus and reduce swelling.
Usually, 1/2 teaspoon of salt is needed to dissolve in a cup of warm water. The salt water solution should be spit after gargling and should not be swallowed or reused. It is recommended that you do it once per hour.
Gargling regularly, even with water, can help prevent upper respiratory infections, according to a study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine. People who gargle three times a day with water had fewer infections in the upper respiratory tract compared to a control group.
Hot lemon drink
Most likely you have heard about this lemon drink before, or some variation of it. It involves mixing the following ingredients in a cup of warm water:
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 sprinkle of very small cayenne pepper
• 2 teaspoon of honey
Apple cider vinegar can be used instead of lemon juice. In addition, you can also add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger.
The benefits of this folk remedy have not been studied (some say that capsaicin, a compound in cayenne, blocks nerves from sending pain signals and acid from lemon vinegar or apple cider creates a hostile environment for germs ).
Even so, it is a good way to get hot liquids to soothe a sore throat.
It is important not to exaggerate with pepper or apple cider vinegar and only use them sparingly and mixed with liquids. Too much of any of these elements can worsen the pain and cause burns or irritation in the mouth and throat.
Honey serves a great number of diseases and a sore throat is no exception. An honest (and delicious) remedy, honey can help suppress coughs and relieve sore throats.
Honey seems to cover the throat, temporarily relieving irritation of the throat that can cause coughing.
Generally, two teaspoons of honey are recommended at bedtime to relieve nighttime cough and sore throat and improve sleep quality.
A study published in Pediatrics found that people who received honey before bed coughed less frequently and severely, and were less likely to lose sleep compared to those who did not take honey.
You can also add a teaspoon of honey to the drinks or eat a teaspoon of it during the day.
Honey should never be given to a child under one year of age due to the risk of botulism.
Used in Europe as an herbal remedy for a variety of throat conditions, salvia officinalis has a number of compounds, such as cineole, borneol, camphor, and thujone, and astringent properties that can help relieve sore throat and reduce swelling and inflammation.
Herbalists sometimes suggest a tea or gargle that is done by soaking 1 teaspoon of dried sage or 1 tablespoon of fresh sage leaves in 1 cup of boiling water, covering for 10 to 15 minutes, and then forcing the leaves. You can add honey and lemon if you wish.
Keep in mind that although many of these home remedies have been used for generations, they still lack research on them.
The supplements have not been tested for safety and keep in mind that the safety of supplements has not been established in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications.
Self-medication and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences.
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