September 25, 2017
According to statistics, around 15 million people in the U.S. go to the doctor for a sore throat every year, and up to 70% are treated with antibiotics. The good news is that there’s a range of homemade remedies to help one recover from sore throats in a natural and noninvasive way. In fact, according to CNN, around a third of Americans choose to avoid the doctor and opt for alternative health-related solutions instead.
Sore throats come and go throughout the year and some are more troublesome than others, but most can be treated quite simply by using basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboards.
In general, there are four main causes behind a sore throat: viral infections, bacterial infections, undetected injuries or irritations and external factors, like pollution, cigarette smoke, an excessive use of antibiotics or dusty environments. While viral infections are the most common causes of low immunity and a sore throat, bacterial infections can be quite nasty as they attack the tonsils and allow inflammation to spread.
One of the most common natural remedies to help all sore throat conditions is gargling a glass of salty lukewarm water. Four to five teaspoons of honey and the juice of half a lemon, mixed with a herbal tea or hot water, is another all-purpose sore throat remedy to try, as honey is full of natural antibacterial properties. This sweet solution reduces inflammation and can help soothe the burning sensation that accompanies many sore throat problems. Bees inject a protein into honey called defensin-1, which has the potential to develop new drugs for dealing with antibiotic-resistant infections in the future.
Another natural anti-inflammatory is licorice root. In fact, the key therapeutic compound found in licorice root is known as glycyrrhizin, a substance that is 50 times sweeter than sugar. It has many beneficial effects on the body, which is why licorice can be used to treat a whole host of ailments. As one of the main ingredients in many herbal teas, a few cups a day can ease congestion, reduce coughing fits and alleviate the feeling of soreness. However, avoid consuming licorice root in large amounts as it can reduce your potassium levels and increase blood pressure. Anyone who knowingly suffers from heart disease must be even more cautious when ingesting licorice root.
Raw garlic is an effective solution if you’re suffering from some kind of infection, as it contains antibacterial and antiseptic qualities. The greatest biologically active component of garlic is called allicin. It was first reported in 1944 and is the key ingredient responsible for garlic’s broad anti-bacterial capacity.
Finally, the use of a humidifier can also really help someone suffering from a sore throat by adding moisture to the air. When your throat is sore, it has a tendency to dry out too. Anyone without a humidifier at home can place a large bowl of water in front of the radiator and benefit from the same results.
You should be able to feel a sore throat coming on fairly easily. There are a number of common symptoms to look out for and if you can catch your sore throat before it really breaks out and takes hold, it will be easier and quicker to treat.
An increase in coughing and sneezing, along with a stuffy or runny nose, are immediate signs that a sore throat could be on its way. Your throat could also feel a lot drier in general and it might be more difficult to swallow your food. If your sore throat is given the chance to develop, you may experience a croaky voice, tenderness in the neck, a headache or a fever. Severe cases of sore throat could mean swollen lymph nodes and bloated tonsils that are either red and inflammed or covered in white patches and pus.
Sometimes, sore throats can develop into tonsillitis. If that happens, there are other kinds of homemade remedies you can try to treat the condition. When a sore throat continues beyond two or three weeks it’s possible that there’s a greater problem at large, sometimes in the form of a cut in the mouth, chronic fatigue syndrome or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Consult your doctor if you are at all concerned.
By way of pulling everything together, homemade remedies for sore throats are not only a cheaper solution, but many believe that they are a kinder option for our bodies. Even so, it’s all about finding a balance that works for you.
There are times when traditional Western medicine is necessary, but times when the natural approach functions just as well, if not better. Be safe, monitor your condition and consult a professional if your body seems unable to recover.