If your throat scratches and hurts when swallowing, home remedies for sore throats provide gentle relief. Here you will find a list of the best helpers.
Sore throat: When the cold is near
Especially in the cold and wet season we get it fast: Suddenly we suffer from swallowing difficulties, it scratches our throat, then it comes to hoarseness. A sore throat is often one of the first symptoms of an approaching cold. Mostly viruses attack the mucous membranes and cause painful inflammation.
The best home remedies for sore throats: What really helps
Although the complaints usually subside on their own after a few days, home remedies for sore throats can provide relief in the meantime. These tips help in a gentle way against sore throats, without you having to resort to medicine from the pharmacy:
1. Gargle with salt water
Even in granny’s time, gargling with salt water was recommended as a simple household remedy for sore throats. Why? The salt-water solution can kill germs, cleans the throat and makes the mucous membrane swell. For the gargle solution, mix one teaspoon of salt with 8 oz of water and gargle with it. You can repeat this five to six times a day.
2. Potato wrap and curd wrap
Which neck wrap helps with pain varies from person to person: Some people prefer warm wraps, for example with potatoes. These are boiled, mashed and then wrapped in a clean cloth. The compress is then fixed around the neck with a second cloth or scarf. If you find cold weather more pleasant, you should try a neck compress with curd cheese instead of potatoes as a household remedy for sore throats.
Hardly anything does as good for colds and sore throats as a nice cup of tea. Various herbal teas can relieve the symptoms. These include:
- Sage – has an anti-inflammatory effect and soothes the mucous membrane
- Thyme – stimulates the so-called cilia to cough up
- Chamomile – acts like sage against inflammation
Inhalation has a liberating effect on the airways, similar to the gargling of salt water. Certain essential oils and ointments are suitable for this purpose, which can be prescribed by a doctor. Simply put a few drops of these in hot water, place a towel all over your head, bend over the bowl and breathe in and out deeply for a few minutes. You can find more information and help with inhalation here.
5. Ginger and honey
Ginger and honey can make even the meanest sore throat disappear very quickly. Simply prepare a ginger tea (preferably with a fresh root, but tea bags can also do it if necessary) and add some honey. Done!
When we have a cold, we freeze quickly because the immune system needs all the energy in the body to fight the pathogens. It is very important that we dress warmly when we have a sore throat or difficulty swallowing – especially on our feet. Because when we are warm, the blood circulation is stimulated – including the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. In this way we get rid of cold viruses and bacteria quickly!
7. Chicken soup
An ancient tip, but one that still has its justification: Chicken soup, preferably homemade, should always be on the menu if you have a cold with difficulty swallowing. It contains a protein substance called cysteine, which is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Chicken soup also balances the water and mineral balance.
Causes of sore throats
But why do we have to deal with sore throats on a regular basis? In most cases a respiratory infection is the trigger of sore throat. Viruses in particular can trigger the symptoms. And there are plenty of them: there are over 200 different pathogens known to cause a cold. It is therefore no wonder that every adult falls ill with a cold on average two to three times a year, which can manifest itself as sore throat, cough or even fever. The infection causes the inflamed mucous membranes to swell – including those in the nose and throat.
In addition to a classic cold, there are also other possible causes of sore throats. These include:
- Piping glandular fever
- Measles, mumps or scarlet fever
Important: With these diseases, home remedies for sore throats often reach their limits. The complaints should be treated in consultation with the doctor. Incidentally, environmental stimuli can also cause sore throats – these include cigarette smoke or air that is too dry.
When should I go to the doctor with a sore throat?
In most cases, a sore throat is annoying, but it is more likely to be a harmless side effect of a cold. In this case, they can often be controlled with home remedies for sore throats. However, if certain other symptoms are added or if the symptoms persist for more than three days, a doctor should look for the causes. These symptoms should be checked by a doctor:
- high fever (from 102 degrees)
- strongly swollen neck, which restricts for example the
- very severe sore throat, which gets worse rather than better
- additional strong pain
- Nausea, up to vomiting
Can I also prevent sore throats?
Since sore throats are often caused by a cold, it is most effective to prevent them. The best way to do this is to follow these tips:
- Strong immune system: If you exercise regularly (about three times a week for at least 30 minutes each time), eat a balanced diet and make sure you get enough sleep, you can do a lot for your body’s defenses and prevent sore throats and the like.
- Observe hygiene: Regular hand washing under running water and with soap should be mandatory. If you use public transport, you should avoid touching handrails – or at least wash and disinfect your hands afterwards.
- Drink enough: To prevent the mucous membranes from swelling and causing pain, they should be kept as moist as possible. This is best done by drinking plenty of water. A pleasant side effect: viruses are more easily flushed out of the body.
Since there are so many different types of colds, it is unfortunately not easy to stay healthy and prevent sore throats, coughs and the like. However, those who follow the advice given above will certainly become ill less frequently.