When flu season is upon us, other viruses circulating in our communities contribute to cold symptoms such as sore throats, which make us feel cranky and uncomfortable.
Since viruses are the major cause of sore throats, there are no medications to alleviate them, however, there are certain natural remedies that will make your sore throat feel better while your body fights off the infection.
First of all, stay hydrated. If your sore throat is accompanied by other upper respiratory symptoms, such as runny nose, nasal congestion, or cough, drink chicken broth a couple times a day. Recent research confirmed what moms always told us about chicken soup: it definitely helps when we’re sick! According to the scientific findings, chicken broth thins mucus in the respiratory system, stops excessive mucus production, and relieves nasal congestion. Therefore, chicken broth will lessen coughing and might decrease postnasal drip that often results in a sore throat.
Excessive coughing can also cause a sore throat. Since cough medications are ineffective in battling the cough, reach for honey. Any honey will do, however, researchers studied buckwheat honey and announced that it is more effective in cough control than dextromethorphan, the DM component of over-the-counter cough suppressants. I recommend that my patients take 1 teaspoon of honey 4 times a day. It can be eaten off the spoon, ingested with warm water or tea with lemon, or drizzled on toast with butter, pancakes, or graham crackers. (Note: honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year as it may cause botulism).
Consider these remedies to relive your sore throat:
Gargle with chamomile tea–it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Drink orange juice. It might sting, but the vitamin C will numb your throat instantaneously.
Munch on raw almonds. They contain an aspirin-like compound that works wonders, not only to relieve migraine headaches, but also sore throats.
Eat fresh or canned pineapple. Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme with anti-inflammatory properties.
Sip on a warm tea with honey and lemon. Honey will coat your throat and the lemon juice will quickly numb it.
If your sore throat persists beyond 3-4 days, or is accompanied by a fever, rash, or bad headache, you have a difficult time swallowing your saliva, or you choke on food, see your health care provider ASAP.