Your poor sore throat. Is there anything that can help? Family medicine doctor Daniel Allan, MD, shares the most effective home remedies for a sore throat, along with those that do not work as advertised.
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How to get rid of a sore throat: 6 home remedies you should try
1. Hot and cold fluids.
The thin one: Drink hot drinks, such as tea or chicken soup. (It's not just for the soul!) Or try cold liquids, like ice water or ice popsicles.
Doctor's advice: Liquids help to clean the mucous membranes, maintain the flow of things and prevent sinus infections. Warm temperatures can also reduce cough by soothing the back of the throat. Try both warm and cold to see what works best for you.
The thin one: Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt, or a similar amount of baking soda, in a glass of warm water. Gargle (but don't swallow) the concoction every three hours to get a natural remedy for a sore throat.
Doctor's advice: Saltwater can help reduce swelling and irritation in the throat. Baking soda also relieves the throat, breaks the mucus and can help with acid reflux that irritates the throat.
3. Over-the-counter antihistamines and analgesics.
The thin one: An antihistamine can reduce or relieve a sore throat. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen also help with pain that is a little deeper in the glands and other parts of the neck.
Doctor's advice: Histamines are chemicals that help your immune system fight foreign substances. But sometimes they are exceeded, triggering symptoms (such as congestion and postnasal drip) that can make the sore throat worse. Antihistamines can counteract this overreaction.
4. Steam and moisture
The thin one: Take a hot shower. When it is very steamy, breathe the magic.
Doctor's advice: The steam loosens the mucus and can hydrate and relieve a sore throat.
5. Toddy hot
The thin one: A hot toddy is a combination of a drink made with water, whiskey, honey and lemon juice and is served hot. Some people add spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger.
Doctor's advice: Hot babies can be very relaxing. This is why:
- Honey Coats the throat and calms by reducing irritation. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and the sweetness can calm the nerve endings of the throat and reduce cough.
- Whiskey (a small amount; too much can dehydrate you) it breaks and dilutes the mucus. Whiskey also dilates blood vessels on the surface of the throat, so that immune cells in the blood can multiply and fight infection.
- Spices stimulates the production of saliva, improving both hydration and the flow of mucus in the throat.
The thin one: Put your head on the pillow at a decent hour and close your eyes. Repeat as necessary.
Doctor's advice: Don't underestimate physically resting your body and your voice. But be careful: lying flat can sometimes cause swelling due to increased pressure on the back of the throat. Instead, try to raise the bed or sit on a chair or chair to relieve pain and discomfort.
Two home remedies for sore throat to avoid
Dr. Allan warns that not all throat pain remedies are the same. He recommends that you pass these two:
- Apple cider vinegar ("It probably has some antibacterial properties, but that won't do much for a sore throat").
- Essential oils ("They have not been well studied or clinically tested for safety or effectiveness")
And avoid things that can irritate your throat, such as:
- Dry air.
- Of smoking.
- Acidic foods or spicy foods.
- Go to bed immediately after eating, especially if you have acid reflux.
When to see a doctor about a sore throat
Dr. Allan says to use common sense when deciding whether to seek medical attention. Call a doctor if you:
- You have a sore throat that is severe, prolonged or does not improve, or that extends to the ear.
- You have trouble swallowing, breathing or opening your mouth.
- Is coughing up blood or has blood in saliva.
- Feel enlarged lymph nodes or lumps in the neck.
- You have white spots on the back of the throat or rash, possible signs of strep throat or scarlet fever.
- Have a high fever
- Lose your voice for more than a week or two.
And remember, when it comes to diseases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of hot babies. Wash your hands often. And if you get sick, Dr. Allan advises immediately replacing your toothbrush with a new one without germs.