Sore throats, also known as pharyngitis, are painful and annoying but often go away on their own. To cope, individuals may want to use one of many natural remedies for a sore throat. These include drinking hot beverages, acupuncture, and herbal remedies. The best natural remedies for a sore throat can best be determined by individuals working with their doctors or other health care advisors.
A sore throat can be a symptom of a viral infection, such as a cold or flu, or the result of a bacterial infection, such as strep or bacterial sinusitis. Sore throats caused by bacterial infections typically require antibiotic treatment, and it is important to get a condition like strep diagnosed as soon as possible, as it can eventually cause heart damage. Sore throats caused by viruses are sometimes more easily managed using natural and home remedies. If a sore throat accompanies a cold or flu, sufferers should take extra care to rest, sleep, and eat well, as this can help the body to heal itself.
Simple natural remedies for a sore throat include gargling with warm salt water, drinking hot tea with honey, and sucking on horehound drops, which can relieve discomfort and make it easier to talk or to swallow. Some natural medicine advocates suggest making a hot tisane of cider vinegar, cayenne pepper, and honey and lemon juice. Herbal approaches include teas and drinks made from slippery elm, licorice,and marshmallow, while sore throat sprays made from sage can also be effective. If the sore throat accompanies a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, the pharyngitis may be caused by post-nasal drip, the discharge of mucus into the throat. The use of a neti pot for nasal irrigation can help clear the sinuses and reduce post-nasal drip, preventing additional irritation and infection of the throat.
Other natural remedies for a sore throat include aromatherapy. Essential oils of tea tree, thyme, or lavender can be used in steam therapy, or a few drops can be added to water and gargled. As essential oils are so highly concentrated, it is very important to consult with a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using an oil orally. Some people have had success with less well-known alternative approaches, such as acupuncture and acupressure. Practitioners of acupuncture and acupressure typically utilize other aspects of Chinese traditional medicine, including Chinese herbs.