Sore throat can take many forms including a raw burning sensation, swollen glands, laryngitis, hoarseness, and light to severe pain. Accompanying symptoms may include fever, earache, and runny nose. Strep throat is very painful and comes on suddenly. A sore throat due to a cold or flu comes on more slowly. Tonsillitis and strep throat is usually a bacterial or viral infection and requires a visit to your healthcare professional.
Lemon juice and honey is a well known remedy for soothing sore throat pain. It also helps to drink lots of citrus juice especially orange, pineapple, and grapefruit juice. Sometimes chopped garlic added to honey can help. Take a teaspoon every hour.
Effective gargles include black tea with a pinch of cayenne, sea salt dissolved in water, yellowroot and myrrh solutions, or vinegar and water. Herbs can really help. Try a ginseng and licorice tonic, echinacea extract, or white oak bark tea. Other herbs to try include sage, thyme, plantain, elderflower, catnip, cleavers, agrimony, rosemary, turmeric, mullein, and chamomile.
Sometimes a warm ginger or parsley leaf compress can bring relief. Zinc, wild cherry, slippery elm, black walnut, and marshmallow lozenges are available at most health food stores and help to bring speedy recovery.
Eucalyptus and tea tree oil steams can also help. A warm steam bath or sauna is an excellent treatment for sore throat and congestion. When steaming is impractical try inhaling lavender essential oil applied to a warm, wet cloth.
Vapor rubs can be very soothing and healing. Mix a teaspoon of olive oil with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Gently massage into throat and upper chest area. Cover with a warm, dry cloth for best results.
Try sticking the tongue out as far at it will go. Hold for 30 seconds. Relax and repeat three times to increase blood supply. This speeds healing. Never whisper when suffering from a sore throat or laryngitis – it is very abrasive.
When suffering with a sore throat avoid dairy, sugar, fried and fatty foods. Also stay away from smoke and be sure to get plenty of rest. Try changing your toothbrush more often if sore throats reoccur on a regular basis.
Many people wake up every morning with a sore throat that improves as the day goes on. This is usually due to allergies and should be treated as such. A child that is constantly complaining of sore throat and ear pain may have an allergy to milk. Try limiting dairy products or switching to soy milk.
Sore throat may indicate a serious condition. See your healthcare professional if sore throat pain lasts for more than two days, if you have a fever of 101 degrees or higher, if you have difficulty swallowing, if you have swollen glands in your neck, if you have white patches on your tonsils, if you have a reddish, sandpaper like rash on your body, if you have a history of rheumatic fever, or if you have been exposed to strep throat or mononucleosis. Always consult with your healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedy.
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