|Treating A Sore Throat
A sore throat is not an illness in itself, but rather a symptom of another illness. Most sore throats are caused by the flu or cold viruses or an infection of the voice box (laryngitis). A bacterial infection can also cause a sore throat, bacteria infections for example commonly cause strep throat and tonsillitis. Antibiotics are only used to treat bacterial infections like strep throat, they do nothing for sore throats caused by viruses. The following article provides home treatment remedies for a sore throat caused by a virus.
10 Treatments For Sore Throats
1. Throat Sprays
Use an antiseptic throat spray which will numb the throat and relieve pain and itching. Popular sprays include Chloraseptic Spray (U.S.) and Wicks Sulagil (Europe). Ideally use a spray at the first onset of symptoms to help prevent worsening.
Gargle warm salt water with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 3 drops of tea tree in a glass of water. For extra impact add quarter a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Gargle and then spit out. Do not swallow. While unpleasant it helps alleviate pain and wash out mucus. Repeat up to 4 times a day.
3. Honey And Lemon
Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Allow it to cool to room temperature and drink. The liquid will soothe and coat your throat. Some people recommend squeezing lemon juice directly into the throat as an instant remedy (it stings initially but then calms the throat). We haven't tried this remedy.
Crush fresh sage and steep in hot water to make a tea. Sage is a natural antiseptic. You can also soak a cloth in sage tea and apply it directly to the throat.
5. Crushed Onion
Crush a whole onion and wrap it in a clean cloth. Apply the cloth directly on the throat.
The herb thyme is another of natures antiseptics. Use fresh crushed thyme to make a tea which helps cure sore throats and coughs. Alternatively mix thyme, basil and oregano essential oils and massage into the throat.
Some over-the-counter throat lozenges such as Spec-T and Sucrets Maximum Strength act as an effective type of local aesthetic to numb the throat.
Place a humidifier or vaporizer in your bedroom. A humidifier is a device that blows a lukewarm mist (vapor) into the air of a room. A vaporizer releases cool or hot mists. Both increase the humidity of dry air. Dry air causes dry skin, chapped lips and worsens sore throats. If you can't afford a humidifier, place a bowel of water on your radiator each night. It will work just as well.
9. Replace Your Toothbrush
If you are plagued by frequent sore throats, replace your toothbrush more regularly than normal. The damp bristles of toothbrushes collect germs and viruses which can enter your system and reinfect you.
10. Rest Your Voice
Take a day off work or school and rest your voice. Avoid talking, or speak softly if you must. This may speed up recovery without causing further damage to the tissues lining the throat.
Additional Notes: Bacterial and Virus Infections
If you suffer from sore throats regularly, it usually means your immune system is not very strong. Eating a diet high in sugar can systemically undermine your immune system. Regular bouts of tonsillitis for example may mean your lymphatic system is under strain and your body is telling you to detoxify. Regular sore throats are also associated with yeast infections.
1. At the first sign of a sore throat eliminate all refined sugar (cakes, cookies, chocolate and so on) from your diet for 4 days. This will give your body a chance to fight the infection.
2. Avoid all 'white' foods, that is breads, cakes, pies, bagels and sponges made from processed white flour for 4 days.
3. Cut out coffee, alcohol and sodas (including diet sodas) for 4 days.
4. Increase your intake of water, herbal teas and soups.
5. If you end up taking antibiotics be sure to take acidophilus/bifidus capsules twice a day for 6 weeks to replace the healthy bacteria you have lost.
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