Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, these at-home sore throat remedies can help you ease your symptoms! As always, use common sense and see your doctor if symptoms don’t improve in a couple days.
With back to school, that means our kids have returned to the germ sardine pool!
Despite the ever diligent reminders to wash hands, overuse of antibacterial hand sanitizers and encouragement to keep illness at home; it is inevitable that kids will be bringing home all kinds of colds, flu, and illnesses!
Including the dreaded sore throat which is second only to the horrifying throwing up!
Now while I expect to have an increase in illness during the school year, I wasn’t quite ready for it to hit us after only 3 days of returning to school!
Oh my goodness, that was a bit too fast for my liking! And it hit hard! Fever, chills, congestion, and the dastardly sore throat!
I can usually deal with congestion – I have allergies so that is nothing new.
Fever can be treated with tylenol.
Chills- I can wrap up with a blanket and hot cocoa for that.
And while all these are no fun; nothing save only for throwing up is worse than a sore throat in my book!
So here are some tried and true sore throat remedies that actually work to help ease a sore throat!
While these are not meant as a cure, and definitely not meant to take the place of visiting with your doctor, these sore throat remedies have been used for years in our family to soothe a sore throat and help us weather the worst of the cold in as much comfort as possible when seized upon by germs going to war.
Effective Sore Throat Remedies
SALT– Yes, Salt! Salt has amazing healing properties. And actually, helps to heal your throat. So use this as your free pass to indulge in chips, salty McDonald’s Fries (those are the saltiest I’ve found around here), and any other salty foods you enjoy.
Ok, so you can also just do it the “old-fashioned” way like my mom made us by gargling with salt water.
It offers instant relief to the worst raw ripping, throbbing pain in your throat.
You will want to repeat this often. Usually whenever the pain becomes excessive or difficult to swallow.
Zicam– I remember the first time I ever heard of zycam. I was in high school. And a horrible cold was going around and I had a debate tournament that weekend. I came home from school with the starting signs of a cold. I did NOT have time to be sick. My mom gave me Zicam and while I still got sick, the severity was very MILD compared to everyone else around me that was sick. I was able to go to my debate tournament and did quite well and only felt mildly inconvenienced by the cold.
The Zicam helped soothe my sore throat and helped keep the cold from becoming severe. The trick with Zicam is that you have to take it at the first signs of the cold. If you wait until the cold is already full blown – it won’t be as effective.
When I was diagnosed with whooping cough a few years ago – the doctor said, “well if we would have caught it sooner, I would have told you to take Zicam with the antibiotic. But now, go get some zinc lozenges!”
ZINC – Zinc is a natural immune booster. But it also helps to heal up a sore throat and calm the inflammation. It also offers some numbing effects.
Just be careful with zinc, it can cause stomach irritation so make sure to not let your stomach be empty when you are taking it.
Herbal Tea – Steep some herbal tea in warm apple or orange juice. Or Pink lemonade. The added juices really add to the flavor, plus extra vitamins to boost your immune system. The warmth soothes your throat. And the herbal tea helps to get the healing started.
Cold – Eat cold foods. Drink cold water – when you can actually manage to swallow. Suck on popsicles or juice pops. Take the luxury of saying you need ice cream for medical reasons! *wink wink*
But seriously, cold helps to soothe the flaming irritation in the throat and offers a small respite of relief from the most severe pain.
When we were kids, we’d get a mug full of shaved ice or crushed ice and just suck on those all day long. Not only did it help with the pain, but it also kept us hydrated.
Carbonation – believe it or not, sometimes carbonation can help. When the pain is so severe – just having something jolt your senses can make the pain more manageable. This sort of follows the lines of if you have a headache, smash your finger and you no longer think of your headache methods. But carbonation doesn’t usually hurt, just changes what type of sensation your nerve endings are reacting to.
I usually reserve this one for when I’m truly desperate. Like when I had STREP/Tonsillitis 2 weeks ago! Seriously, it was horrible. I was desperate.
Pain Reliever – there is a reason why cold medicines have acetaminophen or ibuprofen in them. Yes, to ease fevers, but also to relieve pain. Normally when you think of relieving pain you think of muscle pain or headaches or aches. But it can also relieve sore throat pain as well.
Just be careful to strictly follow dosing recommendations. Never take more than recommended. And do not take long term.
Honey and Lemon – This is an amazing combination that helps to soothe the throat, and boosts your immune system. Some people like to put honey and fresh squeezed lemons into hot water and drink it.
But I’ve never been one for hot water – at all! It’s got to have some major flavoring.
That could be partial to my mom forcing us to down raspberry leaf tea every time we got sick as kids. That is until that time I puked it all back up because I gagged so severely on it. She stopped forcing me to drink it after that.
So again, just like the herbal tea, I heat up apple juice, orange juice or pink lemonade. And then I drizzle in the honey and squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Stir, sip and enjoy!
It not only soothes my throat, it also offers that comfort as the warmth wraps around your body, calming the aches, chills and pains.
Now after all this, use common sense! If you are just not getting better after a few days or are getting worse, GET TO THE DOCTOR!
If you have a fever that won’t go away. Again visit your doctor.
And if you have Strep, I seriously feel your pain. Literally! I started writing this article as I succumbed to Strep myself. I totally get it. And you can kiss sore throat relief goodbye! These probably won’t work if it’s managed to infect your tonsils!
So get to the doctor, get your antibiotic and let the pity party commence. I’ll join you in weeping and wailing.