4 Ways To Minimize Sore Throat Pain And Discomfort
When your throat gets the telltale tickle of a sore throat coming on, you’ll first want to be sure it’s not a serious infection. Strep throat is usually accompanied by a fever (101 degrees F or higher) along with swollen and tender neck lymph nodes, and should be promptly tested and if positive, treated. Many sore throats, however, require only a little time and some rest to heal. The following remedies can help stave off and lessen the discomfort of sore throats:
- Boost your immune system. Herbs such as echinacea can help keep your immune system running well. Begin taking as soon as you feel a problem coming on or have been around someone with an illness, and use until the soreness resolves.
- Drink plenty of hot liquids. A good quality herbal or green tea sipped throughout the day can soothe a sore throat, as can hot water with lemon (which provides an additional vitamin C boost) and chicken soup, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Feel free to add some chopped garlic as well for an added antiviral “kick.”
- Soothe your throat with natural lozenges. Slippery elm lozenges can soothe the pain and (sometimes) inflammation of a sore throat. Propolis, a bee byproduct, has antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties (avoid if you are allergic to bees).
- Gargle. Using warm liquids to gargle can help encourage blood flow and heal inflamed tissues. Salt water is a good choice: mix one-quarter teaspoon of salt into one cup of the hottest water you can stand and gargle up to four times a day. You can make the solution stronger by adding goldenseal – try one-half teaspoon – and some red pepper to taste. Another option is to mix equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and hot water.
Today’s Health Topics
Ask Dr. Weil's Q&A