Seven simple ways to soothe your sore throat this winter.
It’s that time of year again. Sore throat season. Whether the cold air has dried your throat out or you’re fighting off a more serious cold or virus, no one enjoys the burning feeling of a sore throat. Here are seven simple ways to relieve your symptoms.
Sucking on lozenges increases saliva production which helps to soothe a sore and dry throat. Some lozenges, such as Difflam plus, contain anaesthetic, are antibacterial and sugar free and help to numb your throat and reduce inflammation. Ask your pharmacist which lozenge is best for your case.
Many herbal teas contain antioxidants, will help to keep you hydrated and may help to reduce inflammation. Chamomile tea has been shown to lubricate your throat and has anti-inflammatory properties which reduce pain and swelling. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties and is full of antioxidants. A study reports that gargling green tea helps to ward off a sore throat. Other herbal teas such as liquorice root, horehound, turmeric or slippery elm may also help to soothe a sore throat.
The oldest sore throat remedy in the book is honey. Stir some into a cup of tea or make your own tea using honey, lemon and sliced ginger to help relieve your sore throat and boost your immune system.
Gargle salt water
Salt is a natural disinfectant. Gargling warm salty water helps alleviate your inflamed tissue. Mix half a teaspoon of salt with a cup of warm water, stirring until the salt dissolves. Gargle for 10 seconds and spit, repeating several times each day for relief.
While some people use a humidifier to relieve their sore throats, having a steamy shower also helps to reduce swelling and relieve pain. If a hot shower isn’t your thing, you can pour hot water from the kettle into your closed sink to create steam. Lean over the sink and breathe in deeply to help unblock your stuffy nose and soothe your throat.
Sage and echinacea spray
For a natural alternative to some over-the-counter remedies, try a spray that contains both sage and echinacea. A study has shown that it is just as effective in relieving sore throats as prescribed medications.
Visit your doctor
A sore throat may be a symptom of a bacterial infection for which you may need prescribed antibiotics in order to treat. The symptoms of a virus and a bacterial infection may be similar, making it hard to tell if you need a prescription. If you’re worried about your health, visit your GP. If you’re unsure, a pharmacist may be able to advise you on whether you’ll need to see a doctor or if they’ll be able to help you out.
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.
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