Throat pain can have many causes, though mostly it appears because of a common cold. While cold will usually clear up after several days, serious respiratory infections may require a medical examination and treatment. Whereas natural remedies cannot cure severe infections and conditions, they can relieve mild throat pain without having to resort to chemicals. Scientific evidence also shows that natural treatment can provide notable health benefits when dealing with sore throat.
You may follow these tried-and-true methods, which were used for generations to relieve throat pain and other symptoms of respiratory diseases:
• soak your feet in warm water;
• use a warm neck wrap;
• prepare warm drinks like honey milk, milk tea, herbal tea, etc;
• steam your troubles away with a steam inhalation.
While you might be familiar with the above remedies, here are some great recipes to sooth throat soreness.
1. Add a teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm milk and stir well. You can also add a teaspoon of butter if you wish. Drink slowly in the evening before going to bed.
2. Prepare a honey lemon drink, which is known for its delicious taste and high vitamin C content. Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey into a cup of warm water. You can also add grated ginger or a small pinch of cayenne pepper, both of which are natural painkillers. Note that cayenne pepper in bigger amount can irritate the throat and worsen the pain.
3. Put a small piece of bee propolis under the tongue and wait until it fully dissolves. Propolis is a 100%-natural remedy with antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. This bee product is also rich in amino acids and bioflavonoids that are vital for a healthy immune system. Take a small piece of propolis (1/5 inch) 2-3 times a day.
4. Gargle with warm salt water or herbal infusions such as chamomile, mint, calendula, sage, or eucalyptus. You can prepare herbal infusions in the following way: add 1 tablespoon of herbs into a glass of boiling water, let infuse for 30 minutes, filter and gargle 3-4 times a day. When using a ready-made pharmacy tincture (propolis, calendula, wormwood), add 1 teaspoon into a glass of warm water. Before gargling, rinse your mouth with the same solution to kill the bacteria.
5. Steam inhalation is one of the most effective home remedies against cold and cough. It improves blood circulation, raises immunity, and clears blocked nose, allowing you to breathe more easily. Steam inhalation can also relieve throat pain and cure respiratory ailments.
Some people wonder if essential oils are suitable to use for inhalation. Yes, if you have an essential oil inhaler bought from a pharmacy. For inhalation, adding essential oils to a bowl with boiling water is ineffective and sometimes dangerous. However, you can use these tried-and-true recipes instead.
Boil some potatoes and bend over the pot. Cover the head with a towel forming a tent around you. Maintaining a distance of 12 inches, inhale the steam through your nose. After 1 or 2 minutes take a short break and repeat again. Since the steam can be very hot, you may feel discomfort and a strong burning sensation. In this case, take of the towel to release the steam.
Herbs like mint, calendula, eucalyptus, chamomile, and sage are also great for steam inhalation. Feel free to use several kinds at a time. Pour boiling water over a handful of dried herbs, cover yourself with a towel and inhale for 7-15 minutes. Alternatively, make a paper cone with a hole in the narrow part; add some herbs to a mug and pour with boiling water; place the paper cone over the mug, insert the narrow part into the mouth and inhale the steam, exhaling through the nose. You also can replace the paper cone with a conventional plastic funnel.
Having a sore throat, follow these simple advices to prevent further irritation:
• avoid foods that are too hot or too cold;
• drink enough water to prevent dehydration;
• avoid stress and get plenty of rest;
• limit smoking.
While natural remedies like honey and lemon were used for generations to relieve cough and sore throat, more severe cases require timely medical treatment to avoid complications. Consult a physician if symptoms like cough and throat soreness persist and worsen.