An introduction to sore throat remedies
Many people endure sore throat symptoms without resorting to
medication, especially if symptoms do not persist for more than a few
days. However, there are a variety of remedies which can help ease the
symptoms of a sore throat.
These are medicines available from a pharmacy or prescribed by your doctor. There are many conventional remedies which can relieve the symptoms of a sore throat. The most common are:
- Amylmetacresol and dichlorobenzyl alcohol – these are antiseptics found in throat lozenges such as Strepsils. They work by killing the bacteria which is causing the infection of the sore throat
- Paracetemol – this is a commonly used pain killer which can also be used to reduce fever. It is often contained within many cold and flu remedies. If taken too often, this can result in liver problems
- Aspirin – this is also a pain killer and has anti-inflammatory action. It can irritate your stomach giving you indigestion, and is not suitable for some people, particularly children.
- Antibiotics – in some situations a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for a sore throat. This will only be if you are suffering from a bacterial infection.
There are a variety of herbal medicines which can be taken as an alternative to conventional medicines:
- A.Vogel Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray – this contains extracts of echinacea and sage. Echinacea helps with the symptoms of colds and flu, including sore throats, and also helps strengthen the immune system. Sage has been used medicinally long before it appeared on a plate
- Turmeric or cayenne pepper- while this might not seem an obvious solution, but gargling water with a sprinkling of turmeric or cayenne pepper may initially burn your throat but will help subside the pain
- Chamomile – this has a soothing effect on the throat and is most commonly taken in the form of tea.
This an alternative form of medication. The principle behind homeopathic remedies is that some substances in large quantities create symptoms, but in small quantities can treat the same symptoms. Such remedies for sore throats include:
- Belladonna – this plant is from the Solanaceae family. It is sometimes used in medicine as a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory.
- Capsicum – this is also from the Solanaceae family. An extract diluted in water can be gargled to help with a sore throat. It may sting to begin with, but will then help alleviate the symptoms.
- Sulphur – this is available in the form of tinctures or tablets and is shown to help with the symptoms of a sore throat.
There are a variety of home cures for sore throats, many of which are old wives’ tales, but have a following because people find that they do work:
- Salt water – gargling salt water is probably the oldest remedy for sore throats. It works by reducing inflammation and drawing bacteria from the infected tissue lining your throat
- Chicken soup – this is not only comforting, but will give you the nutrients you need when swallowing hard food is too painful. It is also thought that the sodium in the soup has anti-inflammatory properties which will help cure your sore throat
- Honey and lemon – this is a very soothing remedy, which also has antibacterial and antioxidant effects
- Suck on a hard sweet – this can keep your mouth moist and more comfortable. It is also thought that sugar can soothe a sore throat, and help prevent coughing
- Apple cider vinegar - this helps to soothe the throat. Vinegar has antibacterial properties so will neutralize any infection causing your sore throat.