By KATE HALIM
You may be familiar with that scratchy, itchy, painful-to-swallow feeling known as sore throat. The technical term for sore throat is pharyngitis and it comes with cold or flu. Dealing with a tight and scratchy throat is not pleasant.
Most sore throats are caused by viruses or mechanical causes such as mouth breathing and can be treated successfully at home.
The symptoms of sore throat include burning, pain or scratching sensations at the back of the throat, pain when swallowing, and tenderness in the neck. In addition to a sore throat, other common signs and symptoms include sneezing, fever, coughing and swollen lymph nodes.
Mr. Richard Ekpo, a medical doctor in Lagos said that people with sore throat should consult their doctors if the condition lasts for more than a week. He added that other symptoms include difficulty breathing or swallowing, drooling, trouble opening the mouth, facial swelling, stiff neck, high fever, persistent lumps in the neck, and prolonged hoarseness.
Whether you are suffering through a cold or fighting seasonal allergies, there is some time tested natural remedies that you can try before running for the nearest clinic.
These tips will have you feeling better in no time. The best part is that you probably have most of them in your kitchen which will save you a trip to the pharmacy. They are:
Warm drinks can be soothing for the throat,” says Dr. Ekpo. There is evidence that herbal teas, licorice root, and elm inner bark help with pain associated with sore throat. Ginger, sage, thyme, and chamomile teas are worth a shot too while treating sore throat at home.
Some research shows that honey works better at relieving sore throats than over-the-counter medicine. Not only does it give the throat a protective coating, it also has antibacterial properties. Honey contains a compound that is converted into hydrogen peroxide in addition to other antimicrobial compounds.
Salt water gargle
There’s a reason your mom or grandma probably told you to do this. Dr. Ekpo said: “A saltwater gargle helps with swelling and keeping the mouth clean. Most recipes suggest ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt per cup of warm water.” It’s totally safe and easy to try several times a day while you are in pain.”
This is many people’s personal remedy for sore throat, even though it’s not a popular one, says Dr. Ekpo. There is evidence, according to one study, that garlic helps relieve sore throat. According to the study, allicin, an organosulfer compound in garlic has antimicrobial properties and is known for its ability to fight off infections.
Peppermint is known for its ability to freshen breath. Diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats. Peppermint contains menthol which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which encourage healing.
Don’t use essential oils without mixing them with carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or softened coconut oil. For peppermint oil, mix five drops of the essential oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. Never ingest essential oils.
Trying out some of these natural remedies may help you feel better more quickly and save you a trip to the doctor’s office. To feel your best, make sure you also drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest.