does it every feel like your throat itches, becomes swollen and feels as if its burning, and even the simple act of swallowing becomes a scary prospect? You're not alone! Throat aches are some of the most common phenomena as we move into the winter season.
Here are 10 ways you can calm that aching throat down without having to go see a doctor:
1. Keep your nasal passageways open
Doctors agree that two of the most common causes of throat pain are the mucus build-up and dryness, which occur mostly from breathing excessively through the mouth when the nasal passageways are closed.
There are medicines that fight nasal congestion, especially those containing Pseudofrin (no need for a doctor's note) that will help reopen the nasal passageways.
Using nose sprays (with a salt water solution) may also help keep those passageways open and breathing easier.
2. Home remedies to gargle with:
Salt Water: This is an old favorite, and you can create it by adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water (the warmer the better, within your tolerance levels, don't let it get cold or it loses effectiveness). If you have it at home, this is a good time to add 1 tablespoon of Listerine for its germ killing benefits. You can gargle this mixture several times a day, and it will help you to rinse and neutralize acids in your throat. You will notice that the burning sensation is relieved and the area will start to heal. Don't let up on the gargling.
Raspberry Tea: Pour a glass of boiling water and add 2 teaspoons of raspberry dried leaves, soak for 10 minutes and then filter. You can add 1 tea spoon of apple vinegar and/or honey, and then gargle 4 times a day.
Sage Leaves: Mix 1 spoon of sage leaves with 1 cup of boiling water, soak for 10 minutes and then filter. You can add 1 tea spoon of apple vinegar and/or honey, and then gargle 4 times a day.
Turmeric: To cure a burning sensation in your throat, mix 1 cup of boiling water with 1/2 a spoon of turmeric (for anti-inflammation effects) and 1/2 a spoon of salt. Gargle twice a day. If you hate gargling, you can also mix 1/2 a spoon of turmeric with 1 glass of hot milk and slowly sip it.
Hot sauce and water: Hot peppers contain an ingredient called capsaicin, which alleviates pain and reduces inflammation. You can prepare this by grinding a cayenne pepper and adding 5 shakes of the ground spice to a cup of hot water. Warning: it WILL burn, but try to gargle this every 15-30 minutes and see if it does the trick.
3. Horseradish Cocktail
A traditional Russian remedy: Add 1 tablespoon of pure horseradish (or a horseradish root), 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of cloves to 1 cup of hot water. Sip slowly over the course of an hour.
A useful home remedy based on apple vinegar: Take 1 cup of hot water and mix in 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 table spoon of apple vinegar. Sip slowly without letting the liquid cool down. Drink as often as possible.
For gargling: Mix 1 spoon of salt, 1/2 a cup of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water. Drink every 15 minutes as needed.
* Be sure to melt the salt in the vinegar before adding the water.
What does resting have to do with a sore throat? A lot. While you rest, your body has more energy to fight the infection in your throat. If you've taken some of our home remedies, be sure to get some rest in between to give your body a fighting chance.
6. Citrus Fruits
Lemon Juice: Mix 1 cup of hot water with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1
tablespoon of squeezed lemon juice. Sip slowly.
Lime Juice: Mix 1 tablespoon of lime juice with 1 tablespoon of honey in hot water, and drink as needed.
An old remedy for an aching throat is a steam tent. Sit with your face over a steaming bowl of hot water and cover your head with a towel to keep the steam in. Add 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus extract for extra effect.
Some doctors say that sugar can help reduce throat ache and accompanying cough, but even Lozenges without sugar can calm down an aching throat by keeping your mouth and throat moist, which will make you feel less pain.
An ice popsicle can calm down a burning throat. Make sure you aren't sucking on the popsicle, but cutting small pieces and letting them melt in your mouth.
10. Drink plenty of liquids
This may go without saying, but when you suffer from an aching throat, you should drink at least 8-10 cups of water a day (preferably not cold water). This will keep your throat well oiled, prevent the dry feeling you get and even aid the fight against inflammation.