The flu season is already here and unfortunately in the northern hemisphere, it always coincides with the holiday season. To make matters worse, the pandemic is far from over in the UK. With COVID-19 on the rise, it has never been more important to take care of yourself, be more mindful about your health, and notice small changes that may occur in your body. Detecting early symptoms is also vital because it can help you identify what you have, receive supportive care, and possibly help you contain the spread (in case its something viral)
One of the first few symptoms of any flu or cold is a sore throat. Yes, we mean that irritating feeling that makes the back of your throat feel like sandpaper. The pain, itchiness, and irritation caused by a sore throat have major disruptive potential. It can keep you from eating because swallowing itself becomes a painful task and it can prevent you from getting a full night’s rest - not to mention that the next morning is a nightmare with you being sleepless, cranky, and downright nonproductive.
A sore throat alone does not necessitate a visit to your physician because it is a regular occurrence in the winters - and luckily, there are many natural remedies for easing a sore throat and getting a measure of relief when you’re feeling under the weather. Let’s take a look at some of the causes of a sore throat and easy natural ways you can soothe your throat when you’re feeling under the weather.
Causes of Sore Throat
The sore throat has multiple causes. It is very common in the winters because cold air is low on moisture as it is. When you breathe in, the cold air dries up the throat and the nasal passages, causing moderate to severe irritation.
Other causes include smoking, smog, and air pollution. Viruses like common cold or influenza (flu) can also cause a sore throat which is usually accompanied by a dry cough. Sometimes, allergies and bacterial infections can also cause a sore throat.
Before trying any remedies, it is vital to identify the cause of your sore throat. You should also remain on the lookout for any accompanying symptoms like cough, fatigue, fever, body chills, nasal stuffiness, and loss of appetite. A sore throat usually takes 3-10 days to heal but if your symptoms persist beyond this time duration or increase in severity, we strongly recommend that you schedule a consultation with your general physician.
If you have a sore throat, do not stress and try the following natural remedies for quick relief:
Manuka Honey Tea for Cough and Sore Throat
Manuka honey has many benefits and it is the ideal type of honey to use in home remedies for cough and sore throat. Manuka honey is packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties. It reduces throat pain by bringing down inflammation and coating the inner lining of the throat. It is also packed with health-promoting compounds and antioxidants that improve the body’s capacity to fight against diseases.
Brew yourself some green tea or peppermint tea and add a spoonful of manuka honey to it. We recommend you use raw manuka honey that comes straight from the hive because processed honey products lack some of the essential nutrients and compounds that give honey its unique throat soothing properties.
Saltwater Gargles for Quick Comfort
Saltwater gargles are an age-old remedy for sore throat and cough. This method has survived for so long because of its effectiveness. Saltwater reduces swelling and brings down the inflammation that causes throat pain.
You can also add baking soda and a bit of apple cider vinegar to this concoction to make it more effective. The baking soda loosens up the mucous and reduces acid-reflux which makes throat irritation worse. Apple cider vinegar with mother strains has major antimicrobial properties and is highly effective in combating throat infections.
Follow these steps and repeat after every three hours to get the most out of this all-natural home remedy:
- Warm a cup of water up
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water
- Mix in ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar to this concoction
- Mix well and gargle
Steam Showers for Decongestion
Dry winter air is one of the key causes of throat irritation. That is why steam or moisture-rich air is highly effective in soothing the throat. Steam generally soothes the throat lining and rehydrates the throat, reducing any irritation and discomfort you may experience when you are under the weather.
There are several ways of doing this. You can either use an air humidifier, give yourself a relaxing steam shower, or create your own steam by boiling water on a stove. Take a hot water shower or soak in a bathtub, make sure your bathroom is really steamy, and then breathe in.
To make your own steam, boil a pot of water on the stove, then drape a towel over your head and inhale deeply. Breath in as much steam as you can to soothe your throat and decongest your airways. Try to take a rest after every steam session for optimal effect.