Home based treatment

In many cases a sore throat can be treated at home. This means home based remedies such as salt water gargles or protecting your throat in the winter by wearing a scarf.

These can be effective at treating a sore throat and preventing it from worsening.

Treating a sore throat as a symptom of the common cold

If your sore throat has occurred as part of a head cold then drink plenty of fluids, keep warm, rest if you need to and use a humidifier to keep the air in your house most and easier to breathe.

Another treatment and one that used to be popular many years ago is a facial sauna. This involves a bowl of warm (not HOT) water with a few drops of a decongestant added. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl, inhaling in the vapours as you do so.

Take deep breaths. The vapours will clear your airways and ease your sore throat. This helps to unblock a stuffy nose and enables you to breathe more easily.

This is a relatively inexpensive way of treating a cold and your sore throat.

Colds are caused by a range of viruses which means that it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics do not have any effect on a cold and are usually prescribed for bacterial infections only.

Many people visit their GP with a head cold and ask for antibiotics to treat it but are advised to treat it themselves at home.

Salt water gargle

A salt water gargle is another useful home remedy. It can reduce any inflammation in your throat caused by infected mucus draining into that area from your nasal passages.

It also relieves that ‘scratchy’ feeling you experience with a sore throat and improves the circulation in that area.

This is a low cost and easy way of treating a sore throat.

Fill a tumbler with warm water and add half a teaspoon of salt to this water. Take a sip of water, tip your head back and gargle this salt water.

Do not swallow. Spit this out and repeat 3 to 4 times. Do this several times a day.

Herbal remedies

Many people use herbal remedies to treat a sore throat. These include ginger, cumin seeds and basil which are added to water as a type of drink or to gargle with.

Avoid oily foods during this time.

Other remedies include honey and lemon tea (a type of herbal tea) and sucking on throat sweets. Honey and lemon is a traditional recipe which acts as a coating on the throat and soothes any inflammation.

Sucking a throat sweet causes an increase in saliva which cleans and eases a sore throat.

Some people prefer to eat ice cream or to have lots of cold drinks to ease their throat or alternatively, opt for soups and other warm liquids. Some people swear by the power of chicken soup which they claim has great healing properties especially with colds and sore throats.

We all have our own methods for treating a sore throat so find what works for you and stick with it.

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