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How To Get Rid Of A Sore Throat Fast

If you suffer from this, you must be in dire need to get rid of sore throat! Sore throats is really painful as well as irritating. You cannot easily do such simple acts as swallowing when you suffer from sore throat. But what is a good news is that you can get rid of this irritating condition just with some simple home remedies for sore throat. However before knowing these remedies for sore throat, let’s know about sore throat causes, symptoms and some other facts about sore throat.

Sore Throat Causes

If you ever knew about the causes of sore throat, you just knew that it is caused by virus and in a way it is true. However, sore throat is not caused only by viral infection but due to many other reasons. Its cause can be as simple as mouth breathing! Let’s know, what the real causes of sore throat are.

Viral Infections

Virus is perhaps the most common cause of sore throat. There are many types of viral infections that can lead to a sore throat:

  • Viral infection involving common cold and sometimes stomach flu too.
  • Laryngitis or the infection in your voice box (Larynx). When you get this type of sore throat, your voice may become hoarse or the pitch of your voice lowers down.
  • Mononucleosis, popularly known as the kissing disease as it is one of the ways through which this infection spreads. It can give you extreme sore throat with swollen neck glands accompanied by fever. To prevent this type of sore throat, avoid kissing anyone and also do not share utensils etc.

Bacterial Infections

Bacteria too causes many infections and may lead to a sore throat along with other symptoms like fever and cough.

  • Strep throat or the bacterial infection of throat and tonsils. It is caused Streptococcus bacteria and thus the name strep throat. It may also cause fever.
  • Tonsillitis also cause sore throat. Tonsils are ball like tissue on both the sides of our throat. While they help fight infection, sometimes they too can catch infection or inflammation that may lead to sore throat.
  • Bacterial infections in peritonsillar abscess (tissues around the tonsils)
  • Epiglottitis or inflammation of epiglottis which is there over the opening of the breathing tube and which closes when a person swallows. This prevents food and drinks from going into the trachea. A high fever is usually a symptom accompanied with difficulty in swallowing and even breathing.
  • Uvulitis is the swelling of uvula, the tissue which hangs down at the back of our throat.

Other Causes of Sore Throat

Apart from viral and bacterial infections, sore throat can be caused by various other reasons such as the following.

  • Adverse environmental factors like low humidity, smoking, pollution, dust and dirt etc.
  • Stress on throat such as yelling for longer or speaking at higher pitch continuously for long period of time or even continuous nasal drainage at the back of the throat.
  • Breathing through mouth such as when we do due to a stuffy nose.
  • Stomach acid backing up into the throat such as when we suffer from GERD or heartburn.
  • Injury at the back of throat.
  • Extreme fatigue can also lead to a sore throat

Now let’s have a look at symptoms of sore throat.

Sore Throat Symptoms

Now when there are different causes of sore throat, the symptoms of sore throat also need to vary. So, what symptom do you feel while having sore throat will entirely depend upon the cause that gives you such a sore throat! However, there is one common symptom- irritability in the throat. Here are certain symptoms that you might experience when having a sore throat.

  • Fever
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Body pain
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Extreme tiredness and weakness
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty in swallowing and talking
  • Swelling at the throat

It’s not that you’ll suffer from all the above symptoms at a time. You may have one or more symptoms and on the basis of the set of these symptoms, you or your doctor may come to a conclusion as to what is causing your sore throat. Your treatment will then depend upon this underlying cause.

What does Sore Throat Cough Fever Combination Represent?

Along with your sore throat, do you have a cough? And do you also suffer from fever? You may have sore throat cough but no fever. Alternatively, you may have sore throat but no cough. Why does this happen? As you have seen earlier that there are various causes of a sore throat indicating towards different diseases or medical conditions like viral or bacterial infections. Thus, you may have a sore throat and no other symptoms such as runny nose, fever, or cough. On the other hand, you may have one or more symptoms at a time making you more and more uncomfortable. Let’s explore, how and what to interpret when cough and fever combinations vary along with your sore throat and whether you should go to your doctor for a treatment or treat your sore throat with home remedies.

Sore throat no cough

If you have a sore throat but no cough, this may be due to some causes other than viral or bacterial infections. This can be as simple as spicy foods or as complex as smoking! Spicy foods can give you heartburn or acid reflux where acid in your stomach travels back upwards into your esophagus and throat. This acid may give the throat area a mild burn leading to soreness there. Smoking or air pollution too can give you a sore throat that doesn’t accompany cough. In such instances, avoiding spicy foods and smoking or other such causes of soreness in throat will be enough to get rid of sore throat. Sometimes, soreness in throat without cough can be the earliest sign of a common cold, which is of course, a viral infection. However, this can be prevented with proper home remedies for sore throat as well as those for cold and flu.

Sore throat cough no fever

If you have had high fevers during the last 24 hours along with soreness in throat, you might be suffering from strep throat. Strep throat, as you have read earlier, is the bacterial infection which needs an immediate medical intervention. You should visit your doctor to get treated and just not depend upon the home remedies.

Blood in phlegm and sore throat

This is another very serious symptom to be watched for and treated immediately. In some cases, a sore throat is accompanied by a runny nose and cough too. The nasal discharge initially is clear and water-like that gradually becomes thicker and changes its colour to yellow or green. If such a nasal discharge of yellow and green mucus and blood in phlegm and even in mucus is noticed, you may be suffering from sinus infection. A more serious condition can be a tumor in the throat, tongue, or larynx. If so, your sore throat may accompany blood in phlegm or saliva and such other symptoms as ear ache, difficulty in swallowing, a lump like feeling in the neck, weight loss due to unknown reasons etc. Thus, you should immediately see your doctor and rule out the possibility of tumor as well as seek required treatment.

How long does a Sore Throat Last?

The duration of a sore throat, just like its symptoms, depend upon the underlying causes of sore throat.

  • A sore throat caused by such reasons as smoking or pollution in the environment will last as long as you smoke or stay in such an environment. As soon as you get rid of smoking or pollutant environment, you automatically relieve a sore throat too.
  • If a virus like that of common cold causes your sore throat, it will go away within 5-7 days. No specific treatment with medicines is needed for such sore throat caused by viral infection. In fact, antibiotics may deteriorate your condition by making you antibiotic resistant. These medicines are not meant for fighting off viruses. Certain home remedies may actually soothe a sore throat during its natural course of time in such a case.
  • If however, your sore throat is caused by bacterial infection, such as strep throat, what do you think, how long sore throat last in such a case? As long as it doesn’t get the required treatment. Yes, you need to get the proper doses of antibiotic medicines to relieve sore throat in such cases of bacterial infections.

When to Consult a Doctor?

If your sore throat is severe and lasts more than five-to-seven days (normal course of a cold or flu) and you are not able to recognize any irritant or allergy that could have made your sore throat last for such a long period, go to your doctor. If you see such signs or feel such symptoms as difficulty in breathing or swallowing to an extreme extent, difficulty in opening your mouth, joint pain, earache, high fever, blood in phlegm, lump in your neck or hoarseness in voice for more than a fortnight, immediately see your physician and do not take your sore throat lightly.

However, if no such symptoms occur and yours is a mild sore throat that reflects cold or flu like symptoms, the best thing to do is to follow certain home remedies for sore throat.

Get Rid of a Sore Throat Fast with Home Remedies

So, how to soothe a sore throat? By such simple home remedies as gargling, warm drinks and increasing intake of liquids. Here is what to do precisely to stop a sore throat.

Salt Water Gargle for Sore Throat

Sal water gargle is perhaps one of the best things for a sore throat! Whatever be the cause of sore throat, it involves swollen up cells in the mucous membranes. When you gargle with salt water, you take the first and the most effective step towards reducing this inflammation.  Salt draws out water, thus reducing inflammation in the cells. Warm water also soothes your pain in the throat. It also helps thin the mucus so that it drains out easily to relieve you of stuffy nose if that happens to be one of the symptoms.

Get this:

  • Warm water- 1 cup or a 1 glass
  • Salt- ½ to 1 tsp

Do this:

  • Add the salt to the tolerably warm water.
  • Mix it well.
  • Now gargle with this water.
  • Repeat as many times a day as you feel like but not less than thrice a day.

Apple Cider Vinegar to Get Rid of Sore Throat

When it comes to home remedies, apple cider vinegar (ACV) is no less than a magic potion! For sore throat too, ACV works wonders! Its acidity which balances the pH levels of your throat environment making it hostile for microbes to survive. Apple cider vinegar is also a good natural expectorant that helps loosen phlegm to relieve sore throat. Not only this, ACV is also a natural immune boosting agent that helps prevent sore throat along with many other viral and bacterial infections. So, how to use apple cider vinegar for sore throat cure? Here are some ways to do so.

Apple Cider Vinegar-Honey Solution to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Get this:

  • Apple cider vinegar- 1 tbsp
  • Honey- 1tbsp
  • Warm water- 1 cup

Do this:

  • Add ACV and honey to the cup of warm water.
  • Mix well and have it.
  • Have this 2-3 times a day.
  • Add 1-2 tsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and gargle with this 3-4 times a day.
  • You can also add 1 tsp of ACV to the salt water you use to gargle (as described in the previous remedy)
  • Add 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and have it twice a day.

Other Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Sore Throat

Increase Fluid Intake to Get Rid of Sore Throat Fast

When you keep yourself hydrated, you can get rid of a sore throat faster. When your body doesn’t is deficient in water, it is not able to make enough saliva as well as mucus. Both these are essential to keep the throat lubricated. In lack of proper lubrication, inflammation of the tissues only get worsened. Enough fluid in your body also mean you lesser pain. While water is the best thing to have, you can even substitute it with other fluids like teas and soups. So, what to drink when you have a sore throat? Let’s explore.

What to Drink When you have a Sore Throat?

  • Herbal teas- Soothe a sore throat by having a variety of herbal teas. You can chose from various herbs such as licorice root, sage, eucalyptus, slippery elm, peppermint, marshmallow root etc. They all are good for relieving a sore throat.
  • Spiced teas- Spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves and garlic etc. have antibacterial, antifungal and expectorant properties that help you fight off microbes as well as loosen your phlegm to provide you relief from pain and congestion.
  • Lemon juice- a warm lemon juice, to be precise. Along with its acidic nature that makes your throat hostile for growth of bacteria, lemon also cuts mucus to soothe a sore throat. So, take a glass of warm water and add ½ – 1 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Drink this 2-3 times a day to relieve a sore throat.
  • Warm soups- The warm watery soups are good not only to provide you with enough hydration but also to relieve pain, decongest your throat, and lubricate your vocal cords.  Chicken soup is an all-time favourite to soothe a sore throat but you can depend equally on a vegetable soup too. Do not forget to add some spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon or cloves to these soups for added benefits to relieve a sore throat.

Honey to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Honey is naturally antibacterial! It also leads to a hypertonic osmotic process. It simply means that honey draws out water from the swollen tissue of your throat. Not only this, honey also cures cough as shown by many studies. So, if   your sore throat is accompanied by cough, you should definitely try honey to soothe it.

Ways to Use Honey for Sore Throat

  1. Add 1-2 tsp of honey to your herbal tea.
  2. Add 2 tsp of honey and juice from half of a freshly squeezed lemon to a cup of warm water. Mix well and have it.
  3. Take 1 tsp of honey and add a pinch of cinnamon powder to this. Have this feeling the honey going down your throat while soothing it immensely.

Marshmallow to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Marshmallow root contains mucilage that effectively coats the mucus membranes in your throat. This soothes a sore throat beyond imagination. You don’t even need to do much. Just eat 3-4 marshmallows and see how you feel relieved. You may even make marshmallow tea if you are craving for something hot to pour down your aching throat.

Get this:

  • Dried marshmallow root- 1 tbsp
  • Hot water- 1 cup

Do this:

  • Place the marshmallow root in a cup.
  • Pour boiling hot water over it.
  • Cover it and let it steep for a good 20-30 minutes.
  • Now strain it and drink it.

Precaution: If you are a diabetic, consult your doctor before taking marshmallow as it can considerably lower your blood sugar levels.

Steam to Relieve a Sore Throat

Steam provides you with moist hot air that reduces inflammation in the tissue of your throat as well as nose. This remedy is especially beneficial if you have dryness along with the irritation in your throat. You can either take steam using the traditional hot water bowl or may have a steam shower. Both will help soothe a sore throat.

Get this:

  • Hot water- 1 bowl
  • Towel
  • Eucalyptus or Sage oil (optional)- 1-2 drops

Do this:

  • Take the bowl and fill it with hot water.
  • Place it on an even surface.
  • If using some oil, add it to the water.
  • Lean over the bowl so that you face is at such an angle where your throat and nose gets steam coming out of the hot water. Do not take your face too close to the bowl otherwise you’ll burn your face.
  • Now take the towel and cover your head in such a way that steam can’t escape.
  • Remain in this position for a couple of minutes and then remove the towel. Repeat once again after taking a break for few seconds.
  • Do this for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Repeat 3-4 times a day.

Honeysuckle to Get Rid of Sore Throat

This is one of the best remedies for sore throat that originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine. Honeysuckle flowers and leaves effectively cure coughs, sore throats, and other flu signs and symptoms. This is all due to the natural anti-bacterial properties of the herb. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the inflammation of tissue in the throat.  Make honeysuckle tea to get rid of sore throat fast.

Get this:

  • Fresh honeysuckle herb (flowers, leaves)- 2 cups OR Dried honeysuckle- 1 tbsp
  • Water- 4-5 cups (1 cup if using dried herb)
  • Honey (optional)- 1-2 tsp
  • Lemon juice (optional)- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • If using fresh honeysuckle, simmer the herb in water for about 10-15 minutes.
  • If using dried herb, place it in a cup and pour hot water over it and steep for about 10 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey lemon if using.
  • Drink this tea to soothe your sore throat.

Ginger to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Ginger has many properties. It is a natural analgesic agent, the one that relieves. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of ginger are well known and these qualities not only cure but also prevent infection that might be behind your sore throat. It is also an expectorant that makes it loosen the mucus and phlegm. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger reduces swelling of the throat tissue.

Get this:

  • Ginger- 1-2 inch piece
  • Water- 2 cups
  • Honey- 1-2 tsp

Do this:

  • Take the water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Now add ginger to it and simmer this for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey.
  • Mix well and drink this ginger tea.

Sage to Get Rid of Sore Throat

Sage herb too has many properties. It has astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It is one of the best remedies for sore throat. Its astringent quality allows the tissues to contract and thus reduces inflammation. Its anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties are due to the presence of phenolic acids. Make some sage tea and either drink it or gargle with it to soothe a sore throat.

Get this:

  • Fresh sage leaves– 2 tbsp Or dried sage leaves- 1 tbsp
  • Boiling water- 1 cup
  • Honey- 1-2 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1 tsp

Do this:

  • Place the herb in a cup
  • Pour the boiling water.
  • Steep for 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain the tea and add honey-lemon.
  • Mix well and have this tea.

You may also gargle using sage tea. If doing so, do not add honey and lemon and wait till the temperature is tolerable.

Pomegranate for Sore Throat

Pomegranates, the delicious red fruit, is a rich source of punicalagins, an anti-oxidant which makes this fruit a superb health treasure! It also has excellent astringent properties that makes the tissue contract and thus helps reduce swelling. Not only this, the anti-inflammatory properties of this help reduce soreness and redness in your throat giving you the much needed relief! You can simply have 2-3 glasses of pomegranate juice during a day. Gargling with this juice also helps soothe a sore throat. And if you are ready to put some more effort, make pomegranate tea.

Get this:

  • Pomegranate- 1
  • Water- about 4 cups

Do this:

  • Take the rinds after peeling the pomegranate.
  • Take the water in a pan and bring this to a boil.
  • Add the pomegranate rinds to the boiling water and keep on boiling it for a couple of minutes.
  • Now simmer it for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Strain and drink this tea or use it for gargling.

These were some of the remedies to get rid of sore throat fast. However, if you suffer from sore throat frequently, you also need to know some tips about how to prevent a sore throat!

How to Prevent a Sore Throat

Why not take enough steps to prevent sore throat so that you do not need to go through such pain again and again! Here are some tips for you.

  1. Avoid dehydration. Drink lots of water and healthy fluids daily to prevent sore throat.
  2. If you know the triggers that cause your sore throat, avoid them. This is perhaps the best policy. So, keep yourself away from smoke, dust, or even avoid yelling howsoever angry you might get! Of course, if you know all these will lead to a sore throat.
  3. Make it a habit to gargle with warm salt water every day, preferably in the morning.
  4. When you are in contact with sick people, especially those suffering from flu or flu like symptoms, protect yourself from getting infected. For this, you may wash your hands frequently and avoid touching too many things that surround you.
  5. Do not share glass or utensils with a person whom you know is suffering from mononucleosis. While a brief kiss won’t hurt but avoid kissing deeply as the saliva of such person will not only give sore throat but the kissing disease as well.
  6. Avoid coming in contact with those suffering from such bacterial infection as strep throat.
  7. If you are getting sore throat due to breathing through your mouth, treat the underlying cause such as a stuffy nose that makes you breathe through mouth, especially at night.
  8. Take proper steps to treat acid reflux or heartburn that too might be the cause behind your sore throat.
  9. Too much dryness in your environment too can give you sore throat. If so, use humidifiers, Moist air helps relieve inflamed tissue in your throat.
  10. Avoid having too hot or too cold food or drink. While too hot food and drinks irritate your throat, too cold foods can give you pain there.

All these measures can actually help you prevent sore throat. However, if anyhow, you get a sore throat, you can always use home remedies to get rid of it. If your sore throat doesn’t go away in 5-7 days in spite of using remedies, see your doctor to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your sore throat!

About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

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