Woke up with a sore throat? Here are some home remedies to help you get rid of a sore throat FAST(!!!) and get back to your normal self in no time. Hint: it’s more than just sleep! Though that’s important too…
If you’re anything like me, the minute you feel a tickle in your throat, you try everything under the sun to get rid of your sore throat fast. As a kid I would just suck on throat lozenges like they were candy but now that I know they basically are candy, I’ve found a few other home remedies that work just as well… if not better to get rid of a sore throat fast.
What causes a sore throat?
There are two main causes of a sore throat: a virus or bacteria. A viral infection (i.e. a cold or the flu or possibly mononucleosis) will resolve on its own, while a bacterial illness is commonly known as strep throat (streptococcus) and needs antibiotics to prevent further complications.
How do you know what type you have? Typically viral infections are paired with more symptoms like runny nose, body aches, congestion, cough etc. If you have a bacterial infection, the discomfort is likely centralized in your throat and you will have a fever (though fever can accompany a viral infection as well).
Either way you may have difficulty swallowing and swollen glands (both can occur with viral or bacterial infections)
Have a cold or the flu? Check out this post!
Note: it is also possible to have a sore throat due to common environmental irritants. This can sometimes be caused by a post-nasal drip most common associated with allergies or possibly mold.
When should I go to the doctor?
If your sore throat comes on out of nowhere and is severe, head to the doctor! Typically sore throats last 3-5 days. If it lasts longer than five days, it’s also recommended that you head to the doctor. Untreated strep throat can cause major complications so better to be safe than sorry. Your doctor can perform a rapid strep test and prescribe antibiotics if it’s positive.
Of course, if you’re unsure always go get checked out at the doctor, but if you suspect it’s viral you’re likely walking out of your health-care provider’s office with little direction other than to “sleep it off” and “take over the counter pain relievers or medicine” which is probably why you’re reading this post.
What is the Number 1 Thing You Can do to Relieve a Sore Throat Fast?
The most important thing you can do when you feel any kind of throat pain coming on to gargle with salt water! This tip is easy enough! Make sure you are gargling with warm salt water to relieve a scratchy, sore throat.
Dissolve 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, gargle, making sure to get it all the way to the back of your throat and then spit it out! Repeat until you’ve used up all of the water. The science behind a salt water gargle is pretty fascinating. Highly recommend you check this article out!
Gargling with the onset of sore throat pain has been proven to decrease symptoms and/or shorten length of cold viruses.
6 Tips to Get Rid of a Sore Throat Fast
Besides gargling with salt water, here are a few other at-home remedies to help you get rid of a sore throat FAST!
1. Sleep – Yes, your doctor will also tell you this, but I’m a firm believer that sleep can heal more than we realize. Whenever I feel even the slightest bit of sickness coming on, I make sure I’m prioritizing sleep. Because sleep can actually help your immune system fight your cold or flu on it’s own. Getting enough sleep gives your body time to rest, recover and fight off whatever is causing your sore throat.
2. Propolis Throat Spray – I may or may not have a bottle of this throat spray on me at all times… it’s a game changer! It’s packed with immune boosting vitamins and minerals and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Of all the throat sprays out there, this is my go to! I use this spray daily during cold and flu season but ramp up my use when I feel a sore throat coming on.
3. Herbal tea & honey – You can learn more about the benefits of herbal tea here, but many types of herbal tea can help your body fight infection on its own. Honey is also super antiviral and antibacterial so be sure to start and end your day with a warm cup of tea and honey. For an added dose of vitamin c you can squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into your tea. Peppermint tea often feels nice because the menthol can help cool your sore throat. Other herbal teas that can help a sore throat include licorice root, marshmallow root and chamomile tea.
4. Stay hydrated! – This goes hand in hand with the last one… make sure you’re getting plenty of fluids and liquids in general. Sip on water all day and add in tea and honey in between. Fun fact: “When you’re dehydrated, your body can’t produce enough saliva and mucus to keep your throat naturally lubricated. This will make the swelling and inflammation worse.” (Source)
5. Use a humidifier – If you don’t have a humidifier or a vaporizer, steamy showers work wonders as well! Besides feeling amazing, the steam actually does reduce inflammation in your throat and can help you sweat out toxins. I like to drop a few drops of essential oils on the floor of my shower for a spa-like experience while getting the benefits of essential oils as well!
6. Get your vitamins – Yes vitamins actually DO help your health and specific ones (like vitamin C and zinc) can actually help boost your immune system and shorten the length of your symptoms. I like to take these supplements in pill form but there are gummies, powders, etc. if you don’t like swallowing pills.
Other than these 7 tips to get rid of a sore throat fast, you’ll likely need to take some steps to keep yourself comfortable. Taking over the counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help with the pain, as can eating easy-to-digest foods like chicken soup and popsicles.
Like this post? Here are others you might enjoy:
- A Guide to Surviving Seasonal Allergies
- Gut Health 101
- How to Survive Shingles
- Natural Cold & Flu Remedies That Actually Work
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