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When dealing with the symptoms that can be most bothersome with a cold, flu or virus, having a sore throat certainly tops the list. But what many people may not know is at least half the people who suffer from a sore throat do not have a cold, flu or virus. That is why it is important to understand sore throat causes.
Sore Throat Causes
Two of the main causes of a sore throat include bacterial infections and allergies. But other starting points include a strained voice, swallowing food without proper chewing, exposure to air irritants, including pollution and cigarette smoke, dehydration, and dry or cold air.
Additional sore throat causes include sinus infections, burns from drinking hot liquids, abrasions from sharp foods such as unchewed tortilla chip or a large cut pill, tonsillitis and throat cancer.
Since a sore throat can have many sources, understanding the cause for a sore throat and finding a sore throat cure is usually half of the solution to fixing it. While treating symptoms is important to improve comfort level, treating the root cause is the best way to ensure a sore throat cure, not just symptom management.
Sore Throat Remedies
When it comes to natural remedies and helping with a sore throat cure, there are quite a few. For the vast majority of people who have a sore throat, and even for the more serious cases, treatment of the symptoms is important for greater comfort and to reduce the risk of damaging the throat, tonsils, or voice box even more.
The top natural sore throat remedies include:
- Marshmallow Root
- Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Peppermint is widely known to thin mucus and can also soothe a sore throat. Because Peppermint contains menthol it is also known to aid in calming coughs, is an anti-bacterial, and has anti-viral properties. Each of these may encourage healing in addition to being great as one of the best sore throat remedies. Essential oils should not be ingested directly but diluted with coconut or almond oil. One of the best ways to get peppermint in a good purified form is through peppermint tea.
Chamomile is another widely known remedy for a sore throat. Chamomile has been used in ancient times for medicinal healing as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It offers great help in calming a person’s mood and is a de-stressor. It is also widely known for its ability to aid in sleep for those suffering from insomnia.
Chamomile is a great herb in a tea form for soothing throat ailments and can aid the body in a natural healing process. It is also known to aid in the stimulation of the body’s immune system. If taken on a regular basis it can help reduce the risk of getting a cold or flu.
Honey is one of the most widely used and recognized natural remedies for both a cold or a sore throat. Honey is known to calm a cough and its natural materials coat and sooth the lining of the throat. It is also well known for clearing up mucus and is an effective wound healer. It carries strong immune boosters and can be taken in tea, plain, or in a lozenge form.
Marshmallow Root offers some great soothing comfort for a dry, irritated, or scratchy throat. Marshmallow creates a mucus-like substance that can coat a sore throat and bring added comfort. Diabetics should use caution with this herb since it is known to drop blood sugar levels.
Elderberry is a strong antiviral remedy that can, in fact, protect against the flu and other viruses. If taken within the first 48 hours of flu, cold, or viral infection symptoms, it is scientifically proven to nearly cut in half the length of time of the ailment while significantly reducing symptoms.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus has wonderful antibacterial properties and is well known to protect against harmful bacteria growth in the body. It can be taken as a preventative immune booster and a treatment for people with bacterial infections. It is widely known to help the body in the healing process as well as helping to battle colds, the flu, and reduce allergy symptoms.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus offers a wide variety of other health benefits including cholesterol reduction, calming stomach ailments and reducing virus and bacterial infections. It can be taken in pill format, found in regular and Greek yogurts as well as yogurt drinks such as Danactive.
Other Natural Remedies
Other great natural remedies for sore throats include:
- Natural Teas
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Vitamin C Throat Lozenges
- Chicken Soup
Advanced Sore Throat Treatments
In the case of advanced sore throat causes like a bacterial infection, tonsillitis, flu, or potential cancer, it is recommended to see a physician for more proactive prescription treatments. For bacterial infections like Streptococcus and Lyme Disease, if left untreated, Streptococcus can lead to meningitis and Lyme Disease can become an advanced bacterial infection which can be deadly.
With tonsillitis, treatment by an ear, nose, and throat doctor is recommended to ensure the tonsils do not become too enlarged and cause a breathing obstruction. If the enlargement is continuous they may need to be removed.
With viruses, it’s important to remember that some are serious like mononucleosis and mumps. These should be diagnosed and treated by a physician. If mumps are left untreated, there can be serious long-term health issues. With the standard child vaccinations of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine, most of the virus has been eliminated but cases still occur.
That is why any sore throat that lasts for more than a few days or is accompanied by fever, intense fatigue, cough, difficulty swallowing, spotted or red and inflamed tongues, and swollen cheeks should be checked by a physician rather quickly to verify it isn’t a more serious infection or ailment.