Uh oh. You feel that little tickle in the back of your throat. You want to deny it. It’s nothing, really, it’ll go away after a cup of tea. But it doesn’t. By the end of the day you have to admit, you’ve got a full-on, hurts-to-swallow sore throat.
Don’t rush for the antibiotics just yet; most sore throats are caused by the flu or common cold, which are viruses and won’t respond to antibiotics. Sometimes your sore throat might simply be a symptom of mouth breathing, sudden changes in the weather or air that’s too dry.
Of course, strep throat, caused by bacteria, is always a possibility too. If a severe sore throat persists for more than a few days, there’s white pus on your tonsils or you have a fever, you should seek medical attention. Otherwise, try these tips:
The old standard: gargle with warm salt water (1 tsp salt dissolved in one glass of water) at least a few times a day.
Try using a humidifier if you suspect dry air may be the culprit.
As with any condition signifying an imbalance in your body, rest and drink plenty of water (acidic drinks like orange juice can cause more pain).
Avoid fried or cold foods, too-cold drinks and anything sour. These can aggravate a sore throat.
Suck on throat lozenges. Try St. Claire’s Organic Throat Soothers, or anything with zinc or slippery elm, which is soothing to a scratchy throat.
A folk remedy worth trying is to gargle with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water. Repeat a few times a day. The acidity of the vinegar will help to kill bacteria, if your infection is in fact bacterial.
Avoid dairy products, which can cause excess mucus in your throat. Drink licorice tea to clear up any mucus you may have.
Apply a warm heating pad or compress to your throat to help relieve pain.
Use the silent treatment. Avoid straining your throat by talking too much, especially talking loudly.
Let us know if there are other sore throat remedies that have worked for you.