Causes of Sore Throats
Sore throats are a fairly common problem during the winter months. Sore throats are often brought on by sudden changes in weather, mucus drainage, or as a symptom of a common cold. The pain and inflammation that accompany a sore throat can be very irritating, and can even get in the way of your daily routine; especially if your job involves speaking to others or talking on the phone.
A sore throat can be a symptom of a serious illness. But getting a sore throat doesn’t necessarily mean you need to rush in to see a doctor right away.
Jeffrey Linder, M.D., is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston. He did an interview with Time Magazine’s Health.com about some common recommendations for soothing a sore throat. According to Dr. Linder, “Staying hydrated is very important, especially when you’re sick and your throat is irritated or inflamed. You should be drinking enough fluid so that your urine is light yellow or clear. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and better able to combat bacteria and irritants like allergens, and makes your body better able to fight back against other cold symptoms.”
Let Your Beverage be Your Medicine
There are several medicinal drinks that you can use to keep yourself hydrated, while medicating your sore throat at the same time. You can nip your cold in the bud and prevent high fevers by hydrating with these natural juices and teas that can save your day with their high concentrations of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.
To emphasize hydration, you can dilute fruit and vegetable juices with cold water and ice. To emphasize the medicinal qualities of the juices and teas listed below, don’t dilute these juices and drink them as they are.
#1 – Ginger Juice
Ginger is full of minerals and antioxidants. The antibacterial properties of ginger can help to treat a number of infections in the throat. Consume a half cup of ginger juice at the first sign of an itchy throat. A combination of ginger and honey can work wonders and can help to cure a sore throat in no time at all.
#2 – Garlic Juice
Having natural antibacterial and antibiotic properties, garlic juice has proven to be an effective solution for people who catch cold easily. Take two teaspoons of garlic juice in a glass of warm water and it can heal your sore throat without the need of any medications.
#3 – Licorice Root Tea
Known for its naturally sweet and mild flavor, licorice root is another great herbal remedy for a sore throat. According to herbwisdom.com, licorice root “soothes soreness in the throat and fights viruses that cause respiratory illnesses and and overproduction of mucus.” Licorice root is also widely used in treating stomach ulcers, as compounds in the root are useful for lowering stomach acid levels – relieving heartburn and indigestion, and even acting as a mild laxative.
#4 – Pineapple Juice
Did you ever think that pineapple juice could help you when you are suffering from a sore throat? In addition to providing a good source of vitamin C and manganese, pineapple juice contains bromelain, a combination of protein-digesting enzymes that is only found in pineapples. Researchers at the University of Maryland Medical Center are looking into bromelain as a potential treatment for many conditions including viral and bacterial infections – although UMMC advises taking bromelain as a supplement to get a higher concentration of the enzymes.
#5 – Watermelon Juice
Watermelon is more than 90% water, so it’s great for keeping yourself hydrated. It’s also a good source of vitamins C and A. And watermelon is a traditional cure for sore throats in Chinese herbal medicine. A glass of cool, sweet watermelon juice can cool your sore throat and help to bring relief.
When to Seek Medical Care for a Sore Throat
The CDC published recommendations about when you should seek medical care for a sore throat. They encourage you to get assistance if you or your child exhibit any of the following symptoms:
• Sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week
• Difficulty swallowing or breathing
• Excessive drooling (young children)
• Temperature higher than 100.4 °F
• Pus on the back of the throat
• Joint pain
• Hoarseness lasting longer than 2 weeks
• Blood in saliva or phlegm
• Dehydration (symptoms include a dry, sticky mouth; sleepiness or tiredness; thirst; decreased urination or fewer wet diapers; few or no tears when crying; muscle weakness; headache; dizziness or lightheadedness)
• Recurring sore throats
• 10 Ways to Soothe a Sore Throat – http://time.com/3772261/soothe-sore-throat/
• Ginger & Honey for a Sore Throat – http://www.livestrong.com/article/265676-ginger-honey-for-a-sore-throat/
• Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) – http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-licorice-root.html
• Fresh Pineapple Juice & Bromelain – http://www.livestrong.com/article/486718-fresh-pineapple-juice-bromelain/
• Lu, Henry C. Chinese Natural Cures. New York, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, Inc. Copyright 1986.
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