Get rid of a sore throat
Sore throats can be a pain. Here are some of our best tips, which include eating marshmallows
There's nothing worse than a sore throat, well, except a hacking cough.
Most sore throats, also known as pharyngitis, are caused by minor illnesses like a cold or flu and will go away with time, but there are few things you can do to try and speed up the process or ease the pain.
Whatever the cause is, the first concern of most people is to ease the pain.
It's tempting to run to a doctor, but give some of these home remedies a go first.
Here are a few tips and tricks to ease a sore throat:
What causes a sore throat?
A sore throat refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. You may have difficulty swallowing food and liquids, and the pain may get worse when you try to swallow. It can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection.
What would help
1 Take anti-inflammatories
Paracetamol is better for children, but adults can take ibuprofen to reduce any swelling. Children under 16 shouldn't take aspirin.
2 Lozenges and sprays
These can work, as lozenges encourage saliva production, helping to keep the throat moist. Choose ones with a cooling ingredient for extra relief. Hard sweets, ice cubes or ice lollies also work.
1 Gargle with saltwater
Gargling with salt water several times a day helps reduce swelling in the throat and loosens any mucus.
It also helps to flush out bacteria. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water. If you feel that the salt is too much, add a touch of honey. Spit the water out after gargling; make sure you do not swallow it.
2 Drink more fluids
Drink plenty of cool or warm fluids, as you need to keep hydrated. Avoid very hot drinks.
To test if you are drinking enough, check your urine. If it's clear or pale, that means you are drinking enough. Darker urine means you need to drink more liquids.Water is good, and you can also have watered-down fruit juice or a broth.
3 Drink tea
If you're tired of all that water, you can also drink tea. Herbal tea can give relief, but, ideally, opt for black, green or white tea leaves -these contain antioxidants that are believed to strengthen immunity and ward off infections. You can also add honey to boost the drink's taste. As in Mary Poppins' song, `it helps the medicine go down'.
4 Does chicken soup work?
Everyone has been told at one time or another, by their mum or gran, chicken soup helps with sore throats. Does it actually help though? It can. Doctors believe that sodium has anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, soup also feels good and soothes your throat. There's also the added benefit of it nourishing you when you probably don't feel like eating much.
Yes, marshmallows. There's no hard evidence that this works, but the sap from the marshmallow plant has been used -normally as a tea -to treat coughs, colds and sore throats. The real marshmallow looks nothing like the sweet treats we are used to, but both could help. People have argued that the gelatin in the sweets coats the throat and soothes it.
Sleep is the best remedy. Stay in bed, and get enough rest. Most sore throats are caused by a cough or cold so it can be cured by treating the underlying problem first.
7 Nasal rinsing
Filling your nose with salt water doesn't sound very nice, but it can help. There is research to back this up. In 2008, children who rinsed with nasal water six times a day felt some relief from cold symptoms.
Remember, however, that rinsing may also wash away any protective mucus that has built up.
8 Humidifiers help you breathe
Sometimes your throat is hurting because the air you're breathing is dry.You've probably heard of a de-humidifier; well, this fills the air with mois ture.
9 Honey helps the medicine go down
A spoonful of honey in your drinks will ease your symptoms.
10 Make an ice lolly
If you're just in too much pain, make ice lollies. Licking the ice lolly will ease the ache in your throat and numb the area. When should you see a doctor If your symptoms get worse or they have been persistent and nothing seems to be working, head to the doctor. You may require antibiotics.