The overuse of antibiotics can contribute to resistant bacteria, so doctors now ask patients to think twice about asking for prescriptions. Sore throats, for example, are often caused by viral, not bacterial infections. That means antibiotics won’t help. We have some natural solutions, however, that may make you feel better.
What Causes Sore Throats?
Allergies, dry air, and outdoor pollution, as well as illnesses like the common cold, flu, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis (mono), and the croup, can all cause sore throats. These illnesses are all viral infections that will not respond to antibiotics.
Honey– Honey mixed in tea or simply taken straight up has long been a home remedy for sore throat. Scientific studies have confirmed this natural wonder works. Studies have also shown that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may also help speed healing for sore throats.
Salt Water- Your mother may have recommended gargling with salt water. If so, she was probably right. Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat.
Sage and Echinacea– Sage and echinacea together may help reduce sore throat symptoms. A 2009 study observed 154 patients at least 12 years old with sore throats. For the next three days, these participants received either an echinacea/sage throat spray or a medicinal chlorhexidine/lidocaine spray. They used two puffs every two hours, up to 10 times a day. Results showed that the echinacea/sage spray was just as effective as the medicinal spray for treating sore throats.
Peppermint– How about a comfortable throat and fresh breath at the same time? Sprays containing peppermint oil may relieve sore throats. Peppermint has menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs.
Licorice Root– Even if a sore throat isn’t serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, it’s still painful and may interfere with a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of at-home remedies you can use to soothe the pain and irritation.Licorice root has long been used to treat sore throats, and recent research shows it is effective when mixed with water to create a gargle solution.