There are many causes of an irritated throat. Some of these include cold, flu, allergies, dust, heartburn and reflux, and side effects of medications. Some people are sensitive to changes in the air or in the weather. Whatever the cause, an irritated throat can be quite distressing. However, there are a few remedies that may help.
Here are some tips to help you treat your throat irritation:
Try to limit your speaking
While this may be easier said than done, the less you speak, the more rest you give your throat, which means it has a better opportunity to heal. Try to only talk when you absolutely need to, and it will help your irritated throat heal faster. One strategy to help reduce your speaking is to rely on text messages and emails to communicate with friends, family and coworkers.
Humidifiers are particularly beneficial in cases of cold or flu because they add moisture to the air and thus soothe dried out mucus membranes. The moisture may help alleviate swelling in the sinuses and aid you in breathing better through your nose. If you use a humidifier, be sure to follow the instructions carefully and keep it clean so that bacteria and fungi do not have a chance to grow in it, as these can add to the throat irritation and cause breathing problems.
Changing the filter in your heating or air conditioning unit
It is another way to help the throat irritation. If the old filter is dirty, it will not remove the dust and mold properly, and the air in your home will not be as clean as it could be. Allergy air filters are readily available in the stores, and these help to make the air more pure.
Drink a hot drink with honey
A warm drink will soothe your irritated throat and help it feel immediately better. Adding honey, which helps ease throat irritation because of its antimicrobial properties, will maximize the benefit of the drink on your throat. Teas are great options for mixing with honey or you can also drink hot water with a little honey mixed in. You will feel immediate relief on your throat.
Gargle with salt water
Gargling with salt water is a time tested, proven treatment for sore or irritated throats. It will make your throat feel better. Mix one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gargle, and then spit out when finished. It will help to alleviate some irritation. This should be done once or twice per day for maximum relief.
Tip: To prevent further throat irritation, do not add more than a pinch of salt to a glass of water. If you prefer, you can use other liquids, such as anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial sage tea.
Liquids and rest
Dry air or inadequate fluid intake can irritate the throat. Increased fluid intake can relieve dry throat irritation in one or two days. Drink eight glasses of water a day to prevent throat irritation, especially if you live in a dry climate. If your throat is inflamed and irritated, soups, broths, teas and other warm liquids can break up phlegm and provide relief. Chicken soup is a nutritious liquid that has been a favorite throat soother for centuries.
In addition, spending some time resting is what we need to do as well.
Suck on Ice
Another helpful remedy for an irritated throat is to suck on ice. This may be in the form of small ice cubes or popsicles made from fruit juice, such as orange juice. If there is swelling in the throat, this remedy will help to bring it down and relieve pain and inflammation.
Apple cider vinegar
Due to the antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar is a good way to relieve the throat pain. Just add 1-2 teaspoons of vinegar and honey to a cup of warm water, and drink 2 times a day.
If nasal or chest congestion is irritating your throat, ginger can help. Dried ginger has expectorant and aromatic properties that break up congestion. Prepare a ginger tea by steeping 1/2 teaspoon of dried ginger for 10 minutes in a cup of just-boiled water. Strain and add honey if desired, and drink two or three cups each day. Chew on a slice of fresh ginger root to stimulate saliva production and soothe an irritated throat.
If your throat is dry, sucking on ginger candy or peppermint candy may give you the relief you need. Or perhaps you will find that a lemon drop or a cough drop works better. When you suck on candy or a cough drop, this causes you to produce more saliva. The increased production of saliva causes you to swallow more, and this results in less dryness and irritation in the throat.
Raw honey has antiseptic properties that fight infections that can irritate the throat. To prepare a soothing herbal honey, fill a jar with coarsely chopped sage leaves, and fill the jar again with honey. Cap the jar and allow the mixture to sit over night. When a cold is irritating your throat, take a spoonful of sage honey or drink hot tea with honey. 2 teaspoons of honey in the morning will reduce irritating phlegm. For best results, use raw honey instead of the commercially prepared honey found in supermarkets.
You may wish to try lemon and honey for your throat. Mix the juice of one lemon with two tablespoons of honey. Add eight ounces of water and sip. Drink as often as needed.
Some medicinal herbs, known as demulcent herbs, contain a gelatinous substance that coats the throat. Slippery elm and horehound are demulcent herbs often found in herbal throat lozenges which are a great way to keep the throat moist and soothe both the throat and the stomach. You can prepare a soothing tea from other demulcent herbs, including marsh mallow root, linden, mullein or holy basil.
Check with your doctor
Perhaps you noticed your sore throat soon after starting a new medication. If this is the case, check with your doctor. He or she may be able to reduce your dose or change your medication. Or they may have a treatment that can counteract this reaction.
There are other remedies you might wish to try, such as Vitamin C, Echinacea, or Goldenseal or nettles tea. With a little experimentation and some persistence, you will find the remedy that is right for you.
You may already have some of these natural cures for an irritated throat in your kitchen. Herbal and natural products are available at health food stores or online. Ask your doctor before trying any herbal remedy, particularly if you have chronic health problems or are pregnant or nursing.
If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, make sure to set up a time to see a doctor as it may be something more serious like strep throat.