Remedy For A Sore Throat

Remedy For A Sore Throat

Ease your sore throat during the dry, winter months with these home remedies.


During cold and flu season, sore throats can be a real annoyance. During the winter months, breathing through the mouth can cause drying and irritation in the throat. Taking care of a sore throat at home, however, is pretty simple and easy. You just have to know what to do.

Sore throat viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics. They just have to run their course, like the common cold. If the sore throat is especially painful, use a pain reliever such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen (Tylenol). Cold liquids may also relieve the pain of a viral sore throat.

Older children or adolescents may develop a viral sore throat called infectous mononucleosis or “mono.” If the sore throat lasts longer than a week, mononucleosis may be the reason. Along with the sore throat, the patient will feel much weaker and more tired than usual. Like other viral sore throats, there is no antibiotic cure of mononucleosis.

The most common sore throat condition caused by bacteria is strep throat, caused by streptococcal bacteria. A strep throat should be treated with antibiotics because complications could occur if it remains untreated. Complications of strep throat include an absess in the throat (though this is extremely rare) and acute glomerulonephritis, which causes an inflammation in the kidneys.

The most concerning complication of strep throat is rheumatic fever, which causes painful swollen joints, unusual skin rashes, and heart damage. Strep throat is much less common in adults than in children, and rheumatic fever is rare in adults.

Using antibiotics for strep throat will also prevent the spreading of the condition to other family members and friends. Strep throat is unlikely if the sore throat is a minor part of a typical cold (runny nose, stuffy ears, cough, etc.). If common cold symptoms are not apparent along with your sore throat, make an appointment with your doctor for a strep test. You’ll likely need antibiotics. Only your doctor will be able to differentiate bacterial from viral sore throat using a “rapid strep” test.

To ease a viral sore throat at home, treat the other symptoms of your cold as well. Your sore throat may be caused by drainage from your sinuses. In this case, blow your nose often so the drainage doesn’t drip down your throat. Also, sleep with your head elevated. Run a humidifier or vaporizer near your bed so your throat doesn’t dry out in the night, especially if your stuffy nose causes you to breathe through your mouth.

Remember the old saltwater treatment your mother prescribed? It’s still one of the most effective home treatments for easing sore throats. Pour yourself a glass of warm water and dissolve a couple of teaspoons of salt in it. Then buck up and gargle the stuff. Initially it will make you cringe, but your throat will feel better almost immediately.

If you simply can’t stand the thought of gargling saltwater, you can find throat lozenges at the drugstore. Lozenges containing Vitamin C and Zinc may help you get over your cold faster, but only if you begin taking them as soon as you notice symptoms.

With a little extra care and some saltwater, you should be able to make it through sore throat season with little discomfort.

4 Natural Antibiotics

4 Natural Antibiotics

  • Michelle Schoffro Cook

When it comes to antibacterial agents, natural medicine really shines. While there are hundreds of natural antibiotics of varying degrees of strength, here are some of my faves:

Oregano Oil—The King of natural antibiotics, study after study proves the effectiveness of oregano oil. Of course, like anything, product strength can vary drastically. Some products are actually marjoram and not oregano at all. So, choose a reputable brand backed by research. I like North American Herb and Spice Company’s blend called P-73, which includes wild, high potency oregano harvested in harsh conditions. That might not sound like a big deal but harsh conditions usually spell stronger active ingredients in the plant, since the health-building phytochemicals frequently comprise the plant’s immune system.

Three volumes of research by Paul Belaiche found that oregano oil killed 96% of all pneumococcus bacteria, 92% of all neisseria, proteus, and staphylococcus bacteria. Some strains of neisseria are responsible for diseases like gonorrhea or meningitis. Proteus is a type of intestinal infection, and staphylococcus is the culprit in some types of food poisoning. Oregano oil eliminated 83% of streptococcus and 78% of enterococcus, which are linked with strep throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, toxic shock syndrome, cystitis, wound infections, and anorexia.

Olive Leaf Extract—Olive leaf, like many other natural antibiotics, is also a good antiviral, making it an excellent choice when the nature of the microbe is not completely known. Drs. O. and B. Lee at the Department of Biomedical Science at CHA University in Korea, found that olive leaf extract was potent against various microbes. Additionally, their research showed olive leaf exhibited free radical scavenging abilities. Free radicals are linked with aging and disease.

Garlic—A natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral agent, garlic is a great addition to your diet, particularly at this time of year. While garlic contains potassium and germanium, two minerals that are critical to good health, it is best known for its sulphur compounds, particularly allicin. These are the main phytochemicals that boost immunity and act as natural antibiotics. So, ladies and gentlemen, start chopping—garlic that is. It’s time to throw some fresh garlic into your favorite soup, stew, chilli, stirfry, meat or veggie dish. Forget garlic powder. Most of its health benefits are long gone.

Green tea—One of the active ingredients in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been identified in research as an effective agent against certain strains of oral bacteria. Since green tea has many other health benefits, including an impressive ability to break down excess fat in the body, it’s a great natural antibiotic to add to your daily diet. For best results, be sure to swish it around in your mouth.

Does Your Pet Know When You’re Sick?

Does Your Pet Know When You’re Sick?

  • Melissa Breyer

An acquaintance of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook of his son, suffering from strep throat, and Happy the cat curled luxuriously around the boy’s neck. I could practically feel the warmth, weight, and goodness of Happy’s body as we joked about the Happy cat cure.

It was an exceedingly cute picture, for sure, but it got me thinking about my old kitty, Serena, and what seemed an infallible instinct for illness or general blues. The minute anyone plopped on the bed with pain or malaise, Serena would be there, hop upon the chest, and assume ‘the position’…a long straight-out stretch punctuated with her legs and paws wrapped around said sufferer’s neck. I’m not sure if she ever cured my strep throat, but she certainly melted away sorrow like there was no tomorrow. I really can’t say for certain whether or not she had some instinctual sense, or if this was a usual cuddling configuration that I only noticed when I was not 100 percent.

I have heard of dogs being able to detect cancer, but what do you think? Are our pets so in tune with us that they can tell when we are not well? And if so, do they act on it? I think there’s something to it. Share your thoughts in the comments.