Home Remedies for Sore Throat Your Doctor Might Not Know

You can often feel it coming on well before it strikes: a “sensitive” feeling that makes swallowing uncomfortable. When a sore throat strikes, it can really dampen your day. It’s hard to talk, eat and even swallow. The soreness stays with you, so that you’re ready to try any type of relief from the constant irritation. The best home remedies involve keeping the throat moist and lucky for sore throat suffers everywhere, there are quite a few. Following are home remedies your doctor might not mention, which are perfectly safe and have given countless sufferers relief over the decades.

Is it Strep Throat?

First, however, let’s rule out the possibility of strep. Strep throat is contagious and comes with a host of other symptoms. Unlike the sore throat you get with a common cold, strep is caused by bacteria. That means you might need more than the home remedies for sore throat we have here. You see, when something is caused by bacteria, it can often be treated with antibiotics. Usually that’s penicillin. The bacteria that causes strep is called Group A Streptococcus.

don’t treat a sore throat with antibiotics unless it’s strep

Strep lasts 3-5 days and will go away on its own even if you don’t take penicillin. Your consideration here is that strep is contagious and passed on to other people very easily, through direct contact. Children are more susceptible:

  • When a child has a sore throat there’s a 37% chance that it’s strep.
  • In adults, only 5-15% of sore throats are caused by streptococcal infection.

For this reason, it’s a good idea to know how to tell strep in your child. You wouldn’t want to send him or her off to school, infecting others. Also, a strep infection can sometimes lead to more serious ailments which affect your organs. So, just to rule out the possibility of strep, here they are, the symptoms of a strep throat:

  1. absence of a cough (that would indicate it’s caused by a common cold)
  2. absence of a runny nose (again, that’s a cold)
  3. tonsils are swollen
  4. lymph nodes are swollen
  5. temperature over 100 F (but not always present with strep)
  6. white areas on the throat, visible when patient says “ahhhh”

The Common Sore Throat: Symptoms

Did you know 80% of sore throats are caused by a common virus, and go away within a few days on their own? It’s what you do in the meantime that makes all the difference. The home remedies you see here will treat the pain, irritation and “dry” scratchy feeling brought on by a sore throat. A sore throat is a symptom itself, and any number of things can cause it. If you’ve ruled out strep, here’s what you may be experiencing along with your sore throat:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • runny nose
  • congestion
  • low grade fever
  • tiredness
  • hoarseness
  • an overall feeling of being sick

Chances are, you have a cold. What home remedies can you try until it runs its course and disappears? There are many, running from the well-known salt water gargle to some which may take a little courage to try.

The Common Sore Throat: Causes

Like we said before, you may just have a common cold, which is caused by a virus. You may have something else, however. Allergies can cause a sore throat, and so can irritants such as strong chemical cleaners, bleach. Even dry winter air can cause your throat to feel scratchy and your voice to become hoarse.

The main reason for the actual pain is usually swelling.

Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

Whatever the cause may be, here are some home remedies to try. Find one that works for you and you’ve got a lifetime solution for getting fast relief at home, naturally.

1. Gargle with warm salt water. Salt water gargling does wonders for a sore throat. The burning sensation goes away and the swelling goes down. Salt draws moisture out of anything it touches: put one on a slug and see what happens! Salt will do the same thing to your swollen tissues, which is what makes the swelling decrease.

2. Steam. Run a humidifier or a vaporizer and get some moisture in the air. Fill a bowl with hot water, get a towel and hover over the steam. The idea here is to relieve the dryness of your throat so the pain goes away.

3. Avoid Making it Worse. That can sound a little obvious, but you may be doing things to make your sore throat worse without knowing it. Acidic juices and foods will irritate a sore throat. But don’t skip the liquids altogether! Since it may be uncomfortable to swallow, you may be avoiding drinking water, which can lead to dehydration.

Also, cigarette smoke or strong household cleaners will irritate your condition. What you want is to breathe moist, clean air.

4. Licorice Root. Tea made from licorice root will coat and may soothe a sore throat. The teabags are sold at natural health stores, and there are also licorice root capsules you can find at drugstores.

5. Gargle With Apple Cider Vinegar. Put one teaspoon of ACV into a glass of water and gargle every hour. Unlike the salt water gargle, you actually swallow this one. Added benefit: if there is a mucous membrane on your throat, the vinegar will make it disappear.

6. Soothing Foods and Beverages. Warm liquids will do nicely to soothe a sore throat. Broth is especially useful, as is chicken soup. Warm water with honey works well too, but keep an eye on your sugar intake.

7. Onion & Sugar. You’re not even going to believe this one, but people swear by it. It involves extracting onion and juices and ingesting them.

  1. You take a glass and put a 1-inch layer of chopped onion.
  2. Cover that with 1/4 inch of sugar.
  3. Repeat until your glass is tightly packed and full.
  4. Turn it upside down into a bowl but don’t remove the glass.
  5. Put your encased tower of “remedy” onto a stove top so it starts to simmer.
  6. The juices will run into the bowl but the onion chunks will stay inside the glass.
  7. Drink the juice.
  8. Thankfully, you don’t have to eat the onion chunks!

8. Thyme. The herb Thyme is a disinfectant and can be used as a rinse to treat your sore throat. Added benefit is that it’s rich in anti-oxidants since it’s a plant. You can simply buy Thyme tea at a natural health food store.

All in all, your sore throat should be gone in 2-7 days. Until then, find the right home remedy to get you through it. If your sore throat persists longer, see a doctor.

Time-Tested Home Remedies for Dizziness

When it comes to our most common health problems, you couldn’t ask for one with more possible causes than dizziness. The term itself can mean several things…vertigo, lightheadedness, or a “falling feeling”. The key to relief is first figuring out what type of dizziness you’re experiencing, then you can choose one of the following all-time classic home remedies below.

As you’re about to see, the words “I’m dizzy” can mean so many different things. Some can be cured easily with home remedies while others may require a visit to the doctor’s office. After all, dizziness is the second most common complaint heard in doctors’ offices nationwide. At some point in our lives, 70% of us will feel dizziness*.

What Type of Dizziness Do You Have?

  1. Do you feel like you’re spinning? Or do you feel as if the room around you is moving? Do you lose your balance? This is vertigo.
  2. Do you feel lightheaded? This is different form of dizziness than vertigo because there’s no “spinning” feeling, just a momentary “blackout” feeling, as if you could faint.

Symptoms of Dizziness

The symptoms are easy to tell…and indeed dizziness can be a symptom of something else, as you will see below. But here are the main things to look for, which indicate you are dizzy:

  • the world around you is spinning
  • a falling feeling
  • blurred vision
  • a floating sensation
  • confusion
  • unsteadiness
  • sense of imbalance
  • motion intolerance

Causes of Dizziness

  1. A Migraine
  2. You’re Dehydrated
  3. Motion Sickness
  4. Sudden Drop in Blood Pressure
  5. Allergies
  6. The Flu
  7. Stress
  8. Drugs
  9. Bleeding
  10. Whiplash
  11. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
  12. Ménière’s Disease (you also get nausea & sweating, pressure in ears, loss of hearing, & hearing odd noises)
  13. Vestibular Neuronitis

Now, there are home remedies for dizziness that’s caused by items 1-12 on this list. If you have Vestibular Neuronitis, that’s a job for the doctor.

Home Remedies for Dizziness

1. If Your Dizziness is Caused by a Migraine…

Did you know that if you have migraine headaches, you have a 42% chance of experiencing dizziness? Sometimes you get the dizziness without even having the headache. Dizziness caused by migraines can last an entire day. How to tell if this is what’s causing your dizziness? If you become super sensitive to sound during your spell of dizziness, chances are the cause is a migraine.

Home remedies for dizziness will include curing your migraine. Try fish oil- it reduces inflammation and restricts the blood vessels…in this case the blood vessels in your temples.

2. If You Have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

There’s a natural home remedy for dizziness caused by BPPV, and that’s called the Epley Procedure. It cures 95% of people with this condition**. Lie back and have someone cradle your head. Turn your head to one side and wait 30 seconds. Then turn it just a bit further and that should reposition those crystals. Try it again if it doesn’t work the first time.

There’s also a device you can wear on your head to simulate the cure for BPPV. It guides you to move your head so that the loose particles in your ear, which cause BPPV, are repositioned. The particles are calcium crystals and they’ve somehow gotten into your semicircular canals.

You can try it without the device:

3. If You Have Meniere’s Disease

Believe it or not, there are home remedies for dizziness caused by such a serious-sounding condition. Limit your sodium intake and avoid caffeine, alcohol and smoking. This cures it for most people.

4. Drink Lots of Water

This is not only a home remedy for dizziness, it’s also a cure for migraines, in some cases. Fevers can also cause dehydration, so drinking water is a good idea in this case as well.

5. Increase Your Iron Intake

If you have iron-poor blood, you may experience dizziness. Eat foods with natural sources of iron, like spinach or beef. Try taking iron pills, but start with half a pill at first, to get your stomach used to the pills.

6. Stop Taking Drugs

This can mean your prescription medication: check the label, talk to your doctor if you think your medication is causing dizziness. It may be that it’s simply a side effect that you can’t avoid. However, if you are taking illegal drugs, then stop taking them if they make you dizzy.

7. Ginger in the Diet

We always like to include an ancient home remedy, so try ginger in your diet.

8. Try Acupressure at Home

Apply pressure below your knee. To measure the distance, use four fingers below the kneecap. Press as hard as you can, gradually increasing the level. Hold it for two minutes.

*Source: National Institutes of Health

**Source: Web MD