Cold and flu season brings about a myriad of health concerns. Even if you take steps to stay healthy, there’s always the chance that you will catch a cold or be exposed to a virus that causes you to develop a sore throat. Longstanding home remedies such as sipping chicken soup and gargling with warm salt water provide short-term relief, but there are other steps you can take to make a scratchy throat feel better.
Gargle with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective solution for killing bacteria. That’s why it’s a popular first aid essential in many households. Simply place a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide into a cup of warm – not hot – water and gargle (don’t swallow). If you find the taste offensive, add a touch of honey to the mixture. Repeat several times a day to kill illness-causing bacteria.
Suck garlic. It may not sound appealing, but garlic can help alleviate a sore throat caused by a bacterial infection because it contains allicin – a compound that fights germs that cause irritation and pain. Allicin also kills the bacteria responsible for strep throat infections. Simply cut a clove of garlic in half, and place one half inside each cheek. Don’t worry; there’s no need to chew it. Instead, release the allicin slowly with your teeth by gnawing on the cloves just enough to release the liquid.
Steer clear of fire. If snuggling by the fireplace wrapped in a blanket is part of your get-well routine, you may want to consider another option. Fireplaces and wood stoves emit tiny particles that are not only irritating to the throat but also reportedly contribute to approximately 20,000 cases of bronchitis each year. If your wood stove or fireplace is your main source of winter warmth, check it to see if it is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. This will ensure that it will burn efficiently so that your heat source does not contribute to your health issues.
Keep in mind that there are other chronic conditions that can cause you to develop a sore throat. Allergies, gastro esophageal reflux disease GERD, and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are just a few chronic conditions that can cause you to develop a sore throat.