A scratchy throat rivals the common cold, when it comes to prevalence. It is an extremely commonplace disease, but can be aggravating as it results in difficulty in swallowing, and fever in many cases. This article will help you get rid of a scratchy throat with simple and effective remedies.
Scratchy itchy throat is generally a symptom associated with other throat diseases. There are many scratchy throat causes – viral infections (like cold or flu), bacterial infections (like strep throat or whooping cough), allergies, dryness, muscle strain, etc. However, mostly people tend to get a sore or scratchy throat after a viral infection.
The symptoms are scratchy and burning feeling in the throat. On several occasions, one experiences pain as well. One might also suffer from fever, cough, discharge of mucus, and headache. In cases of strep throat, one might have trouble swallowing and develop fever. With strep throat, one might also experience swollen tonsils, burning in the throat, and headache. In some cases, one might experience sore throat on one side.
Remedies for Scratchy Throat
While it maybe a symptom of other diseases, there are several home remedies for scratchy throat, that will give you relief.
Gargling with saline water is the best remedy. Boil 3 cups of water and add 4 tablespoons of salt. Wait till this solution becomes warm and then use it. Stand near a sink and gulp some water. Tilt your head back, and gargle by making air bubbles. Spit out the water and repeat with the rest of the solution. It will reduce the infection in your throat. You can repeat this 3 times a day for better results. This remedy is useful for both children and adults.
Honey & Pepper
In a bowl take one tablespoon of organic honey and sprinkle some black pepper on it. Mix both well. Then keep licking the mix slowly. Within few days you will see a difference in your condition. Follow this remedy everyday before going to bed, till you get better.
Cough syrups also provide instant relief. Many cough syrups make you feel drowsy, so take cough syrups before going to bed. Read the instructions on the syrup bottle and use it accordingly. There are many non-drowsy cough syrups available. Most cough syrups are available over-the-counter and can be taken by all age groups. If you are suffering from scratchy throat due to strep throat, you might need antibiotics.
Licorice root or tea both greatly help to treat sore/scratchy throat. Licorice is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral and has a natural sweet taste. You can use licorice tea or gargle to soothe the throat. You can repeat this remedy twice a day to get relief from sore throat.
Drinking warm ginger and honey tea, helps in scratchy throat treatment. To prepare this concoction, boil water and add tea. Add some freshly cut clean ginger root. Boil this for 2-3 minutes and strain it in a clean mug. Add honey and lemon juice to taste. Adults can have this tea, 2-3 times a day and for children, half-a-cup 2 times a day, should serve the purpose.
Inhaling steam through your mouth can reduce the duration of throat infection and soothe the throat. So, fill a pan one third with water and cover it with lid and put it on the stove. Once the water starts boiling, wait for a minute and take the pan off the stove. Keep the pan on a table and cover your head with a towel, remove the lid and inhale the steam from your mouth.
Coltsfoot & Myrrh
If you want to opt for homeopathy, then you could make tea with Coltsfoot. Drink this tea 3 times a day, for 2 days. Another remedy is using Myrrh. Gargle with Myrrh extract and warm water. Myrrh has a cleansing effect on the throat and reduces infection.
Turmeric & Milk
This is one of the best sore throat remedies and it’s herbal too. Take one cup of milk and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Boil the milk for 3-4 minutes. Drink this milk before going to sleep. This remedy for adults and children helps in the treatment of bronchitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, and other throat ailments.
For a tasty sore throat remedy, blend pineapple juice with a piece of fresh ginger. Ginger and pineapple are anti-inflammatory, and will reduce the scratchy-burning sensation in the throat.
Here is another yummy remedy. When it comes to cold infection, chicken soup works wonders. They say ‘feed the cold and starve the fever’. Many people get a sore throat during or after a cold infection. Also, drinking something warm from time to time helps to soothe scratchy throat. So, make chicken soup using these basic ingredients. In a pan, add a little bit of olive oil and bay leaves, then add chopped onions, chopped garlic, chicken pieces and fry for a minute. Now add turmeric powder and mix well. Then add water to cook and finally add salt. Let the chicken cook properly and finally garnish it with fresh parsley. Enjoy a cup of this simple soup 2-3 times a day.
Garlic has antibiotic and antifungal properties. To make a home remedy using garlic, crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and keep taking them daily, till your throat condition gets better. Garlic is very hot, and not suitable for people who can’t digest hot food. If you are using this home remedy, then it would probably be a good idea to keep some breath mints handy.
Marshmallow leaf is useful for throat ailments. It is anti-inflammatory and also helps to get rid of mucus. It comes in the form of capsules, which adults can take orally.
For instant sore throat cure, suck on some throat lozenges. They quickly help in relieving scratchy throat, but their effect is temporary.
During a scratchy sore throat, there is infection in your throat. Have vitamin C, it will help in healing the throat and prevent further infection. Many flavored chewable tablets are available. Some vitamin C rich foods are black currants, Indian gooseberries (Amla), strawberries, and lemon.
For adults who are experiencing pain and burning along with scratchy itchy throat, take a painkiller like ibuprofen or aspirin. However, if you get scratchy throat due to some allergy, then consider taking an OTC antihistamine.
Slippery elm is considered one of the best scratchy throat remedy by herbalists. The inner bark of the slippery elm tree contains a mucilage. When the mucilage is mixed with water it swells up. This mix tends to soothe the irritated throat. The bark of this tree might not be easily available, in this case you can take the slippery elm capsules. They are equally effective.
To soothe a scratchy throat take a glass of warm water and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to it. Gargle one mouthful and spit out the mix. Now, again gargle one mouthful, and swallow it down. Keep repeating the gargling and swallowing step till you finish the whole glass. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV has enough acidity to kill the bacteria and it soothes the soreness too.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Keep drinking a lot of fluids throughout the day. Be it soup, tea or plain water. Drinking lots of fluids will keep your mouth and throat moist and prevent further irritation to the throat.
Sore throat can be caused due to muscle strain. It happens when you have been talking loudly for a long time. In such a case, just rest and avoid talking. After resting your throat, you will notice the scratchiness and hoarseness of the throat has reduced.
The above remedies work for most throat problems. But, it would be advisable to consult a doctor in the following situations.
- If you are running a high fever.
- When you have been suffering from a scratchy throat for several days.
- When swallowing becomes very difficult.
- If you had a throat surgery recently.
- When you have blood in your phlegm or saliva.
- If you experience pain in your ears along with sore throat.
Avoid eating spicy, hot, or oily food. Drinking a lot of fluids when suffering from scratchy throat, helps to heal the throat faster. In most sore throat problems, gargling along with the above remedies, will give you good relief. If you are going out, then wear warm clothes and cover your neck with a scarf or stole.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.