A sore throat (pharyngitis) is often caused by a viral infection which causes inflammation of the pharynx in the back of the throat. Some viruses such as the coxsackie infection and monnucleosis can cause specific types of a sore throat. A less common sore throat can occur from bacteria such as gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Primary Causes | Sore Throat
- Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are similar to a viral infection but can be more severe and last longer. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by stomach ache, swollen lymph glands and headache. A strep infection is usually treated with antibiotics because permanent kidney or heart damage can result. Doctors culture the bacteria to determine if it is strep.
- Viral infections, such as colds or the flu. Fever, achy muscles and runny nose typically comprise a viral infection. Viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral origin usually goes away on its own in a few days.
Other possible causes of Sore Throat:
- Acid reflux
- Polyps or cancer
- Infected tonsils
- Food allergy
- Dry air
- Mouth breathing
Spicy Ginger Tea
Boil 1.5 cups water and add:
2-3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 whole lemon and peel
½-1 tablespoon raw honey
Allow to steep for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy!
Mix a pinch of cayenne pepper in orange juice and sip slowly OR a gargle with a pinch of cayenne, pinch of sea salt and warm water. Repeat as necessary.
Combine 1 tablespoon pure horseradish or horseradish root with 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon ground cloves. Mix in a glass of warm water and sip.
Raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.
Apple cider vinegar. Mix 2 Tbsp. water and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar. Mix and gargle for 10 seconds. Repeat as often as necessary, particularly after eating or drinking anything other than water. Germs cannot grow in the acidic condition of the vinegar.
Sage. This healing herb is a superlative sore throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.
Saline. Add 1/2 teaspoon Real Salt to a cup of very warm water. It reduces inflammation and cuts phlegm. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.
Turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a recalcitrant throat. Combine 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’d rather drink than gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot coconut, goat or almond milk and drink. Beware the tumeric when mixing- it stains!
These are designed for the first tickle of a sore throat. The combination of elderberry, zinc and larch tree help stop a sore throat in its track. Suck on 2-3 3x a day until it is gone.