The first sign.
The first signs of a cold or a flu is often a sore throat, also known as pharyngitis. It refers to irritation, itchiness or pain in your throat. A sore throat will go away with time, but the process can be sped up with a few simple home remedies.
Medicines such as anti-inflammatories, lozenges and sprays are available at any drug store, and will help ease your sore throat. Anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen are good for adults to get swelling down, and paracetamol is better for children. Lozenges encourages saliva production which helps in keeping the throat moist. Some include a cooling ingredient for extra relief. Children under the age of 16 should not take aspirin.
Use Warm Salt Water
Gargle some warm salt water several times a day. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a warm cup of water. Adding a touch of honey improves the taste. Gargling helps reduce swelling and moisturizes your scratchy throat. It also loosens mucus, making it easier to flush out bacteria. Don’t swallow the water after gargling, spit it out.
Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated. Check your urine to see if you are drinking enough fluids. Darker urine indicates you should drink more. Good fluids to drink are water, watered down fruit juice and tea. Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine, as both will dehydrate you. Black, green and white tea leaves contain antioxidants which boosts your immunity. Honey also strengthens your immune system, so adding a spoonful to your drinks is a good idea.
Anyone for chicken soup?
Chicken soup is a fine remedy for a sore throat. It contains sodium which doctors believe has anti-inflammatory properties. When you don’t feel like eating much with your sore throat, chicken soup can nourish you and ease your throat.
The sap from the marshmallow plant has been used in the past to treat coughs, sore throats and colds. So by all means, treat yourself to a couple of marshmallows. It has also been argued by some that the gelatin in these sweets soothes the throat.
Who doesn’t love to sleep?
Sleep is your best friend during a cold or a flu. Make sure to rest enough so your body can fight harder. Rinse your nasal passages with salt water. In 2008 a study was conducted, the results of which showed that children who rinsed their noses six times a day, experienced more relief from their cold symptoms.
Dry air can worsen your throat during a cold. Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist. Eating ice lollies will also moisturize your throat and ease the aching.
If these home remedies are not working and your symptoms persist or are getting worse, go visit your doctor who may prescribe antibiotics.