A sore throat can be a particularly noticeable and unpleasant symptom of the common cold. Getting a little relief from a sore throat can go a long way to helping you feel better. The following tips may be helpful if you think you are developing a cold and are noticing the start of a scratchy, sore throat, or if you are already in the midst of a full-blown cold.
How to soothe a sore throat:
Studies suggest that sucking on zinc lozenges, particularly at the onset of a cold, may help to reduce the duration of a cold and severity of some cold symptoms including sore throat. Zinc lozenges should only be taken for the duration of the cold, not long-term.
Lozenges containing elderberry or echinacea may be beneficial. Sucking on a lozenge stimulates the production of saliva which can help to soothe the throat. Elderberry and echinacea are believed to have antiviral and immune-enhancing properties which may help to fight off infection.
Manuka honey throat spray
Manuka honey has stronger antimicrobial properties than regular honey thanks to its active ingredient methylgloxal (MGO). Direct application of manuka honey on the throat using a spray may help to target the virus locally and reduce the severity of your sore throat.
Try gargling saltwater
This is thought to stimulate antiviral activity in the cells of your throat to help clear infection. Mix 1 quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt with approximately 120ml of warm water. Gargle 2-4 times a day. This is not recommended for children.
Honey and lemon drink
The juice and rind of lemons are a great source of vitamin C and flavonoids to give your immune system a boost when fighting off a cold. A warm drink containing honey and lemon can help to soothe an irritated and painful throat. Click here for a recipe.
Choose soft foods
These will be less painful to eat. For example, berry compote with yoghurt, stewed fruits, soups, stews, or casseroles. Sucking on ice cubes or frozen berries may also provide temporary relief.
Speak to a pharmacist about over-the-counter medicines if your symptoms are severe, particularly if they are affecting your sleep.
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