Sore throats seem to be a casualty of winter. If your sore throat accompanies other common cold symptoms such as a runny nose and cough without a fever or red throat, there’s typically no need for antibiotics.
Here are some tips that will help ride out your cold in relative comfort:
1) Stay hydrated with chicken or miso soup.
2) Suck on a fruit-juice popsicle for relief.
3) Gargle with salt water. This age-old remedy soothes throat pain and reduces inflammation. Mix a teaspoon of salt with very warm water and gargle several times a day.
4) Mix one-quarter cup apple cider vinegar with one-quarter cup of honey, and take one tablespoon every four hours for pain relief.
5) Try sugar-free lozenges with vitamin C and/or zinc.
6) Ginger, echinacea, chamomile, and mint teas are helpful. Add honey for even greater relief.
7) Take a daily multivitamin/mineral with antioxidant vitamins A and C and the mineral zinc, all of which help fight seasonal infections.
8) Avoid dairy products as they increase mucus production. (One exception is unsweetened yogurt with live, active cultures.)
9) Try a natural throat spray.
Is It Strep?
Common among school-age children, strep can be serious if left untreated. Here are ways to tell if your child has this bacterial infection:
Sudden onset of sore throat
Red throat and tonsils, sometimes with white patches and pus
Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
Shaking and shivering, alternating with cold sweats