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Cause & Cure

Sore Throat : Causes And Remedies

Have you been witnessing a sore throat for past few days? Does it feel itchy? Are you having a tough time swallowing food?

If your answer is “Yes” then this is the article for you. It will guide you through the following details-

  1. What is a sore throat?
  2. What are the symptoms of a sore throat?
  3. Causes of a sore throat are cold, strep throat or tonsillitis?
  4. What are the available treatments in hand?
  5. Preventions from a sore throat

What Is Sore Throat

In medical terminology, a sore throat is often called as pharyngitis caused by changing weather, tonsillitis etc. Normally, it leaves you troubled with a sore throat, headache, feeling of dizziness, body ache etc.

These days a sore throat is very common and it might pave way for other problems to creep in. It gets bad in two-three days and expected to improve within a week. You should positively see a doctor if there is no sign of relief after a week.

Symptoms of Sore Throat

A very generic symptom of a sore throat is irritation and itching. You may also experience pain while swallowing food and fluids. Other symptoms are listed below.

  • A dry throat
  • Swollen Organs in the neck
  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Roughness

A sore throat can infect individuals of any age; however, the danger is higher in a few such as-

  • Youngsters
  • Smokers
  • Individuals with sensitivities
  • Individuals with a traded off safe framework

Causes of Sore Throat

There can be a number of causes of a sore throat – bacterial infection, viral infection, environmental factors along with some other causes.

Bacterial Infection

Whooping cough, strep throat or Diphtheria are caused by bacterial infections and can lead to a sore throat:

Whooping cough- it affects respiratory mucous membrane.

Strep Throat – It leaves you with a sensational feeling of inflammation in your throat and is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria.

Diphtheria also leads to throat inflammation.

Viral Infection

Usually, viral infections are the reason behind a sore throat in most of the cases. It can either be a consequence of cold or flu. Other viral infections that might lead to sore throat include:

  • An infection disease typically transmitted through saliva i.e. mononucleosis
  • Skin sores are caused by an infection due to chicken pox
  • Infection of the larynx i.e. croup
  • Distinct rashes and fever are the characteristics of contagious illness caused by measles

External Factors

Throat pain is not the only result of viral and bacterial infections. It may be caused due to dynamic environmental factors such as:

  • Long hours of speaking/talking or yelling might trigger throat pain
  • Exposure to cigarettes or smoking habits
  • Dry air might leave your throat raw and scratchy
  • If you’re allergic to mold, pet dander, pollen, or other irritants, exposure to these allergens can trigger postnasal drip


In very rare cases, sore throat may be a symptom of HIV or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Diagnosis of Sore throat

For better treatment, It is important to diagnose the cause of a sore throat.

  • Signs like white patches or inflammation suggest strep throat. Your doctor might check for swollen glands and breathing rate. Strep throat is the major cause of a sore throat
  • Blood tests can be performed to check for bacterial or viral infection
  • If a physician fails to diagnose the exact cause of a sore throat, he might refer you to allergist or specialist.

Treatment of Sore Throat- Natural Remedies

Even if you do not have much pain or feel like visiting any doctor, sore throat can be treated by a number of natural ingredients that are available. These ingredients would not only help in reducing the pain but also help you have an undisturbed good night sleep.

Chamomile Tea

It is one of the oldest herbs that are used to serve medicinal purposes. It is naturally soothing and is often used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties.

Studies have shown that chamomile steam is a cure to symptoms of cold like a sore throat. Chamomile tea also helps in building the immune system, thereby fighting against all that caused a sore throat at first place.

Gargles with baking soda

Gargling with baking soda mixed with salt water can help in soothing the sore throat. It will not only reduce the itchiness but also calm down the rawness.

Gargling can also help kill bacteria and prove to be a hindrance in the growth of yeast and fungi.

National Cancer Institute recommends repeating gargling every three hours.


The best part in the usage of fenugreek is its existence in various forms. It can either be consumed directly or used as oil. Fenugreek tea is a common recommendation if you have a sore throat.

Fenugreek has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing pain and antibacterial properties kill the infection causing bacteria. It also has anti-fungal properties. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of fenugreek as a natural herb to cure a number of diseases.


Gargling with warm salt water can help in reducing pain caused by a sore throat. It also helps in breaking down the secretions. Gargling helps in reducing the growth of bacteria and fungus.

A glass of warm water with half teaspoon of salt if used for gargling every three hours can reduce swelling in the throat and relieve you of pain.

Licorice Root

Licorice root is used to soothe the throat and diminish coughing after surgery. Studies show that gargling with warm water mixed with licorice roots have effective results.

Slippery Elm

With mucus-like substances, slippery elm is one of the most traditional remedies to treat a sore throat. It turns sticky when mixed with water. So in order to consume the same, you will have to pour boiling water over the bark, stir, and drink. Opt for slippery elm lozenges if a natural remedy is difficult to practice.


Peppermint is often used as an after have of smoke or alcohol. Its’ power to freshen breath after the consumption of alcohol or something similar is amazing. You might not feel like having peppermint directly, so you can use peppermint sprays instead.

Peppermint sprays contain methanol that helps in thinning of mucus and relieve you from the pain of a sore throat. Peppermint is one of the best healers of a sore throat with antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.


Similar to Slippery elm, the roots of marshmallow contain mucus-like substances. When added to the cup of boiling water, the tea that is formed is best for a sore throat. Have it at least twice or thrice a day for best results.


Honey is one of the commonest remedies for a sore throat among households. It is a speedy remedy that helps in healing wounds and curing your sore throat. Studies have shown that honey is very effective in taming night cough as compared to other coughs and tablets.

Are these remedies applicable for infants and children?

There are rarely any signs of medical emergencies for a sore throat among infants and children. However, there are some simple remedies that can be used to treat infants and children for a sore throat:

  • Avoid giving honey to infants below a year of age
  • Try to keep your kids hydrated, Avoid giving them juices or popsicles
  • Add humidifier or cool mist to the kids’ room. This will help in relieving pain

How can you prevent yourself from having a sore throat?

Since the major cause of a sore throat is due to infection, the best way to prevent a sore throat is to stay away from the ones who are sick, has a sore throat or flu.

  • Keep washing your hands frequently
  • Avoid spicy or acidic food
  • Stay away from smoke or chemical fumes that might cause inflammation
  • Use hand sanitizers often.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking
  • Keep humidifiers in your house to eliminate the dryness
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces
  • Do not share your glasses and utensils


A sore throat is a common disease caused usually by infections. Though there are a number of natural remedies available in hand, over the counter top medications can also be used to treat a sore throat. If you come across any of the symptoms of a sore throat, keep yourself hydrated. Avoid being close to sick people and stay clean.

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