picture of home medications

Treating Sore Throat and Coughs at Home

With the COVID-19 situation we’ve been dealing with on a global scale for more than a year already, it’s only natural many of us are scared for our well-being and that of our families. Although, for the sake of our psychological health, it’s not okay to let this fear take over our lives too.

As a germaphobe, who was accustomed to using gel sanitizers and cleaning to the point of cleaning the tools before it was the trend or the norm, you can only imagine the struggles I’ve been having since last year to maintain my sanity. While it hasn’t been easy, I can say with certainty it’s possible to do it.

For instance, recently as a family, we had a sore throat-cough situation that affected us all except for my husband, and instead of freaking out like I usually do, I decided to keep my calm this time. Before letting panic set in, or worse – manifest it into a germ phobia in my children, and heading immediately to the pharmacy or doctor to get us all tested, we chose to first treat these symptoms at home.

After only a few days of relying on getting relief from various sources, like the vitamin-infused sore throat and cough lozenges, the three of us – our two sons Ethan and Noah, and me, are all feeling good as new. Okay, I’m not saying coughs and sore throats should be taken lightly, but before losing both your peace and mind thinking them to be signs of the deadly virus, see if you can treat them at home.

Should the symptoms persist after a few days of trying out home remedies, then be sure to get tested. Now, these are the solutions we used for a couple of days that proved more than efficient:

  • Lozenges;
  • Saltwater;
  • Essential Oils;
  • Steam;
  • Fluids.

Tasty Antibacterial Lozenges

picture of an orange pill
source: Alessandro Russo on Unsplash

I remember when I was a child, my grandmother used to make me her special homemade cough drops whenever I was feeling under the weather. Tasty as they are, they don’t offer lasting results as the vast array of medicated sore throat and cough lozenges that you can easily come across even online at the pharmacies.

The reason they’re so efficient stems from the ingredients they contain, such as menthol, manuka honey, lemon, Phytolacca, among other antibacterial and anaesthetic agents such as cetylpyridinium chloride which offer quick soothing relief for painful sore throats. In addition, they also kill off any harmful bacteria. To count on the best results, it’s advisable to check the label for instructions on how many you can have per day.

Be especially cautious when giving them to kids, as it’s important to explain to them how to keep the lozenges in the mouth to let them slowly dissolve and prevent any choking hazard. My sons are at the school ages of 9 and 7, so they understand how this works, but if you have your worries, perhaps you’d be better off finding a syrup instead.

Should you experience any allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the throat lozenges, such as irritation or swelling, stop using them and seek medical help. I know some people who have these allergic reactions to honey.

Gargling with Saltwater

picture of a salt beside a glass of water
source: Artem Beliaikin on Pexels

Yet another one of grandma’s home remedies, making your own mixture of saltwater by mixing up ½ teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces (a glass) of warm water for easy dissolving can be helpful too. The way it does that is by drawing out all the mucus of the inflamed throat that’s bothering you and causing you discomfort, along with the germs that are in it.

Depending on how bad your inflammation is, and whether or not you’re already getting help from sore throat and cough lozenges, you could repeat the gargling several times a day. Besides the slow yet incredible results, you have fun guaranteed when you gargle with your kids!

Aromatherapy with Chosen Oils

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I can’t praise the effects of aromatherapy enough, and that’s not only because I’ve been a fan for years and use pure essential oils in my everyday routine. Along with the incredible ways it can help improve your life, it’s long been used to relieve cold and flu symptoms.

That’s because essential oils have amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties, and can provide you with a quick solution when you want to beat that nasty infection without using any antibiotics. While I enjoy diffusing essential oil blends to reap more of their benefits, you could use any of the following known for their anti-inflammatory effects: lavender, eucalyptus, ginger, echinacea, peppermint, tea tree, sage, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, geranium, bergamot or nutmeg.

Steamy Showers

picture of a person in a steamy shower
source: Hannah Xu on Unsplash

Warm baths may be relaxing, but if you’re up for a quick soothing of your dry cough or sore throat jump in the shower. As you breathe in the moist air that results from the warm water, you help reduce the swelling by moistening the throat, as well as comfort the nasty pain and scratchiness. This is also perfect if you’re dealing with nasal congestion.

Staying Hydrated

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source: Nadi Lindsay on pexels

It’s no secret that if you want to prevent the inflammation and swelling from getting worse, you need to stay hydrated and drink as much water as you can. It helps keep the throat lubricated, and you’re free to drink up plenty of other fluids too, like teas, or eat soup. Just remember to make them warm and not hot since you risk burning the throat and making matters worse again.