I am frustrated with my sore throat. It’s made me bed ridden for the past 72 hours! Shouldn’t the common cold be cured? Well it isn’t, and there’s over hundreds of strains of the virus. Seemingly, the same cold you give to your friend, is given back to you a month later after it has mutated into some other strain, i.e. super virus. Of course antibiotics can help if it’s bacterial, but you’re screwed if it’s a virus. So thus began my search for some sort of remedy for this sleep depriving sore throat.
But what exactly is a sore throat and its cause? Apparently it’s an infection the back of your throat, including the end of your tongue, the roof of your mouth, and your tonsils (if you have them still). Intriguing is, a “Sore throat is in the top ten complains that people have when seeking treatment.” (Ezinearticles) According to Ezine almost 90 percent of sore throats are caused by a virus. Prior to my research, I thought a sore throat meant I might only lose some sleep, but I’m a bit frightened by the grim possibilities. You can cause kidney damage or disorders, heart valve damage, abscesses, bag of puss, or even death, if gone untreated. "The most dangerous throat infection is epiglottitis, caused by bacteria that infect a portion of the larynx (voice box) and cause swelling that closes the airway. This infection is an emergency condition that requires prompt medical attention. Suspect it when swallowing is extremely painful (causing drooling), when speech is muffled, and when breathing becomes difficult. A strep test may miss this infection." (Otolaryngology)
"Sore throats accompany other viral infections such as measles, chicken pox, whooping cough, and croup. Canker sores and fever blisters in the throat also can be very painful." (Otolaryngology)
A sore throat may also be caused by oral sex, due in part because of the exchange of bacteria. Although you may believe you can not get an STD from oral sex, you can get a sore throat from an STD such as Chlamydia Pharyngitis or Tonsillitis.
What is not a remedy, (for me)
Sadly, children’s cough syrup has been the most effective in making my sore throat feel better. But I was out of this, and I didn’t feel up to going to the store. I’ve also always hated those throat sprays, like Sore ThroatRelief from Western Family. That stuff tastes like nasty mouthwash. I was already on pseudoephedrine, a decongestant from heaven, but it did nothing for my sore throat. If anything, it might have made it worse because the snot was too dry to make it out of my nose, instead I have been attempting to suck and spit out as much mucus as I could from my mouth. I was also on ibuprofen for an alarming fever, but that also did not make it easier to swallow. It did, however, take away the aches and pains of immobility, as I stayed in bed for way too long.
A household spice
Cayenne pepper. That’s what you find as the top suggestion from Earthclinc. First off, this stuff is extremely potent, so be careful if you actually plan on using it. Only use 1/8 a tablespoon per cup of liquid, for gargling or drinking. Tonight I put about that much in a bowl of my mom’s potato-cheese soup. It has some serious kick. After dinner I went and poured some of the red powder into a glass of water, and right as I went to sip it I inhaled and felt like I got maced. Earthlink said that although it takes multiple doses, like every fifteen minutes until you feel less sore, over the course of 1-2 days, it’s worthwhile. I was a little skeptical at first, but I’m starting to become a believer after about four hours.
"If it is too late, as in strep, it takes gargling with cayenne in water every fifteen minutes until it goes, and be patient, because it GOES.” Penny from Fresno, CA (Some random testimonial)
Your tongue will feel a slight sting, and as long as you avoid inhaling it like I did, your symptoms will be far less than that of your sore throat. Since I used soup as my first dose, I washed down the spice quickly with some bread and broth. That is what I would suggest most if you haven’t tried the stuff either. After reading many of the testimonials on that page I also found a good suggestion to put cayenne pepper into a high pulp orange juice. I plan on trying this next. Just don’t forget to avoid using dairy products while you are ill.
If the spice is too much for you – “Put a little salt on the palm of your left hand, wet the tip of your right index finger in your mouth slightly and dip it in the salt and place it UNDER your tongue (sublingual) in the tender area on your jaw and not ON the underside of the tongue. Relief is very quick, easy to do, you can do it anywhere (like a restaurant) and works for everyone plus you can find salt everywhere." Belina from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Perhaps the greatest find from this hippie website was a grand list of household items that can be used as remedies, and I’ve edited it down as well as added a few myself. If your throat gets sore enough, I’m sure you’ll try at least one of these, in fact, you probably already do.
I could have taken the easier route with one of those suggestions but cayenne pepper just sounded so absurd it had to be true. A few of those items are even mild disinfectants like salt. Even garlic is an antiseptic, however, most are just symptomatic treatments. Whatever you do, rest your throat, i.e. don’t speak. In any case, make sure you increase your liquid intake. I would suggest drinking at least a gallon of water. Avoid spreading the evil. Don't forget to wash your hands often and try not to touch things your living-partners will be touching. When your ailment is finally gone, throw away your toothbrush, don't catch the same cold twice! (After it mutates) In summary the trend of helping your sore throat seems to be to Coat your throat with something, anything, whether it’s a spice, a numbing effect, or whatever, just keep your throat coated. While honey might last 2 hours, other items may only give you 15 minutes of relief, so find what you’re most willing to put up with.
P.S. A "soar" throat is a flying/intelligent throat, haha, so don’t spell that wrong!