As if a sore throat isn't torture enough, it is often accompanied by a fever. Your body's reaction to a viral invasion like flu can be painful, but the symptoms usually pass in a few days. If they don't--if your fever is above 104 degrees and lasts for more than five days or your throat is still on fire after four days--it's time to contact a doctor. During your convalescence, comfort yourself with home remedies designed to relieve your symptoms.
Stay Home and Stay Warm
The best thing you can do for yourself and others is to simply stay home and recover. Dragging yourself to school or work will spread the virus and further weaken your defenses. This is your chance to sleep late, watch old movies and catch up your reading without feeling guilty.
Chicken soup is a time-honored home remedy for colds and congestion. Hot chicken soup temporarily reduces nasal congestion and may reduce congestion in the lungs.
Garlic has immune-strengthening properties and may help prevent a virus before it hits you with fever and a raging sore throat. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "a well-designed study of nearly 150 people found that garlic helps prevent and treat the common cold...those who received garlic had significantly fewer colds than those who received placebo. Plus, when faced with a cold, the symptoms dissipated more quickly among those receiving garlic compared to those receiving placebo."
Reach into your kitchen cabinets to make a throat-soothing tea. Add lemon juice and honey to a mug of hot water--the quantities can be adjusted according to your tastes. Honey coats your throat for easier swallowing and lemon clear mucus.
Any type of decaffeinated tea is helpful, but green tea and teas made from cat's claw, reishi mushroom and milk thistle boost your immunity for a faster recovery.
Steam relieves a sore throat. If you don't have an electric humidifier, you can boil a large pot of water on the stove. Use this technique only if you're alert.
Create your own personal steamer by filling your sink with the hottest water possible. Create a tent over your head with a towel and inhale deeply. You can add eucalyptus oil or Vicks Vaporub to the water to relieve a cough or scratchy throat.
Cayenne Throat Soother
Mix up your own throat soother. Fill a kitchen tablespoon halfway with honey. Fill the remaining space with lemon juice. Sprinkle a small amount (start really small) of cayenne pepper. According to the University of Maryland, capsaicin, the main component of cayenne pepper, contains very powerful pain-relieving properties.
Gargles are a good way to purge mucous and soothe an inflamed throat. Use warm water for all gargles and don't swallow any of these mixtures.
Salt water is an easy gargle. Mix 1 tsp. salt in 1 cup water and use it 3 to 4 times a day.
For an antibacterial gargle, mix 1 tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar to a cup of warm water. After gargling, rinse your mouth to protect your tooth enamel.
Don't Suffer Needlessly
If every bone in your body aches and your throat is on fire, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen can lower a fever and reduce pain. According the Medicinenet.com, "adults without liver disease or other health problems can take 1000 mg (two "extra strength" tablets) every four to six hours."