Soothing a Dry Throat
- A dry throat accompanied by soreness or pain while swallowing may be an indication of a viral infection, such as a common cold, flu, mononucleosis or chickenpox. Other causes of throat discomfort include bacterial infections like strep or tonsillitis. A dry throat accompanied by a dry mouth is a common condition called xerostomia. Xerostomia may be caused by nerves or stress, though it's also a side effect of many medications and a symptom of some underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Other causes of a dry throat include allergies, dry air and pollution.
Lemon and honey possess well-known throat-soothing properties. To ease the discomfort of a dry, scratchy throat, drink warm water mixed with lemon juice and honey, or suck on a spoonful of honey, lemon juice and cayenne. Gargling with a mixture of warm water and salt brings relief by clearing away bacteria and improving the circulation in the throat area. Another easy-to-make solution for gargling consists of a glass of water mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, which kills dryness-causing bacteria in the throat. To boost the throat-comforting power, add honey and sage to the vinegar-and-water mixture. Teas can hydrate a dry throat and provide relief from throat pain. Common herbal tea ingredients with throat-soothing properties include chamomile, licorice root, sage and eucalyptus. For a pungent yet soothing tea, simmer scallions and chives in hot water.
Steer clear of beverages containing caffeine, as they can cause dehydration and further aggravate a dry throat. Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry air. Avoid pollution, cigarette smoke and chemical fumes such as those emitted by household cleaners. For a dry throat resulting from a viral infection such as a cold or flu, drink fluids, get plenty of rest and eat easy-to-swallow foods like broths and gelatin. The throat discomfort should go away once the infection has run its course. If a dry, painful throat is accompanied by a high fever or lasts for more than a week, seek medical attention, as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.