Home Remedies For Itchy Throat
Itchy throat is an irritating sensation in the throat that provokes desire to cough. Other symptoms like pain, secretions, difficulty eating or speaking, runny nose or itchy eyes may accompany throat itch, depending on the cause.
Why Does the Throat Itch?
The inner walls of the throat are covered with mucosal membrane containing nerves, which may be irritated by polluted air, food, inflammatory or allergic reaction. Mucosal glands secrete mucus, a sticky fluid that covers the throat walls, thus protecting them and allowing smooth passage of the air and food. When mucous glands do not secrete enough mucus, for example, due to dehydration, medications or dry air, throat nerves become exposed and irritable.
Causes of Itchy Throat
Dry throat often appears together with dry eyes, mouth and skin. Common causes are:
- Cold windy weather
- ‘Sick building disease’ from excessive indoor heating or air condition
- Stuffed nose and breathing through mouth
- Acute or chronic throat inflammation
- Under-active salivary glands in old people
- Marijuana and tobacco smoking
- Caffeine in coffee, sodas and energy drinks
- Sjögren’s syndrome
- Medications, such as antidepressants, drugs to treat urinary incontinence, belladonna (atropine), barbiturates, ergotamine, opium, diuretics, antihistamines or sprays to treat asthma.
Treatment for a Dry Throat
Treatment of a dry throat includes removing a cause and drinking enough water or herbal tea with honey that soothes the throat. Herbal candies without sugar and menthol may provide temporary relief by making a thin protective film over the throat mucosa. Breathing with mouth closed and avoiding speaking also helps. In Sjögren’s syndrome, rinses and artificial saliva may be used to moist the throat. Indoor air humidifiers are available.
Teas containing licorice root, Marshmallow root, honeysuckle flowers, barberry, eucalyptus, chamomile, or slippery elm may help in sore and itchy throat. Gargle with lukewarm water with salt every night before going off to sleep for best results.