Something is going around — perhaps in many cases a mild case of omicron — that is leaving people with isolated sore throats, and sore throat seems to be sticking out as a COVID symptom this time around as well. I had a version of this, and many around me have as well. So, here's the top three things to do.
Hydrate. Salt. LMNT.
One notable symptom I've seen in myself and others is that even when the sore throat seems kicked, talking a lot can bring on an inexorable need to drink water to stop the growing tickle in your throat from bringing on a cough.
When I had my first and by far most severe case of COVID in early February 2020, I had a raging sore throat that disappeared when I started drinking LMNT, a salty electrolyte mix, dissolved in water. The sweet taste of the stevia made the salt palatable at that time, and was necessary because COVID had greatly blunted my sweet taste and made non-sweet things taste horribly bitter.
In my second case of COVID in July, I felt a sore throat starting and I knew what to do, so I nipped it in the bud using LMNT.
Last week I had the isolated sore throat going around (tested negative for COVID twice, though I wouldn't rule out an incredibly mild hint of omicron at work), and LMNT came to the rescue.
While I wouldn't rule out an antimicrobial effect of the salt, I believe the salt's main function is to improve retention of the water and make the water far more hydrating.
Gargling for 30 seconds four times a day with 0.5-1.0% povidone-iodine would be the most reliable way to attack the viral infection of the throat if COVID is involved, and would likely kill almost anything else. (Preparing this usually starts with 10% povidone-iodine as purchased, diluted one part iodine solution to 9 parts water for 1.0%, or 1 part iodine solution to 19 parts water for 0.5%).
This should reduce the viral load in the throat, and reduce the inflammation there. However, irrigating the nose in the same way makes sense, since mucous from the nose could be draining down the throat and creating inflammation.
Life Extension Enhanced Zinc Acetate lozenges will help improve antiviral activity in the nose and throat and should help reduce the inflammatory content of mucous, but they will work against the hydration and comfort of the throat because they are astringent. I would use them if you think you have a cold, flu, or COVID, or if they seem to reduce the inflammatory feeling of the mucous in your throat, but you may have to work a little harder to achieve the hydration outlined in step one.
If you don't tolerate iodine, any herbs, essential oils, or mouthwashes with antimicrobial properties should also help, as should hydrogen peroxide (which I usually dilute from 3% to 1% if using as a gargle).
Gaia Throat Shield
Gaia Throat Shield is a specific product that comes as a spray or as lozenges. I have never come across any product more healing to my throat. This will have some antimicrobial properties, but I use it mainly for soothing and healing the throat tissue. Use as frequently as needed for comfort.
Hope that helps!
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