Does alcohol kill bacteria in sore throat?

Warnings

  • Be sure to read all warning labels on any medications you are taking before drinking any alcohol. Mixing medications and alcohol can have serious consequences.

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  • Do not use alcohol to treat children, immunosuppressed people, or those who do not wish to drink.

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4. Caffeine

Caffeine dehydrates your body creating an imbalance of fluids essential for life giving processes. Dehydration can lead to a dry and tight feeling throat also possibly causing it to feel sticky (28). Drinking caffeine may therefore increase the tenderness you are feeling and pain in your throat.

​Marijuanas Role

We know by now that cannabis has a slew of beneficial effects that helped millions of people worldwide with a variety of illnesses and symptoms. Given that the effects of a hangover do overlap with some of the things marijuana treats, it only makes sense to assume that pot can help in this area as well; however, the answer isn’t simple.

Can Cannabis Cure a Hangover?

Earlier, we went over the details of how alcohol causes a hangover. We didn’t do this for the sake of just a science lesson. It’s important to establish how hangovers work to see whether marijuana fixes these issues. So will it literally cure a hangover? The simple answer is “no”.

Much like marijuana doesn’t cure cancer, arthritis, glaucoma or any other diseases, hangovers also can’t be effectively erased. The way cannabis interacts with out bodies is radically different from that of alcohol. While alcohol figuratively attacks our organs with a slew of nasty chemicals, pot interacts with the endocannabinoid system – a network of receptors that allow us to experience the benefits of cannabis. But while weed won’t cure a hangover, it can do a pretty good job of handling the symptoms.

​Not Curing – But More Tolerable…

​Think of it this way. When you have a cold, you use over-the-counter medications to deal with runny nose, sore throat, fever, etc. After taking it, you feel great, but that nasty virus is still roaming freely inside you. Only your immune system can take care of that. The same applies with hangovers. While you may feel vastly better after using marijuana following a night of heavy drinking, your body is still internally reeling from the alcohol.

Marijuana also doesn’t help with certain symptoms at all. For instance, smoking a joint won’t fix dehydration. In fact, this could make it worse – hence the dry mouth that commonly occurs as a result of marijuana use.

Furthermore, too much marijuana can actually cause nausea and vomiting, an experience colloquially referred to as “greening out”.

Cannabis also won’t do you any favors when it comes to ​cognitive impairment from your hangover. Anyone who’s been high knows this, and usually smokes marijuana for that very reason.

However, when used properly, it will help you sleep, stop nausea and reduce pain, helping mask the symptoms until your body manages to recover – like Nyquil does with a cold.

​Can Marijuana Prevent a Hangover?

As we said earlier, prevention is the best “cure” for hangovers; however, if you plan to use marijuana as a barrier to the consequences of heavy drinking, then we have some bad news.

The body’s cannabinoid receptors don’t interact with alcohol in any way, so there’s nothing marijuana can do to act as a barrier to the former’s ill effects.

If anything, getting drunk and high could just compound the problem on the night of drinking. The only difference is that marijuana won’t actually contribute to how badly you feel the next day.

If you want to feel intoxicated for fun, then it’s best to forego alcohol and use marijuana instead. Unlike its liquid counterpart, marijuana doesn’t leave any ill effects the next morning.

If there’s one thing true about humans, it’s that we like to do things without consequences. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality with alcohol. Overdoing it on the booze is a bad idea, which we all know from the beginning. Marijuana can definitely make your life easier during a hangover, but if you want to stop it altogether, then the only option is to drink responsibly – or not at all.

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1. Gargle with Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is an ancient health tool used by the Babylonians during 5,000 B.C. and historically used by Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, for its healing abilities (18).

Research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for AIDS Research has found significant evidence that the acetic acid found in vinegar provides powerful disinfectant activity against even the most resistant bacterial strains (19).

Polyphenols found in apple cider vinegar also equip the body with antioxidant support to heal from oxidative stress and tissue damage while contributing to a healthy immune response (20). Gargling straight ACV can be harsh but effective at killing off microbial colonies associated with sore throats.  In addition, you can drink diluted ACV in the following recipes.  

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When to See a Doctor

You should see a doctor if you suspect you are dealing with strep throat, especially if you have the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Lymph nodes that are swollen
  • Pain and difficulty when swallowing
  • Red spots on the roof of your mouth
  • Sore throat that started quickly
  • Tonsils that are red and swollen

Your doctor can test you for strep throat using a simple test. A swab is used to collect a sample from the back of your throat, then sent to a lab for testing. If it is a bacterial infection causing your sore throat, your doctor will prescribe a 10-day course of antibiotics. It is important to take the full course of antibiotics even if you start to feel better after only a few days.

Symptoms

Throat anatomy Throat anatomy The throat includes the esophagus, windpipe (trachea), voice box (larynx), tonsils and epiglottis.

Symptoms of a sore throat can vary depending on the cause. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Pain or a scratchy sensation in the throat
  • Pain that worsens with swallowing or talking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore, swollen glands in your neck or jaw
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • White patches or pus on your tonsils
  • A hoarse or muffled voice

Infections causing a sore throat might result in other signs and symptoms, including:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting

When to see a doctor

Take your child to a doctor if your child’s sore throat doesn’t go away with the first drink in the morning, recommends the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Get immediate care if your child has severe signs and symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unusual drooling, which might indicate an inability to swallow

If you’re an adult, see your doctor if you have a sore throat and any of the following associated problems, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery:

  • A sore throat that is severe or lasts longer than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Joint pain
  • Earache
  • Rash
  • Fever higher than 101 F (38.3 C)
  • Blood in your saliva or phlegm
  • Frequently recurring sore throats
  • A lump in your neck
  • Hoarseness lasting more than two weeks
  • Swelling in your neck or face
Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic

Prevention

Now, this is interesting. There have been two studies which indicate that regular consumption of alcohol may actually make you less susceptible to getting colds in the first place (with caveats). The first study was conducted by Carnegie Mellon University in 1993 to see the relation between smoking, drinking, and susceptibility to the common cold. 391 subjects were "intentionally exposed to one of five respiratory viruses and 26 subjects given saline." The study concluded that smokers got sick more often, people who were smokers and drinkers got sick a normal amount, and people who just drank got sick less than the others.

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The other study found somewhat different results. Published in 2001, the study looked at 4,272 faculty and staff of five Spanish universities. It found that alcohol intake in the form of beer and spirits had no effect whatsoever on a persons susceptibility to the common cold. However, the study concluded that people who drank more than 14 glasses of wine per week were a whopping 60 percent less likely to get sick, even more so for drinkers of red wine. That is a huge number. It is suspected, however, that it isn't the alcohol directly, but rather the high levels of antioxidants which are in the wine. If that's the case then drinkers of Guinness and other dark beers (which are high in similar antioxidants) might net similar benefits. It must be said, though, that 14 glasses of wine per week is not an insignificant amount (two per night, on average), and of course, there may be health risks that outweigh the cold-fighting benefits for some people.

TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR

The information contained on LeafUnion.com is not meant to be a substitute for advice from a health care provider. All content is for informational purposes only. See Terms and Privacy.

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