Sore Throats – Numb the Pain… Naturally
We’ve all experienced it—the dry scratchiness and don’t forget the painful swallowing—it’s enough to make you want to swear off talking for the entire day. Sore throats are a common theme this time of year and unfortunately one of the biggest culprits behind unnecessary doctor visits. Most sore throats are brought on by viruses warning that you may be catching a cold. Since antibiotics and other medicines are ineffective against viruses, you can find relief in knowing your first line of defense may be as close as your kitchen cupboard.
It’s no secret one of the best responses to a sore throat includes plenty of rest and liquids. Gargling solutions are also an effective alternative. For a simple solution, mix a teaspoon of salt into eight ounces warm water. Gargle the entire saltwater mixture several times a day. This will increase the blood supply to the area by washing away mucus and dilating capillaries, thereby enabling better circulation of infection-fighting antibodies.
A popular household item, cayenne pepper is deemed a miracle spice for sore throats by many homeopaths. It’s suggested to add a ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to one cup of boiling water; stir well and gargle while mixture is very warm. This brings more circulation to the area and helps draw away the infection. To this formula you can add four parts Echinacea, one part garlic bulb, and two parts peppermint leaves to one part cayenne.
Other popular gargling solutions include:
Aloe vera juice: Gargle with Aloe Vera juice two times daily. Aloe Vera juice can be purchased at most health food stores and is useful for reducing the pain of a sore throat. Since Aloe Vera is not a medicine, it is one gargle that can be swallowed. As one is gargling, little sips can be swallowed in order to get deeper penetration down the throat. Because Aloe Vera is not a strong antiseptic, it will be less dramatic than some medications but since it can be done frequently, the overall effect has been reported to be excellent.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Mix one teaspoon to two tablespoons of ACV in a glass of water. Gargle one mouthful every hour, swallowing afterward. The acid is very helpful in soothing and minimizing the sore throat. Note: After using this remedy be sure to rinse your mouth with water to prevent the acid from eroding the enamel on your teeth.
Grapefruit seed extract: This extract is a powerful all-around antimicrobial product and is an excellent disinfectant and antiseptic. Add fivedrops to a glass of water for a soothing gargle.
Lemon Juice: Add the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water. Gargle three times a day for one minute.
Slippery Elm: Used as an herbal remedy in North America for centuries. Slippery Elm is used to heal everything from wounds and burns to colds and coughs. Most health food stores sell it in the form of a lozenge, tablet or capsule, or coarsely powdered bark.
Warm teas also are very soothing for a sore throat. The following natural ingredients can be used to make comforting teas that will calm the sorest of throat illnesses:
• Chamomile blossoms
• Ginger (helps to clear the throat)
• Goldenseal (well-known for its antibiotic properties)
• Hyssop (good for mild respiratory problems)
• Licorice (will help clear mucus)
• Marshmallow root bark (will coat the throat and relieve soreness and coughs)
1. Earth Clinic, Natural Cures – http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/sore_throat.html
2. Health 911, Folk Remedies – http://www.health911.com/remedies/rem_soret.htm