Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Treatment Tuesday - Sore Throat

Sore throats often mark the onset of colds and flu, so it’s important to eradicate them as soon as they appear. Left untreated, even for a just few hours, they can grow out of control and affect, even threaten, the tonsils. In many cases, they may develop into more serious throat conditions and coughs. Scratching or itching sensations in the back of the throat are generally signs of bacteria or viruses. Eating sugar and processed foods can feed them.

Thankfully, there are many natural solutions for eliminating a sore or itchy throat.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is a common first symptom of both colds and the flu. A number of germs, such as streptococcus, and several viruses cause sore throats. Sometimes, however, bacteria and viruses aren’t to blame. Basically, anything that inflames and dries out your throat’s mucous membranes can cause a sore throat. This means that living in an arid climate, smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke, vomiting, acid reflux, screaming, and allergies can all give you a sore throat.

Sore Throat Remedies

Over-the-counter remedies for sore throat usually just cover up the symptoms of itching and irritation. Many natural remedies, however, can actually eliminate the sore throat. What’s important is that you do something right away before it develops into a more serious condition or illness.
  • Hit the throat itself with antibacterial and antiviral herbs or tinctures. Some good choices are St. John’s wort, liquid Echinacea with goldenseal, and propolis tincture. Use an eyedropper or spray to apply these to your throat.
  • Gargle with warm salt water or hydrogen peroxide (diluted in half with water).
  • Increase vitamin C intake by eating plenty of fresh, organic fruits and other foods high in vitamin C (plums, red peppers, rose hips, currants, etc.).
  • If your sore throat is not caused by virus or infection, you can sooth it with honey and anti-inflammatory herbs.  
 With sore throats, an ounce of prevention is often worth a pound of cure. Generally the best way to keep from getting a sore throat is to avoid things that cause them such as talking to loudly or excessively or smoking. For sore throats related to infections, its best to keep your body as healthy as possible by eating lots of nutritious whole foods, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest.

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