About Natural Sore Throat Remedies
Sore throats are the most common reason that patients visit their doctor. The tonsils and throat are very open to infection due to the contaminated air that flows through the area. The contaminated air contains pollutants, bacteria and viruses that attack throat tissue. Many times, a visit to the doctor reveals that a virus is the culprit, and an antibiotic won’t help. This leaves patients in pain with nothing but time as a cure. Herbal remedies can bring relief.
Before using any sort of remedy, it is important to identify which type of sore throat you have. Sore throats can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. Colds and the flu are the most common culprits. These types of sore throats are generally not serious. If a sore throat is accompanied by fever or does not go away after a few days, it could be a sign of a more serious bacterial infection such as strep. Bacterial infections respond well to treatment with antibiotics, yet this does nothing for viral infections. Natural remedies may give relief to these types of sore throats. The effectiveness of natural remedies varies from 1 hour to overnight.
There are many types of natural remedies. Most are in the form of herbs, spices and teas. The most popular of these are:
Apple cider vinegar–2 tbsp. in 8 oz. of water three times daily. Since 2 tbsp. may be too much for some people, it is a good idea to start with 2 tsp.
Cayenne pepper–1/2 tsp. in 1 cup of boiling water. Gargle the solution while it is warm. You can also slowly sip the solution.
Hydrogen peroxide–Gargle a mixture of half hot water and half hydrogen peroxide several times daily. Do not swallow.
Iodine painting–The iodine solution is painted on the skin of the throat. Iodine solutions are prescription only in the U.S. but can be purchased and imported online marked as a poison. It is safe in small doses, but care should be taken when using.
Pickle juice brine–Heat up and gargle or sip as a tea.
Salt water–Gargle 1/2 tsp. salt in 1 cup of warm water.
Tabasco sauce–Gargle 10 to 20 drops of Tabasco sauce in 1 cup of warm water.
While natural sore throat remedies may bring relief to some throat sores, they will not cure all. Sore throats caused by a bacterial infection need medical attention. You should see your doctor if you have any of these signs or symptoms:
* Sore throat lasts for several days
* Sore throat causes severe pain or trouble with breathing
* Blood in saliva
* Enlarged lymph nodes
* White patches or puss in the back of the throat
* Fever of 103 degrees Fahrenheit, or 101 degrees in children under 6 months
* Excessive drooling
* Interaction with someone who has had strep
Natural remedies have been studied by scientists for centuries, yet they are still unsure of their relevance. Some herbs have been found to boost the immune system, heal sores and cure pain. Reports also show that herbs can boost energy and overall health, but there is still a lot of research to be done. Some remedies that were thought to be helpful have now been found to be harmful and dangerous to the body. Natural remedies may have side effects that you did not expect, and care should be taken before using. Always ensure that you are taking the proper dosage, and check with your doctor to ensure that the herbs will not have adverse effects with your current medications. Also check with your doctor to make sure the herbs are safe to use.
The time line of herbal remedies:
* 2800 B.C.E.–The earliest recorded use of herbs dates back to China.
* Circa 400 B.C.E.–Hippocrates claimed that the principles of diet, exercise and happiness were the cornerstone of the hearth.
* Circa 100 B.C.E.–The first herbal remedies were illustrated in Greece.
* Circa 50 C.E.–The Romans spread the use of herbal remedies and begin commerce in plants.
* Circa 200–Galen, an herbal practitioner, creates an illness classification system.
* Circa 500–The wisdom of Hippocrates spreads throughout Britain during Saxon rule.
* Circa 800–Monks use herbal remedies and have physic gardens.
* 1100s–Arabs have a major role in medicine and healing. The physician Avicenna wrote the “Cannon of Medicine.”
* 1200s–Europe is swallowed by the Black Death. Apothecaries attempt cures by bleeding, purging, mercury, and arsenic with no avail. Traditional herbalists also fail to find a cure.
* 1500s–King Henry VII advocates herbal medicine. Many acts of parliament are passed to regulate medical practices and protect herbalists.
* 1600s–Difference in medical care for the rich and poor emerge. Poor receive regular herbs, while exotic treatments are reserved for the rich.
* 1700s–Charles Wesley preaches sensible diet, good hygiene and herbal medicine as the keys to a long life.
* 1800s–Mineral drug treatments begin to overshadow once-popular herbal treatments. Never before seen side effects begin to emerge with the new mineral drugs calomel and laudanum. Albert Coffin uses Native American plants to treat the poor at a low cost. The growing pharmaceutical industry preaches that herbal remedies are outdated. Herbalists form national association to defend themselves.
* 1900s–Herbal medicine makes a comeback during World War I due to a shortage in pharmaceutical medicine. Penicillin is discovered, creating an expansion in the pharmaceutical industry, and herbalists begin to vanish.
* 2000–Legislation advocates that herbal medicines must undergo the same testing as pharmaceutical drugs, so that all herbal medicines will be licensed.