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Sore Throat

A sore throat affects a person in many ways and the symptoms vary from one individual to another. Accordingly some describe the peculiar symptoms of the disorder as a burning sensation, while others feel a tickling or scratchy sensation in the throat. By and large a sore throat affects the person as a general sore feeling that starts at the back of the oral cavity gradually spreading out into the region of the middle throat; these symptoms are generally felt along with varying degrees of pain in individual cases. A sore throat can usually be seen more as a symptom of another illness and arises as a result of inflammation in the sensitive tissues of the throat. The body responds by increasing the rate of circulation of blood in the throat as soon as the initial inflammation or irritation has begun. Therefore the swelling and the pain felt in the throat and the subsequent reddening of the tissues is an actual reaction of the immune system, as the increase in the circulating blood transports and increased load of white blood cells and other substances to counter the initial infection, therefore the actual symptoms present are merely signs that the body is fighting back the infection.

Some of the usual causative agents of a soreness in the throat-or the real triggers of the condition-are primary physiological reactions such as allergies, environmental factors such as dust and smoke and low humidity also play important roles, additionally soreness in the throat can be experienced as a result viral infections and infection by other pathogens such as bacteria; the body may react to all of these factors and thus trigger the soreness in the throat. External events such as the draining of excessive mucus from the nose and from the sinuses down the back of the throat and even things like a postnatal drip are often followed by soreness in the throat and in such cases, the sore throat usually comes around because of infection from viral sources or from an allergic reaction of the body to these physical intrusion. Moreover the sensitive tissues in the throat are primary targets for the viruses that bring about colds and other throat infections.

It normally takes several days at a stretch and a persistent infection for the development of a virally caused soreness in the throat. There are also differences in the way different sore throat causing pathogens elicit symptoms from the affected individual, for example viral infections commonly persist for longer periods but are comparatively mild to moderate in the symptoms that they bring about vis a vis bacterial infections. Bacterial infections often strike suddenly and can bring out acute symptoms and give a lot of discomfort to the individual, a good example is strep throat, and this type of bacterial infection can quickly establish itself over some hours. Bacteria infect abruptly and generate symptoms such as severe pain in the throat and other uncomfortable physical symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing; the presence of fever is also typical of bacterial infections.

Supplements and herbs

All of the herbal remedies given below as well as the supplements listed here can help combat the soreness in the throat by their ability to bolster the functioning of the immune system, some of them are also analgesic in action and aid in alleviating the pain and all of them will aid in the reduction of the inflamed tissue in the throat. The most effective way to use these remedies is in combination doses and this is the suggested method for their use during the entire treatment regimen, this is true for all the supplements and herbs unless given otherwise. The great thing is that these supplements are free of side effects and can be used combined with other allopathic medications such as the common over-the-counter prescription medications normally prescribed for dealing with colds and other allergies, they can also be used along with antibiotics prescribed in the case of strep throat and other related bacterial infections.

Infections in the upper part of the respiratory tract are a leading cause of sore throat in people, such cases of soreness in the throat can be dealt with using the vitamin C, as this vitamin can effectively deal with the infection in the respiratory tract and thereby indirectly fight the sore throat; the vitamin deals with the infection by increasing the immune system response to the condition. Another important action of vitamin C is its ability to reduce the accumulated inflammatory compounds in the body, this role of a natural antihistamine that vitamin C possesses can help a lot of allergic prone people in cases of sore throat. During the occurrence of a sore throat, the mucus membranes are often affected and irritated, the vitamin A used as a supplement can increase the rate of healing of these mucus membranes. A good herbal treatment to be utilized at the first sign of a soreness in the throat are a combination of the Echinacea and garlic herbs, these possess bactericidal and antiviral properties; they are effective in dealing with all cases of soreness in the throat involving pathogenic invasion.

The length of time during which the throat is sore may be appreciably reduced through the use of lozenges made from zinc, these lozenges have been shown to be especially effective against sore throats caused by colds; research has also indicated that the period of soreness is reduced to a great extent when these lozenges are used. A good option for dealing with sore throats is to drink a herbal tea made from either the slippery elm or the root of the marshmallow herb; this is particularly so in cases of soreness in the throat where the person does not suffer from a sore throat or dislikes the taste of the zinc lozenges. The herbal teas are effective against the soreness because of their ability to relieve pain; this is possible because these herbs coat the throat and enable food or liquids to be swallowed easily. Other compounds that act against allergic reactions and combat infection in the throat called procyanidolic oligomers (PCOs) are found in abundant quantities in herbs like the slippery elm. A tincture made from the goldenseal herb contains berberine which is bactericidal compound, a few drops of this tincture can be added to tea and drunk to combat bacterial infections; the immune system is also bolstered in this way against possible infections. The herb licorice can also be added to any tea in dried form or in a tincture form particularly if you experience congestion; people with a high blood pressure problem are however advised against utilizing licorice in any form.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for sore throat:

Homeopathy

All the homeopathic remedies given below can be used hourly at strength of 30c especially if the ailment is of an acute nature. The strength of 30c will be sufficient to deal with the condition when dealing with the majority of acute cases of soreness in the throat. All acute cases of sore throat can also be effectively dealt with using commonly suggested and proven supplements such as propolis, the all purpose herb Echinacea, myrrh or even a little plain lemon juice with added honey. Lozenges made from zinc are also excellent bets in treating many acute cases of sore throat.

  • Belladonna
    Belladonna is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of sore throat in affected individuals, especially in cases where the appearance of the sore throat is sudden or unexpected. Physical symptoms can also include burning and hot sensations, including a dry and bright red throat. The throat of the person can also become swollen and tender; pain can be present. The person may feel a persistent need to swallow. Other physical symptoms in the individual can include sensations of suffocation and constriction including a plugged and full feeling in the body. When the person attempts to drink certain physical symptoms may appear; which is the production of a sudden choking spasm. Some other symptoms which the person may experience include pain felt during the act of swallowing; this pain can rapidly worsen from drinking liquids. Other symptoms can also lead to the appearance of high fevers. The facial region may become reddened and hot, a throbbing headache is also a common symptom. The person also generally appears dulled and is often delirious. The condition of the patient can completely worsen when the person is exposed to cold air and to touch and when he or she is involved in activities which include swallowing, turning the head in any appreciable way, the right side of the body can also be seriously affected. On the other hand the condition of the person generally improves with sufficient amounts of rest and relaxation. The presence of one or more of these symptoms in an individual suffering from sore throat calls for the immediate use of Belladonna as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the sore throat.
  • Hepar sulph.
    Hepar sulph. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of sore throat in individuals where the symptoms of the condition come on abruptly, the patient experiences painful sensations as if a fish bone were stuck in the throat. The sensations felt are splinter-like pains that spread out into all regions of the throat. Such patients are typically very sensitive to being touched by other people. Other painful sensation such as a stitching pain that comes into ear often comes when the person is swallowing something. Many lumps of foul smelling mucus is often hawked up by the person as a further physical symptom during the period of soreness in the throat. Other physical symptoms include a deterioration of speech and the hearing is often blocked. In general such patients find it easy to swallow liquids but have a problem swallowing solids. Such persons also display certain typical psychological symptoms that include irritability, and often display impulsive burst of anger. The person may complain of being chilled all of the time. Such persons do not take well to suffering of any sort and are extremely hypersensitive as far as pain is concerned. The condition of the patient worsens when the he or she is touched, when he or she is exposed to drafts, after consuming warm food and especially at night. The condition of such patients can improve when they have had some warm drinks. Such patients in general crave sour foods and liquids. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Hepar sulph. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the sore throat.
  • Kali bich.
    Kali bich. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with sore throat in which the soreness often begins with the development of splinter like pains; further physical symptoms can also include the presence of pain when swallowing anything even if it is simply saliva. The physical characteristics of the mucus produced or coughed up by such patients tends to be a thick, yellow and jelly like mass, often coming out in long drawn out strings. Physical symptoms can also include constricting sensations along with a lot of hawking and choking. Some painful sensations are almost always felt by the person when the tongue is protruded out. Physical symptoms can also include a lumpy sensation or a blocked and plugged like sensation. The person may also experience some difficulty in swallowing things. Other typical symptoms also include the formation of ulcers on the uvula and the throat. The condition of the patient greatly worsens when the person is exposed to cold and damp weather; the condition can also be aggravated of the person talks a lot, or when he or she is sticking out their tongue. The condition of the patient can also greatly improve when the patient allows himself or herself to be exposed to warm weather in the outdoors. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Kali bich. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of sore throat in the afflicted individual.
  • Lachesis
    Lachesis is to be used in the treatment of sore throat in individuals where the area around the throat may become raw and dark red in color. The person is very sensitive to physical contact and the condition is aggravated even when the person is touched very mildly, the throat has a constricted feeling inside and gives out other physical symptoms. The physical symptoms tend to affect the left side of the throat more than the right. The person experiences a lot of painful sensations and may have difficulty swallowing hot drinks and saliva, at the same time solid foods and cold drinks seem to cause little problems to the person. A very typical sing of the condition is the feeling of a lump or a crumb like object in the throat, this uncomfortable sensation goes away when saliva is swallowed but returns immediately. Such persons tend to be very talkative and are very sociable. A good way to check and confirm such patients is to let them stick their tongues out, the protruded tongue quivers. The patient often regurgitates and chokes; this can be used as a typical sign for the use of Lachesis. The condition of the patient greatly worsens when the person feels any pressure; the condition is also aggravated from exposure to heat, and on waking; because the person is very sensitive, even a slight touch on the collar can irritate them. The condition of the patient greatly improves after consuming cold drinks. The presence of one or all of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Lachesis as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of sore throat in the individual.
  • Mercurius
    Mercurius is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals suffering from any form of soreness in the throat, where the throat feels swollen, and reddens. A burning and raw sensation is also often evident in the throat. The throat may undergo some form of ulceration and there could be production of pus in the throat. The patient feels some uncomfortable stitching sensation while swallowing but nevertheless feels a persistent desire to swallow-this adds to the discomfort. The discomfort is chiefly a sensation that resembles an apple core stuck in the throat of the patient. The patient also brings or hawks up a lot of mucus that come up in lumps. Another physical sensation is the presence of a burning sensation which resembles resembling hot air rising within the throat. The condition of the patient markedly worsens at nighttime and the patient also typically produces a lot of saliva. Physical symptoms also include night sweats. The tonsils and other glands of the individual often swell up. The patient also complains of a metallic or putrid taste in the mouth and often suffers from foul breath. The affected individual often has a cracked tongue which looks flabby and indented. The condition of the patient usually worsens at night, or when the person consumes warm drinks and when a compress is used, the condition is also aggravated by changes in the weather. The presence of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Mercurius as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the sore throat.
  • Phytolacca
    Phytolacca is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of individuals afflicted with a sore throat where the physical symptoms include the swelling of the affected region along with the presence of a burning and raw sensation; the throat may be dark red in color due to these symptoms. There is a lot of pain when the person swallows and these sensations radiate into the ears whenever the person swallows. The person has a sensation resembling the presence of a hot lump in the throat, in addition the tongue of the patient is often painful at the root, and the tip of the tongue is red. Physical symptoms also include swelling of the glands all over the body. The person may feel a persistent desire to hawk up mucus and keeps clearing the throat at all times. The production of saliva increases to a great extent. The person is often given to moaning and often suffers from a sore sensation allover the body. Psychological symptoms can include apathy and physical fatigue. The condition of the patient can greatly worsen on exposure to changes in the weather, a cold and damp environment also aggravates the condition, and consuming hot drinks can also worsen the condition. On the other hand the condition of the patient improves after consuming cold liquids. The appearance of one or more of these symptoms calls for the immediate use of Phytolacca as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the sore throat afflicted individual.

Additional things you may do

Modify your external environment in some way; a humid environment may aid in keeping the throat lubricated and smooth. This type of environment can be generated in the house through the use of a humidifier or cool-mist vaporizer. Avoid all vapors and smoke from car exhaust and cigarettes, stop smoking as this aggravates the condition. Increase the body's fluid content by drinking at least eight or more cups of liquids every day. Some food items and especially things like hot soup or tea and other warmed liquids can be very beneficial.

Usual dosage

  • Garlic, 400-600 mg four times daily. Should be taken with food.
  • Echinacea, 200 mg four times daily.
  • Slippery elm, drink as a herbal tea, one teaspoon per cup of hot water is used. Slippery elm can be combined or substituted with root of marshmallow herb.
  • Vitamin A, until symptoms improve, take 25,000 IU two times daily. If you need take it after seven days, the dosage should be reduce to 10,000 IU daily. If you consider pregnancy, do not exceed 5,000 IU daily.
  • Vitamin C, 1,000 mg thrice daily. If diarrhea develops, reduce the dose.
  • Zinc, one lozenge every three or four hours. 150 mg of zinc daily from all sources should not be exceeded.

For kids

See age-appropriate dosages of herbal remedies

All sorts of throat infections can be treated through the use of a combination formula of the Echinacea and goldenseal herbs; these herbs can help combat the infection causing pathogen and clear away the infection and are good for use with children. The beneficial effects of these herbs are through their ability to stimulate the immune system. If the sore throat is of an acute nature, children must be given a dose once every two hours during the really severe part of the inflammation or infection. Once the acute stage is crossed, the dosage for children can be progressively reduced from a single dose every two hours to one dose thrice a day for a total treatment period of one week.

For your attention: the use of Echinacea to treat sore throat in children on a daily basis should not exceed ten days at a single stretch; this is because the herb will lose its effectiveness if prescribed and used over too long a time period. Children can also be treated using garlic-which supports the immune system and is bactericidal at the same time. Many children tolerate an odorless form better and these forms should be used for children. Garlic is available in many forms, it can be given as a soup or liquid garlic extract can be drunk with water, a whole capsule of garlic can also be used as this form is odorless and children seem to like it. Continue the treatment for as long as it is necessary or until the child recovers, the instructions on the product label are easy to follow and sufficient for all treatment regimens. Sore throat can also be treated using a herbal tea which can be brewed whenever needed. Use a single tablespoon of licorice root, a single tablespoon of hyssop, two tablespoons of slippery elm bark, and a single teaspoon of sage all of these can be used either singly or together in a quart of water, boil them for some time. Sore throat is eased and alleviated by the licorice and slippery elm through their ability to soothe irritated mucous membranes. The detoxification of blood is increased and aided by the hyssop and sage herbs acting together. During treatment using this tea, children can be given a single dose, thrice a day for several days at a stretch or until the child shows signs of recovery. If the tea is cooled, the child can also use it for gargling to treat the sore throat.

For your attention: children with a high blood pressure should not be given licorice in any form for the treatment of any condition whatsoever. The Chinese botanical formula known as yin qiao must be given to children who show signs of developing scarlet fever, dosage can be a single dose of the formula given two times every day, for a treatment period totaling two days at most. If the symptoms still persist on the third day, discontinue the use of the formula as it is not effective after three days of continuous usage.

For your attention: because it has no aspirin content, the liquid extract is the preferred form for use with children. If the child is four or younger, the tablet form should not be used. Fever may be lowered through the use of the yarrow; this herb also increases the rate of perspiration. For the first two days, children can be given a single dose, two to three times every day, and as needed during the incidence of the condition. Children can also be given the seed extract of the grapefruit for internal consumption or for use as a gargle to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat. The best forms of the seed extract of grapefruit for use with children are the ones such as Citricidal, Nutrabiotic, or Paramicrocidin, which are diluted forms of the extract. To prepare the gargle, mix five to ten drops in a glass of water and gargle as and when needed. Children can also consume three to five drops of extract in 6 ounces of water; this dose can be followed three or four times everyday, for a treatment period extending to three days in one stretch.

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Comments

From Erin - Mar-28-2011
I thought I would add colloidal silver to the list. My 4 year old has just had a 2 week run of on & off fever, deep cough, lethargy, some nasal congestion. We did all of the above then used colloidal silver for 3 days and all of a sudden he is better! Perhaps it was a combo of many things but I believe this really helped.
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