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SORE THROAT

Referred to medically as pharyngitis, a sore throat is characterized by dry scratchiness and painful swallowing. It is however, not a disease but generally a symptom of another illness like a viral infection such as a cold or the flu (influenza). In many cases, a sore throat is the first sign of sickness.

Sore throats are one of the main reasons for doctor visits among Americans. But in reality, they aren't necessary as most sore throats are caused by a virus and go away on their own in about 7 days.

Many times doctors treat bacterial infections with antibiotics Aside from the harmful side effects, antibiotics are a waste of time because they don't always speed healing or prevent infections from recurring. Plus, antibiotics aren't effective against viruses. The best way to heal a virus is with natural, self-care measures like resting and drinking plenty of fluids.

A sore throat is usually accompanied by other signs and symptoms, which can vary greatly depending on the type of infection a person has. A sore throat typically accompanies a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. Symptoms of each can help you determine which one you have. For example, in addition to a sore throat, a cold is likely to cause:

- Sneezing

- Watery eyes

- Cough

- A low fever — below 102 F

- Slight body aches or mild headache

Whereas influenza, is usually marked by:

- Fatigue

- Body aches

- Chills

- Sweats

- A fever over 102 F

Other viral illnesses a sore throat can accompany include:

- Mononucleosis

- Measles

- Chickenpox

- Croup

Bacterial infections (such as strep throat, tonsillitis and diphtheria, which is a serious respiratory illness that causes breathing difficulties and painful swallowing.)

In most cases, sore throats are caused by viruses. These are the same germs that cause colds and flu.

Bacterial infections are only responsible for a small amount of sore throat cases. Viruses and bacteria both enter the body through the mouth or nose. This can happen by breathing in particles that are released into the air when someone coughs or sneezes or from hand-to-hand contact or sharing objects with an infected person.

Other common causes of sore throat include:

- Allergies

- Dryness

- Pollution and other irritants

- Acid (gastroesophageal) reflux disease (GERD)

- HIV infection

- Tumors

If your not interested in wasting your time or jeopardizing your health with prescription medications, try a natural approach to treating & preventing a sore throat by following the regimen outlined below:

Always be sure to wash your hands often.

Do not share eating utensils with other people.

Avoid touching water fountains with the mouth.

Avoid smoking and second hand smoke.

Use a humidifier in dry weather.

When suffering with a sore throat, drink plenty of water, drink cabbage and fresh ginger broth freely and rest the voice as much as possible.

The following supplements may also be beneficial:

Acidophilus (take as directed on label) - Replenishes friendly bacteria.

Pau d'Arco (take as directed on label) - A powerful antiviral herb that combats infection.

Colloidal Silver (take as directed on label) - Powerful antibiotic.

Bee Propolis (take as directed on label) - Shields mucous membranes of the mouth and throat.

Garlic (2 capsules 3 times daily) - Improves immune function. I recommend Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract by Wakunaga of America, which is an odorless organic garlic supplement.

Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids (5,000 - 20,000 mg daily in divided doses) - Has antiviral properties.

Vitamin E (600 IU daily) - Promotes healing and tissue repair.

Maitake Extract (take as directed on label) - boosts immunity & combats viral infection.

Zinc Lozenges (take as directed on label) - Relieve pain and help with healing.

Elderberry, Calendula and Cayenne - Soothe and heal a sore throat.

Echinacea and Goldenseal - Powerful herbs that fight bacterial and viral infection.

Licorice - Soothes a sore throat.

Slippery Elm - Good for easing sore throat pain.

Did you ever experience a time when you had to attend an activity which requires a lot of talking, like speaking in front of a crowd, singing in a choir, delivering speeches, attending a gathering and just suddenly you feel a different, painful sensation in your throat? Then that must be it, you have a sore throat that will easily go away with the proper remedies, but will leave you stuck in pain if left untreated.

A sore throat is an inflammation of the pharynx, or the back of the throat, though normally, it is a part of a number of illnesses. It is often present when having flu or a cold and will naturally go away once the cold does. A severe sore throat, on the other hand, may be caused by a bacterial infection leaving you with strep throat and tonsillitis. However, whatever the cause may be, it doesn’t take away the pain which may haunt you for days, and can even provide an unpleasant feeling when doing your daily task. Here are some home remedies you could use to ease the pain of having sore throat.

·         Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne is a red hot chili pepper commonly used to spice up many dishes in the table, however, it is also associated with the miraculous health benefits it does to one’s body. Just mix 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 4 oz. of warm water – or you may adjust according to your tolerance level – and then gargle using the mixture. According to those who have tried this concoction, this actually works even if antibiotics have failed, but it may still take a few tries. Do this for 15 minutes or so until the soreness is gone. You can also add a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 1 cup of boiling water and gargle while warm. This will increase blood circulation to the area and help keep the infection away.

·         Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar has been known and proven to provide benefits to numerous kinds of illnesses in one’s body. Aside from it being just a folk belief, doctors say that it has some basis. Just mix one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water, but take note that you can adjust it according to how much you can take. Gargle it, and then swallow twice per hour. Doctors say that the acidity of the vinegar will fight the bacteria that cause the sore throat upon contact. After gargling, always remember to rinse your mouth so as to prevent the acidity of the vinegar to damage your tooth enamel when using this remedy.

·         Salt Water

One folk remedy that is known to cure sore throat very well, and is mostly used because of the availability of the products in every home is by combining salt and water together. Just simply combine a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle the mixture several times a day, and until the throat shows signs of improvement. This is because the salt dilates the capillaries behind the throat thereby improving blood flow and allowing bacteria-fighting cells to prevent worsening of the sore throat.

·         Honey

Honey is a substance that has a wide range of uses aside from its sweet, sticky treat that is being used in certain dishes. Its benefits are remarkable that it can cure a lot of minor illnesses. One of these is sore throat.  Squeeze a whole lemon to 8 oz. of cold water and add ¼ cup of honey, boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and allow it to steep for another 5 minutes. Breathe the vapor for another 5 minutes and then slowly sip ¼ to ½ cup of the mixture as needed for the sore throat.

·         Lemon Juice

Lemon is a much known cure for sore throat. Whether you gargle a spoonful of just the normal lemon juice, or add a drop or two of the lemon juice to hot water, or mix it with honey, you can still achieve that sore throat ease that you are looking for. Adding honey to lemon as a remedy is a better choice for it makes the taste better and bearable. Soothing the throat is done by the honey, while the lemon kills the bacteria, making them a great combination.

·         Ginger Tea

From a small ginger root, peel the skin and then slice the root into a shape resembling that of thin coins. Place it into a small pot of water and then boil to make tea. Wait until the tea turns into a yellowish color. Add three tablespoons of honey to the tea to sweeten the flavor and then sip the tea slowly. The tea gives a sharp sting to the throat after swallowing. After which, gently clear your throat. This also helps in getting your voice back after a cold.

·         Licorice

The herb licorice is a common ingredient in herbal teas to help cure sore throat. But with this remedy, you will be dealing with a real licorice twig. Just peel the skin from the stick then chew it. This will help soothe your throat over time. Although licorice has been proven to provide remedy to sore throat, it also has certain adverse effects to the body like high blood pressure, headaches and swelling when subjected to extreme long-term use. Therefore, people with high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, heart, kidney or liver disease, pregnant and nursing women or children are advised to avoid licorice or to consult a professional before taking this herb.

·         Garlic

More than anything else, our good old garlic must not be forgotten when it comes to natural home remedies. Fresh garlic can provide a lot more benefits because of the nutrients that it contains. The need to take in antibiotics can be warded off by taking fresh garlic because it is known for its ability to fight off infection. It also has excellent antiseptic effect and can cure both viral and bacterial infection. Place one clove of garlic between your cheeks and teeth at the first sign of sore throat and repeat several times a day. You can also eat two cloves of garlic a day, if you’re fond of it or chop it finely and serve with hot soup just before eating.

Everyone is in danger of getting a sore throat every now and then because it normally comes with colds and flu. The only best way to get rid of the painful sensation in the throat is to get rid of the flu, prevent what causes it, or just simply follow the home remedies laid above for you.

 

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