7 Herbs to Help Soothe a Sore Throat

Sore throats are not very pleasant and those who suffer from relentless sore throats need to start focusing on prevention and stopping this condition before it begins.

What does that mean, exactly? It means we need to embrace a comprehensive approach to natural health and wellness which includes, regular chiropractic checkups, fitness, nutrition, and most importantly stress reduction. As a chiropractor we detect and correct the dysfuntion in regions of the spine called vertebral subluxations. Vertebral subluxations restrict the movement or the vertebrae (bones) in the spine causing a misalignment. This condition can cause a numerous amount of disorders including headaches and back pain. Fortunately, subluxations can be corrected with gentle maneuvers called chiropractic adjustments.

There are many alternatives to help in soothing a sore throat. Suggested is all natural therapies to stop at the source, rather than drugs which can have potentially harmful side effects and will only mask the symptoms. Herbal remediesare one alternative to consider. Below there are some suggestions to help soothe the annoying sore throat. But remember what works for one individual may not work for another. You must also be aware of the dosages allowable for children, in order to rule out any counter-indications.

Go Green – conquer your sore throat with green tea. This wonderful tea is a powerful antioxidant which will fight off infection by preventing the cellular reactions that cause disease. This tea will also kill the microbes that will cause a sore throat. If you heat the tea it will also add the additional comfort. The recommendation dosage is 1 to 4 cups per day. It is also wise to look for tea made from 100% green tea leaves. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you can choose a caffeine free variety or low dosage caffeine type.

Garlic – although garlic may not help your social status and can work wonders for your sore throat. Garlic helps to fight throat infections by killing the virus, bacteria or fungus that may be causing the problem. This herb will even avert future infections by increasing and strengthening the immune system. Recommended dosage is 2-5 cloves per day. Add minced raw garlic to your favorite foods, such as soup, pasta salads, dressings and anything else you enjoy eating. Raw garlic is better than cooked garlic or powder form.

Berries – tea made from blackberry, strawberry, raspberry or blueberry leaves can take the edge off the pesky sore throat. Berry leaves contain chemicals called tannins, which will combat the throat infection. The heat from this tea will also help soothe the irritated throat tissue. Recommended dosage is 2-4 cups per day. It is wise to look for organically grown dried leaves to avoid any pesticide residue. If you are allergic to berries, stay away from these products and pregnant women should not drink berry teas as it may stimulate delivery.

Astragalus – astragalus membranaceous is a root that has been used for centuries in China for its healing properties and may subdue recurring sore throats. This herbs works by strengthening the immune system. 'According to many studies, this herb has demonstrated a wide range of immunopotentiating effects' (Alternative Medicine Review, 1998; 3: 338-44) Recommended dosage is one 500-mg capsule 2-3 times per day. If you suffer from autoimmune disease you should not take Astragalus.

Tea Tree Oil – this oil is derived from an Australian tea plant. This oil destroys bacteria, fungus and viruses by stimulating the production of white blood cells. It will kill the microorganisms that cause the sore throat. Tea tree oil will stop the throat pain at the source. This remedy is so powerful that in lab experiments it destroyed super-hearty Staphylococcus strains that are resistant to antibiotics. (Pharmazie 1999 Jun; 54 (6): 460-3)

Calendula – this herb is in a spray form and it will provide speedy relief for a dry and irritated throat. This spray is made from the dazzling orange petals of the Calendula officinalis flower. It soothes the swelling associated with sore throats and may help subdue viral infections. Studies have shown that the alcohol derivatives in Calendula account for its anti-inflammatory effect. Calendula spray comes in various strengths, so please follow the instructions, and do not spray on open wounds.

Echinacea – this herb is one of my favorites. Echinacea purpurea is a purple cornflower that is widely known for its healing properties. Herbalists believe that Echinacea boosts the immune system, making it easier for the body to recover from colds and flus that may accompany a sore throat. Recommended dosage is 1-2 400-mg capsules 2 times per day, we like to use the liquid form and put 2-3 drops in our juice or tea. It also comes in a child form without the alcohol. It is not wise to take Echinacea for more than 3 weeks at a time and any individual suffering from an autoimmune disease should not take Echinacea.