What can I take for a very sore throat?
I can barely swallow, this seems to be the only symptom, I am not achey or have fever.
A sore throat (pharyngitis) is an ailment characterised by inflammation of the throat (pharanyx - the passageway that connects the oral and nasal cavities) and many cases are caused by viruses such as Adenoviruses & Rhinoviruses, from Streptococcus Bacteria or as a result of Candida over proliferation (thrush, bloating, wind). Many people experience this symptom as a result of the common cold, flu viruses, glandular fever, chronic fatigue, swollen glands, tonsillitis, chronic smoking habits, exposure to allergens. Most cases occur during the colder months and often spread among family members. Usually symptoms are short lived and will disappear without any complications. However, long term pharyngitis may lead to further complications and therefore requires attention if it lasts for longer than one week. A doctor will prescribe antibiotics for this complaint, however antibiotics are effective on bacterial infections only, and do not have an effect on viruses (e.g. tonsilitis).
Diet tips for a sore throat
- Eat plenty of garlic, ginger and onions, as the sulphur contained in these vegetables helps to reduce the severity of upper respiratory tract infections, improve the immune systems ability to fight off an infection
- Reduce the amount of dairy foods in the diet as it is mucus forming foods which contribute to congestion. Even if you have an unproductive cough or no mucus with a sore throat, by reducing the amount of dairy foods we consume we are able to support the immune and lymphatic system to recover and reduce congestion
- Ensure adequate hydration
- Avoid sugar and dairy foods
- Manuka honey added to some warm water with ginger or turmeric powder will help to clear the infection and ease the pain
- Concentrate on an alkaline diet and decrease acid forming foods. Try to lighten the load on your digestion and concentrate on easy to digest foods such as soups, vegetable juices, warm lemon juice drinks, vegetable broths and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Some trivia for you - During a normal day, the average person breathes nearly 25,000 times
Lifestyle factors for a sore throat
- Address lowered immunity
- A history of glandular fever, Epstein Barr virus or chronic fatigue syndrome may result in frequent throat infections
- Address lymphatic congestion
Natural remedies for a sore throat
- Zinc is a mineral which is commonly deficient when immunity is low as it is required for healing, immune support and is also a powerful anti-inflammatory
- Bromelain helps to break down any congestion and phlegm and to reduce inflammation and swelling
- Colloidal silver may be beneficial to kill off the detrimental bacteria that cause a sore throat
- Probiotics may help to colonize healthy bacteria through the immune and digestive systems. This is especially important if you have recently taken a course of antibiotics. When we take a course of antibiotics they wipe out all strains of good and bad bacteria and if we don't rebuild the good bacteria then we may relapse into illness again due to low resistance
- Herbal throat lozenges which contain antibacterial and soothing herbs may help to provide relief of the sore throat. Choose one which does not contain sugar as sugar will depress immune reactions slowing down healing
- Herbs to build immunity and reduce infection are Echinacea, Forsythia, Golden Seal, Olive leaf, Mullein, Ginger, Thyme, Sage, Myrrh, Andrographis, Licorice and Garlic
- Vitamin C powder may help to provide antioxidants to restore immune function and reduce inflammation. Powdered Vitamin C can be gargled to reduce inflammation of the throat
- Astragalus can be taken once the symptoms of inflammation and infection have passed to help reduce the reoccurance of the infection and improve long term immunity