Natural Herbal Remedies for a Sore Throat

throat-ease

Check out these remedies for sore throat

The best sore throat remedy is speed.

I’m not talking about an illegal substance. What I mean is, as soon as you get the first little symptoms: that scratchy feeling in your throat, a slight soreness that’s barely noticeable, that is the best time to act.

Most sore throats (80%) are caused by a virus, and there isn’t much a doctor can do for you because antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them may give you diarrhea, and definitely screws up your “good” gut bacteria. This leaves you worse off than before you took the medication for no benefit.

Links for all the remedies mentioned are at the end of this post.

Act Fast

If you spring into action as soon as you realise you’re getting a sore throat, there’s a good chance you can knock it on the head before it really gets a hold. Home remedies for sore throat are definitely helpful, and if you act fast enough you may be able to avoid the pain altogether.

So, whether you’re taking early steps, or even if you have ignored or failed to notice your body warning you that the sore throat is on its way, the best treatment is probably a natural remedy.

Fastest acting: Garlic and honey

The fastest-acting natural remedy for a sore throat is garlic and honey. This may sound disgusting, but it works really fast. Crush a clove of garlic, chop it finely, then let it sit for 20 minutes, (the all-important allicin does not exist until two compounds held in separate cells of the garlic mix together and react), then mix it with an equal quantity of honey (Manuka honey if you’ve got it). Then eat the mixture. The honey takes away a lot of the bite of the garlic, but you can close your eyes if you want, or hold your nose! You can take this 3-4 times a day.

An alternative, if you can’t bear this idea (which after all, is probably no worse than a lot of proprietary medicines and much less likely to do you any harm), you can use my patent chicken soup recipe, which you will find here.

Soothing a sore throat that’s gone nasty

If your sore throat has reached its nasty stage, you may also want to try gargling with one of the following:

salt water (1 tsp salt dissolved in a cup of warm water),
apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tbsp of each stirred into a cup of hot water),
green tea (add honey if you like),
marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) infusion.

You might also like to suck some Manuka honey lozenges, or drink some throat relief tea (a mixture of cinnamon and marsh mallow).

If you’ve got an oil burner or electric diffuser you can use it with an essential oil such as cajuput, clary sage, Eucalyptus citriodora or Eucalyptus radiata to provide a soothing and antiseptic atmosphere.

As with all essential oils, none of the oils mentioned in this post should be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.

Keep hydrated, sleep as much as you can and if your sore throat is still bad after 2-3 days, consult your medical practitioner. But in most cases, using a combination of two or three of these remedies will do the trick and save you the visit.

Links

apple cider vinegar
honey
green tea
throat relief tea
cajuput essential oil
clary sage essential oil
Eucalyptus citriodora essential oil
Eucalyptus radiata essential oil


Feathery fennel is an attractive herb

Herb Fennel health benefits: for cough, cold, sore throat and more

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Feathery fennel is an attractive herb

Feathery fennel is an attractive herb

Fennel, or herb fennel as it is sometimes called to distinguish it from its larger relative sweet (or Florence) fennel grown as a vegetable, Foeniculum vulgare (although you might find it labelled as Foeniculum officinale), is an attractive herb which comes in both green and maroony-red forms. Other common names by which it is known include aniseed weed, herb fennel and hui xiang. It is one of the sacred herbs of Wicca.

Fennel is a member of the family of Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) – which includes several very poisonous species including Hemlock – so for safety’s sake it is not a good idea to gather it from the wild.

Fennel is a perennial, although as a Mediterranean and African native (naturalized all over the place, including the UK and the USA) it’s only half-hardy, but if you give it a warm, sheltered position it will probably survive all but the worst winter. However, it does not like to be moved, so if you are growing it from seed, you need to sow it where you want it to end up, for best results. In colder climates, it would probably do best in a conservatory or greenhouse.

A standard infusion is made from 2 teaspoonfuls of seeds, fresh or dried, to 1 cup of boiling water. Allow to stand for at least 10 minutes before straining for use. Use it as a treatment for colic, coughs, flatulence (“gas” or “wind”) and indigestion, also as a laxative and tonic. A cold infusion can be used as a mouthwash for gum disease and a gargle for sore throats.

You can make a decoction of the chopped roots, using 30g (1oz) of fresh or 15g (½oz) of dried root to 570ml (1 UK pint, 2½ US cups) of cold water. Put them in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then lower the temperature to a simmer and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain before using hot or cold to treat urinary disorders.

Fennel is used by the Navajo to make lip balm.

As with all herbs grown for use as herbal remedies, it’s important that fennel is grown organically, so as to reduce the risk of ingesting large quantities of chemicals with your remedy. For more information about growing herb fennel organically, visit the Gardenzone.

I offer a selection of fennel products in my online shop.

Aromatherapy

Sweet fennel essential oil is used mainly for respiratory and digestive conditions, including improving appetite. It’s not suitable for children, pregnant women or anyone suffering from epilepsy, cancer, or taking prescribed blood thinners. It should not be used on sensitive skin.

As with all essential oils, fennel essential oil should never be taken internally, even though you may see this recommended elsewhere. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause permanent damage if used in this way, even if you think you have diluted them. Be safe and use them as intended, in massage blends and diffusers, and keep them out of the reach of children at all times.