How to Soothe the dreaded sore throat

 

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It’s scratchy, tender and swollen, and you dread the simple task of swallowing. But you must swallow, and when you do, you brace yourself for the unavoidable pain.

If you’ve got a sore throat, you’re in good company; everybody gets them, and 40 million people trek to the doctor’s office for treatment every year.

The mechanics of a sore throat are pretty simple. It’s an inflammation of the pharynx, which is the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus. The leading causes of your discomfort are:

  • Viral infections, like colds or the flu. Often accompanied by fever, achy muscles and runny nose, viral infections can’t be cured, but their symptoms can be treated. A sore throat from a viral source will generally disappear on its own within several days.
  • Bacterial infection, especially from streptococcal bacteria (strep throat). Symptoms are much like those of a viral infection but may be more severe and long lasting. Often a bacterial infection is accompanied by headache, stomachache and swollen glands in the neck. A strep infection is generally treated with antibiotics because permanent heart or kidney damage can result. Culturing the bacteria is the only way a doctor can determine the cause of the sore throat.

While those are the primary reasons for a sore throat, there are others, including:

  • Smoking
  • Acid reflux
  • Allergies
  • Dry air, especially at night when you may sleep with your mouth open
  • Mouth breathing
  • Throat abuse: singing, shouting, coughing
  • Polyps or cancer
  • Infected tonsils
  • Food allergy

A sore throat can be a minor but annoying ailment, or it can be a symptom of a serious illness. Causes range from a stuffy nose or a cold to strep throat, a bacterial throat infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Since untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever and scarlet fever, it’s important to get medical help as early as possible into the illness. Along with producing severe soreness in your gullet, strep throat may be accompanied by fever, body aches and pains and malaise.

If you have these symptoms, or if you have a sore throat lasting more than two or three days, it makes good sense to see a doctor. For mild sore throats that accompany a cold or allergy, there are soothing remedies using common household items that can stand alone or work side by side with traditional medicine to stifle that soreness.

Gargle raspberry tea. Raspberry leaf tea can make a great gargle. (To make, pour 1 cup boiling water over 2 teaspoons dried leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Allow to cool.) If you also have a fever, the gargle can be used as a fever-reducing drink, too. Do not drink any liquid you have used as a gargle.

Gargle with sage. This curative herb is a great sore-throat gargle. Mix 1 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Add 1 teaspoon each cider vinegar and honey, then gargle four times a day.

Gargle with turmeric. Try this gargle to calm a cranky throat. Mix together 1 cup hot water, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gargle with the mixture twice a day. If you’re not good with the gargle, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric in 1 cup hot milk and drink. Turmeric stains clothing, so be careful when mixing and gargling.

Gargle with warm saltwater. If you can gargle without gagging, make a saline solution by adding 1/2 teaspoon salt to a cup of very warm water. Yes, when your mother told you to gargle with saltwater, she knew what she was talking about. It cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation. Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup warm water, and gargle every three to four hours.

Gargle with Listerine. Another good gargling fluid is Listerine mouthwash. If you share the product with anyone else in your household, don’t drink straight from the bottle; instead, pour a small amount into a cup (and don’t share that, either).

Other remedies to try are a steamy shower, sipping warm liquids, taking an anti-inflammatory (ibuprofen) most of all get lots of rest and feel better soon!

 

Paleo Friendly Foods and Drinks to Soothe Upset Stomach

You’ve cut out the gluten, nixed the dairy, and said no thank you to the side of refried beans with your fajitas and have been feeling fantastic! Then, all of a sudden, it hits you:  an awful stomach ache.

What the heck’s going on?

Every once in a while, there still may be the one-off, odd stomach issue. The culprit? Eating something slightly past its best, cooked in a hidden oil in a restaurant, or possible veggie contamination from not having been properly washed.

PALEO-FRIENDLY NATURAL REMEDIES TO SOOTH STOMACH ACHES

 

ADD COCONUT

Fresh coconut, if possible.  Coconut water not only will help to replace electrolytes lost through diarrhea, it will also help settle your stomach.

ADD GINGER

Sipping ginger tea or chewing on fresh ginger helps digest heavy foods or hearty meals, and children may chew on ginger to ease a stomachache or to relieve motion sickness.2 Grab a ginger root, scrape off the outside skin with the side of a spoon, chop it and add to some boiling water to make tea.

ADD OIL OF OREGANO

High in natural anti microbial properties, it will help balance out any of the bad bacteria you may have ingested.  There’s some evidence that oil of oregano has anti-fungal or antiviral properties, it’s thought to be helpful for some gastrointestinal issues. One study showed that treatment with oregano oil may help treat parasite infections as well.3

ADD PROBIOTIC TABLETS

Also excellent at helping rid the gut of unwanted bacteria.

EAT STEAMED VEGGIES

Focus on steamed vegetables rather than raw for a day or two.  If your stomach is actually physically sore, eating steamed veg may feel more soothing than lots of raw, crunchy food.

KEEP FRUIT IN CHECK

Cut down or omit on fruits.  Even though the sugar in fruit is ‘natural’, it’s still sugar and the last thing you want to do is provide food to the bacteria that has inhabited your gut.

HYDRATE

Chances are, you’ve become a bit dehydrated after being sick and this is an easy fix.

STICK TO NATURAL

Stay away from mainstream recommendations to drink things like ‘Pedialyte’.  The ingredient panel says it all:

Water, Dextrose. Less than 2% of the Following: Citric Acid, Potassium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Citrate, Artificial Flavor, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium, Zinc Gluconate, and FD&C Red #40.

I’d love to hear why ingesting artificial flavor, sucralose, acesulfame potassium and red#40 are helpful to settle one’s stomach.

REST

Last but not least, rest is of utmost importance to allow your mind and body time to recuperate!

 

Adapted from the source: http://bit.ly/2jbvwJ3