Herbal & homeopathic remedies for sore throat (pharyngitis)

Pharyngitis (Sore Throat)
HEALTH HERBS & NUTRITION - REMEDIES - EAR, NOSE, AND THROAT - pharyngitis (sore throat)

· General Description

· Symptoms

· Causes

· Herbal & Homeopathic Remedies

· Helpful Dietary Habits

· Dos and Don'ts

Natural herbal & homeopathic products for sore throat (pharyngitis)

General description & overview of sore throat (pharyngitis)

Pharyngitis is nothing but inflammation of the back of the throat, i.e. the pharynx (between the tonsils and the larynx).

Pharynx makes up the first part of your throat. This tube is around 12cms long - vaguely funnel-shaped, the wide portion being at the top. It begins behind your nose and ends behind your Adam’s apple. Because of its structure, proximity to outside atmosphere and type of work, it is constantly bombarded with bacteria, fungi, virus and other irritants. The mucus blanket that covers its tract tries to trap and sweep them away, and the tonsils try to destroy them, still when the attack is too much or the strength of these two warriors is not enough due to low immunity levels - infection strikes and you have sore throat.

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in sore throat (pharyngitis)

Throat and Tonsil Dr.

To soothe the throat, promote tonsil health, support immune functioning.

Product Details

Throat difficulties are the reason for almost 1/4th of all visits to the doctor. Sore throats are often the early warning signs of a cold or flu (infection from streptococcus bacteria is the cause in more than 1/3rd of the cases; then it is also called strep throat) but they do exist independently also, mostly due to some other viral or bacterial infection. Their variety ranges from minor irritations due to low humidity in winter or too much cheering at a football game to big time bacterial infection that calls for medical attention.

A sore throat usually lasts for three to four days; if the symptoms continue for more than that, you should consult your doctor as they may be an early sign of an illness such as glandular fever or mumps. You should also consult your doctor if your sore throat symptoms get severe, or you have an immune deficiency or a history of heart or kidney infections.

Another complication associated with pharyngitis is an abscess which needs to be removed or drained surgically. Strep throat is most common among children and teenagers, between the ages of 5 to 15.

When you visit your doctor, s/he will check your temperature and examine your throat, sinuses, ears, nose, lungs and neck. S/he will also feel for any swollen lymph nodes which indicate strep throat. Because so many different viruses and bacteria can cause sore throats, a throat culture is needed to identify strep. For this, a swab from your throat may be taken to test for strep infection. A blood test may be done to check for mononucleosis. If tests indicate towards a possible mono, your doctor will also examine your abdomen looking for an enlarged liver or spleen and feel for lymph nodes in other parts of your body in addition to your neck.

Natural remedies, medicines & cures for sore throat (pharyngitis).

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Symptoms of sore throat (pharyngitis)

Early signs are:

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Pain in the back of the throat (sore throat)

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The back of the throat may become very red and even covered with a grayish-white membrane

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Fever (sometimes with chills)

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Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck

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Headache

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General malaise (vague discomfort)

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Soreness when swallowing

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Usually a runny or blocked nose (just like in common cold), even post nasal drip

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Hoarseness or laryngitis

Severe symptoms that call for immediate or timely call to a doctor include:

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Severe and prolonged sore throat

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Headache

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Recurrent sore throats

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Difficulty in breathing accompanied by difficulty in swallowing or even opening of the mouth

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Joint pains, stomach pain, earache or a lump in the neck

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Rash over a part or whole of the body

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Fever above 101°F

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Blood in saliva or phlegm

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Hoarseness (laryngitis) lasting for more than two weeks

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Causes of sore throat (pharyngitis)

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Viral infections, usually due to common cold, flu, influenza, mononucleosis (often called "mono") or some allergy (sore throats due to viral infections are generally more painful than those due to bacterial infections)

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Bacterial infections (streptococcus, mycoplasma or hemophilus, specifically the bacterium streptococcus). One normally catches such organisms (both virus and bacteria) through direct contact with someone who has one of these infections as they are easily passed via nasal secretions and saliva

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Excessive smoking

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Excessive drinking

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Bronchitis

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Measles

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Cancer, leukemia

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Diphtheria

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Sometimes the cause of your problem is very subtle like

- Stress

- Fatigue

- Unhealthy diet comprising sugar and fat rich food and low in micronutrients (essential minerals and vitamins)

All these contribute in bringing down your immunity level, hence decreasing the body’s resistance to infection.

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Herbal & homeopathic remedies useful in sore throat (pharyngitis)

Conventional Medical Treatment

Antibiotics are only helpful when a bacterial infection is the cause of pharyngitis. For viral pharyngitis, antibiotics have been shown to only affect the degree of sore throat pain temporarily. Analgesics (pain killers) are also effective, but there are many simple measures that can also be used. Viral pharyngitis usually resolves itself without medication. Throat lozenges or cough medicine are often used for short-term pain relief.

Gargling with warm salt-water may help to relieve pain and reduce swelling. If the tonsils have been chronically infected, they may need to be removed surgically (tonsillectomy), although this should only be a last resort, as the tonsils are a powerful line of defense in the immune response to infectious organisms.

Herbal supplements & cures for sore throat (pharyngitis).

Natural Herbal and Homeopathic Remedies

Herbal and homeopathic remedies have been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions, so it is not surprising to find that nature’s very own medicine chest has its own sore throat and pharyngitis treatments. Herbs such as Salvia officinalis have a beneficial effect on all conditions of the mouth and throat and have well-known herbal astringent, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties. Gallium aperine (also known as Cleavers) is another excellent cleansing tonic that has a particularly beneficial effect on all the lymph glands, including the tonsils. This herb is effective in relieving swollen tonsils and other lymph glands, and is also recommended for glandular fever.

While these ingredients help relieve troubling pharyngitis symptoms, other herbal ingredients are especially helpful in assisting the body’s ability to fight off infection. Olea europea (extract of Olive leaf) is used to fight a variety of illnesses and to protect the body against disease, ailments, and infection of all types. Olea europea destroys viruses by stimulating the immune system to produce white blood cells and by preventing the replication of viruses, including the strains that cause viral pharyngitis– as nature intended. Another well-known immune strengthening herb is Echinacea purpurea, commonly used to treat colds and flu and is very well-supported by research studies.  

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Gelsemium 6C - This homeopathic remedy well-known for its ability to reduce the symptoms of sore throat and influenza. It is also an effective hay fever remedy and has a calming and soothing effect.

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Mercurius solubilis (Merc. Sol.) 6C - This has been used medicinally in its raw form since the times of Ancient Egypt to treat a range of infections. However, in more recent times, medicinal use of raw Merc. Sol. was discontinued due to the aggressive nature of Merc. Sol. and the risk of side effects However, in its homeopathic form, one receives the therapeutic benefits of Merc. Sol. without the associated side effects in concentrated forms. Used homeopathically, Merc. Sol. is extremely effective in the treatment of all mouth and throat infections, including infected throats, tonsils, tooth abscess and oral thrush. It is also recommended for fever as well as infections of the sinus and ears.

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Belladonna 30C - This is a homeopathic remedy used for fast relief of acute fever, pain, headaches, sore throat, swollen tonsils, dry cough and inflammation and is especially effective for illnesses which have a sudden onset.

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Gallium aperine (also known as Cleavers) - This is an excellent cleansing tonic and has a particularly beneficial effect on all the lymph glands, including the tonsils. Gallium aperine is effective in relieving swollen tonsils and other lymph glands and is also recommended for glandular fever.

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Salvia officinalis - This has a beneficial effect on all conditions of the mouth and throat and has well-known herbal astringent, antibiotic and antiseptic properties.

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Hypoxis Rooperi (extract of African Potato) - Hypoxis contains phytosterols and sterolins, which help to modulate the effect of the immune system. Research has shown the beneficial effect of plant sterols and sterolins on the immune system. Research done on a group of volunteers demonstrated a significant increase in the number of T-cells, which are involved in enhancing immunity.

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Agothosma betulina (Buchu) - This is a urinary antiseptic and possesses diuretic properties. Buchu has been used by the natives of the Western Cape of South Africa for many centuries and assists the body to rid itself of toxins by stimulating the secretion of retained water.

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Solidago virgaurea - This herb helps the body in its ability to routinely regulate mucus and has been used traditionally by herbalists for centuries as a tonic remedy to strengthen the natural protective ability of the body to fight infection.

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Schizandra sinesis - This herb is a powerful native ingredient from China. Schizandra is also used to assist the body in its capacity to regulate and maintain healthy energy levels and to routinely protect against toxins and cell damage. It is effective in helping the body to perform its natural function of regeneration of damaged liver tissue, while promoting improved overall regulation of physiological processes.

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Olea europea (extract of olive leaf) - This herb contains a compound called oleuropein acid that is effective in helping the body to routinely combat numerous pathogens (germs). The positive effects of Olive leaf have recently been demonstrated in a variety of clinical studies.

   
 

Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in sore throat (pharyngitis)

ImmunityPlus for sore throat (pharyngitis)

ImmunityPlus

Promotes healthy immune system functioning and helps fight viral and bacterial infections.

Product Details

Throat & Tonsil Dr. for sore throat (pharyngitis)

Throat and Tonsil Dr.

To soothe the throat, promote tonsil health, support immune functioning.

Product Details

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Helpful dietary habits (precautions & recommendations) in sore throat (pharyngitis)

An unhealthy diet is also considered as a very important factor leading to sore throat. A diet rich in refined carbohydrates like cakes, biscuits and sugar decreases the efficiency of your body’s defense system whereas a diet rich in important micronutrients increase the immunity level, thereby increasing the body’s resistance to infection.

Some of the key components of a balanced diet are:

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Vitamin C - Vitamin C is often touted as a help to prevent colds although no research has proved it till now. Still, it is widely believed by medical practitioners that a diet rich in vitamin C hugely decreases your susceptibility to infections. It also stimulates the production of saliva-soothing irritated membranes. Diet containing fresh fruits and vegetables should provide you with enough vitamin C in a day although emphasis must be given on citrus fruits (fresh fruits in totality and not their juice only) like grapes and blackberries, as they also contain bioflavonoids, which together with vitamin C keep the blood capillaries healthy and also possess anti-inflammatory property.

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Vitamin A – According to some researches, a diet rich in vitamin A is considered best against cold and tonsillitis. Vitamin A is supposed to be the 'membrane conditioner' as it helps build healthy mucous membranes in the nose and throat. Usual sources of vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene) are whole milk, curds, egg yolk, pumpkin, carrots, leafy vegetables, tomatoes, mangoes, and papaya.

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B vitamins – B vitamins help to maintain a healthy immune system and are easily found in whole grains, pulses and nuts.

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Vitamin E – This vitamin also helps in boosting the immune system. Its sources include avocados, nuts, seed oils and sunflower seeds.

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Vitamin D – It also helps in giving a tremendous fillip to your body’s defense system. The sources include dairy products, fish such as salmon, sardines, herring

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Dietary Iron – It is very essential for the formation of antibodies. Rich sources include green leafy vegetables, oily fish, offal (heart, liver), red meat, eggs.

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Zinc - Zinc enhances immune system activity and protects against a range of infections including colds and upper respiratory infections. Shellfish and nuts are rich sources of zinc.

Dietary recommendations for sore throat (pharyngitis).

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Lactobacillus species (probiotics, or "friendly" bacteria) are a useful species in treating respiratory infections such as tonsillitis and for reducing the chances of developing allergies. Yoghurt contains lactobacillus, which is a probiotic, which means that it actually helps fight, rather than cause, infection. Certain probiotic yoghurts, i.e. the ones which have even more of such beneficial bacteria lactobacillus are available in the market which are supposed to enhance the immunity and prevent and fight against common cold. They are also of immense help for anybody who is taking antibiotics as they replace the intestinal bacteria-an important source of B vitamins-that are destroyed by the medication.

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You must avoid spices and condiments as they are a major irritation to the throat. Sour substances like curds, buttermilk, and fried foods should also to be avoided.

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Increase your fluid intake as most throat problems are intensified by dehydration. Avoid orange juice as it burns the already inflamed tonsils; and thick, milky drinks as they coat the throat and may produce mucus, making you cough and increase irritation.

Homeopathic medicines & cures for sore throat (pharyngitis).

Some most effective home made remedies for sore throat are:

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Apply liquorice paste like a paint around the throat for relief.

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Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and cloves and add to a cupful of honey. Let the mixture remain for a day or two, afterwards take a teaspoon thrice a day.

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Take half a fresh lemon and squeeze into a glass of warm water, mix with two teaspoons of honey and a pinch of salt, sip slowly, this will help soothe soreness in the throat.

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The juices of carrot, beet and cucumber taken individually or in combination are considered invaluable for the treatment of tonsillitis. Proportions found helpful are carrot 150ml, beet 50ml and cucumber 50ml to prepare 250ml of combined juice.

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The throat may be gargled with hot water mixed with a little salt and lime juice several times daily. This will help draw out fluids from the inflamed throat, thus providing comfort. Remember, do not make gargling sounds as this may aggravate the soreness.

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Sage tea – pour a dessertspoon of chopped fresh leaves or one teaspoon of dried leaves of sage into a cup of boiling water. In this, red sage is preferred over garden sage, but both will work. Gargle with the solution once it becomes tolerably hot. Remember, do not make gargling sounds as this may aggravate the soreness.

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Egg - Mix an uncooked egg yolk, one tablespoon of sugar and one tablespoon of brandy or cognac. Swallow every 15 minutes. Alternatively, Mix 1 cup of hot milk, 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of honey then drink.

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Mix 1 cup of salvia, 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and 1-2 tea spoons of sea water. Gargle the mixture every 30 minutes.

Dos and don'ts (precautions) in sore throat (pharyngitis)

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Use a vaporizer or humidifier – Humidifiers increase and maintain the water vapor in the room and thus help prevent drying in the nasal passages and throat of the occupants, but humidifiers may cause humidifier fever, an ailment caused by bacteria that breed in the improperly cleaned reservoirs of such devices. Vaporizers are safer as infection-causing microorganisms can’t tolerate the steam heat it generates.

Alternative medicines, remedies & cures for sore throat (pharyngitis).

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Open your nose – Use nasal decongestants to clear your nose. Nasal decongestants, whether swallowed, inhaled, sprayed or as nose drops, shrink swollen nasal membranes and bring temporary relief from sinus problems, but using them frequently causes the nasal passages to become even more congested as their ‘rebound’ effect ensures even more inflammation of the membranes. It can take weeks for this swelling to subside after you stop using them.

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Steam inhalation – Inhale steam to relieve a stuffed nose. Fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head and tilt your head over the bowl in such a way that the steam is trapped. Inhale deeply for 10 minutes. You should add some eucalyptus oil (3 drops of essential oil) for making the steam an even better decongestant.

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Don’t smoke – Smoking increases the irritation, inflammation and infection build up in the already infected sinuses. It also interferes with the infection-fighting activity of cilia, the microscopic projections that sweep bacteria out of the nasal passages. So, please quit it for the moment at least otherwise all the medications you take might be ineffective. It is otherwise known that smokers and non-smokers are both equally susceptible to cold and sinusitis.

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Try to generally control the quality of air around you. Avoid smoky or dusty atmosphere.

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Take a steam bath – A steamy shower has the same effect on your cold as steam inhalation besides relaxing your body.

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Herbal & homeopathic products recommended in sore throat (pharyngitis)

ImmunityPlus

Promotes healthy immune system functioning and helps fight viral and bacterial infections.

Product Details

Throat and Tonsil Dr.

To soothe the throat, promote tonsil health, support immune functioning.

Product Details