Chuck Those Antibiotics And Treat A Sore Throat Naturally
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The weather, these days is anything but predictable. Rising pollution levels means more allergens cruising through the air. And this is the air we breathe in and out all day long. Some years ago, medical experts predicted that in the years to come there would be a significant rise in allergies and ailments like the common cold, cough, flu, asthma and related illnesses.
A few years later, their assumptions have proved to be true This means that the seasonal cold or flu visits you even during the off season. Young children seem to be worse off than adults since their immune systems are as yet not fully capable of fending off minor infections. Parents throng clinics and hospitals in search of relief for their children and doctors duly oblige by prescribing medication.
Indiscriminate Use Of Antibiotics Gives Way To Alternative Treatment
Several medical journals and other media questioned the over-prescription of antibiotics. A supplement of the Journal of Anti-Microbial Chemotherapy recently published a study on the prescription of antibiotics in primary care.
The study revealed that 80% of general practitioners were found to prescribe antibiotics for ailments such as otitis media, upper respiratory tract infections, sinusitis and urinary tract infections. Although this method of treatment is effective in containing viral infections, it eventually leads to antibiotic resistance.
We can gather from this that antibiotics are not essential for curing minor viral infections such as the common cold or sore throat. There are plenty of effective alternative treatments, herbal and natural remedies that can be used to deal with these conditions.
6 Home Remedies To Get Rid Of A Sore Throat
If any member of your family has a sore throat, unless it seems severe and requires a physician’s attention, it can easily be treated at home. The following six alternative methods of treating a sore throat are tried and true. I have used them myself on several occasions. They are perfectly safe for children as well.
Hydrotherapy – Steam Inhalation Or Steam Baths
Many people assume it is a technique best suited for dealing with colds, sinusitis, bronchial asthma etc. Inhaling steam relieves pain in the throat and nasal congestion considerably. Doing this, at the very beginning when the symptoms set in, is useful in controlling the condition and preventing it from worsening.
The warm air has a particular effect on opening up blocked nasal passages, soothing a dry or parched throat and relieving headaches. Steam inhalation is highly recommended with just plain water. You can also add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint oil. The method is simple.
You can use a facial steamer if you have one or simply heat water in a dish. Cover your head with a clean towel and place the bowl of hot water directly underneath so that the steam rises up towards your face. Inhale deeply. Do this for 10 minutes, three times a day.
Small children may not like to inhale steam in this manner. Instead, you can give them a steam bath. First, close the bathroom windows and turn on the steamer. Allow it to run till the entire bathroom is filled with steam. Allow your child to sit on a stool for 10 minutes inside the makeshift steam room (do not leave him unattended) and then give him a hot bath.
Salt Water Gargle
Most grandmas around the world have great faith in salt water gargling. This is one of the single best ways to effectively combat a sore throat. In a saucepan, heat about 8 ounces of water and add one teaspoon of salt to it. Wait till the salt dissolves and then pour into a glass.
The water should neither be too hot nor lukewarm. Take half a mouthful of the salt water, swish it around the insides of your mouth and gargle well. Spit it out. Repeat till your glass is empty. The salt water is extremely effective in curing a sore throat. In fact, on practice, I would suggest beginning each day by gargling with salt water to keep throat infections at bay.
Sweet and delicious, honey is something every kitchen should stock throughout the year. It is not just something for mealtimes but also contains medicinal properties. Thick in consistency, honey does wonders for soothing a sore throat.
Many physicians recommend consuming one teaspoon of thick honey just before going to bed to ease the pain in the throat. If you can’t take the sweetness, dilute two teaspoons of honey in a glass of warm water and drink this mixture 3-4 times a day.
Home Made Cough Mixture
Most sore throats are accompanied with dry or productive cough. This can leave your throat feel irritated and painful. Why drink bottles of cough syrup when you can make just as effective a mixture right at home with simple ingredients off your kitchen shelf?
You will need a few peppercorns, a tiny piece of dry ginger, a few whole coriander seeds, two teaspoons of honey, ¼ teaspoon of coffee powder (optional) and 1 ½ cups of distilled water. The coffee works more as a pick-me-up so I often add it to my homemade cough mixture, just to feel a little more alert. Boil these ingredients for 10 minutes, cool and drink. Drink only freshly made concoctions. It keeps for a day.
Another wonder ingredient that has very special medicinal properties. Garlic is eaten for digestion, is considered a heart healthy food and works well to ease a sore throat. It takes some getting used it so start mixing it into food if you can’t eat it whole.
I recommend steaming it till it turns soft and then mashing it into your mashed potatoes or adding it to a gravy or sauce. For the brave few who canstomach it, I suggest dropping it into a warm glass of milk and gulping it down.
A few quick do’s and don’ts while you have a sore throat – Always drink boiled water (not just bottled water). Avoid eating spicy food since that aggravates a sore throat. Don’t eat anthing out of the refrigerator. Drink plenty of warm water, soups and other fluids.