Sore throat refers to the inflammation of the pharynx or back of the throat It occurs frequently when a person has a cold or an attack of influenza. This inflammation may also involve the tonsils and adenoids.
Causes and Symptoms
In the case of an acute sore throat, the patient complains of pain, irritation, and inflammation in the throat; followed by chills, fever, and some hoarseness or laryngitis. The lymph glands along the sides of the neck may become swollen and tender. The back of the throat may become very red and even covered with a greyish-white membrane. The patient may find difficulty in swallowing, especially during the acute stage. There may also be some postnatal discharge if the inflammation has spread to the nasal passages.
The main causes of a sore throat are common cold and influenza. Other causes include sinusitis, measles, diphtheria, and even leukemia in rare cases.
Mango Bark: Mango bark is efficacious in the treatment of a sore throat and other throat disorders. Its fluid, which is extracted by grinding, can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a throat gargle. This gargle is prepared by mixing 10 ml of the fluid extract with 125 ml of water.
Belleric Myroblan: The herb belleric myroblan is valuable in sore throat. A mixture of two grams of the pulp of the fruit, a quarter teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of powdered long pepper, and two teaspoons of honey should be administered in the treatment of this condition. The fried fruit can also be roasted after covering it with wheat flour, and used as a cure for a sore throat.
Bishop’s Weed: Bishop’s weed is valuable in treating a sore throat. An infusion of the seeds mixed with common salt can be used beneficially as a gargle in an acute condition caused by a cold.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is regarded as an effective remedy for a sore throat resulting from a cold. One teaspoon of coarsely powdered cinnamon, boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder, and two teaspoons of honey can be taken as a medicine in the treatment of this condition. Two or three drops of cinnamon oil, mixed with a teaspoon of honey, also give immense relief.
Fenugreek Seeds: A gargle prepared from fenugreek seeds has been found to be a very effective remedy for treating a sore throat To prepare this gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be put in a litre of cold water and allowed to simmer for half an hour over a low flame. This should then be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature, strained, and then used entirely as a gargle.
Henna: The leaves of henna are useful in a sore throat. A decoction of the leaves can be used as a gargle for this purpose.
Holy Basil: The leaves of holy basil have also been found beneficial in the treatment of this condition. Water boiled with basil leaves should be taken as a drink, and also used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat.
Kaniakari: The herb kantakari has proved valuable in sore throat. An extract of the plant should be used as a gargle for this purpose. This extract is prepared by continuously boiling the plant in about two litres of water after washing it thoroughly.
Liquorice: Liquorice is a recognized home remedy for sore throat in all parts of India. A small piece of raw liquorice should be chewed or sucked for treating this condition. The healing property of the herb soothes inflammation quickly.
Sage: Sage is another effective remedy for a sore throat. Half a litre of boiling water should be poured on a handful of sage leaves. When moderately cool, a little vinegar and honey should be added according to taste. This mixture should be used as a gargle. A teaspoon of this mixture can also be taken internally at the same time.
Tea Decoction: A decoction made from tea leaves is very beneficial in the treatment of a sore throat. This decoction, mixed with a pinch of salt, should be used as a gargle. It can be used two or three times daily for obtaining relief. It is not necessary to use fresh leaves for this purpose. Boiling water can be poured over used tea leaves in the tea jug and this decoction used as a gargle.
Tamarind: Tamarind is also beneficial in the treatment of this condition. Tamarind water should be used as a gargle. A powder of the dry leaves and an infusion of the bark can also be used for preparation of a gargle for treating sore throat.
A person suffering from a sore throat should fast on orange juice and water for three to five days, depending on the severity of the condition.
When the severe symptoms subside, the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for three or four further days. Thereatter, he may adopt a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on seeds, nuts, grains, raw vegetables, and fresh fruits.
During the initial juice and water fast, the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm-water enema. This should be done twice daily in more serious cases. A wet pack should be applied to the throat at two-hourly intervals during the day, and one at night. The procedure is to wring out some linen cloth in cold water, wrap it two or three times around the affected part, and cover it with flannel. Gargles may be done several times. A hot Epsom salts bath, taken daily during this period, will be highly beneficial. Dry friction, deep breathing, and other exercises should form part of the daily health regimen.