Sore throat is a very irritating problem in which the throat is inflamed. This is generally caused due to colds and coughs. Sore throats can also be caused due to tonsillitis.
Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Sore Throat
Bayberry (Myrica nagi)
A hot decoction of the bayberry bark is taken as a gargle. This gargle makes a very good remedy for all kinds of throat infections.
Belleric Myrobalan (Terminalia belerica)
The belleric myrobalan, commonly known as behera in Ayurvedic parlance, is a popular Indian household remedy for coughs. The pulp of its fruit is taken. This pulp is mixed with salt, long pepper and honey. This is given for allaying the problems of sore throat. Instead of this preparation, its fried fruit can also be covered with wheat flour and then roasted on a low flame.
Betel (Piper betle)
Betel leaves are crushed and applied externally on the throat region. If the sore throat is accompanied by an irritating cough, then the berry of the plant is crushed and is taken with honey.
Butea (Butea monosperma)
Butea leaves are a good remedy in case of infections in the throat. A decoction of the leaves is prepared in water and is taken as a gargle.
Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum)
An infusion of cardamom (preferably with cinnamon) is used as a gargle for the treatment of sore throat problems. This infusion is good even if the sore throat is cause due to a serious condition such as influenza; in fact the infusion helps to prevent the influenza itself.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum)
Fenugreek is perhaps the best remedy for ordinary sore throats. Fenugreek seeds are put in a liter of water and allowed to simmer. This is kept for half an hour on a low flame. Later it is cooled down and then strained. The liquid is used as a gargle for treatment of sore throat.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is a very effective remedy that is used in various ways to treat sore throat. In fact, ginger can be used as a treatment for coughs and colds, which are the causes of sore throat. Ginger can be taken in the form of a tea, or it can be made into hot beverage with plain water and sugar. The juice of ginger is also taken with honey in order to treat sore throats.
Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
Henna leaves are taken in the form of a decoction for gargling. This has beneficial results in sore throat.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
The juice of the licorice herb has soothing powers for the throat. When having sore throat, just suck on some pieces of raw licorice, which allows the juices to pass slowly through the throat.
Dietary Guidelines for Treatment of Sore Throat
Curds and other sour foods must be avoided. Fried foods are extremely aggravating for this condition. Oil must be avoided in all forms. Even a trace of oil in the food can compound the problems. But ghee can be had in little amounts.
It is very dangerous to consume anything that is cold or refrigerated when there is a throat infection. This will make the sore throat so severe that even swallowing food and breathing might become difficult. Even foods with a cold propensity such as cucumbers, bananas, watermelons, papayas, etc. must be avoided.
Flavoring the food with spices such as ginger, black pepper, salt and garlic is beneficial.
Ayurvedic Treatments for Sore Throat
Several Ayurvedic remedies are employed in the treatment of sore throats. The following are some of them:-
External fomentation is done, followed by a gargle with one cup of lukewarm water in which a teaspoonful of irimedadi taila is added.
One teaspoon of yashtimadhu and vacha are given four times a day with honey as the vehicle. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) powder is also prescribed in doses of one teaspoonful of powder with hot water to be taken before retiring to bed. The latter remedy is generally prescribed in case there is constipation linked with the sore throat.
Chewing preparations such as khadiradi vati and eladi vati are also very beneficial and are commonly prescribed.
Home Remedies for Treatment of Sore Throat
The easiest home remedy is to take a salt water gargle. Put four teaspoons of salt in a liter of water. Warm the water, but not too much. It should be just alright for gargling. Gargle with this water for twenty minutes. If you gargle in the night before going to bed, then if it is a simple sore throat, it will be gone by morning.
Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds to boiling water. Put some pieces of garlic in it. Allow this to simmer for a few seconds. When simmered enough, set it aside to get cooled. This preparation is to be drunk as a beverage while still slightly warm. It helps relieve sore throat.
Sore throat is mostly caused due to common cold. It is accompanied by cough. Hence, remedies for common cold must be done. This will also treat the sore throat. It is not advisable to have a head bath until the sore throat condition lasts. Also, do not expose yourself to cold water and cold climate for a few days.