Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Self-Reliant Health – Sore Throat

There's no need to go out and buy throat sprays and drops. They don't fix your sore throat anyway. They might numb it or temporarily soothe it in some way, but that's just a cover-up, not a cure. And they are medications, which add more load for your system to try to process and your liver to filter. Here are some of our most successful methods of either soothing a sore throat, or killing the problem that causes it:

Gargle with Hydrogen Peroxide -
Gargle really well with a small amount, getting it as far back as you can. Allow it to fizz and do it's job as long as you can before you rinse. Although there is food grade Hydrogen Peroxide that you can ingest, I don't. I swallowed a mouthful unintentionally once and it came right back up, along with everything else that was in my stomach.

Gargle with and swallow Colloidal Silver –
Silver kills bacteria. It also kills viruses, indirectly, by collapsing the host bacteria cell it invades and suffocating it. Since the silver is absorbed by the small intestine, it doesn't harm the needed bacteria in the colon. I've read about a lot of people who drink colloidal silver or take silver supplements on a regular basis for an extended period of time, but too much of a good thing is too much. I use it only short term when I have a specific need and it works great!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Lemon, Cayenne –
The acidity in the cider vinegar will kill bacteria when it contacts it. It is also high in Potassium. Honey has been used to soothe a sore throat for many generations. It also helps to alleviate a cough. Lemon is a fantastic cleanser, very nourishing and helps kill bacteria. Cayenne increases circulation which aids the body in attacking and flushing unwanted infections. It is also an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. These 4 substances can each be used separately or in any number of combinations. Mix the honey and vinegar in warm water and drink, or mix ¼ cup each without diluting and take a tablespoon every couple of hours, letting it slowly run down your throat. We like hot lemon and honey tea. Just add a Tablespoon (or 2 if you like it stronger) of each to a cup of hot water and sip it slowly. Adding ¼ tsp. cayenne to either of those combinations enhances their effect.

Warm Salt Water Gargle –
Salt inhibits bacteria growth and is a good cleanser. It also makes a great soother for sore throats but is often only a temporary solution.

Garlic –
Garlic is a natural antibiotic. It effectively kills bacteria, viruses, molds, fungus, yeast and parasites. The healing property in it, a substance called allicin, is released when the garlic is chewed or chopped or crushed. To avoid “garlic breath”, I put a piece of a garlic clove on a spoon and chop it up with the tip of a knife. Then we swallow it down with water without chewing it. If it doesn't mix with your saliva, you won't have it on your breath. However, it's most effective in healing a throat infection if you let the juices of the garlic clove bathe your throat. I used to keep a clove in my cheek and suck on it during cold season when I was younger and I would rarely catch what was going around.

Myrrh –
Years ago we went through a spell for months when it seemed like there was always someone in the family who was sick. We got pretty tired of garlic and in my search for an alternative, I discovered Myrrh. Myrrh is an excellent natural antibiotic and, according to one of my herbal remedy books, it has been found in tests to raise the white blood cell count, as much as 4 times! We take a couple of capsules when we feel something coming on and more often than not, it will stop the oncoming infection in its tracks. A very strong tea of Myrrh is an excellent mouth wash or gargle to kill sores or infections in those areas.

Slippery Elm Bark –
I love Slippery Elm. I buy it in bags in powder form. It is highly nutritious and has a mildly nutty taste. I'll often add a couple of tablespoons to a fruit shake. Two Tablespoons stirred into a cup of hot water will coat the throat and help alleviate both soreness and cough.

Ginger –
Fresh ginger, peeled and steeped in hot water with a little honey added, is a soothing tea for any occasion. Sip it slowly and you'll notice a prickly sort of tingle in your throat. Ginger also aids in digestion, and ginger tea is a good remedy to help get your voice back when it's been hoarse.

Oregon Grape Root –
Taking capsules or, preferably, drinking a tea made by steeping Oregon Grape Root in hot water, will kill Strep Throat. This is the only remedy I'm listing here that I haven't actually used myself. After reading this in several of my herbal books, I've suggested it to 3 different people who had been to the doctor and found that they, or in one case - several members of their family, had Strep but didn't want to use antibiotics. All 3 people reported back that the Oregon Grape effectively and quickly killed the Strep.

Those are the remedies we use most in our family. The Oregon Grape Root (I keep on hand just in case), Slippery Elm and Myrrh I buy 1 lb. at a time from a bulk source, or you can get them in capsules, tinctures or bulk from a Natural Foods store. The rest of the ingredients mentioned, are commonly used and in most of our homes anyway. They are good inexpensive alternatives to purchasing medicinal remedies and are much better for your body!

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