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Best Remedies for Sore Throats covers natural ways to relieve sore throat pain and also prevent the further spread of a cold virus. Strep throat is also discussed.
I got my tonsils out in my early twenties. They were infected; so I was happy to take the medical doctor’s advice and have them removed. I hoped it would help me to have fewer incidents of sore throats. Alas, no. Sore throats are my body’s first go-to. Whenever I get run down, first symptom: sore throat.
So, over the years, I’ve tried a lot of remedies. Now, I’ve truly found the ones that work best, and I’m excited to share them with you.
SORE THROATS AND INFECTED TONSILS
A swollen or infected organ
When any part of the human body swells or is inflamed, it is the body’s way of communicating that there’s a disturbance. The tissues do not need to be removed or suppressed. Rather, inflammation is the solution the body is providing to activate healing. Any discharge, as in the case of swollen tonsils, is the body’s way of eliminating the disturbance. There are effective remedies and approaches if we want to assist our body in this process.
MD Health says,
In years past, if the tonsils frequently became inflamed or infected they would be removed. While this is still a course of treatment in some cases, doctors now understand that the tonsils have a much larger impact on the digestive process than was originally anticipated. The tonsils also help to fight off infections, which is why they can become covered in white spots. These spots are usually pus that has developed as white blood cells kill off bacteria or viruses infecting the tissue.
Botanicals, homeopathy, acupuncture and other natural approaches seek to treat the illness by stimulating self-healing, which is what our bodies want to do (much as a wound will scab over and heal with time).
What is Nature Cure
Botanicals that help the body to fend off a cold virus either strengthen the immune system or assist in the removal of toxins. This understanding of wellness and healing is called Nature Cure.
So while caution is required in conditions like appendicitis, where a swollen organ can be life-threatening, there are often natural methods that can assist a swollen organ in eliminating the infection.
(Rabbit Trail — We avoided appendectomies twice, by the way, with the use of repeated enemas to clear out the swollen appendix. I don’t recommend this because I’m not a doctor and because of the danger involved. But in our situation we had peace and confidence that it was the right choice, and the method was effective. We were so thankful to bring quicker relief, to avoid surgery and to keep an organ that definitely has a role in gut wellness. To read more about our process, here’s the video that discusses this approach.)
What do the tonsils do
The tonsils’ main function is to catch viral or bacterial particles and transfer them to the lymphatic symptom. The tonsils also secrete white blood cells.
When tonsils are removed or suppressed they are no longer an aid to the body.
Because I no longer have my tonsils, natural remedies have become my new line of defense.
With or without these organs, remedies can come alongside our bodies for this noble purpose.
If you don’t already use natural throat remedies that work, consider trying these. Often I do not need internal immune support, simply because the throat approach is enough.
1. Ginger tincture for sore throats
What’s the best sore throat remedy?
My most surprising personal discovery concerning sore throats has been: ginger tincture!
Usually I use ginger tincture to support our digestion, for stomach aches, nausea and similar.
But about 8 months ago, when we were out of other sore throat remedies, we used ginger tincture instead. Our special aha moment was this: Ginger tincture actually works better on sore throats than any other sore throat remedy we’ve ever used!
So, friends, this is now our go-to. If you only choose one sore throat remedy, I suggest Ginger Tincture.
Who can use Ginger Tincture
Most people will find this remedy super gentle, another bonus.
But there are a few who might prefer other options for these reasons:
- If you don’t tolerate the tiny amount of alcohol used to make this tincture, it’s not a good fit. Alcohol-base.
- Some people have a hard time gargling, including small children.
- It’s a bit spicy (not super).
If you’re an adult and don’t prefer gargling, I’d say: try and learn. It’s worth it. There’s no easier remedy to keep on hand.
How to gargle for a sore throat
- Put about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ginger tincture in 2 to 4 ounces of water. Take a sip, but don’t swallow. (It will be spicy. Use less tincture if you’re concerned about it being too spicy.)
- Tilt your head back as far as you comfortably can. Gargle while also tilting your head from side to side. This gets the ginger into your nasal, throat and ear cavities. If you can, gargle for a good 30 seconds.
- Swallow. And if you can, wait a bit to talk, eat or drink.
- I repeat 3 times daily, or as needed.
This gargling method can also be used for the next remedy, colloidal silver. But with colloidal silver, I do a ratio of 1 tablespoon silver to 2 tablespoons water.
2. Colloidal silver
We’ve had tremendous results with this product. Colloidal silver has some misinformation surrounding it.
The fact is: colloidal silver made properly is very gentle (it’s ALL excreted from the body safely), yet it’s very strong against pathogens, viruses and bacteria.
We used to buy colloidal silver from our raw milk farmer. But recently we bought the same machine she has to make our own. It is very inexpensive to make your own colloidal silver, but it’s expensive to buy it.
If you like the idea of using this remedy regularly, you can consider making your own. Otherwise, this is the brand I trust if we were to buy a commercially made product.
The nice thing about gargling with colloidal silver is: It also works internally to fend off viruses, so you get the double benefit. Colloidal silver also fights infections better than any other remedy I’ve ever used.
3. DIFFERENT BRANDS OF THROAT SPRAY
I have tried many brands of throat spray. I’ve experienced their soothing abilities as well as their prophylactic abilities (using them to prevent a sore throat or cold from getting worse).
Here I share with you the best of these products, contrasting them, so you may know which is the very best, in my opinion, and why.
There are other categories for rating throat sprays, not just their ability to keep one well. Among these, I discuss which herbs for sore throat are often used. Also: the flavor of the sprays, which definitely affects their overall palatability, especially for children or sensitive adults.
When to use throat spray and how to prevent a cold
Perhaps most importantly, application plays in: remember to use throat spray at the first sign of unwellness. Prevention is key, and these herbs reign at helping to kick out the bad guys before they set up camp. If you wait until you are really sick, these herbs will still bring relief and help your body to get well faster; BUT they are not instant wellness pills. So try to use the sprays when the sore throat comes on.
Always use them most effectively by spraying them on the throat right before lying down to rest. Don’t talk after spraying.
How to soothe a sore throat and use throat spray
I use 2-3 sprays to get my whole throat: left-middle-right. For my kids, if we can get the right spots on the first try, lol, 1-2 sprays in enough.
- Elderberry-Red Root — This spray wins the prize. Flavor-wise, it’s sweet and even a bit yummy. Effective?, yes. Great to spray on right before you go to sleep (don’t talk; lie down, let it run into your nasal and ear cavities). This is the powerhouse of prevention and comfort. A really sore throat won’t be completely gone after one application. But this tincture will bring relief and assist in healing. The brand, Eclectic Institute, has an excellent reputation. If you also happen to have an ear ache on one side, spray the throat on that same side; then lie down with the painful ear facing the pillow. The spray will run into that cavity and help to bring healing. (Also, of course, alternately use Garlic Mullein Oil with that same ear facing up for 1 to 2 minutes.) Why go on? Why read further? These other sprays deserve reviews, too:
- Menthol-Mint by NuNaturals (the stevia company) — This one ties in the flavor and numbing categories with Elderberry-Red Root spray. The menthol in this spray will even loosen mucous in your nasal passages and may have you spitting or blowing your nose after 1 to 2 sprays. Sweetened with honey (not stevia), it’s got a strong minty flavor and is recommended for kids and adults. I carry it in my purse. If I’m talking a lot (or reading books aloud to my kids) and get a dry throat, it works wonders.
- Echinacea-Goldenseal by Gaia Herbs — Some top herbalists do not recommend combining echinacea and goldenseal. I have found both herbs to be very effective for me, both prophylactically and after the onset of illness. So perhaps personal experience weighs into the discussion. However, this is my favorite spray to mention because of its flavor. I am amused to report that this spray tastes of horse stable and shoe store. It is terrible. It tastes so bad that is will make you laugh after you grimace. So, perhaps it goes without saying, this is my least favorite of the four spray options I’ve reviewed here. However, it is effective in numbing the throat, reducing pain, bringing relief and perhaps providing healing. Worthy of being included, it is still in the top four for how well it works. Many throat sprays on the market are not even worth buying. If you can’t get your hands on the other three reviewed, theeeen I recommend this one.
- Echinacea-Propolis by Herb Pharm — If you’ve purchased Herb Pharm tinctures before you’ll know what I mean when I mention their quality. This company provides excellent herbal mentrums (herbs soaked in alcohol). I have used many of their herbs for healing and continue to buy them for their effectiveness. That said, Herb Pharm’s throat spray was not designed with taste in mind. It has a strong alcohol flavor. The herbs are not delicious (but you get used to them). A functional spray that works well, it isn’t recommended for any but the most stalwart of children. Adults, be brave; it’s good for you.
4. Specifically Strep Throat Remedies
Are you wondering how to heal strep throat naturally? Wanting to get through strep throat without antibiotics?
Strep throat is bacterial
Strep throat is indeed a serious bacterial infection, often displaying itself with symptoms such as fever, white spots on the tonsils and a very sore throat with swallowing. Greater complications to heart, kidneys and other illnesses are real risks.
Antibiotics can be an effective and very tempting choice, strep being indeed bacterial in nature.
However, often used unnecessarily, antibiotics destroy gut flora diversity.
Gut flora diversity
When antibiotics are used repeatedly, one’s thriving gut colony is reduced to fewer kinds and quantities of good flora. Lacking a good probiotic army allows invasive pathogens to take over.
Frankly, once destroyed, a diverse gut flora colony can never completely be restored. We should treasure and protect the guts we were born with and reserve antibiotics for literal emergencies.
Another reason to reconsider the use of antibiotics? It sets the body up for repeated infections.
The fix is temporary. One intervention is just an arrow pointing to the next intervention, which eventually finds itself to where I found myself: a decimated gut, getting my tonsils out… and still!
Sore throats are now a lifelong baggage I carry with me. (And my gut…well, that’s a long story of healing, but never complete restoration.)
Web MD speaks the truth
Lastly, even Web MD warns that most extreme sore throats are viral in nature and will not be affected by the use of antibiotics.
Most cases of strep, they continue, will resolve on their own, without the use antibiotics: “Strep throat will go away in 3 to 7 days with or without treatment. Doctors usually treat strep throat with antibiotics even though they may not make you well faster.”
Pain relief for strep throat
The solution is to assist the body, to support its process of elimination, with herbs, homeopathy or sometimes other techniques in which a naturopathic or functional medical doctor specializes.
In the case of sore throats, herbs have been my first go-to. They are extremely effective. (But remember, sometimes there will be pain with an infection. We need to learn to practice caution, yes, while also toughening up and persevering.)
Which herbs for strep throat? I find ginger tincture to work best.
I have found ginger and elderberry to be the most effective herbs for sore throats. In the form of tincture (gargled) and spray, these herb provides topical relief and healing.
Regarding throat sprays, the Eclectic Institute brand‘s additional active ingredients are echinacea and slippery elm, for immune boosting and pain relief. Elderberry throat spray can be used upon the first onset of symptoms and/or perpetually until symptoms abate.
In the case of strep throat or any infection, prevention is the first line of defense.
For support of throat health and internal support, consider colloidal silver.
What about you? Please contribute below in the comments section any experiences you’ve had with sore throats, herbal sprays and getting through strep throat with or without antibiotics.
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