It’s that time of the year again when the dry itchy feeling in the throat happens. I started mine 2 days back and I hate taking meds unless I have to. My first choice is always giving natural foods a try. I pulled out all those foods I usually double up on when I get a sore throat and now after 48 hours I feel so much better. I’ve found them to be very useful in quelling the symptoms. The sooner you start natural food therapy the better it is . A sore throat can progress into a painful hard to swallow feeling and then into flu-like symptoms. Nipping it in the bud while it is just a sore throat may prevent progression into a full-blown cold. Even if these foods do not completely heal a sore throat they do ease the symptoms which is a good enough reason to try it. So here goes : my tried and tested list of foods that heal a sore throat and some scientific reasons why they may help!
Foods that heal a sore throat !
Ginger : Lots of it eaten as close to raw as possible. Ginger is an analgesic (a pain-killer) that may alleviate the pain associated with a sore throat. It is also a good antibacterial and antifungal and can help fight the infection causing your sore throat. I love ginger and use it a lot whether I have a sore throat or not. I keep a grater handy and grate fresh ginger into soups, salads, veggie sides and meat dishes. I also love to blend it with fruits and veggie smoothies. The trick is to eat it as raw as possible. so if you’re adding it to dish, add it at the end to get maximum potency. I also carry around dry ginger honey crystal packs for drinks on the go. I get these neat packets in China town that dissolve into cold and hot water and I have a box of that at work. I can seriously get a little jittery if I run out of fresh ginger.
Garlic : Garlic is also a strong antibacterial, antibiotic and has antiviral antiseptic powers. The potency of raw garlic seems to be stronger if eaten raw. The easiest way to do this is to add crushed garlic to soups, stirfrys and dishes at the end of cooking. I like adding it to individual bowls of soup, so I can control how much goes in. With fresh peeled garlic available at most grocery stores, peeling garlic does not pose a problem. To read my post on garlic and ways to use it in the diet, click here.
Honey: Has been used for generations as a throat soother. It is one of the best known anti-inflammatory agents and soothes irritation in the skin and mucus membranes lining the throat. Just what your throat is craving when it’s sore. when combined with ginger and lemon it makes a great tea and tastes better too. Honey also has special infection-fighting enzymes, such as the glucoseoxidase enzyme, which gives antimicrobial protection. Honey will coat the throat and will help in preventing irritation, which is the main reason behind coughing fits.The more natural the honey is, the more anti-inflammatory properties it has. Raw honey is the best. Note : Never give honey to children under age 24 months. They cannot digest it and the spores can cause botulism in infants.
Lemon Juice : Is commonly used in conjunction with honey and ginger to soothe a sore throat. A great remedy for inflamed throats, sore throats will feel better as the this magical mixture goes down your throat. It will thin any congestion and also cool down your aggravated throat. Lemon also gives you a nice boost of vitamin C to fight any infection.
Soups : Are the proverbial remedy for a sore throat of the first symptoms of the flu. Although chicken soup is supposed to be the key, any warm soup will do. The action of warm liquid floating down an inflamed throat is relief in itself. Power up your soup with coconut oil ( anti inflammatory) herbs, pepper, garlic and ginger for an extra soothing throat healing soup. the beauty about soup is you can add anything to it and customize it with all of the throat soothing ingredients. Try my chicken leek soup for a soothing soup that is a real throat tamer. As for chicken soup, it has mild anti-inflammation properties and helps in relieving congestion by limiting the viruses that come in contact with mucus membranes. Egg drop soup is the home remedy in Asian cultures for a sore throat and works the same way as chicken soup.
Sage : Known to have healing properties, sage has been used as a medicinal herb for sore throat remedies. It contains oxygen-handling enzymes, flavonoids, and phenolic acid. Add it to tea, soups or dishes. To get the maximum benefit of this herb it must soak in the cooked food awhile, so add it during cooking and let the flavor soak in. I love adding sage to my soups because it enhances the flavor or the soup. I keep some dried sage at work to infuse into my teas.
Turmeric : Is a strong antibacterial and kills bacteria on contact. Sipping a hot cup of hot milk with some turmeric (about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon) stirred into it is soothing for a sore/inflamed throat. Add a little honey if you want. Choose almond, rice or coconut milk. Dairy increases mucous production and may not be the best choice when you have a sore throat. Gargling with salt water and a pinch of turmeric soothes a sore throat. When I was kid, salt water gargle was the first remedy for a sore throat followed by a glass of milk with turmeric and honey. It worked wonders. Turmeric can be added to herbal teas too.
If nothing else these foods are all natural, so try them and see if they help. Are there any home remedies you use to soothe a sore throat ? Do share, would love to hear from you.