Antibiotics don’t help soothe most of the sore throats, show the latest findings based on the national health surveys. This startling news came right at the beginning of the cold season and first cough outbreaks. With the cloudy skies, cold wind and drizzling rain, sore throats, bronchitis and colds will follow. But if antibiotics don’t help, what does?
American doctors love to prescribe antibiotics even if they don’t help. This troubling result of the latest study was based on 2 million records of doctor visits per year from 1997 to 2010. According to the findings, even if antibiotics help only with bacterial infections, doctors were prescribing them for viral infections like a cold, the flu or sore throats.
Of course, if your sore throat is caused by streptococcus bacteria, the oldest antibiotic ever and one of the cheapest on the market – penicillin will work fine, but only 10 percent of all sore throat cases are caused by it. In the other 90 percent you have to look for other treatment. And even if a sore throat infection is not considered serious, you don’t have to suffer from terribly itchy throat hating every bite of food you swallow. You can assuage the pain by taking some simple steps to recovery and fight infection on your own.
Make yourself a drink.
Drinking is the most essential part of sore throat treatment. Fluids keep your mucous membranes moist. Natural fruit juices will work magic since they have plenty of vitamins you need to boost your immune system. To lubricate your throat slowly drink warm chamomile or sage tea. Make yourself raspberry leaf tea pouring boiling water over the leaves and let them brew for 10 minutes. Or create a really powerful mixture of lemon juice and ginger with raw honey and garlic.
To do the last, squeeze one lemon, crush one garlic clove, chop few inches of fresh ginger, pour over hot water and let it stay for few minutes. Sweeten it all with one-two teaspoons of raw honey.
Drink it constantly up to three cups a day. Lemon juice and honey will coat and soothe your throat. Garlic is a well known remedy for respiratory infections and sore throats. Ginger will boost your resistance and tone your body.
Treat yourself with fruit ice cream.
It sounds paradoxical, but if you have a sore throat some frozen sweets can make you feel better lessening your pain. Of course, low fat treats will do better than their full fat counterparts. Ice cream will easy your pain, but if you substitute it with frozen yogurt, frozen fruits or sherbet you will also get plenty of vitamins without clogging your arteries and adding extra calories. With such sweet treatment you will improve your mood. A good mood will definitely boost your immune system – the only mechanism that really fights viral infections.
Make your food tender.
Cook your food until it is tender and still retains moisture. Cut any hard food into really small pieces, or mash it. When you have a sore throat the sensitive mucous membranes on the back of your throat are irritated, so don’t irritate them even more. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Avoid acidic, hot and salty food. All those excessive tastes, though delicious, can irritate your throat even more. Homemade chicken broth will soothe your painful throat the best.
Go for zinc and vitamin C.
Zinc lozenges can shorten your sore throat, make it less severe and strengthen your infection resistance. You can find zinc naturally in wheat germ, liver, soy beans, lentils, beans, fish and shellfish, seaweed and yogurt. However, too much zinc might be toxic, so don’t make it more than 40 mg per day if you are taking it long term since it may weaken your immune system.
Vitamin C might also help because it stimulates immune system cells to fight infections. Naturally it might be found in guavas, black currants, parsley, beet greens, green, red and chili peppers, brussel sprouts, curly kale, broccoli, watercress, papaya and oranges.
Avoid triggers that irritate your throat.
Cigarette smoke is one of the major causes of sore throats, so try to avoid it. Even if you smoke, stop at least until you feel better.
Another irritant might be dry air, so add moister to the air using humidifiers or vaporizers.
Even snoring can worsen the pain in your throat! To avoid it, try to change your sleeping position or use an extra pillow.
Don’t hesitate to change your toothbrush as well. Sometimes sore throats are caused by bacteria on your toothbrush. You can keep it in grapefruit seed extract to kill the bacteria between uses, but no matter how you keep it, change it regularly and every time you recover from infectious illness.
And don’t forget to gargle with salty water to easy your symptoms.
If you do all this your sore throat should go in a week or even faster. But if you have severe pain for more than a week, fever higher than 101F, difficulties breathing, go to a doctor. You might be in that 10 percent experiencing strep sore throat and need antibiotics. Don’t forget to eat yogurt or drink kefir with acidophilus cultures even when prescribed with antibiotics. They will help you grow your own “friendly” batteries and avoid one of the side effects of antibiotics – diarrhea and yeast infection.
Now you have at least five ways to best fight a sore throat that antibiotics won’t help. Here’s to wellness.
By Alsu Salakhutdinov