Sore throats and throat infections go hand in hand with cold winter months. And as an avid believer in avoiding anti-biotics unless absolutely necessary, I recently found myself challenged by a nasty throat infection that I needed to beat without antibiotics due to the pregnancy. So naturally, I started searching through my kitchen, ran to my local health food store and stocked up on some of my favourite immune boosting foods. And to my great relief, 3 days later it was as good as gone! Natural foods and their healing properties can be so effective, especially when infections are caught early on. And I hope some of the suggestions below will help and inspire you for next time you’re feeling a little under the weather.
- Apple cider vinegar is one of my favourite staples and great for sore and infected throats due to its antibacterial properties. Add it to some warm water with fresh lemon juice and drink or gargle it raw a few times a day to help “flush” the painful/infected area. Make sure to get a raw, unfiltered and organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother” which is the effective part.
- Ginger is a natural anesthetic, numbing the mouth and providing instant relief. It is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent and has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. I usually go for a large shot at my local juice bar, but if you can’t get your hands on a proper raw shot, you can also add a good amount of raw ginger to your smoothie or make your own tea by grating fresh ginger and boiling it in a pot for 5-10 minutes before straining and drinking it hot or cold.
- Raw garlic is another effective remedy that prevent and treat sore throats due to its antiseptic and immune boosting benefits. Add garlic (preferably raw) to your food or take a garlic tablets if you don’t like the taste (ask at your local health food store for the best product).
- Using a humidifier is also super helpful as they add moisture to the air, preventing your throat from becoming dry. These are especially amazing if you add essential oils. A good friend of mine has bene supplying me with Young Living’s Thieves oil and it has worked wonders for us this winter. I add 3-4 drops to my diffuser and leave it overnight. Alternatively you can also drop 1 drop under your tongue once or twice a day or dilute it with a carrier oil and rub it under your feat several times a day (this is amazing and safe for kids too).
- Salt water gargles can be very helpful as they help prevent bacterial growth and flush out the area while loosening phlegm (mix 1 tsp in 240 ml water) and gargle several times a day. Remember to use a new cup every time to avoid re-contamination.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water helps loosen phlegm and helps flush out toxins from your system. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to make it even more effective, as lemon juice help kill germs and is rich in vitamin C.
- Hot herbal teas. You can’t overdo the herbal teas, many of which have great medicinal properties as well. Some of my personal favourites include liquorice root, ginger, peppermint, echinacea and cinnamon.
- Rest up. Even taking a day or two off exercising can help your body speed up recovery as even something as good as exercise can be a “stressor” in a negative sense when your body is trying to fight off sickness.
Happy Winter everyone.
Photo via Young and Raw