BRINGING RELIEF TO A DRY OR SORE THROAT
Holistic Healthy Living Blog
By Rachelle Tetreault, L,Ac
Fall time is a season of dryness which can affect the whole lung system which includes the nasal passages, sinuses, and even the throat as well as the bronchial passages of the lungs themselves. A dry throat can often be associated with allergies or even an onset of a viral or bacterial infection. In Eastern terms, this is often deemed a wind-heat invasion but can also just be attributed to dryness of the lung system and may only need nourishing not actual clearing of heat from this specific body system.
Staying hydrated both with nourishing food therapy and drinking lots of warm herbal teas and clean water is essential. Drinking ginger, peppermint, or cinnamon herbal tea can be helpful and typically at least 80 ounces of water daily. This applies to warm broths, soups, good nourishing fats like seeds and nuts. Specifically, chia, ground flax, walnuts, Brazilian nuts, and fish have the good fats needed to help hydrate the body and combat inflammation. However, to truly nourish the lung yin of the body, the best foods will include cooked pears, yams, cucumbers, melons, radishes, beets, millet, and rutabaga. Avoid processed meats and sugars which not only dehydrate but play havoc on the immune system. Alcohol and caffeine are also very dehydrating and should be avoided. Dairy products may increase the mucous production at this time and should be limited. Steamed chicken eggs help nourish many yin and blood deficiencies. For specific sore throat or irritability, drink raw, fresh watercress juice. Cabbage broth is a great remedy and both mint tea combined with cilantro is an ancient Tao nutrition food therapy to help relieve the throat.
Sometimes herbal prescriptions are recommended if a sore throat lingers. Certain formulas have marked antitussive and expectorant effects which can help if a cough is involved. Pharyngitis or sore throat pain is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor. Most are viral or allergy related. It is often accompanied by fever, fatigue, swollen neck glands, earaches, and a runny nose. The majority of patients are treated successfully without antibiotics and only the use of natural medicine and food therapy.
Some of the major natural relief herbals for the throat can be zinc lozenges which help fight the common cold and soothe the throat itself. They should be taken every two hours for 5 days at 15 to 25mg each dose. Licorice Root of 1 ml tincture diluted in 2 ounces of water can be consumed up to three to four times a day. This not only reduces the inflammation of the throat but also has benefits of strengthening the immune system overall. Other natural agents include oregano oil, goldenseal, and slippery elm. These can be taken as lozenges or tinctures, and even capsule form for relief.
If a fever persists with a raw extremely sore throat, an herbal antibiotic can be prescribed to ensure there is no lingering infection that may be present. Both lemon and frankincense oil can be gargled or also used as a warm compress over the throat to provide relief. Gargling with warm salt water can also be beneficial. It is important to rest and avoid added stress at this time.
In the clinic, certain acupoints are placed to strengthen the immune system and release wind-heat from the body which is the root cause for sore throat and fever. These points are located on several meridians, San jiao, large intestine, lung, urinary bladder, and du meridians are often used for this purpose. These include bilateral 6 point placement to assist in both releasing the pathogen from the body and assisting the immune system.
With simple dryness of the throat or lung passages, proper food therapy and hydration will typically be enough to remedy the symptoms. With an actual wind-heat invasion, usually caused by a virus, then an herbal prescription with point placement can be very beneficial in helping the body rid quickly of the pathogen.
With symptoms of nausea, stiff neck, confusion, or vomiting, a patient should go to the emergency room. This is to rule out encephalitis or meningitis. This is often seen accompanied by severe pain with just gentle taps to the neck, severe stiffness and immobility with chin to chest movement of the neck.
Following an herbal prescription for release of a wind-heat pathogen, it is recommended to take a hot shower or bath to help promote the diaphoretic or sweating function of the body. This actually helps destroy the viruses. Whereas lower body temperatures help decrease the resistance to both bacteria and viruses. It is beneficial to use steam inhalation for about fifteen minutes and up to three times a day. This can help heal the throat and bronchial tubes. If any present oral sores, do not use steam.
To help prevent future sore throat or dryness, adhere to a good hydrating diet without sugar and processed foods especially prior to the cold and flu season. A short cold shower following a hot shower helps strengthen the body. Also, regular exercise, stress management, and proper rest all fortify the immune system as a whole. Call today for your journey to optimal health. CALL 772-353-1397 TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT