For Your Health: Relieve Your Sore Throat

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It’s well into cold season. Along with coughing and the sniffles comes the dreaded sore throat. Instead of heading to the pharmacy for your typical over-the-counter drugs, treat your scratchy throat with these herbs from the comfort of your home.

Menthol: Menthol is one of only two herbal ingredients that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat sore throats. (Eucalyptus is the other approved herb.) Menthol is considered a local anesthetic, which easily relieves acute sore throat pains. But don’t give products containing menthol to children younger than two years old because it may trigger skin problems or asthmatic issues.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra): The inner bark is known to soothe the mucous membrane that lines the outer wall of the throat. This herb has been used since 1820 in American drugstores.

Marshmallow: Similar to slippery elm, marshmallow is used to soothe the mucous membrane in the throat. Marshmallow may also stimulate your immune system.

CAUTION: Ask your doctor before using this herb because it may counteract some prescription drugs.

Marshmallow is a colorful flower that can be used to soothe an itchy throat.
Photo by cbcastro/Courtesy Flickr

Licorice: This herb has been used to treat sore throats for centuries. You can easily nibble on a small piece of licorice root for relief.

CAUTION: Do not use for more than 4 to 6 weeks. Long-term use may cause water retention and high blood pressure from high levels of sodium retention and possible potassium loss. If you are pregnant or have liver or heart disease, or high blood pressure you should not use this herb.

For the full list of herbal sore throat remedies check out Herbs for Health: Sore Throat Reliefs.

Try out these homemade remedies using the mentioned herbs for your irritated throat:

Sore Throat Gargle with Sage
Echinacea Throat Spray

What do you use to relief your itchy throat?

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