For Your Health: Relieve Your Sore Throat

| 2/18/2011 11:25:06 AM

S.CollinsIt’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.

Marsh Mallow2 
Marshmallow is a colorful flower that can be used to soothe an itchy throat.
Photo by cbcastro/Courtesy Flickr