We All Get Sick
Whether you eat like a foodie or you eat whatever appears on your plate, we all get sick. Our body collects bacteria and viruses from our environment and eventually one of those bacteria or viruses break through our defenses and we become ill. All bacteria does not cause us to get sick. In fact, we need bacteria in our body and in our environment. Bacteria helps to break down dead plants in the earth. We have loads of healthy bacteria in our digestive track to break down our food and increase the nutrients received. We even have an acid mantle on our skin that has bacteria and when healthy, the bacteria help to kill bad bacteria that collect on our skin and kill the bacteria that can cause us to become a bit smelly.
Infection vs Disease
Thus there is a very big difference between infection and disease. Infection by viruses, bacteria, and microbes happen all the time. We don’t live in a sterile environment and, honestly, we don’t want to. When we sterilize our environment and our body, we have no good bacteria in our body to help us fight against the bad bacteria. Disease happens when the viruses, bacteria, and microbes multiply in an unhealthy way so that our cells become damaged and we begin to show signs and symptoms of illness.1
I have learned in the last four years that we desperately need to take care of our good bacteria so that we can have a healthy immune system. Much of the immune system is based around the health of our gut. Healthy bacteria make for a happy gut. I began wondering that if there were good bacteria, were there also good viruses? Some research is being done on viruses helping to protect the body in the absence of bacteria.2 For instance, the Norovirus protected rats from a deadly chemical after they had their bacteria previously wiped out. The rats who had antiobiotics and no stomach bacteria who had not received the Norovirus were more likely to die. Granted, this does not mean that we should go around purposefully gaining viruses, but that viruses have a purpose in our body. They clear out toxins and invaders when our bacteria are unable to protect.
With this age of high antibiotic use, our guts need all the help they can get.
Why We Get a Sore Throat
In this post, I will be discussing sore throat remedies. With illness, we have symptoms. Many of our symptoms “result from the activities of the immune system trying to eliminate the infection from the body.”1 When the mucus membranes in our throat become infected or inflamed, our body sends blood to our throat area in order to increase the available white blood cells and antibodies.4 In order for our throats to get more blood, the body signals the blood vessels to swell putting pressure on the nerves in our throat and causing pain. The pain results in us resting our throats . . . by force. Lucky us!
Sore Throat Remedies
While you may have come to this post to learn, you probably mainly came to find out how to get rid of your sore throat. Here are some great methods for healing up an achy, breaky throat.
Gargling Salt Water – Obviously, this one is the most commonly known remedy for fighting off a sore throat. Gargling salt water is so effective because the salt water decreases the swelling by pulling the fluid out of the swollen tissues in your throat.4 Find great salt for gargling –> here.
Warm Tea or Lemon Water – Warm liquids have a calming effect on our swollen throats. While it may not decrease swelling, they will often lesson the pain and the nerve inflammation. My favorite tea for a sore throat is –> Throat Comfort Tea by Yogi. It includes slippery elm bark, which creates a coating on your throat to ease the pain. For lemon water, heat up your water and squeeze two lemon wedges in the water and enjoy!
Raw ACV and Honey – Raw Apple Cider Vinegar has natural bacteria that help your body and –> raw manuka honey has natural antibacterial5 and antiviral properties.6 Combine the two in a little warm water and you have an enjoyable, healing drink. Manuka honey is one of the best, but other raw honeys also work.
Tablespoon of Honey – If my throat is very dry and sore, I will slowly eat a tablespoon of honey.
Thieves Oil – Thieves Oil is great for promoting wellness. I love diffusing it in the air and diluting it with olive oil and applying it to my throat.
Neti Pot – While a –> neti pot primarily works to clear the nasal passages, flushing the nasal passages can relieve the sinus drip that irritates your throat. Nothing is fun about having mucus dripping down the back of your throat when you have a sore throat and using the neti pot can relieve this.
Marshmallow Leaf and Root – The marshmallow root works as a mucilage coating the back of the throat. It also contains flavanoids that help to reduce inflammation while the mucilage holds the flavanoids in place.7
Garlic – What doesn’t garlic do? You can swallow pieces of garlic like a pill, insert pieces into capsules, eat them raw, and cook with them in order to get the benefits of garlic. I often cut them into small pieces and put them into a capsule. You can find capsules –> here.
Ginger Tea – Ginger is a very powerful root. It is anti-inflammatory and it is a wonderful expectorant. Drinking ginger tea would help to bring down the inflammation in your throat and help to keep away chest congestion. I suggest using fresh ginger root.
Elderberry Syrup – I consider this to be another wellness option. It doesn’t remove the sore throat, but it will definitely boost your immune system. Elderberry Syrup has natural Vitamin C and is much better for you than some of the OTC syrups that include high fructose corn syrup. Find Elderberry Syrup –> here.
Mercurius Vivius and Hydrastis Homeopathic Remedies – I am not a homeopathic expert and what’s great about homeopathy is that you don’t have to be an expert. The remedies are effective, but if you take the wrong one it will not harm you. These two are suggested for sore throats, but do your own research! Click here for –> Homeopathy kits that are available for the family or you can buy them individually as –> Mercurius Vivius 30c and Hydrastis 200c.
I’m not the only person who has good remedies for a sore throat! What are solutions that you have used for your own families? Please keep them crunchy and natural, we don’t use toxic chemicals at Boholistic Mom 😉 Also, take a look at my disclaimer page. I’m not a doctor! What a shocker. Always do your own research and go to the doctor when you need to go.
Brooke aka Boholistic Mom
Further Reading and Sources
1. National Academy of Sciences | How Pathogens Make Us Sick
2. News Scientist | ‘Good viruses’ defend gut when bacteria are wiped out
3. Paleo Leap | The Importance of Gut Flora for your Immune System
4. Indiana Public Media | Why Sore Throats Hurt
5. National Library of Medicine | Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity
7. Herb Wisdom | Marshmallow (Althaea)
Sick on the Road | What Happens When You Get Sick
Photo Credit: Rocky Sun – Flickr
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