Sore throats are a common complaint that can make life miserable and with winter approaching it is great to know we have some natural solutions at hand. Sore throats are typically the result of infection or inflammation and there are some herbs commonly found in our garden or pantry that can minimize if not fully resolve it. Ideally act at the onset of the soreness to nip things in the bud. Herbal extracts and/or homeobotanicals are usually required for more advanced cases.
Sage Salvia officinalis, thyme Thymus vulgaris and plantain Plantago lanceolata/major are all useful for throat inflammation and infection. If you don’t have these herbs in your garden, plant them now while there is still heat in the day to help them establish.
They can be used separately or in a combination as a gargle and/or as a tea to be sipped. Put a small handful of the herb i.e. 6-8 leaves of sage/plantain and 6-10 branches of thyme into a tea pot or vessel with a lid, pour over one cup of boiling water and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. It is best to slightly bruise the sage and plantain leaves first as this helps to release their medicinal phyto-chemicals.
If you are feeling run down as part of your sore throat, what an ideal opportunity to put up your feet for the 15 minutes! I am a great believer that the amount of our buy-in or effort to a healing process, the better the therapeutic outcome. After the 15 minutes, or longer if you choose, remove and gently squeeze excesses liquid from the herb into the brewed liquid and discard plant matter to the compost. The infusion should be a good temperature to now gargle and/or sip. Lemon juice or a little honey can be added if you wish. A typical rule of thumbs is 3 cups a day for a therapeutic outcome.
A larger quantity of infusion can be made by maintaining the ratio and preparing in a larger container such as an Agee jar. In this instance it is useful to leave the herbs to infuse for several hours at a time, strain and refrigerate the liquid. Reheat or take cold. Use within 2 days.
It is always important to correctly identify a herb you are about to use.
This information is not intended to replace the personal advice of a professional health practitioner.