That sore throat
You can catch a sore throat by getting drenched in the rain or enjoying a cup of your favourite ice-cream or eating a bowl of cold curd taken out from your refrigerator. Any of these activities may give rise to an itchy throat the next day in some susceptible individuals.
The symptoms of a sore throat are an itchy feeling, pain, tenderness, hoarseness and dryness in your throat.
Excessively dry climate: A dry climate tends to remove moisture from the nasal and oral cavity causing dryness — which consequently causes itching or a scratchy feeling, a common occurrence during the winter months.
Colder temperatures make us more susceptible to soreness, which makes activities like swallowing difficult and leads to overall discomfort.
Pollution: Cigarette/tobacco smoke, dust, chemicals and other toxins in the environment may cause throat irritation.
Allergy: Exposure to allergens like pollen and pet dander may cause throat irritation
Infections: Local viral/bacterial infections are another reason for an irritated throat.
Continuous speaking: Talking loudly or non-stop singing may strain the vocal cords and can be a cause of sore throat in some susceptible individuals.
Occasionally, throat irritation may be caused by acid reflux from the stomach.
A sore throat may also be due to inflammation of different parts of the throat — the pharynx (pharyngitis), voice box/larynx (laryngitis) or tonsils (tonsillitis) and must be addressed accordingly.
Gargling with any of the therapies listed below will provide relief from a sore throat:
Pharyngitis: Lukewarm saline water with a pinch of turmeric powder. Soak two teaspoons of ajwain seeds in cold water. Add a pinch of common salt.
Boil two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds in a litre of water for about eight minutes. Strain this mixture and gargle with it several times a day.
Laryngitis: Decoction of tea leaves with a pinch of table salt can be used for gargling — twice or thrice a day to get rid of a sore throat.
One tablespoon of Triphala powder should be boiled in about 300 ml of water for about five minutes — the filtered extract can be used to gargle for quick relief from a sore throat.
Tonsillitis: Boil one-inch-long crushed fresh ginger in 250 ml water for about five minutes. Filter and add one teaspoon of honey. Use this decoction for gargling.
Boil about three teaspoons of coarse powder of dried neem leaves in 200 ml water for five minutes.
Boil a teaspoon of coarsely powdered cinnamon bark in about 200 ml of water. Strain the extract and add a pinch of black pepper powder and a teaspoonful of honey. Consuming 25-30 ml of this decoction (lukewarm) every three hours during the day cures a sore throat.
One teaspoon of juice extracted from fresh betel (paan) leaves mixed with equal amount of honey, if consumed twice or thrice a day, will relieve a sore throat.
One teaspoon of juice extracted from fresh basil (tulsi) leaves mixed with an equal amount of honey and a pinch of black pepper powder consumed twice a day is helpful in treating a sore throat.
Regular plain steam inhalation three to four times a day will help relieve symptoms of a sore throat.
Liquorice is a well-known remedy for a sore throat. Chew a small piece of liquorice root (mulethi). Keep chewing till it gives a soothing effect to the sore throat.
Similarly, a small piece of cinnamon/dried ginger can be chewed and sucked; or a couple of dried black peppercorns/clove buds will have the same effect.
Khadiradi vati / Lavangadi vati / Eladi vati / Vyoshadi vati / Srikara amodini pills — one pill, 5-6 times a day.
Koflet-H / Koflet-SF lozenges (Himalaya) — 4-5 times daily.
Septilin tab: 2-0-2 and Bresol syrup 2-0-2 teaspoons.
Talisadi churna / Sitopaladi churna: Three-fourths to one teaspoonful of churna should be mixed with a half-teaspoonful of cow’s ghee and one teaspoonful of honey.
Haridra khanda: One teaspoonful with 150 ml of cow’s milk — twice daily.
Chyavanaprasha, Agastya rasayana: One teaspoonful, twice daily.
Drakshasava / Vasarishta: 20 ml with equal quantity of water, twice daily after meals. n
Dr Srikanth is a postgraduate in Ayurveda and has been a consulting physician for the past 19 years. He is currently National Manager, Scientific Services, at The Himalaya Drug Company.