That familiar feverish glassy-eyed look that every parent dreads to see in the eyes of their child will probably be followed by a sore throat, cough, and stuffy nose. If your child complains of pain when swallowing, it is important to rule out a bacterial infection prior to resorting to home remedies. If the verdict is a viral infection, it will probably clear up in about a week. Parents can brace themselves for a few bad days with all natural ways to ease the pain of a sore throat.

Natural throat soothers come in sweet and salty varieties. Honey has a number of health properties ranging from energy booster, to an all-natural cough suppressant and pain reliever. Adding honey to warm liquids such as tea or warm milk for sick kids to sip on, adds flavor and sweetness to a warm beverage and has been proven to suppress nocturnal, or nighttime cough.

Gargling with salt and warm water twice a day can also naturally soothe a sore throat. It leads to dilation of capillaries in the throat, meaning that the miniature blood vessels that supply blood to the tissues of the throat increase in diameter. This dilation allows for faster circulation of the infection fighting cells that travel in the capillaries. If the child is already being treated for a bacterial throat infection with antibiotics, the added benefit of gargling will also lyse (or burst and kill) some of the bacteria growing on the tonsils or seeding the throat.

It may be a stretch to call candy canes a remedy, but the anesthetizing effects of menthol found in peppermint can cut down on the pain while nursing a cold. Herbal peppermint sprays were reported to be more effective in soothing sore throats than the placebo according to a study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal in 2011. If kids have an aversion to throat spray, sucking on a peppermint lozenge or lollipop may have a similar effect.

What are some of your favorite sore throat remedies?

References:

Ben-Arye et. al. Treatment of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Primary Care: A Randomized Study Using Aromatic Herbs. 2011.

Paul et. al. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007

Rousse, et. al.Innovative Scientific Concept of Topical Virus Glycoprotein Inhibitors Incorporated in Hyperosmotic Glycerol Revolutionizes Future Prospects in the Treatment of Viral and Bacterial Throat Infections. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research 2014]

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