It seems there are some sore throats going around at the moment which is characteristic of a time when there is change in the weather. (Just think about above-average high temperatures, windy days and sometimes a drop off in temperature after a storm.) In addition we all get a lot more social out and about in spring this increases our risk of picking up a spring/summer cold virus. And this all happens when many of us are run down from a very busy year, pushing through to the Christmas/New Year break. (If you are feeling run down make sure to book in for an appointment to get your energy and immune system back on track – the last thing you want is to get sick on your holidays!)
A sore throat is often your first warning sign that you have picked up a bug. Act immediately on your treatment to prevent the sore throat developing into a full blown cold or to at least lessen the severity of one.
If you have picked up a sore throat (often termed a wind-heat attack in Chinese medicine as symptoms are sudden and usually hot in nature – feverish, sweating, yellow/green phlegm).
Here’s my top five tips to put out the fire and soften the razor blades of a sore throat:
- Salt water gargles. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a small glass of warm water. Gargle as many times per day as you can.
- Peppermint tea with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of honey. Lemon and peppermint are cooling but peppermint also helps to promote the release of the ‘wind-heat pathogen’ by opening the pores and honey will moisten a dry throat. Drink this likes it’s water as you will need to keep your fluids up anyway. Mulberry leaves and chrysanthemum may also be added to the tea.
- Pear anything. Eat fresh pears, cook them or juice them (small amounts regularly). Pears are used in Chinese medicine to cool and moisten a sore throat. Watermelon and figs are other sore throat favourites.
- Herbal medicine. The big guns! A personalised herbal formula can be made up for your individual symptoms. Often your formula can be gargled so that you get the local action of the herbs prior to swallowing. A herbal throat spray can also be convenient and welcome relief.
- Acupuncture. We have some excellent acupuncture techniques for taking the heat out of a sore throat quickly and addressing other symptoms like sinus congestion.
If you have come down with a common cold or flu check out these cold and flu tips to manage your other symptoms.
And remember at the first sign of a sore throat use these tips immediately!
To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture). Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.