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Secrets to Sore Throat Home Remedies

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If you feel your throat when it is sore, you will probably notice some hard lumps in your throat area that are tender to the touch. These are swollen lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are swollen because the lymphatic system has been draining away the excess fluid from the inflamed tissues in your throat, and that fluid contains toxic irritants. These irritants have caused tissue damage in the lymph nodes, which have, in turn, become inflamed. So what you are feeling is inflamed lymph nodes, and these inflamed nodes are slowing down lymphatic drainage in your throat area.

The secret to relieving sore throat pain is to reduce the inflammation in the throat and the inflammation in the swollen lymph nodes. The former can be done by gargling with a mixture of herbs to reduce inflammation in the throat. The later can be taken care of by using lymphatic drainage massage.

Here are some sore throat home remedies to use as a gargle:

  • Salt water (use 1/2 teaspoon of Real Salt, Celtic salt or some other high quality salt in a half cup of water)
  • Composition Tea or Herbal Crisis diluted in water (the recipe for composition is found in my books)
  • Capsicum extract diluted in water (although it stings, it eases the pain very rapidly)
  • A decoction made of equal parts goldenseal (or Oregon grape), bayberry rootbark and myrrh gum.

These are not the only options, but these are some that I have found very effective.

After gargling, work on the lymph nodes. With children it isn't necessary to make them gargle. Just give them a little garlic oil internally and proceed straight to the massage.

I've relieved sore throats in as little as twenty minutes using lymphatic drainage massage on the throat. Start by placing your fingers just under the jaw at the top of the throat. Using a very gentle, steady downward pressure slowly "milk" the swollen lymph nodes in the throat. Let your fingers slowly drift down the sides of the throat to the base. When you reach the collarbone, also rub in between the ribs in the upper chest. There are lymph nodes in between the ribs. Repeat the process. This is a slow, gentle process and done correctly causes some discomfort but no serious pain. If the pain is to intense, ease up the pressure.

Continue until there is no more swelling in the lymph nodes and the person reports that their throat no longer hurts. This usually takes between 20 and 40 minutes. This technique is even more effective when used with garlic oil or a mixture of essential oils (such as thyme, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, etc.) and olive oil (or some other fixed oil) as a massage lotion on the throat. These substances not only increase lymphatic drainage, they also help to fight any infection that might be present.

Another effective mixture that can be applied topically to the throat is a blend of equal parts of tinctures or extracts of capsicum (cayenne pepper) and lobelia. This mixture stimulates both circulation and lymphatic drainage.

The following is a list of sore throat home remedies that include herbs and essential oils which can be massaged into the throat. The essential oils should be diluted in a fixed oil, such as olive oil, almond oil, or peanut oil. Use one part essential oil to 10-20 parts olive oil.

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From the Organic Authority Files


Capsicum extract
Garlic oil
Eucalyptus essential oil
Lavender essential oil
Lobelia extract
Prickly ash bark tincture
Red root tincture
Rosemary essential oil
Tea tree essential oil
Thyme essential oil

There are also a number of commercial blends of essential oils which can be applied topically for sore throats.

My first experience in using this technique occurred when my oldest daughter Sarah awoke me in the middle of the night saying, "Daddy, my throat hurts." I felt her throat; it was very hot. She was slightly feverish, too. I found some garlic oil and rubbed it on her throat. I also squirted a dropper full into her mouth for her to swallow. Then I proceeded to do gentle lymphatic massage on her throat, stroking it downward very, very slowly. I also rubbed some of the areas between her ribs. After about forty minutes, she suddenly said, "Daddy, would you leave me alone. I want to go back to sleep." She was fine the next morning.

Sarah occasionally got sore throats as she was growing up, and I would follow the same technique each time she complained her throat hurt. I used different remedies topically and internally, but always used the lymphatic massage. The technique always worked-and quickly, too. We could usually get rid of the sore throat in 20-30 minutes.

One day my daughter had a friend visiting the house. "Daddy," she stated matter-of-factly, "My friend has a sore throat. Make it go away." Not wishing to risk having the child's parents upset with me for giving her herbs, I simply spent 20 minutes doing lymphatic massage on her throat. My daughter's confidence in me was not disappointed; the pain in her friend's throat was gone.

One of the most difficult cases I worked with involved a severe sore throat. A friend called because her throat was covered with tiny blisters, possibly canker sores. Her throat was so painful she could not bear to swallow her own saliva, let alone water. Although this woman used herbs, she couldn't take anything because her throat simply hurt too badly.

I went to her home that morning and diligently applied a combination of self-help pain relief techniques. I used lymphatic massage, rapid-light stroking, and energy circuit techniques (all described in the Dr. Mom-Dr. Dad course) for a full hour before she could swallow without pain.

That evening, the pain returned, but it was not as severe as it had been in the morning. I spent another half an hour working on her and the problem was resolved for good.

As with all acute illness it is very important to eat very lightly for 24 hours after symptoms are gone in order to prevent a relapse. Focus on juices, broths, fruits and vegetables. Avoid wheat, dairy, meat and other heavy foods. This allows the congestion to clear out through the eliminative channels. Opening the channels of elimination with sweat baths and/or enemas can also be helpful.

About Steven Horne, RH (AHG) and For More Information

Steven Horne is a Registered Herbalist with and a past president of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG). He is the author of numerous books and courses on herbs and natural healing and has lectured on this subject all over the world. He is the father of five children, who were all raised on natural remedies. Because he's learned how to provide primary health care to his children in the home, he's only had to make three visits to a medical doctor for illnesses with his five

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