Ayurvedic Home Remedies For Throat Infection In Children
Is your little one down with symptoms of sore throat and cough? Here’s how parents can use some simple and natural Ayurvedic home remedies to help her recover quickly from throat infection.
By Aarthi Arun • 10 min read
Do you worry when your little one tosses and turns in her sleep due to incessant cough and sore throat? Pain, irritation and itching in the throat and ears can make it difficult for your child to eat or sleep. Rather than opting for antibiotics or other strong medicines to relieve the symptoms of cold and sore throat, most parents prefer to give natural home remedies to their children. There are many Ayurvedic medicines for throat infection (pharyngitis) for which the herbs, spices and other ingredients are available right in your kitchen. Some of these Ayurvedic home remedies are listed below along with breathing exercises such as Pranayama.
Ayurveda and throat infection
According to Ayurveda, cough and cold are usually caused by some imbalance in the body.
Dr Gowthaman Krishnamoorthy, Ayurveda practitioner, says, “In Ayurveda, sore throat is mentioned as a premonitory symptom of the common cold or pratishyaya. A sore throat may or may not always be associated with a runny nose, mucus discharge, dry cough or a blocked nose, followed by fever. The Ayurvedic approach to throat infection involves calming the symptoms, and making dietary and lifestyle changes necessary to allow the tissues to heal.”
These changes can include fasting, consuming boiled vegetables, drinking warm water and avoiding oily and spicy foods. One can also go for abhyanga (an oil bath) and regular physical activity. Avoid hot water baths; instead, bathe your child in warm water.
Ayurvedic home remedies to cure sore throat
- Warm water gargle: Gargling with warm salt water can loosen the mucus in your child's throat and flush out bacteria, fungi and other organisms from the upper respiratory tract. Take half a teaspoon of salt and mix it in a cup of warm water. Your child can gargle with this mixture and obtain instant relief from a scratchy throat.
- Honey: In Ayurveda, honey is used extensively as a medicine and as a medium for administering medicine. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, a teaspoon full of honey before bedtime can soothe a sore throat for your little one.
- Ginger: It is particularly beneficial in flushing out the phlegm build-up in the respiratory system. One of the main components in ginger is gingerols, which has analgesic or painkilling properties. So, a cup of ginger tea can make your child feel better by reducing the pain and mucus. Ginger is also an antibiotic as it kills strains of bacteria that cause respiratory tract infections.
- Turmeric milk: Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Known as a natural antibiotic, turmeric milk aka golden milk can also reduce swelling and pain in your child's throat.
- Holy basil: Tulsi (holy basil) leaves are one of the main constituents of Ayurvedic cough syrup recipes. They are antipyretic in nature and can help bring down your child's fever. They can also thin the mucus in her respiratory system. You can offer tulsi to your child as tea or ask her to gargle with water infused with the leaves.
- Liquorice: Known as yashtimadhu or mulethi, liquorice has been used in Ayurveda for ages. Acting as a tonic for your child's lungs, liquorice can clean his upper respiratory tract. Give this immunity-boosting sweet root as tea to help your child recover faster.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is called tvak in Ayurveda. This spice is popular for its unique flavour. It reduces cold and cough symptoms and keeps your child's respiratory tract free of germs. You can take half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a pinch of clove powder and a pinch of black pepper and mix them with honey to make an instant cough syrup for your child.
- Garlic: Allicin, a chemical found in garlic, is the star ingredient that is responsible for boosting your child's immunity and relieving her sore throat quickly. Raw garlic is a natural remedy for curing throat ulcers. Garlic also helps in liquefying phlegm and loosening mucus from your little one's throat.
- Oil massage: A gentle massage with warm sesame or mustard oil can soothe your child's sore throat. It also strengthens blood circulation and aids in removing toxins from your child's body.
- Pranayama: This popular breathing exercise facilitates the flow of oxygen (prana) in your child's body. A specific pranayama called Ujjayi Pranayama can increase your child's lung capacity and keep his body warm.
Throat infection in kids – causes and symptoms
- Common cold: The most common cause for sore throat in children is a viral infection resulting in flu like symptoms – fever, runny nose and cough.
- Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease: Another disease that causes sore throat in children is Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. It starts with fever and sore throat followed by appearance of rashes and blisters on the mouth, hands, feet and in the buttock region.
- Strep throat: This is a bacterial infection that affects mostly school-going children between ages 5 and 15. The symptoms include fever, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, pus on the tonsils and a red rash on the body.
- Tonsillitis: Inflammation of tonsils due to bacterial infection can cause sore throat, lymph node swelling and difficulty swallowing. The tonsils are two oval shaped glands present at the back of the throat.
Treatment of sore throat in children
You probably know that the common cold doesn't need any treatment; it will go away on its own in about a week or so. But, a sore throat can be painful and irritating, making your child very uncomfortable. Moreover, it can take a toll on his appetite.
Giving strong medicines often and too soon is a bad idea because it can cause unpleasant side effects and only suppress your child’s symptoms. Another thing to worry about is drug resistance. If you offer antibiotics to your child for every little ailment, the disease-causing organism will become resistant to that particular medicine. So, the best way to help your child is to boost his immunity naturally and keep him comfortable. And, Ayurvedic remedies are perfect for that. Also ensure that he is drinking plenty of fluids.
Though a sore throat is not dangerous in most cases, sometimes it can occur due to underlying conditions like allergies, muscle strains, tumours and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Schedule an appointment with your doctor if your child is not feeling better after two weeks of trying out these Ayurvedic home remedies.
About the author:
Written by Aarthi Arun on 10 September 2018; updated on 30 June 2020
Aarthi Arun is a writer from Chennai, who currently calls Toronto her home. Although she has donned many hats, from a photographer to a librarian to a software engineer, she has learnt the most in the role of a mother. With her 6-year-old son Kathir, she loves going on long walks, building LEGO blocks and reading adventurous stories.
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