10 Ways Ayurveda Can Help Throat Infection

A sore throat, though not serious, can be painful for a child. This National Ayurveda Day, let's look at how this traditional system of medicine can safely heal your child.

By Aarthi Arun

10 Ways Ayurveda Can Help Throat Infection

Do you worry when your little one tosses and turns in her sleep, because of an incessant cough and sore throat? Are you hesitant to give her strong medicines for her ailment? While throat infection is a familiar condition in children and adults, and a sore throat is a common symptom of cold, many parents may prefer home remedies for throat infections.   

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 food intake. 

Taking medicine too soon is a bad idea because it can cause unpleasant side effects and only suppress the symptoms. Another thing to worry about is drug resistance. If you offer antibiotics 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.

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, mucous discharge, dry cough or a blocked nose, followed by fever. The Ayurvedicapproach 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 remedies to ease a sore throat:

  1. 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 water. Your child can gargle with this mixture to find instant relief from a scratchy throat.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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 home remedies.

With inputs from Dr Gowthaman Krishnamoorthy, Ayurveda practitioner

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