Coughs are often the bookends of colds and flu. Starting with a tickle and ending with the annoying irritation that lingers, coughs are impossible to stifle or ignore.
Good cough remedies, that keep your throat coated and content, can be tricky to find. A good cough drop can go a long way to easing a cough and soothing the sore throat that accompanies it.
“Cough drop” is a general term for lozenges that ease throat irritation. Depending on its ingredients, a lozenge can be an expectorant, analgesic, or a simple moisturizer.
Other causes of a sore throat include:
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- Dry air
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Irritants – smoking and environmental impurities
- Pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter medications
- Throat tumors
- Voice over-exertion
A sore throat (pharyngitis) can be dry or moist. Hence, the inside of the throat may or may not appear red. Your voice may sound hoarse. With infection such as strep throat, there can also be pustules in the mouth and throat. (1) Also, swollen tonsils are common when fighting a cold or flu and can make the throat sore. Discomfort can range from mildly irritating to feeling that you are swallowing glass.
Typically, a sore throat isn’t a cause for concern. Children, as well as people who smoke, have allergies or have a compromised immune system are more susceptible to the condition.
Treating a Sore Throat
Plenty of rest, fluids, foods and herbs that support the immune system will help your body to fight whatever the cause of the infection and speed healing. during this time, it’s very tempting to run to the local drug store and buy over-the-counter “remedies” to stop the symptoms.
However, keep in mind that while those products—including cough syrup and throat lozenges—may work to block symptoms, they are temporary. They also do not solve the cause of the illness; can contain sugar, preservatives, and artificial ingredients; and can have serious detrimental side effects. Prescribed drugs are even more dangerous.
Sugary throat lozenges may taste good to start but refined sugar causes inflammation, which can exacerbate the problems of a sore throat and cough. In fact, one recent study concluded very simply that researchers had found “hard and fast data that sugar is toxic irrespective of its calories and irrespective of weight”. (2)
If you are suffering from a sore throat and/or cough, try some of the recipes below for DIY cough drops that naturally provide real pain relief, nutrition, and immune system support. Of course, you’ll get the most out of them if you use organic ingredients.