Sore throat refers to the inflammation of the pharynx, or back of the throat. It occurs frequently
when a person has a cold or an attack of influenza. This inflammation may also involve the
tonsils and adenoids if these have not already been removed. An irritating condition of the throat
may range from the harmless to the potentially serious.
In case of acute sore throat, the patient complains burning and dryness in the throat followed by
chills, fever and some hoarseness or laryngitis. The lymph glands along the sides of the neck
may become swollen and tender. The back of the throat may become very red and even
covered with a greyish-white membrane. The patient may find difficulty in swallowing, especially
during the acute stage. There may also be postnasal discharge if the irritation has spread to the
nasal passages. The patient with sore throat, caused by ‘ Streptoccal’ germs suffers from high
fever and sharp pain with swelling.
Sore throat is mainly caused by bacteria or a viral infection. Many different kind of ailments can
give rise to this condition. The most common of these ailments are common cold and influenza.
Other diseases which can cause sore throat are tonsillitis, mumps, sinusitis, measles, and
diphtheria. Even leukemia on rare occasions may lead to sore throat. Other causes of this
disease are excessive smoking and talking, frequent use of voice as in certain professions like
singing, acting and teaching.
The patient suffering from sore throat should fast on orange juice and water for three to five
days, depending on the severity of the condition. He should take orange juice diluted with warm
water every two or three hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during this period. The bowels should be
cleansed daily with warm water enema. This should be done twice daily in more serious cases.
A wet pack should be applied to the throat at two-hourly intervals during the day, and also one at
night. The procedure is to wring out some linen material in cold water, wrap two or three times
round the effected part, and cover with some flanner. The throat may be gargled several times
with warm water mixed with a little salt. A hot Epsom-salt bath , taken daily during this period,
will be highly beneficial.
When the more severe symptoms subside,the patient may adopt an all-fruit diet for three or four
further days, taking three meals a day of juicy fruits such as orange, apple, pineapple and
papaya at five-hourly intervals. Thereafter he may gradually adopt a well-balanced diet, with
emphasis on seeds, nuts and grains, raw vegetables and fresh fruits. The daily dry friction and
deep breathing and other exercises should form part of the daily health regimen.
Certain home remedies have been found to be beneficial in the treatment of sore throat. One
such remedy is use of mango ( aam) bark which is very efficacious in sore throat and other
throat disorders. Its fluid can be applied locally with beneficial results. It can also be used as a
throat gargle. This gargle is treated by mixing 10 ml. of the fluid extract with 125 ml. of water.
The herb belleric myrobian ( bahera) is another valuable remedy for sore throat. A mixture of the pulp of the fruit, salt, long pepper (pipli) and honey should be administered in the treatment of this condition. The fried fruit, roasted after covering it with a wheat flour, is also a popular
remedy for sore throat.
Betel leaves (pan - ka -patta) have proved beneficial in the treatment ofthis disease. The leaves
should be applied locally for obtaining relief. The fruit of the betel tree, mixed with honey, can
also be taken beneficially to relieve irritating throat cough.
The bishop’s weed (ajowan) is valuable in treating sore throat. An infusion of the seeds mixed
with common salt can be used beneficially as a gargle in acute condition caused by colds. The
spice cinnamon (dalchini) is also regarded as an effective remedy for sore throat, resulting from
cold. Coarsely powdered and boiled in a glass of water with a pinch of pepper powder and
honey, it can be taken as a medicine in the treatment of this condition. The oil of cinnamon,
mixed with honey, also gives immense relief. A gargle prepared from fenugreek (methi) seeds
has been found very effective remedy for treating sore throat. To prepare this gargle, two
tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be put in a litre of cold water and allowed to simmer for
half an hour over a low flame. It should be allowed to cool to a bearable temperature. It should
then be strained and entire quantity used as a gargle.
The leaves of the holy basil ( tulsi) have also been found beneficial in the treatment of this
condition. The water boiled with basil leaves should be taken as a drink and also used as a
gargle in sore throat.
The patient should avoid rapid changes in temperature like hot sun-shine to air conditioned
rooms. He should avoid cold and sore foods which may irritate his throat. To prevent the
disease, a person should avoid touching tissues, handkerchief, towels or utensils used by the
patients suffering from sore throat.