Pharyngitis can be defined as an inflammation of the pharynx; this is the part of the human throat which may be said to lie between the tonsils and the voice box-larynx. The onset of this inflammation in the tissues of the pharynx will result in a sore throat for the person so affected. As a condition pharyngitis is normally associated with a bout of cold or flu, and it can thus result from independent infections caused by a virus or from a bacterial infection.
Over-the-counter analgesics like aspirin are often effective for treating symptoms like fever or tender throats. In addition, you may get temporary respite by using antiseptic sprays or lozenges or gargling with a saline solution prepared by dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of table salt (sodium chloride) in one glass of lukewarm water.
Your physician may prescribe antibiotics provided you are suffering from pharyngitis due to bacterial infections. You should know that antibiotics are useful in eliminating bacteria as well as other microbes, but do not have any effect on viruses.
It is essential to keep taking antibiotics for no less than 10 days to 14 days in case you have been found to be suffering from strep throat. In fact, you should continue taking the medication even if you feel better. This is necessary to ensure that all bacteria have been killed. Remember, strep infection may result in rheumatic fever and also harm your heart valves.
On the other hand, pharyngitis due to viral infection heals by itself. Since the use of antibiotics does not have any impact on viral infections, the focus of the treatment is on alleviating the symptoms related to the condition. When you are suffering from pharyngitis, you should strictly stay away from smoking as well as consuming alcoholic beverages, because they cause irritation to your throat.
Chronic pharyngitis due to exposure to air pollution, toxic fumes or industrial chemicals can be cured by lessening or completely preventing the patient from coming in contact with toxic substances.
There are several microbes that may be responsible for pharyngitis. These germs include bacteria; for instance, group A Streptococcus, which is responsible for strep throat; as well as several varieties of viruses. In addition to these microbes, pharyngitis may also occur owing to allergies, gastric reflux, wherein the acids secreted in the stomach flow back to the esophagus/ throat; and voice strain.
Nearly all cases of pharyngitis can be cured by proper treatment, while a number of insignificant inflammations may even disappear by themselves. Nevertheless, if pharyngitis is not treated timely and appropriately, the infection may get into the bloodstream and develop into sepsis – a potentially deadly condition.
Supplements and herbs
A variety of supplements, herbs and other nutrients can be used in treating pharyngitis and below are nutrients that can help fight off the infection and calm the soreness in the throat.
Fresh vegetables and fruits contain large amounts of the vitamin C; this nutrient is also particularly abundant in the citrus fruits and juices. Vitamin C must be taken in large doses from direct capsule supplements as well as the diet. Also necessary are supplements of the essential mineral zinc, this mineral is found in good amounts in the lean meats, in fish, and in all the organ meats.
Zinc can also be taken as direct supplement via capsules or lozenges. The affected individual must undertake to gargle daily using cider vinegar along with some honey, gargling should ideally be carried out at least four times every day to bring topical relief to the patient.
Another effective remedy is the herbal decoctions made from the Echinacea herb, these herbal remedy can rid the body of both bacterial and viral infections which induce the soreness in the throat. The decoction can be prepared by mixing two teaspoons of the Echinacea root in a single cup of water, boil the solution and let it simmer for fifteen minutes, once cooled and strained, this herbal decoction can be taken thrice every day as treatment against pharyngitis.
Consuming a recipe prepared by blending lemon juice, ginger extract and honey is helpful in curing pharyngitis. There is another effective natural therapy for curing pharyngitis. Add some pepper to water and bring it to boil for approximately 10 minutes, allow the solution to be lukewarm and sip it. People suffering from pharyngitis should ensure that they keep their body hydrated by consuming plenty of liquids, such as tea, fruit juices, and soups.
Drinking an herbal tea prepared from black pepper, basil and cinnamon is also an effective as well as common natural therapy for pharyngitis. You may also suck lozenges to pacify the tender throat – a common symptom of pharyngitis. Pure honey is a well-known conventional home remedy for cough and sore throat. It is said that if you give honey to a child every day at night, his risks of having tender throat will be greatly reduced.
You may also apply the juice extracted from mango bark topically to cure pharyngitis. Some drops of mango bark juice may also be added to lukewarm water, which may be used for gargling. Alternately, add two tablespoon of fenugreek seeds to about one litre water and bring it to boil. Allow the solution to cool and drink it at regular breaks throughout the day.
Ingest bishop seeds if you are suffering from severe pharyngitis. This is known to be among the most excellent home remedies for curing pharyngitis. Alternately, you may add a dash of turmeric powder to a glassful of milk and drink it. This is a proven home remedy for pharyngitis.
Aromatherapy is another excellent way to deal with cases of pharyngitis and a gargle consisting of two drops of the essential oils of the herb sandalwood and the lavender mixed in a glass of water will bring great relief from the irritation and help soothe the soreness in the throat felt by the affected individual.
Beneficial treatments also include the use of steam inhalators that use the essential herbal oils of the sandalwood and the lavender. These steam inhalations can be prepared by mixing one to two drops of the oils in a bowl of steaming hot water and inhaling the vapours.
The proper way to inhale the steam is to gently lean the body over the bowl, placing a towel to cover the head so as to trap the rising steam, the eyes must be closed – the person must inhale the vapours deeply for two to five minutes at a stretch to bring relief from sore throats. For you attention: individuals suffering from asthma and other respiratory disorder must avoid the use of steam inhalations as this can trigger an attack.
All of the homeopathic remedies given here can be taken as a single dose at least every hour for up to four doses a day in order to gain relief from the soreness. The remedy can be repeated when necessary or when symptoms return. These remedies are for use against the incidences of a barking cough, which occurs along with the presence of a burning and irritating sensation in the throat, the remedy can also be used after the person gets chilled and comes down with a cold.
The remedy of Aconite can be used at a potency of 6c in this regard. If the symptoms include the production of stringy yellow mucus from the nose, along with the development of a metallic sounding cough, and a husky voice along with raw and extreme pain, the remedy of Kali bichromicum can be used at 6c potency. The presence of a burning and painful sensation in the throat, the presence of tightness in the chest region, along with hoarseness in the voice can be reduced by eating ice cream as a direct topical measure and using the remedy Phosphorus at 30c potency.
Additional things you may do
The affected individual must avoid the use of alcohol and must not give in to smoking at any time while the disorder is affecting him or her, as both these factors will lead to further irritation in the pharynx and increase the other symptoms of the condition. It is ideal to rest the voice as much as possible for as long as needed.
If you are using home remedies to treat pharyngitis, you need to ensure that you reduce your intake of coffee as well as other processed foods. Doing so will help in facilitating treatment with home remedies.
Other beneficial herbs