Sore Throat: Today’s hectic life puts a lot of stress on every part of our body. Stress results in minor ailments. Most of the time, we take these minor ailments lightly. One of such ailment is sore throat. Don’t ignore the message a sore throat is sending you. Know about the Throat and How Sore throat Works: The throat runs from the back of the mouth to the top of the respiratory and digestive tracts and comprises various parts- the tonsils, pharynx or larynx. It forms a cross roads point for air, dust and food, all of which are potentials carriers of bacteria viruses and other irritants. The throat plays a very important roll in keeping us healthy by constantly monitoring the substances that we breathe in. Tonsils lie on each side at the back of the throat. They play an essential role in our immune system and act as the ‘front – line troops’ when it comes to reacting to harmful micro-organisms in the air we breathe. During child – hood and even up to adolescence- they can be sensitive and react easily causing tonsillitis. The Pharynx is quite a large area, stretching from the very back of the nose to the voice box, or larynx. Some sore throats are due to inflammation of all or part of the pharynx, this condition is called Pharyngitis. Symptoms of this include a burning sensation in the throat, pain on swallowing and sometimes blocked or painful ears. An infection of the pharynx sometimes moves downwards, towards the larynx, the location of vocal chords, which enable us to speak. Inflammation of the Larynx- Laryngitis- makes it difficult for the vocal chords to vibrate properly. That is why Laryngitis makes our voice hoarse or even silences us completely. Why is the throat Sore? The majority of sore throats are caused by viral or bacterial infections but there are other things that can irritate the throat, causing reddening and swelling. These include cigarette, smoke; life in a polluted environment or simply straining our voice. Viruses and bacteria are transmitted on tiny particles in the air or fluids in the mouth. When these particles escape the filtrating action of our nose and throat, then we become susceptible to infections. When bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, there is little evidence to show that antibiotics are effective against viral infections. The body’s own immune defense system can usually destroy a viral throat infection within about a week. That is why doctors do not always prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of a sore throat. Dadima's Nushke (Grandma's Remedy) Cough & cold Remedy: Make a powdered mixture of equal quantity of black pepper, dry ginger, pipli or long pepper and liquorice (Mulathi). Take ¼tsp of this powder with honey to cure cough and cold. This paste should be licked. It is tested remedy from the kitchen. Neck Massage with warm Ghee can helps sore throat. Also exercising the neck muscles can give relief. When to seek medical advice: Some sore throats require medical attention. Antibiotics can cure some bacterial infections, which may otherwise lead to complications. Alternately, a sore throat, may, in fact, be a symptom of a more serious condition that requires treatment. If a sore throat persists longer than a week to ten days, or if you experience any of the following symptoms, you are recommended to consult a doctor. Symptoms: *Difficulty in breathing *Pronounced difficulty in swallowing. *Stiff rigid neck and severe headache *Earache *Rash *Fever over 101*F *Blood in Saliva or Phlegm *Lump in the neck *Hoarseness or mouth ulcers lasting over 2 weeks. Self Help: Practical tips for coping with a sore throat. *Gargles with hot salt water 2-3 times in a day can give relief to sour throat *Drink plenty of warm liquids to keep up your level of body fluids. *Inhaling steam will help clear a congested nose. *Do not drink too much alcohol, it is likely to irritate sore throat. *Avoid spraying air fresheners or deodorants around yourself. *Strepsils has recently been launched with an Ayurvedic formula. It contains a combination of Yashtimadhu (mulethi) and Vasaka (adulsa). Mint Tea - Kitchen Remedy *Mint decongests the nose, throat and gives relief in respiratory disorders. *A good appetizer, the herb promotes digestion and also activates the saliva glands. It is also known to provide relief to those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, drinking mint tea also cleanses the stomach. *A great immunity booster, mint shows down the growth of bacteria and fungus in the body.