Sore throat season

Did you get a sore throat for Christmas? Or a cough, or sinusitis, or…? If you did, you’re not alone. It’s quite normal to ‘go down’ with something as soon as you start a holiday, especially in winter. And unless it’s bacterial, there’s no point in trying antibiotics. But you may have some useful remedies to hand.
Everyone knows honey and lemon is soothing, but it’s also slightly anti-infective too. Add some grated ginger root, and it will help to ease the pain. If you’ve got dried sage, it really is a sovereign remedy for a sore throat: boil a couple of teaspoonsful in half a pint of water for 5 minutes, strain it, and gargle it before swallowing. It’s horribly bitter, but it does bring quick relief. If you don’t have sage, try thyme or even marjoram. And don’t forget garlic and onions: eat them cooked, raw, however you can, and take plenty. Never mind the smell; you won’t be getting too close to other people for a while anyway.
If you’ve got some essential oils, make an inhalation, or dab some directly on your throat, temples or chest. Ti-tree is the strongest anti-infective, eucalyptus is probably the most penetrating, and thyme or pine are good all-rounders. Don’t use too much mint, it can be too drying. And if you’ve got herb teas, there’s nothing like a hot drink to loosen and soften the mucus. Elderflower is best of all, but anything aromatic will help a little.

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