Sep 29, 2014

Children and sore throats

Our tonsils are the immune system's first line of defense against ingested or inhaled foreign pathogens. They play an important role in preventing infections as they trap germs and bacteria that come in through the nose and mouth. Among these is the culprit that usually causes tonsillitis and can lead to strep throat. In children who haven't reached puberty, the tonsils' immune system is much more active than in adults. Also, children have immune systems that are still developing, leaving them more vulnerable as they interact with other people.

There are simple ways to help your child stay healthy this season, and herbs can be soothing and help little throats mend and feel better. This is particularly true of herbal extracts. In liquid form-direct contact is made with the tonsils and throat as it is swallowed. 

Here are some throat friendly herbs to consider:

White Oak bark is high in tannins and calcium, this is a classic astringent herb. Astringents tighten or draw together tissue in a protective way, this is particularly true of mucous membranes such as those found in the throat.  Their styptic power, binds proteins located on the surface of the mouth and throat helping to keep harmful bacteria from invading into the tissue.

Olive leaf, Oregon Grape root and Propolis Resin can give the rest of the immune system a much needed boost in resisting the detrimental bacteria.

Devil's Claw root, and Gotu kola herb support a healthy throat by keeping inflammation in check, which encouraging healing. Gotu kola also supports tissue repair, which can help when your throat gets really raw.

Slippery Elm bark has demulcent properties which means it forms a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving discomfort, difficulty swallowing, and mild inflammation of the throat membranes.

A teaspoon of raw honey and fresh ginger juice in a bit of warm water makes a great homemade, daily throat support for children and adults who tend to get a sore throat easily.  If a sore throat does strike, adding lemon juice and a pinch of red pepper can help soothe and fight the infection.

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