Sometimes I just do something super simple like gargling with salt water or diluted Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, (I like Braggs,) and that always helps to ease a tickle in a throat. But, when I really want to stop something in it's tracks before it even gets started, I have a much more thorough approach.
And that is one of the main keys, 'before it even gets started.' So often, we want to deny the subtle signs that anything is wrong because we really don't want it to be real. Instead, I openly refer to this phase as 'a slight imbalance in my wellness.' And I let people know that I'm going to be tending to this, because this is the most crucial time to tune in and take action, rather than hoping it will just go away.
Our bodies are masters at sending us subtle cues well before bigger symptoms occur and it pays to pay attention to them. Headaches, backaches, changes in the bowel habit, these are all ways our body talks to us to let us know that something is amiss. And that little, tiny scratchy throat is no exception. So, here is what I do.
First, I drop everything, clear my calendar, at least for the rest of the day, stop what I'm doing, go inside, get warm, stay warm and start heading in the direction of rest and wellness. I don't eat junk food or sugar, but if I did, I'd stop that nonsense pronto as that sort of eating habit is sure to dip the immune system and kick a bad thing into high gear.
Generally, I'll then reach for a salt water gargle, first, which is always right at hand with good quality Celtic Sea Salt or Real Salt being permanent residents in my kitchen. I use one teaspoon of salt, dissolved in, first a half a cup of hot water, stirred, and then another half a cup of cold water added in order to dilute the solution to a comfortable temperature. While standing at the sink, I pour some of the salt water into the palm of my hand and while closing one nostril with my fingers, I snort the puddle of salt water, from my hand, up my into my sinuses, with my other nostril. Then, I trade hands and nostrils and pour and snort some more.
After that, I take a nice big mouthful of the salt solution and gargle and spit. I repeat this several times, hitting high notes and low notes, and all the notes in between, vocally, while gargling. This exposes all of the many folds of my vocal chords to the salt solution. These folds can be hiding places for invading microbes and it is best to let them know, with the salt, that they are not welcome.
Natural salt, from dehydrated ocean water is full of minerals and it is also a good bio-film disruptor, which means that it can break through the little crust that microbes, like bacteria form, as a protective layer, on top of their colonies. These colonies are where they can thrive and multiply.
Xylitol is another great bio-film disruptor. So, I also reach for my Xlear nasal spray, which has xylitol in it, and I shoot a couple of good squirts up into my sinuses after I've recovered a little from the salt water snorting.
I tend to have very clear sinuses, but when I inhale Xlear up my nose, I am always amazed at how much mucus is liberated. I'll generally need to spit and blow for a good five minutes after a good application. It is surprising how much material can be undetected and stored up in those sinuses. And those hidden, mucus-rich areas can be fine homes for microbes and their bio-films.
Xlear is also one of the tricks I use for staying healthy after having spent time out in public, where I may have been exposed to any number of infectious, air-borne microbes. In the same regard, I may use my nebulizer to inhale a very dilute mist of .75% hydrogen peroxide. I learned about this technique from a May 2020 article that a friend of mine shared from Dr. Mercola. Just a couple of breaths using this mist can really knock back pathogens from the lungs.
While the water is still hot in the tea kettle from making my salt water solution, I generally brew myself a couple of cups of Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals. This is a very soothing combination of herbs to support the health of the throat, coating it with slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Wild cherry bark, fennel and cinnamon add their goodness, drying mucus, easing airways, reducing inflammation and acting as antioxidants. The licorice root boosts the immune system and gives it all a lovely taste. Sipping this nice warm tea all day also helps to rinse away any little microbes that may be trying to set up housekeeping in the mucus membranes of my throat.
At this point I might additionally reach for a throat spray, like 'Singer's Saving Grace' or HerbPharm's 'Soothng Throat Spray.' A couple of squirts in the back of my mouth are very soothing and also help to discourage any invasion.
I'm a big fan of Dr. Richard Schulze and his American Botanical Pharmacy. He is one of our great contemporary herbologists and his 'Oral Therapy' mouth wash is miraculous. I'll also gargle with that, to really knock back any invaders and I follow it with his beautiful 100% food sourced Vitamin C tablets, 'Super-C Plus.' I'll suck on one or two of those and they feel so good. In fact, they could go in my top paragraph as the one or two things that can be done to start turning a situation around. After having successfully managed to conquer the invasion with this protocol, I keep a few of these little C tablets in my pocket for a few days, so I can pull one out and suck on it from time to time, in order to keep the internal balance in my throat in good health.
After all of this flushing and chasing away of bad microbes, I like to go to my refrigerator where I keep what I need to replenish my throat flora with healthy microbes. For this I use a beautiful probiotic capsule that has been carefully preserved from an old world source. It is called 'Healthy Trinity' by Natren. I put two of these beautiful capsules in my mouth and let them slowly dissolve there. I'll often do this just before I fall asleep, for good internal mouth flora and also, incidentally, for tooth support. This is, as the French would say, the pièce de résistance, or the final important feature for regaining the balance of health in my throat.
I keep all of these things on hand because having a fully equipped apothecary, or in-home store of herbs and remedies, is a big part of natural healing. This is a good idea for anyone who is interested in a holistic approach to health. My throat care prevention supplies are just a small portion of my personal apothecary. I also keep herbal stores for organ cleansing, injuries and first aid, brain health, heart health and a host of other simple mostly herbal remedies for maintaining and creating beautiful health, in the way that nature provided.
A good cook knows the importance of having basic staples on hand: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, what have you. The same holds true for natural healing techniques. What I have given you here is one recipe from my cookbook. There are hundreds more. And like any recipe, it may shift and change as the years go by. My storehouse of home remedies started decades ago, with one cupboard. Now it is quite extensive, housed in several cabinets, a dresser or two and even a mini-fridge. And if you haven't already, this is a perfect place to get started, a few powerful healing allies, to help stave off a sore throat, before it even gets started. Enjoy.