Jovial Throat, Focused Mind

By: Maria Isabel Cubillo

The mornings are getting colder, but our days are still warm. If the extremes in temperature have not gotten you sneezing, those Santa Ana winds can sure kick up one's allergies. Staying hydrated and having vitamin C are common advice. However, if you already have a sore throat and your instinct was to go for the over-the-counter cold syrup, give some thought to the advice health practitioners shared with me.

Teas can relieve you. We are used to having cold syrup as our go-to solution.

To take care of a sore throat, let’s consider the advice nurse practitioner Dr. Debby Rannalli gives to parents of young children.

 A soothing herbal solution to a sore throat.  Photo by: Maria Isabel Cubillo

A soothing herbal solution to a sore throat.

Photo by: Maria Isabel Cubillo

“First of all, cough syrup is not recommended for children less than six years old because they can easily overdose and become lethargic with some the ingredients in cough medicine. For people older, cough medicine is okay,” Dr. Rannalli says.

It is important to bring up that for a sore throat, the doctor is not prescribing a treatment, what is given is “support care.”

The recommendation Dr. Rannalli gives for children under six can also work for adults.

“Honey, warm water, and lemon. The lemon will help break up the mucus, and the honey would soothe the pain plus it also is a good cough suppressant,” Dr. Rannalli says.

Honey must not be given to infants those less than a year, Dr. Rannalli warns. Dr. Rannalli mentioned that infants can not process the spores in honey. Botulism which causes a serious neurologic infection can occur.



 Teas can be a more relaxing solution to a common problem.  Photos By: Maria Isabel Cubillo

Teas can be a more relaxing solution to a common problem.

Photos By: Maria Isabel Cubillo

If you are seeking for specific herbs, you’ll be glad to hear there are a number of herbs (licorice root, elm inner bark, marshmallow root, and licorice root aqueous dry extract) that helped soothe the throat and are backed by science.

In a brief talk with nurse practitioner Laura Conahan, she shared at times patients want alternatives to traditional medicine and she refers to the website uptodate.com.

As more people in your school or work area come down with some infection, cold, or simply dry sore throat. Remaining mindful of aiding your throat with tea and other self-care can surely give you the upper hand this winter.