Winter is the season for all sorts of illnesses, from the flu and colds to a cough and sore throat. It is not always necessary to run straight to the pharmacy at the first sign of these unwelcome seasonal surprises, especially a sore throat. Get ahead of it this year with some of the following natural cures.
• Garlic is best used when that annoying tickle lingers in your throat. Garlic helps boost your immune system, while combating pain and irritation with its anti-microbial properties. Microwave a couple of cloves for 15 seconds to mellow the flavor, then chop and serve on crackers for a tasty sore throat-stopper.
• Warm salt water is best used when that tickle has turned into a full-on scratchy and sore throat. Gargle with warm salt water — 1 teaspoon of salt per pint of water. This helps soothe your throat, fight bacteria and increase blood flow to carry bacteria-fighting cells to the problem source.
• Herbal tea is best used when you have all-day sore throat pain. Herbal teas such as echinacea and goldenseal root help boost your immune system to potentially speed the healing process.
• Slippery elm lozenges are best used when your throat is red and feels raw. The slippery elm tree bark helps reduce pain and inflammation and keeps your throat moist.
• 1 garlic bulb
• 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Place oven rack at the bottom level.
Slice off the pointed top of the garlic bulb head, enough to expose the beginning of each bulb.
Pour olive oil on the cut side of the garlic clove and wrap in a piece of aluminum foil.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
Open the foil when cool and gently squeeze out the soft cloves.
Serve with whole wheat crackers and enjoy!
Nutrition information per serving (five garlic cloves): 38 calories, 0.1 gram fat, 8.5 grams carbohydrates, 1.5 grams protein, 4 milligrams sodium, 0.5 gram fiber
Emily DelConte, Kali Garges, Amy King, Kelly Markiewicz and Meghan Martorana write this column and are registered dietitians at EVOLUTION — Nutrition Counseling by Dietitians in Bristol, East Greenwich, Newport and Providence. They adapt the recipes from public domain or copyright-free recipes.