Hard to swallow?

IT FEELS LIKE YOU'VE SWALLOWED FIRE, yet there's no circus in sight. A sore throat — aka pharyngitis — is generally caused by a viral infection such as the cold or flu; other culprits include allergies, dryness, and muscle strain. To help soothe the mucous membranes that line a burning, irritated throat, try these natural demulcents.

Legend for Chart:
B-throat coat
D-herbal sore throat & mouth spray
This tea from Traditional Medicinals contains a blend
of herbs, including licorice root, marshmallow root, and
slippery elm, known for their demulcent properties.
The active ingredient, zinc, plays a role in maintaining
membrane health. Also, sucking on a lozenge stimulates the
production of saliva, which bathes the throat.
Anti-inflammatory herbs such as echinacea are delivered
directly to the throat in a lubricating spray sans
alcohol, which is drying to the mucous membranes.
the evidence
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Medicine showed that drinking Throat Coat
significantly reduced throat pain in patients diagnosed with
acute pharyngitis.
In a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine,
patients who took zinc gluconate lozenges suffered sore
throat and other cold symptoms for significantly fewer days
than those given a placebo.
Oral sprays are more effective than oral rinses in
coating the throat, according to a study published in
the Journal of Laryngology and Otology.
Avoid if you have impaired liver or kidney function, or if
you're pregnant or breastfeeding.
Nausea is a common side effect of zinc, so don't take it
on an empty stomach. Avoid citrus for a half-hour before
or after taking a lozenge; it can interfere with zinc's
effectiveness. Consult your doctor if you're pregnant or nursing.
Safe as long as the advised dosage isn't exceeded.
using it
Pour 8 ounces of freshly boiled water over a tea bag and
steep, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Four to six cups
daily are recommended ($4.49 for a box of 16
teabags; tealand.com/throatcoat.asp).
Completely dissolve one lozenge in the mouth at the
first sign of symptoms; repeat every three to four hours
as needed ($7 for a box of 18 lozenges; cold-eeze.com).
Four times a day, give your throat four squirts of Natural
Dentist Herbal Sore Throat & Mouth Spray ($9 for
4 ounces; vitaminshoppe.com). Or try one to three sprays
of Herbal Fitness.com's Herbal Throat Spray ($9.50 for 1 ounce).

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