A sore throat is any pain, soreness, and raw sensitivity in the throat, which is especially painful or uncomfortable when swallowing.

What is a Sore Throat?

From Modern Western Medicine

A sore throat is a common disorder that frequently accompanies the common cold, influenza, laryngitis, and viral infections, including those of childhood, such as chicken pox, measles, and mumps. Sore throat may be a symptom of streptococcus, which, if left untreated, can result in kidney disease or rheumatic fever.

Treatment includes gargling with salt water and, for adults, taking aspirin. A physician should be consulted if a sore throat persists for more than 48 hours, or if a rash develops with a sore throat.

From Traditional Medicine

A sore throat results when the body is attempting to eliminate accumulated toxins, especially from the lymph system and the intestinal tract. The most common dietary cause of a sore throat, especially in children, is dairy products and sugar consumption. A frequent underlying physical cause is constipation. When toxins remain in the large intestine, they are reabsorbed by the lymph system, which becomes backed up waste and by-products of immune cell activity. Tonsils, pharynx, and larynx become swollen as a result. In general, treatment includes improvement of bowel function, lots of well-cooked, soft grains and vegetables, and rest.



Food to Eat

  • Whole grains, especially brown rice, barely, and oats: make grain a little wetter and softer for easier digestion
  • Green, yellow, and orange vegetables: steam and boil
  • Kombu seaweed: make soup stock fir it or cut it up and cook with vegetables
  • Cucumbers, raw and whole, or cucumber juice
  • Root vegetables, such as carrots, turnips, rutabagas, and parsnips
  • Miso soup
  • Lemon: Dilute the juice with water. Cleanses the liver.
  • Radishes: take a few slices, two or three times a day or ½ cup radish juice daily. Radishes are contraindicated for those with cold and deficient conditions.
  • Strawberries
  • Watercress

Foods to Avoid

  • Cold drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Sugar
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Spices
  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Animal fats


Herbs to Treat Sore Throat

  • Goldenseal: use with myrrh for sore throat. Use tinctures as throat swab, dilute for gargle.
  • Garlic: 2 capsules with meals
  • Marigold: use tincture for throat swab
  • Alfalfa: Make tea by steeping 1 tbsp. seed or 2 oz. dried leaf in 1 quart boiling water. Have two to three cups per day. Or add the powder to soups and salads.




  • Hot water and salt
  • Hot water, lemon juice, and honey
  • Hydrastis, myrrh, and water
  • Sage tea
  • Sage, cayenne, and honey
  • Bayberry bark decoction


Chinese Medicine

Sore throat is a heat condition that is related to the lungs. See the Food sections above.