Being pregnant can be a wonderful thing. Your skin develops its pregnancy glow, your hair becomes long and luscious, and … your immune system becomes a little sluggish. This is a good thing, as the suppressed immune system keeps the baby protected and stops the body from treating the fetus as a foreign entity. Unfortunately, this also means that you are left susceptible to common illnesses such as the cold and flu.
The good news is that even if you develop an illness, it is not passed on to your unborn baby. Even so, getting sick is never fun. A common symptom you may experience is a sore throat. This can be one of the first symptoms of the cold, flu, or even strep throat.
Before you had a baby on the way, you may have run down to your local drugstore and purchased some over-the-counter medication to ease your symptoms. Now, your doctor warns you against many medications, and it can be complicated to determine what is and isn’t safe to use during pregnancy. Even many natural remedies are better avoided when pregnant. Luckily, there are a few natural remedies for sore throat that can be used during pregnancy to reduce discomfort.
Healing Pain in a Natural Way
Many over-the-counter medications actually mask symptoms rather than treat them. Herbal remedies, on the other hand, often go deeper than that. They ease symptoms while working to treat the underlying cause of them. Even though herbs are an all-natural remedy for many ailments, the use of many of them during pregnancy is constantly debated. Before choosing to use any herbs as treatment, consult with your doctor. When in doubt, there are ways to ease the pain of a sore throat without the use of herbs at all.
If your parents ever gave you a warm bowl of chicken soup as a sick child, you know just how soothing this can be. The soup itself doesn’t need to be extravagant. A simple mug of chicken, vegetable, or bone broth can do wonders for your throat. Sipping on a warm liquid has been shown to ease many symptoms of the cold and flu, including sore throat, congestion, cough, headache, and sneezing.
Add approximately 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 8 oz of warm water and use as a gargle. This can help ease a dry, scratchy, or sore throat and reduce coughs. Although this treatment is often thought of as an old wives’ tale, there is science that backs up its effectiveness. The concentration of salt helps draw fluids from your throat tissues, helping draw out the infection that is causing the pain. It also helps break up mucus, allowing the removal of irritants from the throat.
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A saltwater gargle can be used as both a treatment and a preventative measure. It is also effective against painful gums and canker sores.
A 2005 study found that people who gargled salt water three times a day had a 40% decrease in respiratory tract infections compared with the control group!1 For something so simple, it is surprisingly effective.
A Spoonful of Honey
Instead of taking an over-the-counter cough syrup or making an herbal preparation, a simple spoon of honey can do the trick. Try to get high-quality Manuka honey for even more antibiotic properties. A spoonful of honey can lubricate the throat and ease discomfort.
Another old remedy known as an oxymel combines the healing properties of honey with vinegar. Try mixing four parts Manuka honey to one part apple cider vinegar, taking a spoonful whenever you experience symptoms. You can adjust the percentages of honey and vinegar to your liking, or add a spoonful to a glass of warm water.
For an easy hot drink, combine a spoon of honey with fresh lemon juice in a mug of warm water. The drink itself will soothe the throat, while the antimicrobial properties of honey and the high vitamin C content of lemon work together to treat your illness.
When you are expecting, the health of your unborn child is your highest priority. You can rest easy knowing that there are safe, effective, and simple ways to ease the pain of a sore throat without compromising your child’s future health.
Photo credits: MadeleineSteinbach/shutterstock.com, Jamy/shutterstock.com, AfricaStudio/shutterstock.com