A Guide to Relieving Sore Throat With Top 4 Teas
We are remarkably complex insofar as organic life is concerned and have oddly sensitive body parts for the daily strain we are subjected to. We are susceptible to illnesses and diseases that can impact our ability to function properly, including our ability to breathe or swallow. Illnesses are so common that modern medicine has worked to create vaccines and pharmaceuticals to treat and prevent them.
Unfortunately, there are several conditions that we can still catch regardless of vaccination, and medicine does not always alleviate the symptoms. Some of the most common illnesses and infections still have no cures or vaccines and cause symptoms that can be uncomfortable. Many common illnesses cause sore throats, making swallowing and speaking difficult or painful. Resources are available to help treat a sore throat, but some prefer a more natural approach.
Tea is one of modern society's most commonly consumed beverages, second only to water, for obvious reasons. Most people enjoy a cup of tea when they want to relax or just need an extra caffeine boost without the intensity of coffee. Despite the more common uses of tea, the drink has various health benefits that make it a common tool when we get sick.
Tea is one of the main drinks used when we have a sore throat because there was always an old wives' tale that it was effective for soothing the pain. The question is: Is there any truth to this, and which teas are best for the job?
Option #1: Green Tea
The most common tea is green tea, which is hardly surprising since it was one of the very first ever cultivated. Before we drank tea, ancient societies chewed leaves from a plant called Camellia sinensis, colloquially known as the tea plant, before the steeping process was discovered. The leaves of C. sinensis are the source of several tea varieties, including green tea.
Green tea is one of the more malleable types of tea because it can be repurposed as an ingredient in other foods, drinks, and cosmetic products. However, the main use for C. sinensis leaves is to make green tea so enthusiasts can enjoy a timeless flavor. Most people overlook that green tea has benefits beyond taste and caffeine and is a longstanding tool in holistic medicine.
One of the earliest uses of C. sinensis leaves was to treat the ill within ancient cultures before it was refined into a drink. Modern research has shown that the use of tea leaves in medicinal settings was justified since the leaves contain powerful nutrients.
One of the biggest causes of sore throats is exposure to free radicals that cause oxidative damage, triggering inflammation and pain in the throat. Fortunately, green tea seems very effective at counteracting this issue since it is a major source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are powerful compounds that combat free radicals and reduce the risk and severity of oxidative damage.
Green tea is particularly beneficial due to a polyphenol called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the most powerful antioxidants. EGCG, like most antioxidants, reduces the inflammation caused by free radicals and reduces or eliminates the pain it causes. This applies to inflammation in the throat, making green tea a highly effective resource for people dealing with sore throats. One study discovered that individuals who gargled a green tea solution every 6 hours in a 24-hour period had reduced symptoms after having a breathing tube removed.
Green tea is also unique because it has a variant called matcha that is significantly more powerful than its common cousin. Matcha is cultivated from a C. sinensis plant grown in the shade, causing the leaves to develop higher concentrations of the nutrients and compounds that contribute to green tea's health benefits. Studies found that matcha provides the same benefits as green tea but with more substantial results. Therefore, matcha could be considered a higher-quality green tea that can treat a sore throat more effectively.
Option #2: Peppermint Tea
Most people do not consider peppermint to be a soothing substance since it does not have the most pleasant taste. Some enjoy the taste of peppermint, while others believe it is similar to toothpaste and prefer to avoid it. Mentha x piperita is not a plant that was created on its own and is actually a hybrid created by crossbreeding M. aquatica (watermint) and M. spicata (spearmint).
Despite its origin as a hybrid, M. x piperita has become a popular ingredient in gum, mints, and even the festive candy canes people eat during Christmas. One of the lesser-known uses of peppermint is the creation of peppermint tea, which is more valuable than people realize. Peppermint has several nutrients and compounds, making it an equally viable resource for holistic medicine.
While peppermint's health benefits are not as extensive as other types of tea, it can treat the symptoms of a sore throat. One of the main reasons it is beneficial is the same reason that green tea is so popular among holistic enthusiasts.
Peppermint has high concentrations of polyphenols, the same antioxidants found in C. sinensis leaves. As a result, peppermint tea can offer similar protection against free radicals and reduce the inflammation in your throat. The polyphenol concentration in peppermint is not as strong as in green tea, but peppermint has something green tea lacks.
Peppermint is rich in menthol, which gives the plant its minty taste but also accounts for an important health benefit. Menthol interacts with the calcium channels in our bodies to produce a cooling sensation after we consume it. Ever notice how your mouth feels colder after taking a mint or brushing your teeth? That is because menthol and calcium generate this sensation, which is usually hit-or-miss, depending on the person.
That said, menthol's cooling effect can help individuals with sore throats by cooling the tissue and reducing the intensity of the inflammation.
Peppermint's cooling effect means drinking peppermint tea can help reduce pain and irritation by slightly numbing the tissue in your throat. This helps you speak and swallow with less pain until your throat heals. Peppermint tea might not be the most effective tea for resolving the core issue, but it can help you manage symptoms so there is less pain. Fortunately, there are alternatives if you do not think peppermint tea can get the job done.
Option #3: Licorice Root Tea
Licorice is a matter of contention amongst candy lovers worldwide and keeps with the theme of acquired tastes from the previous section. Licorice is most known for its peculiar flavor and the string-like candy it is used to produce (even though it has other applications). Licorice is the common name for a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra, which is native to Western Asia, North Africa, and South Europe.
Licorice root and extract have been used in medicinal practices and herbalism for centuries, with many primitive cultures using it to treat certain ailments. Licorice has continued to serve as a natural remedy for several conditions and has developed a reputation with modern holistic enthusiasts. Among licorice's benefits are compounds and nutrients that can help treat a sore throat with surprising efficiency. Licorice's name correlates to a compound called glycyrrhizin, which has holistic effects that make it a welcome addition to the body.
Glycyrrhizin is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory compound with an interesting connection to the human body. Glycyrrhizin stimulates the adrenal gland and causes it to release cortisol, a powerful steroidal hormone that is a natural anti-inflammatory. This effect makes licorice a valuable anti-inflammatory compared to other substances in the same class.
Cortisol is powerful, so oversaturating your body with it can be dangerous, but limited use of licorice tea can release enough to soothe your throat. In a study, participants gargled 30 milliliters of water mixed with 0.5 grams of licorice powder for 30 seconds. The subjects in the test group had reduced soreness in their throats after undergoing surgery.
The antimicrobial characteristic of licorice gives it an additional value that makes it useful for treating sore throats caused by infections. The common cold and other health issues irritate the throat and can exacerbate inflammation. Antimicrobials actively kill organisms that might have infected you, helping you recover faster and more effectively. Drinking licorice tea gives your body additional resources to fight off the infection by killing the microbes that colonized your body.
Licorice can help protect the throat from soreness and damage caused by microbial organisms or general inflammation. The biggest problem is that licorice's taste is significantly more controversial than peppermint's. Many people claim licorice is unpalatable and are therefore unwilling to consume it even if it would benefit their health. Fortunately, other teas are just as effective and less likely to leave a controversial taste in your mouth.
Option #4: Ginger Tea
Zingiber officinale might not seem like a familiar name, but you have almost certainly consumed it at least once. Z. officinale is the scientific name for common ginger, which has been used in culinary settings for centuries since its discovery. Ginger has several cousins and offshoots that share its distinct flavor and the nutrients that make it valuable.
Ginger's uses go beyond the culinary, and it was used in holistic medicine for almost as long as it was in cooking. Ginger has several nutrients and compounds, making it extremely helpful for treating ailments. Like most of the teas listed in this article, ginger tea has powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that make it extremely effective in reducing inflammation in the throat.
The anti-inflammatory characteristics of ginger result from phytonutrients like gingerols and shogaols. Ginger tea has been a home remedy for sore throats for years, with many people making a warm cup of ginger tea to soothe their symptoms.
Whether it actually works has been debated more often than it should have been, but there is scientific evidence supporting ginger tea's effects. A test tube study tested a solution with 10% ginger extract exposed to Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, and Enterococcus faecalis (microorganisms known for oral infections that cause sore throats). The study discovered that ginger inhibited these cells and reduced their impact on healthy cells.
This indicates that ginger also has antimicrobial properties similar to licorice, making it equally valuable. Ginger's antimicrobial properties combined with the anti-inflammatory effect mean its status as a home remedy for sore throats is unlikely to fade anytime soon.
Ginger tea is extremely common in many households and has benefits that make it viable for your sore throat. There are other options, but ginger will be one of the better options outside the previously mentioned teas. Ginger can also be used as an additive to other teas, with many people adding ginger (along with lemon and honey) to green tea or matcha to enhance the flavor and reinforce the health benefits. The biggest problem is finding a tea blend that can give you the necessary resources to treat your ailment.
Finding the Right Blend
Sore throats are extremely unpleasant and can be caused by various conditions and infections, but they are not permanent. Tea provides a soothing effect on the mind and body, including the ability to alleviate the severity of sore throats. Picking the right tea is difficult since there are so many varieties, but the 4 listed in this article are among the most effective.
You can also enhance your tea with natural compounds like honey and lemon to reinforce their effects and make them better suited to addressing health concerns. The biggest challenge will be finding a quality blend with the necessary tea varieties.
We at Teami have always maintained that tea is one of nature's most incredible products and that its effect on us is worth every drop. That is why we have created a catalog of tea blends designed to maximize the benefits of tea for your body. We offer several different blends that use green, ginger, peppermint, and countless other teas that can ensure you get what you need. We encourage you to visit our website and browse our catalog directly. After all, finding the right blend is a Teami effort.
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