Sore Throat

HONEYSUCKLE has been used to treat a sore throat (Conway), a use going back at least to Gerard's time: "[it] is good against soreness of the throat". Gypsies use the berries to cure the condition, and also canker in the mouth (Vesey-Fitzgerald). Gargles can be made from SANICLE's astringent leaves (Wickham), or those of SUMMER SAVORY and RIBWORT PLANTAIN (Schauenberg & Paris). Verjuice, the very sour liquid made from CRABAPPLE, was once used for sore throats "and all disorders of the mouth" (Hill). BRAMBLE vinegar used to be made in Lincolnshire for coughs (Gutch & Peacock), and the decoction of the tips with honey was an old sore throat remedy (Hill) (so is blackberry jam (Page. 1978)). Langham's The garden of health was written in 1578, and we can find something very similar there: "the new sprigs ... doe cure the hote and evill ulcers of the mouth and throat and the swellings of the gums, uvula and almonds of the throat, being often chewed.". In North Wales, SLOES were used for a cough cure (Friend. 1883); so they were in the Highlands, too, for sloe jelly was reckoned the best cure for a relaxed throat (Grant), while the juice of boiled sloes was an East Anglian gargle for a sore throat (V G Hatfield. 1994). Perhaps the best known cure is provided by BLACKCURRANTS. They were used in folk medicine long before cultivation, and are still so used. A wine or jelly used to be made in Yorkshire from the fruit, and set aside for the complaint (Nicholson). In France, druggists used to prepare a sweet paste, called pâté de guimauve, from MARSH MALLOW, for coughs and sore throats (M Evans). The practice in Ireland was to boil the seeds in milk, and then drink the liquid (Maloney). It can be prepared as a gargle for sore throat, made from the shredded root or leaves, in water (Thomson. 1978).

SOLOMON'S SEAL is used in the Balkans for a sore throat, either as a decoction to be drunk, or as a poultice round the neck and chest (Kemp). The pulp of WATER MELONS will relieve sore throat or sore mouth (Perry & Metzger). American Indian groups like the Zuni used PUCCOON roots, with some ceremony, by grinding it in the morning in the patient's quarters, on a special grinding stone, used only for this ritual. The remainder of the plant would be made into a tea. The medicine would be for sore throat, and for swelling on any part of the body (Stevenson). The Mano people of Liberia look on GREEN PURSLANE as a sore throat remedy. They take a large handful, beaten up with root ginger, which then had to be mixed with water from a "talking stream", and meat and salt are added to make a soup (Harley).

A sore throat remedy from Indiana is made from the powdered leaves and root of COCKLEBUR. Mixed with a little flour and water, the result would be put on the back of the tongue, so that it would drip into the throat (Tyler). Another Hoosier remedy is to use LOVAGE. Cut up the root and fry it in lard, and apply that to the throat as a poultice (Tyler).

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