A sore throat (also known as pharyngitis or tonsillitis) is a symptom of a disease affecting the pharynx or the area around the tonsils. It can be the result of an infection by a virus or bacteria, a mechanical irritation from coughing, or a trickle of catarrh from the nose, for example. A sore throat may be symptomatic of the condition itself or one of a number of symptoms realting to a wider illness such as flu and glandular fever. The disease is most commonly seen in children and young people but it can occur at any age. The characteristics of the symptom are throat pain and trouble swallowing.

Infection by a virus causing a sore throat may come from a variety of sources, including the common cold virus, influenza and the Epstein-Barr virus the cause of glandular fever. Viral infection originates from airborne droplets from coughing and sneezing and from not washing hands that can carry the infection from person to person. Among the bacteria that cause sore throats, the streptococcus group A is the most common. The incubation period between picking up the infection until the disease breaks out, is up to four days.

Usually a sore throat causes no trouble and only lasts about a week, but the following complications may arise:

  • a secondary infection may occur in the sinuses or chest.
  • if the sore throat is due to a streptococcus infection, there may be a rash (scarlet fever).
  • an uncommon complication is a throat abscess that usually occurs only on one side.
  • in very rare cases, diseases like rheumatic fever or a particular kidney disease (glomerulonephritis) may occur.

In every case, steam inhalations will ease the discomfort. Oils of Benzoin, Lavender or Thyme are very helpful, and will help to deal with the infection causing the soreness.

A combination of lemon oil and eucalyptus oil are an effective sore throat remedy. Add 3 drops of lemon oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus oil to a glass of warm water, gargle for 10 seconds and then spit it out. Never swollow Essential Oils! Also, they can both be diffused in the air during the day and by your bed when you sleep at night. Oil of oregano and clove oil can also be used.

For more detail read the entries for INHALATIONS, LARYNGITIS, TONSILITIS.

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