With all the superviruses out there that are now antibiotic resistant, lots of people are turning to natural means of helping their immune system beat the garden variety bacterial infections we all pick up now and again. This includes strep throat.
I in particular don't like taking antibiotics if I don't have to, because I'm allergic to many of them, and building up resistances to the precious few I can take could be very dangerous for me.
But alas, Baby Brother gave me strep this week, and so I concocted a gargle to help relieve pain, and fight the infection.
This is not medicine people! it is simply something you can try to help boost your immunity and anti-bacterial load, and manage your symptoms. Try this at the onset of a sore throat of any kind, but if symptoms persist or get worse, seek medical care.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
Basically, this is a super-powered salt-water concoction for you to gargle and spit out. The other ingredients all have either soothing, antibacterial, or antiseptic properties, to help pack a little more punch.
1 tbsp Salt- I like to use coarse sea salt
1 large sprig Peppermint- I use dried- works out to just over a tbsp when dried and crushed
1 large sprig Sage- ditto
1 tsp Lavendar buds
4 drops Tea Tree oil
1 tsp Honey
You can also add:
Olive Leaf Extract
In addition you will need a small sauce pan, a stove, a clean jar with tight fitting lid, and fine cheese cloth, a very fine strainer or a clean cotton hanky.
More about these items later.
Step 2: Make the Gargle
Add all ingredients to a small sauce pan, bruising or breaking the herbs first to help release aromatic properties. Add about an inch of water to the pan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Try not to take the lid off too often or you lose your liquid in the form of steam. A pan with a glass lid helps here. Once the dried herbs look reconstituted and the water is taking on a khaki ish colour, it should be about done.
Turn off the heat and let cool, keeping the lid on.
Step 3: Storing It
Now is where your clean hanky and jar come in. Rest your hanky (or cheesecloth, or strainer) over the mouth of the jar. If using cloth of some type, push the center into the jar a couple inches to make a pouch for the herbs to strain into.
Pour the contents of the sauce pan through the handkerchief into the jar. Gather the corners of the hanky and lift off/out of the jar. Squeeze to capture any remaining liquids, then discard herbs and rinse hanky.
Fasten the lid tightly on the jar. You can put it in the fridge if you like but I'm inclined to think the salt concentration alone will kill just about anything.
Step 4: Using It
To use the gargle juice, take a swig of the liquid into your mouth. Swish it around coating your mouth. Tip your head back and gargle... try using higher and lower sounds to let the fluid hit different parts of your throat. You want to get it as far back there as you can without swallowing it. Spit out into the sink and rinse it away. Repeat at least twice a day. Should last a week or so, depending on how big you swig!