Question : OF late, my daughter's throat feels dry and hoarse the whole day and she drinks lots of cold water for relief. Swallowing is painful - it is as though her throat is being ripped apart. Besides, she has developed an irritating cough that fails to bring up phlegm.
Answer : A SORE throat can be caused by anything that irritates the mucous membranes of the throat and mouth. Infections caused by bacteria or viruses are common culprits. Other irritants include cigarette smoke, dust, extremely hot foods, chronic cough, fried foods and polluting chemicals in the environment. Even excessive loud talking and the nervous habit of clearing throat will irritate the mucous membranes, with hoarseness being the early side effect.
Sore throats are self-limiting diseases and, depending on the status of the body's natural defence system, should clear within a week. However, if the sore throat persists or worsens, professional advice and a thorough examination should be sought without delay. Antibiotics, such as penicillin, are still an important form of treatment in serious cases of sore throats. Keep in mind that antibiotics kill a wide range of bacteria --- disease-causing ones as well as friendly bacteria that are beneficial to health. As such, it would be wise to supplement with beneficial bacteria like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus, after the course of antibiotics, to replace destroyed friendly bacteria in the gut. A combination of these bacteria is often available from pharmacies as "probiotics capsules".
You may incorporate allicin, a standardised garlic extract, into your daughter's diet. Allicin has remarkable antibiotic properties and, in particular, the potential to assist the immune system in stimulating cells, killing pathogens and detoxifying carcinogen. Allicin is able to penetrate microorganisms' cell walls and upset their biochemical balance and impede their activity.
In addition, eating plenty of fruit and vegetables as well as drinking plenty of water daily is important. She should also boost her immune system by taking nutritional supplement that contains beta-glucan, vitamins C and E and zinc.