Europeans and early Americans gargled with sauerkraut juice – the fermented juice of the cabbage plant.
This refers to the traditional fermented homemade Sauerkraut which is an excellent source of probiotics and enzymes for gut health. Commercial sauerkraut is not the same.
To make homemade sauerkraut, layer scores of chopped cabbage leaves in a Crock-Pot, sprinkling salt over each layer. Alternatively, you can knead the salt into the chopped cabbage leaves instead of layering it. Cover it with a clean cloth and tightly weigh it down with a stone or heavy plates. Let it sit for six weeks or more. Draw off the juice and gargle as needed to alleviate a sore throat.
Naturopathic doctors today have improved on this remedy by alternating gargling with warm ginger juice and gargling with cold pineapple juice.
Here’s the recipe for the ginger juice:
Boil one-half cup of water and one teaspoon of powdered ginger, just until boiling. Once it has cooled, add one-quarter teaspoon of honey and the juice of half of a lemon. Alternate gargling with the ginger juice mixture and with cool pineapple juice. Repeat as needed.
Salt has been used from the earliest times as a means to soothe a sore throat. In India, however, many people today will gargle daily with a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric. They do this as a preventive measure and to clear their throats of mucus.
Another variation of gargling with warm salt water comes from an ancient yogic tradition. While gargling with warm salt water, practice the throat opening sounds “oh,” “ay,” “mi,” and “li.” If you persevere, you will find that your throat opens and relief is given.
In old Amish culture, fresh beets were the cure for sore throats.
Grate the beets into a four-inch-wide strip in the middle of a dish towel. Make a pocket by gathering three sides of the towel. Place the towel around your neck with the beet side next to your throat. Pin the towel closed with a safety pin. When the beets turn green, discard them and start again.
Be careful to protect your clothing … beets have also traditionally been used as clothing dye!
In a study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, researchers gave either a placebo or Throat Coat, a licorice tea from Traditional Medicinals, to 60 sore-throat sufferers 4 to 6 times a day for seven days; the tea tipplers reported significantly less pain on swallowing. Add a teaspoon of chopped or powdered root to a beverage tea, and feel relief almost immediately.
~Michael Castleman, Natural Health
The flowers of the Marsh Mallow, boiled in oil and water, with a little honey and alum, have proved good as a gargle for sore throats. In France, they form one of the ingredients of the Tisane de quatre fleurs, a pleasant remedy for colds.
Source: A Modern Herbal
For information about the individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology