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Alternative ways to tame a sore throat

11th December 2007 Print
A sore throat can leave you feeling surprisingly under the weather. The most common cause of a sore throat is thought to be either a viral or bacterial infection. The cold winter air and dry office atmospheres may make your throat feel dry and sore. Having a cold and a stuffy nose causes mouth breathing, which may also cause a dry throat.

Sore throats can also be self-inflicted with a hoarse voice being the result of the vocal cords swelling after excess partying and smoky atmospheres.

Holland & Barrett suggest a few alternative remedies to help your throat through the cold winter months and the party atmospheres.

Its medicinal origins date back to the 19th Century when doctors extracted juice from the medicinal marshmallow plant’s roots and cooked it with egg whites and sugar, whipping it into a hardened candy to soothe children’s sore throats. (The pink and white confectionary marshmallows are named after the medicinal plant as they both contain a thick, gooey substance and are made up of sugar).

The active constituent in marshmallow is mucilage. “In the respiratory system, mucilage acts as a soothing expectorant, loosening and encouraging the elimination of phlegm from the airways,” says Ed Berger, medical herbalist and lecturer in Herbal Medicine for the College of Naturopathic Medicine. “For this reason, marshmallow is useful for soothing dry coughs, inflamed and irritated throats, hoarseness and getting rid of tenacious catarrh.” When trialled against two other remedies in an Eastern European study of cough suppressants, marshmallow outperformed both. In Germany, teas containing marshmallow are commonly sold for this purpose.

Holland & Barrett’s Marshmallow capsules cost £9.99 for 100 and are available in stores nationwide or online at

Vitamin C and Zinc lozenges
Holland & Barrett’s Vitamin C and Zinc Lozenges provide two powerful free radical fighting ingredients that complement each other perfectly in the fight against both viral and bacterial infections and to reduce the duration of infections.

- The trace mineral Zinc has many essential functions including cell reproduction, protection from free radicals and immune system maintenance.
- Vitamin C’s powerful anti-oxidant properties have long been recognised as being critical to good health and support the prevention of illness.

Sucking Vitamin C and Zinc lozenges coats and protects the delicate mucus membranes of the mouth and throat. These membranes are vital to help protect against the infections and viruses spread so easily at this time of year.

Bee Propolis
Bee Propolis is one of the oldest natural remedies used by mankind, created by bees using a resin collected by leaf buds and bark it is combined with enzymes, pollen and wax. The bees use it as a kind of external immune system antibiotic to seal line, repair and strengthen their hive creating a sterile and safe environment. As a natural remedy it is believed to have a similar effect and aids in supporting the immune system.

Bee Propolis is rich in flavonoids, amino acids and minerals. Flavonoids support health by strengthening capillaries and other connective tissue, with an additional function as an anti-inflammatory – a perfect trait for a sore throat.

For more information and to buy, visit