Natural Health with Megan Sheppard: Will lemon and honey drinks help clear my laryngitis?

I am suffering from laryngitis. I am using lemon and honey drinks — my go-to remedy for sore throats. Will this help to clear the laryngitis, or do I need something stronger?

The lemon and honey drinks will certainly help soothe the inflammation and inhibit infection. Raw honey (unfiltered and not heat treated) has long been used for almost every ailment.

Honey has been used both internally and externally to help treat chronic indigestion, insomnia, constipation, ulcers, sore throats, coughs, colds, and ’flu, abscesses, burns, eczema, athlete’s foot, surgical wounds, cold sores… the list goes on.

It has antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and works by absorbing water and dehydrating the organisms responsible for infection.

Laryngitis can be the result of an infection in the throat, but can also occur when the vocal cords are stressed due to overuse. The first step is to rest your voice as much as possible, regardless of how the laryngitis developed.

Liquorice root is a wonderful herbal remedy for laryngitis and can be combined with other useful soothing and healing herbs. Try combining two tablespoons of liquorice root together with a tablespoon each of marshmallow root, echinacea, ginger root, and cinnamon bark. Blend together and use a heaped tablespoon of the herbs per litre of boiling water. Steep for 10-15 minutes, then drink the litre throughout the day.

You can also use this infusion as a soothing gargle for your throat — supercharge it by mixing a tablespoon of the infusion with a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar before you use it to gargle with.

I am looking to invest in a juicer or blender, but can’t afford to buy both. Can you please tell me which is best?

This is a difficult question to answer, as both of these appliances perform quite different functions rather than one being better than the other. A juicer will extract the water and nutrients, discarding the fibre, whereas the blender breaks apart fibre and includes the whole fruit or vegetables in the end product.

I often suggest a juicer for those wishing to undergo a more in-depth detoxification process, or for individuals who have serious digestive issues. It is a good idea to combine the freshly pressed juice 50/50 with water to begin with since it is such a concentrated blast of nutrients without the fibre. Produce without fibre is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

In the case of sweet vegetables and fruits, this can cause quite a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. On the plus side, the digestive system is flooded with nutrients and they are readily bioavailable at a cellular level.

Blending your fruit and veg ensures that you have access to all of the nutrients hiding in and just beneath the skin of your produce. The fibre content helps to ensure that the nutrients are released slowly into the bloodstream — thus avoiding spikes in your blood- sugar levels.

You will also find that smoothies are typically more filling than juices, due to the fibre and bulk content. You can also add in herbs, leafy greens, superfood powders, and herbal infusions more easily than with juicing.

The decision is ultimately yours — personal preference, and what you want to achieve with the appliance is key. If you want a no-fuss quick health kick, then a blender makes more sense (anybody who has spent a morning preparing produce, feeding it into a juicer, then cleaning said juicer will attest to this). If you want a deeper detoxification or cleansing benefit, then a juicer would be the better option.

Either way, try to drink your juice or smoothie quite soon after preparing it, since the resulting brew begins to oxidise as soon as it is made.

If you are unable to drink it immediately, then pour it into a sealed jar and store it in the fridge for up to a few hours.

A final word — if you do opt for a blender, you can use a nut milk bag, or muslin cloth to squeeze out the pulp and create a makeshift juice. Somewhat messy, but it works.


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