Dear Patients and Friends,

Dealing with a sore throat can be miserable. You don’t realize how many times you swallow during the day until every swallow becomes a painful undertaking. Most sore throats are due to viruses and a lesser extent to bacteria. If your sore throat lasts more than a few days or if it’s accompanied by fever, nausea, or abdominal pain, you should seek medical advice. In the absence of a more serious condition, here are some simple tips and home remedies you can use to ease your sore throat and speed your recovery.

Gargle: Gargle with warm salt and turmeric water – ¼ teaspoon each of salt and turmeric powder dissolved in ½ cup of warm water. Do 3, 10-second gargles in a row, 3-4 times a day when you have a sore throat. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a strong antioxidant. Salt cleanses by flushing out post-nasal drip, mucus and bacteria. It also draws moisture out of your swollen tissue and relieves inflammation. Just make sure that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after you gargle in order to let the salt and turmeric penetrate the tissues in your throat.

Herbal Infusion: Ginger and licorice are two herbs that are soothing to the throat. The recipe is easy. Take a 3″ piece of fresh ginger cut into 4 parts and 3 pieces of licorice root and combine them in 4 cups of water; simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the solids. Drink this tea throughout the day. Ginger and licorice tea is also helpful for soothing an upset stomach.

Honey Turmeric Paste: Take 4 tablespoon of raw, organic honey and mix in 1 tablespoon of powdered turmeric. Eat a teaspoon of this paste up to three times a day. Just lick it right off the spoon. It’s delicious and soothing. Pure raw honey has potent antimicrobial properties and turmeric, as mentioned above, is a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

Rest: Don’t forget to rest. This is the best thing you can do when you want to speed your recovery from any illness.

Homemade Chicken and Rice Soup
Homemade chicken soup is nutrient-dense, rich in flavor and contains a number of therapeutic properties. Consuming it when you have a sore throat will support your immune system and help you to stay hydrated. To be therapeutically effective, chicken soup should be made with real bone broth because it is packed with immune supporting properties. I suggest keeping bone broth in your freezer, so it’s there when you need it. If you don’t want to make it yourself, the best local sources that I’m aware of are the Local Butcher Shop and Three Stone Hearth (This is not a paid endorsement!)

All the ingredients in this soup should be soft and well-cooked so they are easy to digest and easy to swallow. Onions, garlic and ginger will add flavor and a healthy dose of phytonutrients – vital for a well-functioning immune system.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook time: 1 to 1-1/2 hours SERVES 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
2 celery stalks (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1″ piece fresh ginger (minced)
4 chicken thighs (bone in, skin on and salted)
Additional herbs of your choice (e.g., thyme, oregano, rosemary; can be fresh or dried)
½ cup white rice
1 quart chicken bone broth (homemade or store bought)
Water to cover the ingredients
½ bunch fresh parsley or cilantro (finely chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°

In a soup pot, sauté all the vegetables and ginger in 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a medium flame. Cook until softened, not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove vegetables from the pot and set them aside. Place the chicken in the pot, chicken skin side down, and cook for about 5 minutes on a medium flame. Then, turn the chicken and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. The chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked through. Remove the skin from the chicken and add the vegetables back into the pot. Add the rice, broth, herbs (except for the parsley) and enough water to cover the chicken and the rest of the ingredients. Put the lid on the pot and place it in the oven. Check the soup after 1/2 hour to make sure there’s enough liquid to cover the ingredients. Add more water if necessary. The soup should be fully cooked after an hour or so. All the ingredients should be soft and the meat should be falling of the bone. If it isn’t done after an hour, put the pot back in the oven and cook for another 15 minutes to ½ hour. Remove the chicken from the pot and when cool, shred the meat and discard the bones. Put the meat back into the soup. Add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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To your health,

Sandra Ludlow LAc, MSOM
Acupuncture and Holistic Medicine Inc.
1283 Gilman Street,
Berkeley CA 94706