Well, now I feel obliged. Here's one for you:

  1. Place 2 cups of brandy in a medium saucepan.
  2. Begin to simmer over low heat.
  3. Add 1-2 cups honey.
  4. Add the juice of one lemon.
  5. Simmer over med-low heat until about half of the alcohol has boiled off.
  6. Pour into large, comfy mug.
  7. Drink.
  8. Enjoy.
Conventional Wisdom suggests the following remedies for a sore throat:

  1. Water --
    ingest copious amounts of H20.
  2. Warm Tea + Honey --
    try a little divination, maybe.
  3. Humidity --
    treat the air you breathe with a humidifier.
  4. Salt Water --
    mix ¼ tsp. salt to ½ cup water, employ as a gargle several times daily.
  5. Drugs --
    acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other non-narcotic analgesic for mild pain.
Ok, fine, well and good, but is this advice worth a dime? Discussion follows.

#5. The recommended drugs are well-studied; their only effect in the case of a sore throat is pain relief. They may make you feel better, but they aren't doing anything else to alleviate your ailment.

#4. It is probable that gargling with a salt water solution serves to flush the infected tissues of the throat. The high salinity of the salt water causes water to diffuse from the tissues of the throat into the salt water solution in an effort to equalize the salinity gradient. This process is commonly referred to as osmosis. Also, local changes in salinity can be detrimental to some viruses and bacteria in laboratory conditions, this may have some limited effects in vitrio as well.

#3. Dry air can irritate the throat by drying the surface of the throat. Anecdotal 'evidence' suggests that air quality can effect the rate of recovery, however, the primary effect here is comfort.

#2. Tea (Camellia sinensis) and honey.
Probable contents:
Tea
30%* polyphenols --->(high complexation affinity to metals, alkaloids, and biologic macromolecules)
 4%* alkaloids --->(caffeine-like substances)
 1%* phenolic acids --->(gallic acids/amino acids)
Honey
82% sugars/carbohydrates
 0.5* proteins and minerals

Hard to say what the physiological effects of this concoction are exactly, since its such complicated soup of chemicals. The most prominent effects seem to be an increase in blood sugar from the honey, and a response to the caffeine and other alkaloids in the tea.

#1. Water, water, everywhere. Water is essential, with very few exceptions, to all processes in the human body. This advice seems to be motivated by the notion that, since your throat hurts, you may not be drinking enough fluids to stay properly hydrated. Its not that your body requires large amounts of water to deal with your sore throat, the concern is that you are slightly dehydrated to begin with. Drink up.

*by dry weight

Sources:
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/webwise/spinneret/life/osmsis.htm
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000982.htm
http://www.chemsoc.org/exemplarchem/entries/2001/loveridge/index-page3.html
http://www.teatalk.com/

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