Whenever you have cough or throat pain and it is really hard to swallow, breathe or even drink fluids, you want to relieve from the sore and pain to have a good night sleep. A lot of products in the market are out to soothe throat pains and all kinds of cough. You could see all kinds of variety with loaded with so many ingredients, both chemicals and naturals.
Sore throat lozenges, otherwise called as cough drops, cough lozenges, troche, cachou, pastille or cough sweet, are usually sized as bigger than a penny, often diamond or oval-shaped flavored tablets that soothe a sore throat by dissolving it slowly in the mouth lubricating it with saliva to be dissolved for it to release the compounds that will act as medicine to temporarily stop coughs, lubricate, and soothe irritated tissues of the throat, possibly from the common cold or influenza. These tablets have taken the name lozenge, based on their original shape, which is a diamond.
Throat lozenges are used for cooling relief from irritated tissues that result to sore throat pain. These throat lozenges are casually called as sore throat candy or cough candy, since they are usually quite similar to sucking candies in both look and taste, and they often have a refreshing and tasteful flavor and with little or no active ingredients or therapeutic benefits, ‘confectionery’ items are classed as a food, not a medicine.
Throat lozenges are not meant to be swallowed or chewed but are meant to dissolve on the tongue. What throat lozenges do is that by sucking it for a long time about half an hour, it increases the saliva production that would eventually make the throat feel better, decrease the dryness and coating the throat helping to ease the cough reflex. There are also varieties of lozenges, ranging from anesthetics precisely to make your throat feel numb to stop the itchiness.
For the anti-bacterial throat lozenges, the active chemical compounds found in throat lozenges are amylmetacresol, dichlorobenzyl alcohol, and hexylresorcinol, which have antiseptic properties capable of killing some strains of bacteria. Lozenges with both amylmetacresol and dichlorobenzyl alcohol have been studied to kill a small selection of viruses, but these two compounds do not have soothing effects. Also, according to studies, bacteria only account for no more than 20% to as little as 5% of throat infections so these would deem useless since most throat pains are actually caused by viral infections. However, what these compounds actually do is to signal to the brain the numbness and blocks the pain and discomfort to give an anesthetic relief.
Usually, these throat lozenges have the ingredients like oils such as oils from peppermints or spearmints, claiming to have therapeutic benefits aside from soothing the throat due to itchiness or soreness, and from eucalyptus leaves as an added decongestant for colds and could also provide fresh breath. An organic compound menthol on the other hand is a throat lozenge ingredient to cause a calming, cooling and soothing sensation and has antiseptic and anesthetic benefits on its own. Non-menthol throat lozenges generally use either zinc gluconate glycine, pectin or honey as a soothing substance, coating for the throat to suppress the cough and as an oral demulcent. There are also throat lozenges that include pain medications that are usually non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Lemon is usually being used as a flavoring or any other citrus fruit that has been loaded with vitamin C to make them more palatable. Other anesthetics and cough suppressants can also be included to treat other illness.
Others also use benifuuki tea leaves as an active ingredient for sore throat and reduces hay fever. For throat lozenges, what is used is slightly fermented benifuuki green tea leaves.
The flowers and leaves of benifuuki are larger than the more popular cultivar for Japanese green tea, which is the yabukita. Banifuuki leaves have three stems. The tea is not shaded because the sunlight allows for a higher catechin content and is easily fermented. Benifuuki leaves are also easy to be planted and harvested since Benifuuki shows a particularly high resistance to disease and can be grown using only very small quantities of pesticides so there are substantially less harmful residues in the Benifuuki green tea.
While the use of minted candies for sore throat is being done as early as 1000 BC, benifuuki tea is a special cultivar of Japanese Green Tea, which was introduced in the Japanese market by Japanese breeders only in 1993.
Compared to throat lozenges, benifuuki tea leaves are natural remedy for sore throat and it is much more than throat pain reliever. It has been shown to strongly inhibit mast cell activation and histamine release, as well as relieve symptoms of runny nose and eye itching in people with seasonal pollen allergies. Early research suggests that drinking Benifuuki tea daily can reduce allergy symptoms, including throat pain, nasal congestion, nose blowing, and tears. In a certain study, ninety-one patients who had mild perennial allergic rhinitis who ingested Benifuuki tea resulted in statistically significant improvements in both nasal symptom score and symptom-medication score. A double-blind workroom in Japan establish that symptoms such as nose blowing and eye itching were significantly relieved in the Benifuuki. This tea is called “Throat Coat” and has been shown to be much better at relieving sore throat pain than regular teas. The benifuuki tea leaves have methylated catechin, which has been reported to ameliorate allergic reactions and works in the body to block histamines. In a research conducted, benifuuki green tea containing a large amount of catechin has potential as a complementary or alternative medicine for treating seasonal allergic rhinitis. These methylated catechins have also anti-obesity effects. This tea is also helpful against atopic dermatitis, eczema, and improved metabolism, liver and weight-loss green tea.
Benifuuki as a beverage green tea also comes in powder or loose-leaf tea variety. In Japan, Benifuuki is taken as a powder in combination with tea since the catechins and bitter substances are relatively poorly soluble in water. On the other hand, the benifuuki loose tea leaves allows for a longer shelf life and can still be refrigerated for a few days.
It is important to note that sore throat remedies out in the market such as throat lozenges would not actually cure your throat of infection but would only help relieve symptoms and ease pain since a sore throat usually goes away on its own after three or four days. On the other hand, drinking benifuuki tea leaves everyday would give you varieties of health benefits and primary helps as an anti-allergy, having the highest concentration of catechins of all green teas.
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