Q: My mother has a hard time swallowing solid food. Her health has suffered immensely from this condition. We have resorted to liquified food products to feed her. Is there any remedies you can suggest?
A: Dear R, Having difficulty in swallowing is certainly very inconvenient and often alarming. Do consult with a doctor who specializes in this problem to make sure there is no need for medical attention. In the meantime, one of the things your mom can do is to keep hydrated and to take as much nourishment as she can from liquids such as soups and juices. Here are some remedies to help your mom with her difficulty in swallowing.
HOME REMEDIES FOR DIFFICULTY IN SWALLOWING
1. Whole raw egg – Swallowing a whole raw egg sometimes makes food that has stuck in the throat slide down.
2. Vinegar – Gargling with vinegar can help soften bones of fish that may have been stuck deep in the throat. This is one of the home remedies for difficulty in swallowing when this is caused by having fish bone stuck in the throat.
3. Clematis – Take some root of clematis and mix it with vinegar and brown sugar. Use this mixture to gargle thoroughly.
4. Licorice – Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can be used to reduce swelling.
5. Althea officianalis – This herb is popularly called marshmallow. Make a tea using 2 to 5 grams of dried marshmallow leaf in 1 cup of boiling water.
6. Valerian, wild yam, St. John’s wort, skullcap, linden flowers – The following herbs can help provide relief: valerian (Valeriana officianalis), wild yam (Dioscorea vilosca), St. John’s wort (Hypericum performatum), skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and linden flowers (Tilia cordata)Make a mild tea and gargle deeply with it.
7. Echinacea – Echinacea can help relieve persistent throat irritation.
8. Tormentil – Tormentil is a herbaceous perennial belonging to the rose family; it has tannins and therefore acts as an astringent. Boil 2 tablespoons of tormentil in a cup of water. Gargle with the solution every hour until relief is obtained.
9. Sage, arnica, and Oregon grape tea – Make a solution using sage or arnica or Oregon grape tea and use as a gargle.
10. Cold compress – Make a modified cold compress using an ice cold cloth. Wrap loosely around the throat and then cover with a dry cloth.
11. Water – Have a glass or bottle of water and take sips periodically to keep hydrated. This extremely ordinary substance is one of the easy-to-come-by home remedies for difficulty in swallowing.
12. Warm saltwater – Gargle with arm salt water to help reduce any swelling or irritation that may be causing the difficulty in swallowing. Use ½ teaspoon per cup of water and gargle once or twice a day.
13. Hard candy – Sucking on hard candy can help eliminate dryness because this increases saliva production. This can provide reliefe for people who have difficulty swallowing but it is important to make sure that you don’t have diabetes or any other condition that makes candy a no-no for you.
14. Honey – Put 1 teaspoon of honey (preferably manuka honey) in your mouth and keep it there for a few seconds before swallowing. Do not eat or swallow anything else for 15 minutes.
15. Manuka honey – Mixed with a few drops of lemon, manuka honey makes an excellent tea that can help with throat problems. This is one of the remedies for difficulty in swallowing that provides relief and is really quite delicious.
16. Steam – Boil a pot of water on the stovetop or use a small steamer and add 2-3 drops of Eucalyptus, Pine Bark or Camphor to the water. Inhale steam for 10 to 15 minutes.