We all know that pulled beef is a SCAM. You know what else is a scam? Those expesive throat lollies claiming to heal your throat and relieve your cold.
I've got a roaring sore throat today and decided to pop some Betadine lozenges into my mouth. Then that's when I discovered some small print on the back of the box:
"There is no clinical evidence that an antibacterial agent in lozenges will make sore throat infections less severe, or help them get better more quicky"
Now that's something you don't see everyday— an honest disclaimer. I thought that this required more digging and found some articles by Choice which briefly summarised:
Benzydamine hydrochloride and flurbiprofen, common anti-inflammatory drugs do work and work best when administered orally via a spray or gargle solution. Unfortunately, this wasn't present in the lozeng I'm sucking on..
Amylmetacresol, cetylpyridinium chloride, dichlorobenzyl alcohol and hexylresorcinol are anti-bacterial agents that target bacterial infections. However, most people suffering from a sore throat might be suffering from virus infections, and anti-biotics won't help here.
Lignocaine hydrochloride and benzocaine are anesthetics and will numb your mouth. From my personal experience with they do little to numb throat pain, and the anaesthetic effects are so mild and localized that all you will feel is a slightly numbed tongue.
Pholcodine and dextromethorphan hydrobromide are antitussives that are intended to help suppress dry, unproductive (non-phlegmy) coughs, which can contribute to making your throat sore. But a wide-scale review of trials testing antitussives (mainly dextromethorphan) found that they were no more effective than a placebo for treating coughs in most cases.
Menthol/peppermint oils and extracts give you a refreshing, decongesting sensation in your sinuses. But the effect of nasal decongestion from menthol is subjective — studies show that although people feel decongested after inhaling menthol vapour, there's no actual improvement in the nasal airway when airflow is measured.
Eucalyptus — Just like menthol, eucalyptus is thought to act as a nasal decongestant. However, there's a lack of controlled, clinical studies to support its effectiveness.
Pectin is commonly used as a thickening agent (think jellies) and will help coat your throat, giving you the same soothing effect as a teaspoon of honey would.
The conclusion? A much more effective (and cheaper) solution was to:
- Drink warm liquids. Hot water with honey and lemon is a time-honoured remedy.
- Gargle with warm salt water (half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of water).
- Suck on ice.
- Use your air humidifier, if you have one.