St. Blaise has long been revered in the Church as an intercessor for the healing of throats. On his feast day (February 3rd) and the days surrounding, many participate in a throat blessing. But where does this come from?

St. Blaise was a bishop and doctor, living in modern day Turkey during the late 3r d  and early 4th centuries. There are many healing miracles attributed to him, specifically, many related to those who were suffering from throat ailments. On one such occasion, Blaise is said to have healed a child who was choking on a fish bone while Blaise himself was being taken to jail for his Catholic faith.[1] While these miracles impressed even the Roman leaders at the time, St. Blaise was ultimately martyred because of his unwillingness to denounce his faith in Christ. These stories were written down over the centuries leading to many devotions to St. Blaise.

How timely, then, that we celebrate this great Saint in February, when many are struggling with winter allergies and sore throats. We can ask St. Blaise’s intercession, and hopefully receive a throat blessing at our local parishes on February 3rd.

In the healing spirit of Saint Blaise, here is a look at some natural remedies that can aid our throats during this cold winter season.

1. Honey

Honey has been a sweetener for humans dating all the way back to 5,500 BC. [2] According to recent research, honey is also just as effective as the medical suppressant dextromethorphan for treating coughs in children.[3] Other studies have shown that honey can be more effective than other traditional remedies including antibiotics.

 If you are looking to consume more honey, try putting two tablespoons of honey in your tea or hot water. You can do this multiple times a day to help relieve sore throat symptoms.

2. Lemon

Lemons can be used, along with your honey, to heal sore throats. Lemons naturally help to break up mucus and can provide pain relief for an agitated throat. As a great source of Vitamin C, lemons will naturally help boost your immune system, helping you to feel better quicker.[4]

3. Licorice Root

Licorice root has been used by many ancient cultures to aid with sore throat symptoms. It is considered one of the world’s oldest remedies. According to Healthline, licorice root can be used to help with heartburn, acid reflux, hot flashes, coughs, and bacterial and viral infections.  Utilizing its health benefits in tea for easing a sore throat is highly recommended. [5] There are many different recipes online that can help you to create your own tea drink with licorice root! It is important to note that many studies show that licorice root should not be consumed during pregnancy.[6]

[1] https://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=28

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-honey-go-bad#:~:text=Honey%20is%20one%20of%20the,the%20day%20they%20were%20sealed.

[3] https://journals.lww.com/ebp/Citation/2021/03000/Is_honey_better_than_dextromethorphan_at.34.aspx

[4] https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/february/sore-throat#:~:text=Similar%20to%20salt%20water%20and,to%20fight%20off%20your%20infection.

[5] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/licorice-root#uses

[6] https://www.health.com/condition/pregnancy/licorice-pregnancy-risks