The generic term throat refers to the internal anatomical tract on the front side of the neck, formed by the pharynx, larynx and by the upper parts of the trachea and of the esophagus; the air we breathe and the food we ingest pass through this tract which, as can easily be understood considering its anatomical parts, does not present a bone structure in itself but is supported by the skeleton right behind the neck.
As regards muscles, the most important ones are the splenius and the sternocleidomastoid, both stretching between the bones of the head and the breastbone, covering the throat in the front. The tongue, too, located inside the oral cavity, plays an important role because of its action during deglutition, when food ingested passes through the throat. Important blood vessels are located close to the throat, such as the carotid artery, which brings oxygenated blood to the brain, and the jugular vein, taking blood low in oxygen towards the superior vena cava. These two blood vessels are essential to keep the body alive, since they nourish the brain: this is why the throat is one of the most vulnerable parts of animals, man included.
Part of the throat are also the vocal cords, the Adam’s apple, the epiglottis and the adenoids. The vocal cords, formed by thin membranes, are located in the larynx together with the tongue; together with teeth and palate they form the vocal apparatus. The Adam’s apple is a protrusion of the thyroid and larynx cartilages; its function is to protect the larynx. The adenoids are part of the lymphatic system and help protect the airways from bacterial infiltrations; they are located in the nasopharynx, i.e. the upper part of the throat. Finally, the epiglottis is a small membrane made of cartilage, located between the pharynx, the esophagus and the larynx. Owing to an involuntary reflex, it closes under the tongue’s pressure during deglutition and its function is to protect the larynx from food during deglutition.
There are several diseases that can affect the throat because, as already mentioned, it is formed by a varied structure: among pathologies affecting the larynx, diphtheria is worth mentioning, since it may spread from this part of the body and reach the heart, causing death. Luckily enough, this illness has been eradicated thanks to an antitoxin. Inflammations can affect either pharynx or larynx and they can be both viral and bacterial. Laryngitis and pharyngitis are no less serious, and the former can cause aphonia, or voicelessness. Certainly the worst disease of all is cancer, which can easily affect the larynx of heavy smokers and drinkers.
The throat is therefore a very sensitive organ, exposed more than other parts of the body to the risk of microbial infections, and it is therefore essential to take special care of this area using the appropriate natural remedies available.