Cover image for 15 natural remedies for sore throat

A sore throat can make some situations uncomfortable. Other than a sore throat, some other symptoms could be pain or irritation in the throat. In some cases, the pain is severe when you try to swallow.

The condition could be due to viral or bacterial infections. If something hampers the immune system, it leads to inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes. Fortunately, there are various home remedies that are known to provide relief, however, only some of them are supported by scientific evidence.

Also Read: 10 Most Common Causes for Sore throat

Sore Throat Symptoms

Depending on the cause of the sore throat, a person can feel-

  • Burning in the throat
  • Raw and dry voice
  • Scratchiness in the throat
  • Irritation 
  • Tenderness of the throat 

In case the sore throat has developed due to tonsillitis, it can also make it difficult to swallow, white spots on the throat or collection of pus

In addition to soreness in the throat, there are other symptoms one can experience-

  • Cough
  • Runny nose and Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Stuffy nose
  • Swollen glands in the neck 
  • Loss of appetite

Here is a list of 15 natural remedies for sore throat

1. Marshmallow root, hot lemon drink with honey and ginger

The marshmallow plant helps to sore throats and similar conditions since the middle ages. Its root contains a gelatin-like substance that coats and lubricates the throat when you swallow it. Lozenges (gelatin-like substance) in marshmallow root have been tested in animals and proven to be effective and nontoxic, even at very high doses.

2. Sage and echinacea

We all have heard stories of sage (herb) used in cooking as well as for various medicinal uses. Sage has been used to treat a lot of inflammatory illnesses, and controlled studies have shown it can help relieve throat pain. A sage-echinacea spray is slightly more effective at relieving throat pain than a chlorhexidine lidocaine spray. Echinacea is one more herb that is used in traditional medicine. It has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural health refresher that’s been used in medicinal remedies for centuries. Its main ingredient is acetic acid that helps to fight bacteria. The ancient physicians even prescribed apple cider vinegar and honey to treat flu symptoms, coughs, and sore throats.

To help relieve throat pain, take 1 cup of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of honey. The risks of apple cider vinegar may include tooth decay and digestive problems. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that provide relief when consumed in small amounts with warm water in a sore throat.

4. Saltwater gargle

Gargling with salt water is a natural remedy to get rid of a sore throat. The salt helps in swelling by pulling water out of your throat tissue. It helps eliminate unwanted microbes in your throat. You can add a teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water and stir to dissolve. Gargle with this mixture for 30 seconds and repeat it hourly with warm saltwater.

5. Honey

Honey is a delicious sweetener that is used with other natural ingredients to soothe a sore throat. In addition to capabilities such as fight infection and providing pain relief, honey can make remedies taste better, that’s for sure.
It shouldn’t be given to children below 1 year of age as their guts haven’t had a chance to acquire healthy bacteria that can fight off germs. Also, people who avoid sugar or follow a low-carb diet may choose another remedy. Honey can help relieve throat pain when added with vinegar or herbs in warm water.

6. Licorice root

Licorice is a plant that has been used in traditional medicine to treat many disorders. The herb has properties like aspirin that helps reduce sore throat pain. Evidently, there isn’t a lot of research on its capability to relieve illness. However, studies have found that licorice significantly reduced throat pain due to breathing tube removal. Another study revealed that gargling with licorice water before surgery reduced the risk of getting a sore throat by half compared to gargling with sugar water. Add ground licorice root with hot water, steep for a few minutes, and strain it prior to drinking. Licorice root has amazing qualities and helps soothe a sore throat.

7. Lemon water

Lemon water is a known refreshing beverage that reduces the pain in sore throat. It commonly occurs during a cold or the flu. Lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants which increases the amount of saliva produced, helps keep your mucous membranes moist. Adding lemon with warm water and a bit of honey or saltwater is the best way to maximize the benefits. Lemon water contains vitamin C and compounds that soothe a sore throat.

8. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a delicious spice that’s high in antioxidants. It also provides antibacterial benefits. It’s a remedy for colds, cases of flu and is used in medicine to ease sore throat pain. Cinnamon tea is another delicious option. You can also make cinnamon almond milk which may be soothing to your throat. Cinnamon helps fight throat pain and infection due to a cold or flu.

9. Chicken soup

Chicken soup is an effective sore throat remedy. It’s comfort food that allows you to get more fluids. You can use garlic as it contains bioactive compounds that can provide benefits when you’re sick. You can prepare the tasty homemade chicken soup adding garlic to it may provide additional benefits.

10. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds. The mint may slightly numb your throat, thereby relieving pain. You can also make tea by steeping fresh peppermint leaves in boiling water for three to five minutes, then straining off the leaves. Peppermint tea is also caffeine-free, naturally, sweet taste often requires no additional sweetener. Peppermint tea is quite tasty and refreshing beverage that may help reduce inflammation and throat discomfort.

11. Garlic

This ingredient contains a natural compound known as allicin that has the ability to fight off infections. This is also rich in antibacterial properties hence, this can help to cure any infection that is causing soreness in the throat. Add a clove of garlic in your soup to get relief from sore throat.

Learn more: How ginger can get treat a sore throat?

12. Take a steam shower

You can take a steam shower so that the steam from the warm shower helps in reducing swelling and eases out the pain associated with a sore throat.  Moist air helps in getting relief from the symptoms of sore throat.

13. Fenugreek

This is one remedy that you can use in many forms- fenugreek seeds, use the oil, or take it in tea. This is the most effective remedy to cure sore throats. There is sufficient evidence that shows fenugreek is rich in anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antifungal properties.

14. Chamomile tea

Drinking chamomile tea if you have a sore throat can help you get relief almost instantly. It is rich in anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties that works on the throat. Moreover, Chamomile tea gives a boost to the immune system of the body.

15. OTC medicines

Sore throats generally occur due to viral infections. Although antibiotics can’t treat the infections, there are some medicines that reduce inflammations as well as swelling in the throat. Some medicines are ibuprofen or naproxen that can also get relief from scratchiness. (Also read: Antibiotics for Strep throat)

Sore throat in Infants and Children

Treating sore throats in infants and children are quite different. Some of the tips and remedies are-

  • Add moisture in the air that can help your children get relief from sore throat.
  • Keep your child hydrated by offering them healthy fluids.
  • Ask your child to wash the hands frequently.
  • Don’t give them spicy or acidic foods.
  • Keep them away from chemical fumes or smoke.

Also Read: What to do in case of throat pain in kids?

Take away

There are some medicines that help ease a sore throat. No matter how healthy and fit you are, you can get a sore throat occasionally. You can take the aforementioned steps to soothe a sore throat and encourage healing.

However, see a doctor if the sore throat lasts over a few days or is extremely painful. You can also consult the best ENT specialists or make an appointment with the best and most advanced ENT clinic. The modern and daycare treatments offer a high success rate, heals faster, and involve fewer complications. An ENT specialist may be able to tell you the best ways to cure sore throat faster.

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FAQ

What drinks should I consume when suffering from sore throat?

You should consume warm fluids that are caffeine-free. Take warm fluids such as warm water with honey, lemon and ginger. This will help thin out the mucus as well as prevent the body from dehydrating. 

What makes sore throat worse?

Avoid foods that are acidic in nature because these foods can make the inflammation worse. Some of these foods include tomato juice and sauces. 

Is apple cider vinegar good for sore throat?

Although apple cider vinegar is loaded with antibacterial properties, the effectiveness for curing sore throat remains unknown. 

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