32 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

In general, a sore throat refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat.  It can also sometimes lead to a tickling cough. Most people find that their sore throat gets worse when they try to swallow and prevents them from swallowing certain foods or liquids. Even if your sore throat isn’t bad enough for you to take a trip to see your doctor, it can be irritating and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help ease it.

Why Do We Get Sore Throats?

A sore throat usually occurs as a result of your body’s immune response. If you get a sore throat it’s probably because your body is busy trying to fight off a bacterial or viral infection. As part of your immune response, the mucous membranes in your throat become inflamed and swollen. This then leads to soreness which we all recognise as a sore throat.

Home Remedies for Sore Throats

  1. Honey

Honey is a great home remedy for a sore throat. Add it to teas or take it on its own for the same results. In fact, some studies have found that honey is even more effective at soothing a tickling cough than more common, over-the-counter cough suppressants. Other research indicates that honey aids the healing of wounds which could help speed up the recovery from a sore throat.  

honey

Artificial honey will not work as well as real honey

  1. Salt Water

Gargling with some warm salted water helps to kill bacteria. This is why it’s often recommended by dentists to patients who’ve had mouth surgery or infections. It’s also why it’s a great home remedy for sore throats.

Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle for a minute. Spit out the solution when you’re done – it isn’t particularly tasty to swallow. Try doing this after each meal or every three hours, whichever is easiest for you.  

 

  1. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has a naturally soothing quality. It’s been used for a number of medicinal purposes for many, many years – treating sore throats is just one of its uses. The chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which is probably why it’s so soothing on a sore throat.

Inhaling the steam from chamomile teas can help to relieve a number of symptoms of a cold almost as well as drinking the tea would.  It can also help to kill off bacteria which may be the root cause of your sore throat. long been used for medicinal purposes, like soothing a sore throat. It’s often used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties.

 

  1. Peppermint

Peppermint is known for its breath freshening qualities – that’s why it’s used in so many kinds of toothpaste. But did you now that diluted peppermint oil and peppermint tea can help to reduce the discomfort of a sore throat? Well, it can! This is largely because peppermint naturally contains menthol which helps to reduce mucus in your throat and calm the soreness. Peppermint also has a number of other benefits. It’s antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory which is why it’s great for aiding the healing process.

 

  1. Baking Soda

While not as commonly recommended as a salt water gargle, baking soda can also help to ease a sore throat. Try mixing in a quarter of a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of warm water alongside one-eighth of a teaspoon of salt.  The addition of the baking soda can help to prevent the growth of fungus such as yeast to further reduce the risk of infections. Like with the salt water rinse, gargle with this mixture once every three hours or after each meal.

 

  1. Fenugreek

Fenugreek has a number of health benefits and so can be used as a home remedy for a number of conditions. It also comes in many different forms such as seeds, oils, and teas. As a tea, it makes a great home remedy for sore throats. It can help to kill off infection-causing bacteria and reduce the inflammation behind most of the irritation of a sore throat. It’s also an effective antifungal agent.  

Fenugreek, seeds, balding

Fenugreek seeds

  1. Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root has a mucus-like substance in it which coats the throat, soothing any irritation. When added to a cup of boiling water, the dried marshmallow root can be used to make a sweet tea. This tea is a great way to soothe a sore throat. The marshmallow root has been used to remedy sore throats for centuries. It contains a gelatinous product which helps to coat the lining of your throat and thus soothes it. It’s best to consult your doctor before taking this home remedy though. It could potentially cause a drop in your blood sugar, which is especially dangerous for diabetics.

 

  1. Licorice Root

The next root on our list is licorice root. When mixed with water to create a solution for gargling, the licorice root can help to soothe a sore throat. It’s best avoided by pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding though.

  1. Slippery Elm

Like the marshmallow root discussed earlier, slippery elm has a mucus-like substance. When combined with water, the slippery elm forms a slick gel which coats the throat and soothes irritation. It can potentially affect the effectiveness of other medications though, so if you’re taking any other medicines this should be avoided.

 

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is used in many home remedies because of its natural antibacterial properties. Numerous studies have shown that its antimicrobial effects help to battle infections. It also has an acidic nature which can help break down the mucus in your throat lining. This then prevents the spreading of bacteria to other areas of your body, fighting infections.

At the earliest signs of a sore throat, dilute some ACV with a cup of water and gargle with it. Repeat this two times an hour for one day. Remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water between gargles.

 

  1. Garlic

Garlic is another natural substance with natural antibacterial properties. In fact, studies have indicated that taking a garlic tablet regularly can help reduce the risk of coming down with a common cold. Adding fresh garlic to your meals can also have a positive effect. Some people even recommend sucking on a clove of garlic to help ease a sore throat. Although garlic can have a number of positive uses, it can be a bit smelly, so remember to brush your teeth or take a breath mint after using garlic. The peppermint will freshen your breath and help to ease your throat further.

Garlic

Garlic cloves and whole garlic

  1. Cayenne Pepper or Hot Sauce

Cayenne pepper contains a natural pain blocking compound called capsaicin. Because of this, ingesting cayenne pepper mixed with some water and honey can be really effective in relieving a sore throat. It may cause an initial burning sensation, but this is normal and not harmful. You can also substitute the cayenne pepper for hot sauce for the same results. Only use a little amount of either though as they can be very hot!

Warning

You shouldn’t use cayenne pepper if you have any open wounds or sores in your mouth.

 

  1. Sage and Echinacea

Although sage is more commonly recognized as something you use to season food, it also has a number of health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory qualities which can help it relieve a sore throat. Echinacea is a natural herb which is also known to fight bacteria and inflammation. Studies also suggest that a combination of sage and echinacea is more effective at relieving a sore throat than many over-the-counter sprays.

 

  1. Lemon Water

Not only is lemon water a refreshing drink, but it also makes a great home remedy for sore throats. Lemons, like many citrus fruits, contain high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants. These factors help to increase saliva production which lubricates the throat and reduce the soreness. Mixing some lemon juice with warm water and honey or salt water is a great way to maximize its effects.

 

  1. Ginger Tea

Ginger has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities that help to relieve a sore throat. By killing off bacteria, ginger can help to reduce inflammation and fight infections that make your throat sore. You can infuse your tea with ginger for a simple way to ensure you incorporate ginger in your recovery process. You can get it ready made or make it yourself using fresh ginger.

coconut oil, ad, shop Extra Virgin Coconut Oil ($14.97)[/caption]

  1. Turmeric

This particular spice is known to be a powerful antioxidant. More recent studies also seem to suggest that it might have antibacterial properties which make it great at fighting infections too. You can mix half a teaspoon of the spice with half a teaspoon of salt in some warm water and gargle with it to really help. You can also include turmeric in a number of recipes which could help your throat.

 

  1. Stay Hydrated

While a sore throat can make swallowing painful and put you off drinking, staying hydrated is crucial. Your throat’s mucous membrane needs to stay hydrated in order to heal properly. This means that whilst swallowing might be painful whilst your throat it sore, drinking plenty is key to your recovery. Water is a very good and accessible option. You can also try infused teas if you prefer. Just make sure that whatever you drink is at a temperature that you’re comfortable with.

 

  1. Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is a common recommendation for cold and flu sufferers. It has a number of great qualities that make it an excellent home remedy for sore throats. What’s more, it’s a warming, tasty comfort food that many people turn to when they feel unwell. Adding garlic can also increase its effectiveness as it has the ability to fight off bacteria and infections.

 

  1. Humidifier

If you’ve noticed you’re experiencing more sore throats during the winter months then a humidifier may be the answer. The dry and cold air of winter can be incredibly harsh on a sore throat. It could also be the cause of your sore throat in the first place. Purchasing a humidifier will help to retain a level of moisture in the air so that it’s not as harsh on your throat.

 

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is another spice, like turmeric, which is high in antioxidants and antibacterial qualities. It has been used in Chinese medicine as a very traditional cold and flu remedy. You can purchase cinnamon tea from a number of stores, but you could also add freshly ground cinnamon to your own black tea for a homemade version. Its antibacterial qualities mean it also helps to fight the initial infection behind your sore throat.

Cinnamon, bedwetting

Cinnamon sticks and powder

  1. Wheatgrass Juice

Another good home remedy for sore throats is wheatgrass juice. This juice is packed full of chlorophyll liquid which helps to break down and destroy bacteria. This means it’s great at reducing the effect of bacterial infection which may otherwise cause your sore throat.  

 

  1. Clove Tea

By adding between one and three teaspoons of ground cloves to water and gargling, you could reduce your sore throat. Cloves are another natural food source that has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which can significantly ease a sore throat.

 

  1. Tomato Juice

Tomato juice can be mixed with hot water to provide a temporary relief from a sore throat. You can even add a few drops of hot sauce to give it an extra kick. Tomatoes contain an agent called lycopene which has antioxidant properties for aiding the recovery of a sore throat.  

  1. Green Tea

Green tea is well known for its ability to fight off infections. It has antibacterial properties which make it an ideal home remedy for sore throats and other issues. If you drink green tea regularly and end up with a sore throat try saving a little to gargle with next time. The gargling will force the tea to come into prolonged contact with the back of your throat. As a result, it can get it’s antibacterial properties to the area that needs them the most.

 

  1. Ice

The coolness of the ice can help to soothe any burning sensation that your sore throat may be causing. It also helps to reduce any inflammation and swelling which could be causing further pain. The melting of the ice also helps to keep your throat hydrated. Realistically, ice could be one of the best home remedies for a sore throat. Although, some people find that the harsh coldness of it can make them feel worse so it really depends on the individual.

ice, burns

Let the ice melt slowly in your mouth to get the most out of this home remedy

  1. A Warm Compress

Placing a warm compress over your neck can help to soothe swollen lymph nodes and reduce the feeling of a sore throat.  

 

  1. Hard Candy

Sucking on hard candies helps to stimulate saliva production. This then helps to lubricate and hydrate your throat, which in turn can relieve a sore throat. In fact, some studies have indicated that sucking on hard candies could be just as effective as sucking on medicated lozenges. Plus, they don’t come with side effects – although too many aren’t great for your teeth. It’s also wise to avoid giving hard candies to small children as they could be a choking hazard.  

 

  1. Rest

Sleep is one of the most important parts of the recovery process after any illness. Sleeping well gives your body the chance to fight off any viruses or bacteria that could be causing your sore throat. Resting your voice and not straining your throat and coal cords will also help.

 

  1. Quit Smoking

If you’re a smoker, you’ll know there are plenty of reasons to quit. Helping to heal a sore throat is just one of them. The smoke from cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products can seriously irritate your throat. This is especially true if your throat is already sore and swollen. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can also cause the swelling of the throat tissue to become worse, even if you’re only around smokers and not actually doing the smoking yourself.

 

  1. Avoid Acidic Foods

A common cause of sore throats is acid reflux. This can mean that consuming acidic foods which increase your risk of acid reflux could make your sore throat worse. Avoiding them is a great remedy for sore throats. Key things to avoid are sodas and citrus fruits like oranges. You should also avoid eating one hour before bed, as lying down after eating can increase the chance of acid reflux.

bell peppers, vegetables, vitamin c, gallstones

Try to avoid eating peppers as well

  1. Toss Your Toothbrush

Toothbrushes can become breeding grounds for bacteria, which means they could be transferring that bacteria to your mouth and causing your sore throat. Whilst brushing your teeth is still super important, keep an eye of your toothbrush. If you start to feel under the weather, throw away your toothbrush immediately. You should find this will immediately stop your condition from worsening. If you do fall ill, replace your toothbrush as soon as you feel well again as this will reduce the chance of reinfection.

No matter how healthy you are, the chances are you’ll suffer from a sore throat at some point. Thankfully these home remedies can really help to provide relief and fight off the bacteria at the root cause.

If your sore throat lasts for a long time or doesn’t respond to any home remedies, it could be a sign of a more serious condition like tonsillitis. In this case, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.

References

https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sore-throat-natural-remedies#prevention

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318631.php

https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/february/sore-throat

https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/sore-throat-remedies-home-gargles/

https://www.medicinenet.com/sore_throat_home_remedies_and_treatment/article.htm#over-the-counter_otc_pain_medications_for_sore_throat_pain

https://www.prevention.com/health/a20500381/sore-throat-remedies/

 

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