Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Honey Salt water Chamomile tea Peppermint Baking soda Fenugreek Marshmallow root Licorice root Slippery elm Apple cider vinegar Garlic Hot sauce Remedies for children Prevention OTC treatments Risk factors Takeaway
A sore throat refers to pain, itchiness, or irritation of the throat. Throat pain is the primary symptom of a sore throat. It may get worse when you try to swallow, and you may have difficulty swallowing food and liquids.
Even if a sore throat isn’t serious enough for a trip to the doctor, it’s still painful and may prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, you can use at-home remedies to soothe the pain and irritation.
Honey mixed in tea or taken on its own is a common household remedy for a sore throat. One study found that honey was even more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants. Other researchshows that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may help speed healing for sore throats.
2. Salt water
Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat. Make a saltwater solution with a half-teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle it to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clean. This should be done every three hours or so.
3. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is naturally soothing. It has long been used for medicinal purposes, like soothing a sore throat. It’s often used for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties.
Some study reviews have shown that inhaling chamomile steam can help relieve symptoms of a cold, including a sore throat. Drinking chamomile tea can offer the same benefit. It can also stimulate the immune system to help your body fight off the infection that caused your sore throat in the first place.
Peppermint is known for its ability to freshen breath. Diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may encourage healing.
Never use essential oils without mixing them with a carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or softened coconut oil. For peppermint oil, mix five drops of the essential oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. Never ingest essential oils.
5. Baking soda gargle
While the saltwater gargle is more commonly used, gargling baking soda mixed with salt water can help relieve a sore throat as well. Gargling this solution can kill bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast and fungi.
The National Cancer Institute recommends gargling and gently swishing a combination of 1 cup warm water, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. They recommend using the rinse every three hours as needed.
Fenugreek has many health benefits. It also has many forms. You can eat fenugreek seeds, use the topical oil, or drink fenugreek tea. Fenugreek tea is a natural remedy for sore throats.
Research demonstrates the healing powers of fenugreek. It can relieve pain and kill bacteria that cause irritation or inflammation. Fenugreek is also an effective antifungal.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests that pregnant women avoid fenugreek.
7. Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes a sore throat. Simply add some of the dried root to a cup of boiling water to make tea. Sipping the tea two to three times a day may help ease throat pain.
People with diabetes should talk to a doctor before taking marshmallow root. Some animal research shows it may cause a drop in blood sugar level.
8. Licorice root
Licorice root has long been used to treat sore throats. Recent research shows it’s effective when mixed with water to create a solution for gargling. However, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this remedy, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
9. Slippery elm
Like marshmallow root, slippery elm has a mucus-like substance in it. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that coats and soothes the throat. To use, pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You may also find that slippery elm lozenges help.
Slippery elm is a traditional remedy for sore throat, but more research is needed. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, it may decrease the a