Sore throat remedies can take away the pain that you feel inside your throat. This condition isn’t usually caused by bacteria. Hence, there’s no need to take antibiotics to alleviate it.
Often caused by a certain virus, sore throat shouldn’t be treated with anti-bacterial option. Thus, doctors don’t prescribe their patients with antibiotics as they won’t help the condition, unless it’s been confirmed that the condition is caused by a certain bacterium.
With that being said, instead of going to the nearest pharmacy to purchase an over-the-counter medicine, use natural home remedies for sore throat.
Sore throat causes
Before we’ll discuss about sore throat remedies, let’s first tackle its causes.
Sore throats are usually caused by a virus, like cold and flu. They’re often accompanied with sneezing, fever and fatigue. If your condition is similar to this situation, then you don’t need an antibiotic as it’s definitely caused by a virus.
On other hand, if the soreness in your throat involves white patches on the throat or you’re experiencing swollen lymph nodes, then you might have a strep throat. This condition usually doesn’t involve cough or runny nose.
The only way to find out if it’s a strep throat is to perform a strep test. Your doctor will perform the test by swabbing the back of your throat. An antibiotic is given if it turns out to be positive.
Allergies, outdoor pollution and dry air can also lead to sore throat condition.
The next time you’re experiencing hoarseness in your throat that’s accompanied with pain and soreness, you may try these remedies for effective relief.
Quick and natural sore throat remedies
1. Licorice Root
This home remedy for sore throat can effectively soothe the pain and irritation. It’s been used for thousands of years as a treatment for any pain in the throat.
In a study conducted by Anesthesia & Analgesia, it was found that gargling licorice root could prevent sore throat in patients who underwent throat surgery.
Licorice root is a common ingredient in many teas meant for sore throat. It has sweet taste, so it can be easily administered to children.
How to use licorice root for sore throat?
- Gather licorice root powder from a health shop.
- Place 1 teaspoon of that powder in a glass of warm water
- Rinse your mouth and throat with the solution
You shouldn’t use licorice root in high amounts as it could lead to high blood pressure and water retention. Thus, if you have hypertension, it’s best to talk to your doctor before starting to take this remedy.
Since it can affect your cortisol levels, you must not use it in combination with diuretics and corticosteroids.
Avoid using this natural remedy when you’re taking medicines that reduce levels of potassium in your body.
Honey is rich in vitamin C. This vitamin is known to combat against the effects of viral infection. That said, it can be an effective natural treatment for sore throat.
This sweet natural remedy doesn’t only contain anti-bacterial properties but it also has anti-viral components, making it an effective remedy for this condition.
But you must remember that it’s not a cure for sore throat. Rather, it’s only a natural relief that can alleviate symptoms.
How to use honey for sore throat
- Prepare your favorite tea. It could be green tea or black tea. Whichever you prefer.
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey to your tea.
- Drink it while it’s still warm.
If you don’t like drinking tea, you can add honey to a warm glass of lemon water or just plain water and drink it.
For effective results, drink this concoction (tea or water) three times a day.
3. Marshmallow root
It’s not the candy that you love to eat but it’s an herb with mucus-like substance. This herb is usually found in North America and Europe. The mucilage in it can appease soreness in the throat allowing relief.
Herbalists highly recommend it to soothe sore throats, even if the cause is bacterial.
How to use marshmallow root for sore throat
- Obtain marshmallow root from a farmer’s shop or online health shop. You can also make an order in capsule form.
- Prepare 1 tablespoon of the root or powder, 1 teaspoon of peppermint leaf, and 1 cup of warm water
- Use a mason jar for mixing the herbs and water
- Shake the jar gently
- Strain and transfer the mixture to a cup
- Drink it
If you want a cold drink, you may put the mixture in your fridge for a few hours before drinking it.
The use of peppermint leaf is optional. It’s only given to give the mixture a great taste.
If you’re taking diabetes medication, you must first consult your prescribing physician. Bear in mind that marshmallow root can reduce your blood sugar level when it’s combined with that medicine.
Furthermore, this herb may slow down the absorption of other drugs. That is, if you take them with this herb. If not, then it won’t affect the effectiveness of those drugs.
It’s known for its calming, soothing effects. Peppermint contains compounds that relieve pains and shrink inflamed tissues making it a perfect natural remedy for sore throat.
According to the University of Maryland, peppermint is great for soothing sore throats. Thanks to its decongestant properties.
How to use peppermint for sore throat
- Prepare dried peppermint leaves, fresh ginger root, fennel seeds, and a cup of water
- Boil a cup of water
- Place the peppermint, ginger and fennel seeds into the water
- Allow them to sit there for a few minutes
- Strain the solution
- Drink it warm
Peppermint tea is great for your sore throat. However, you must not take it if you’re suffering from GERD. This is because the herb relaxes the sphincter allowing the acid to flow back to your esophagus. It means that it’ll only make your heartburn symptoms worse.
Large doses of this herb can be toxic. Thus, you must only use the recommended dosage.
Avoid using it if you’re suffering from diabetes. This is because peppermint can lower blood sugar levels, thereby, increasing your risk of hypoglycemia.
5. Slippery elm
As the term suggests, this herb comes from the elm family that grows in North America. Herbalists use the inner bark of slippery elm when treating their patients with sore throats.
Why the inner bark?
This part of the tree has mucilage, just like marshmallow root. It looks like a gel that swells when you mix it with water. It’s this gel-like part that soothes your throat, thereby, reducing irritation.
How to prepare slippery elm for sore throat
To be used as a sore throat remedy, you’ll need a ground (coarse) inner bark of slippery elm.
- Pour a cup of boiling water to the ground bark
- Let the mixture cool down a bit
- Add a few drops of lemon and 1 tablespoon of honey
- Drink while it’s still hot
Instead of honey, you may add cinnamon. You may also add lemon juice and other natural substances that will make the mixture more palatable.
Be careful when you use it, though. This is because slippery elm can induce sleep, if taken in certain amount.
6. Honeysuckle flower
It’s sweet and it’s a common remedy being used in the traditional Chinese medicine. Also known as woodbine, this herb is used when swelling is involved. Thus, it makes it an effective natural treatment for sore throat.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to find it. Health food shops rarely carry it. But when you go to a Chinese herbal store, you may be able to find one.
How to prepare honeysuckle flower for sore throat
- Boil a quart of water
- Add a cup of this herb. Make sure that you’re using the flower and not the leaves.
- Let the flowers’ substances be extracted for 10 minutes. Don’t forget to cover the pot while extraction is ongoing.
- Remove the mixture from heat.
- Strain and allow it to cool down
- Drink it
To maximize its benefits, you should drink at least 4 cups of this mixture every day, until the symptoms subside. You can also combine it with other herbs, like mulberry or marshmallow root. This is to create a more powerful remedy for sore throat so the symptoms will subside faster.
You should only use organically grown honeysuckle flower. In this way, you can be sure that you won’t be taking in remnants of pesticides or herbicides that may still be sticking to the plants.
Sage is a common herb in the kitchen. Many herbalists have it as a comforting tea.
The benefits of this herb can be credited to its anti-septic, anti-bacterial properties. Hence, it’s ideal for alleviating sore throat, cough, and other mouth inflammations.
It doesn’t matter whether you use the fresh form or dried sage. Both of them can offer soothing effects for your throat.
How to use sage for sore throat
The most common preparation for sage in treating sore throat is to have it as a tea.
- Prepare a cup of boiling water
- Pour it over fresh dried leaves. You may use 1 to 2 tablespoons of these leaves.
- Steep for at least 10 minutes
- Strain before adding honey and lemon
- Drink or use the mixture to rinse your mouth and throat.
When opting for this remedy, you should make sure that you’re not allergic to this herb. It’s also not recommended for pregnant and lactating women.
It may not be your favorite sore throat remedy, especially when you’re going on a date afterwards. However, garlic is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Thus, whether your sore throat is caused by a bacterium or a virus, it can be eliminated by eating garlic.
How to use garlic for sore throat
You can chew the garlic or suck on it by placing a half of clove in each cheek. It’s spicy. But you need to endure it, if you want your sore throat to go away and heal.
After sucking garlic on for a few minutes, rinse your mouth with a cup of warm water.
For some people, the thought of sucking on garlic can be difficult to stomach. If you don’t like that idea, you can opt to obtain garlic powder. Add 1 tablespoon of it to a glass of warm water. Drink it. The result is not as fast as sucking on garlic but it can still relieve the pain eventually.
It’s the capsaicin of cayenne that makes it a wonderful cure for sore throat. Cayenne alleviates the pain while it eliminates the virus that’s been causing the condition. It may be spicy but it’s worth a try considering its effectiveness.
How to use cayenne for sore throat
- Obtain cayenne powder from a health shop
- Take 1 tablespoon of such powder
- Add it to a cup of warm water
- Mix it thoroughly
- Rinse your mouth with the use of such mixture
- Do it every 15 minutes
When rinsing your mouth, you may accidentally swallow a bit of the mixture. But that’s okay.
If you don’t like gargling cayenne powder, you may add it to your tea or lemon juice. The taste may be weird but you’ll get the hang of it.
Don’t use it if your sore throat is caused by bacteria, like Streptococcus. This is because cayenne doesn’t have an anti-bacterial property that can eliminate strep.
Avoid using it if you’ll be undergoing surgery. Cayenne is known as a natural blood thinning agent that may interfere with your surgery. Tell your doctor if you have used it recently.
10. Baking soda
It’s not an herb but it’s another useful natural soothing remedy that you can try.
What’s so good about it? Baking soda contains anti-bacterial properties that can effectively kill the organisms causing your sore throat.
Further, it’s alkaline in nature that can soothe swollen tissues of your throat.
- Prepare a cup of warm water, ½ teaspoon of salt and another ½ teaspoon of baking soda
- Add the salt and baking soda to a cup of warm water
- Mix them thoroughly
- Take the solution into your throat. Don’t swallow it. Let it sit there for a moment.
- Gargle and spit it out
- Do this 3 times a day
Avoid swallowing the solution, especially if you have kidney problems. Bear in mind that baking soda is basic. It may worsen the condition of your kidneys.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV
It doesn’t taste good, unlike a regular vinegar. But it’s one of the most effective remedies you must try. The acidity level of ACV is enough to kill the harmful organisms causing your throat to hurt.
There are many ways to use ACV as a natural treatment for your sore throat.
- Prepare a cup of warm water
- Add 1 teaspoon of ACV to it
- Drink it 1 to 3 times a day
You may add another teaspoon of it to suit your acidity tolerance. But the higher the vinegar concentration is, the more effective it will be in treating your condition.
- Add 1 ml of ACV to a cup
- Drink it without mixing it with anything else
You may add more if you can tolerate the taste. Do this several times a day, until the symptoms subside.
Some people may vomit when they first try taking ACV. Thus, it’s ideal to be near a sink when trying it as the taste and acidity of it may cause you to gag and vomit.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ACV to a cup of warm water
- Do it several times a day
After gargling, make sure that you drink plain water to wash away the vinegar from your throat.
You may add more or reduce the concentration. Then again, the higher the concentration of the vinegar, the better it is for your sore throat.
Cloves aren’t as popular as ACV when it comes to treating sore throats. However, they’re as effective as ACV because of their anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. When they’re used properly, they can relieve the pain in no time.
They’re also used to ease the pain when you’ve toothaches. In fact, some dentists are still using them as an aesthetic.
What’s in them that make cloves a successful pain reliever? The substance eugenol in cloves is a natural pain killer. When you chew cloves (if you can), you’re slowly releasing that substance, thereby, relieving the pain in your throat.
How to prepare cloves for sore troat
- Obtain whole cloves as many as you can
- Pop a single clove in your mouth
- Suck on it
- Chew it like a gum when it becomes soft
- Swallow it if you can. Yes, it’s safe to swallow cloves.
- Do it several times a day or as needed.
Another way to use cloves as natural treatment is to use it as a gargling solution.
- Prepare a cup of warm water
- Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cloves
- Mix it thoroughly
- Do this several times a day
You should expect to experience a relief the first-time you use it. But your sore throat will heal after a day or two.
Regardless of the cause of your sore throat, ginger can also be used as a natural remedy. What’s great about it is that it doesn’t only provide relief to the pain but it also tackles the root cause of it. It’s a versatile natural solution that has been used for thousands of years.
What’s in ginger?
It has analgesic properties that alleviate the pain in your throat. Ginger also contains antibacterial and antifungal that can fight against the infection that caused your throat to swell.
Ginger is also known for its balancing effects that bring back balance to your health.
How to use ginger for sore throat
- Peel the skin of a fresh ginger root
- Macerate it. Or if you have a vegetable juicer, you may run it through. You may also use a blender to extract its juice.
- Add the juice to a cup of warm water
- Mix it
You may also add honey or lemon juice to the mixture to have a delicious ginger juice. Each time you feel that your throat is hurting, you should reach for a ginger juice and not antibiotic.
Another way to prepare a ginger treatment is to make an infusion.
- Boil 6 cups of water
- Add slices of fresh ginger to the water
- Simmer for at least 10 minutes
- Remove it from the cooktop
- Allow it to cool down
- Transfer the mixture to a glass
- Add honey to it
- Drink the mixture
You may drink it several times a day or until the symptoms subside.
14. Chamomile tea
It’s one of those teas that can reduce inflammation. Chamomile is rich in antioxidants that can effectively reduce inflammation of your throat.
Apart from reducing inflammation, this tea can also strengthen your immune system. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain a healthy immune system so your body can fight the infection.
How to use chamomile tea for sore throat
- Prepare a cup of warm water
- Drop 1 chamomile tea bag
- Allow it to sit there for a few minutes
- Drink the tea
In addition to its soothing effects on your sore throat, chamomile is also known for its relaxing effects causing you to feel groggy after taking it. This is good as it can help you get enough rest while you’re fighting against the infection that’s been causing your throat to hurt.
Yes, there are other options that you can try but these 14 treatments are good enough to help you get rid of the pain in your throat. They can help you feel better faster without the need to take antibiotics. While using these remedies, make sure that you’re also drinking lots of fluids and get enough rest.