Natural Remedies For Sore Throat – Editors Guides

Natural Remedies For Sore Throat

By Jane Davis
young woman touching her neck in pain

What types of naturtal and home remedies soothe sore throat pain?
Various sore throat remedies can be used at home to help soothe sore throat pain and other symptoms. Listed are 25 home remedies. Some of these may be familiar, like drinking warm liquids with honey and lemon or gargling with salt water. Check out the other remedies to soothe a sore throat including using roots and leaves like marshmallow slippery elm, or eating frozen foods.

Sage/Echinacea throat spray
A 2009 study showed an Echinacea/sage throat spray was as effective as a spray using typical numbing agents chlorhexidine/lidocaine. Sage is antibacterial and antiseptic, and Echinacea can have immune-boosting effects. Combined, these herbs can make for an effective throat spray that can provide fast pain relief.

Apple cider vinegar
Vinegar is acidic and can kill bacteria in the throat, and also coat and soothe a sore throat. It may also loosen phlegm that may be irritating the throat. Use as a gargle – mix 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 ounces of water. This also can be combined with 1 teaspoon of salt for a saltwater vinegar gargle (gargling with warm salt-water remedy). You also can add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey to your tea (see gargling with warm water remedy).

Raw garlic
Garlic has antiseptic properties, and it may help relieve sore throat pain. When crushed, raw garlic releases a compound called allicin that has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. The best way to use garlic for sore throats is simply to chew on a raw clove, or take a slice and suck on it for 15 minutes. This may be hard for most people to handle. To make the raw garlic easier to ingest, you can mince it and add some honey or olive oil. Blend some with other veggies and make vegetable juice. Add it to a little salsa. The key is to eat it raw and as soon as possible after crushing for the allicin to be effective.

Honey may be added to hot water or tea and lemon to help sooth a sore throat. Honey has some antibacterial properties and may help ease sore throat due to infection. There are also studies that show it may help ease a cough, which can contribute to sore throat pain. Do not give honey to children and toddlers under 1 year of age, as it may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores that may cause infantile botulism.

Throat Coat tea
Throat Coat is an herbal tea sold to provide sore throat relief. Throat Coat herbal tea contains licorice root, elm inner bark, marshmallow root, and licorice root aqueous dry extract and is sold to help relieve sore throat. A small study showed it helped reduce sore throat pain for 30 minutes after drinking it.

Peppermint essential oil
Once again, this is not the candy, but the plant. The main component of peppermint is menthol, which is believed to act as a decongestant by thinning mucus. Peppermint may soothe a sore throat, and ease a dry cough. Drink peppermint tea, or add some peppermint oil to a diffuser, or rub some peppermint essential oil on the chest (it may need to be diluted if the oil is strong).

Sorry kids, not the candy, but the herb. A 2009 study in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia found a licorice gargle helped reduce post-operative sore throat pain. In addition to soothing a sore throat, it is believed that licorice root may also help loosen congestion and reduce inflammation, which can also help you feel better. You can gargle with it, chew a piece of licorice root, or drink licorice tea.

Marshmallow root
This is not the confection, but the herb. Like slippery elm, marshmallow root is a demulcent, and marshmallow root can soothe a sore throat by coating the irritated tissues of the throat. It may also loosen mucus and help with cough that may accompany or aggravate a sore throat. Marshmallow root may be taken as a tea.

Slippery Elm
Also known as Indian elm, moose elm, and sweet elm, slippery elm is believed to help coat the throat. It is considered a demulcent, which means it can help relieve irritation of the mucous membranes in the mouth by forming a protective film. Slippery elm can be particularly effective when used in a lozenge as it can help prolong the pain-relieving effects. It may also be taken as a tea.

Acupuncture may help relieve sore throat pain; however, studies have shown mixed results. Practitioners claim there is a “sore throat” acupuncture point found on the hand that can provide fast relief from sore throat pain.

Before using any herbal or alternative remedy, consult your doctor as some supplements can interact with prescription medications. Ask your child’s pediatrician what home remedies are effective for babies and toddlers, and women who are pregnant should talk to their obstetricians about the best choices to use during pregnancy.

Frozen foods
Eating frozen foods such as popsicles or sorbet can help alleviate sore throat symptoms. The cold temperatures can help ease the pain of a sore throat quickly, and many of these frozen foods are softer and easier to swallow. Non-dairy frozen items are preferred because in some individuals dairy products can more mucous, which can further irritate the throat. If dairy products do not irritate your throat, try low-fat ice cream, without added chips, nuts, or chunks that could scratch and irritate your sore throat.