Feeling difficulty in swallowing the food, and experiencing irritation and pain in the throat? An inflammation in the pharynx caused due to viral infection (flu or cold), bacterial or fungal infections, smoking, pollution, mouth breathing, coughing, acid reflux, allergic reactions, and excessive shouting leads to sore throat. Sore throat is usually escorted by swollen glands in the neck, common cold, headache, fever and pain. Then, how to get rid of a sore throat? Instead of rushing to a doctor, give a try to the following home remedies to overcome the discomfort. These home cures are not only easy on the pocket, but also simple to use.
Remedies to Treat Sore Throat at Home
Cut fresh garlic leaves into small pieces. Suck on them and crush them occasionally with your teeth, so as to release allicin- a chemical that kills the sore throat causing bacteria because of its anti bacterial properties (2).
- Another option is to mix a few drops of garlic oil in ¼ cup of water. Gargle with this solution once daily.
- You can also consume it raw, or use it in cooking.
- Garlic pills can also be taken, if you do not like the taste of raw garlic.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is counted in the best sore throat remedies because of its anti bacterial properties (3). Slightly heat 1 cup of water. Add ½ teaspoon each of baking soda and salt to it. Stir well. Gargle with this solution thrice a day.
3. Salt Water
Salt gives you an instant relief by drawing out water from the mucous membrane of the throat and reducing phlegm. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water. Stir well. Use this solution for gargling (4, 5, 6). For the best results, gargle several times a day (7).
Lemon helps eliminate mucus, thereby, curing sore throat. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon. Pour this juice along with a teaspoon of honey in a cup of warm water. Mix properly and drink it slowly (8, 9).
- Or else, dilute lemon juice with an equal quantity of warm water. Gargle with it.
- Sprinkle pepper and salt on ½ a lemon. Lick it slowly.
Cinnamon possess strong antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties, which make it a very useful remedy for sore throat (10). In a glass of warm water, mix 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder and the same quantity of cinnamon powder. You can also add cardamom to it. Strain it. Gargle with this solution twice or thrice a day. Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of pure honey and a few drops of cinnamon oil. Eat it twice a day to alleviate inflammation and pain associated with the sore throat.
Pomegranate is used as a dietary supplement in many health problems, including sore throat (11). You can also use it as a gargle to get relief from throat problems (13). The antioxidants present in pomegranates reduce swelling in your throat, thus, alleviating the pain (14) (15). Boil pomegranate rinds in 3-4 cups of water, for 12-15 minutes. Strain the solution. You can sip it as tea or can use it for gargle. Alternatively, drink pomegranate juice thrice a day.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar possesses antibacterial properties that help treat a number of ailments including sore throat (16). Add 1 tablespoon of ACV and 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle with this solution 3-4 times every day. Another option is to mix 1 teaspoon, each of honey and lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of ACV to a cup of warm water. Sip it to get immediate relief from inflammation and pain.
The antibacterial properties of honey help heal the sore throat quickly. Take one cup of hot water and add 1-2 tablespoons of honey to it. Drink it 3-4 times a day (17). Alternatively, brew a cup of your favourite herbal tea and add honey to it. Sip it several times a day.
You can also consume 2 teaspoons of honey before going to bed for a soothing relief and good night sleep (18).
9. Hard Candy
Suck on sugar-free candy to give relief to your sore throat. This remedy will keep your mouth moist and also help expel the ticklish cough. Sucking on lozenges and popsicle will also be a great help for your strep throat. (19, 20, 21).
Note: Because of choking risk, lozenges are not meant for younger children (22).
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Besides healing your cuts and wounds, hydrogen peroxide also works as a good at-home treatment for sore throat because it contain antioxidants. Take one cupful of hydrogen peroxide in a cup. Fill the cup with warm (not hot) water. Stir well. Gargle with this solution. If you don’t like the taste, add some honey to it.
You can also slowly chew on whole cloves to release eugenol, and numb the pain associated with the sore throat (26). Alternatively, prepare clove tea by adding 4-5 cloves to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for a few minutes and drink it hot.
Turmeric is endowed with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that make it an excellent natural cure for sore throat (27, 28). Add turmeric powder to a glass of water or milk. Stir it well and drink. This will provide you relief from sore throat (29).
- Or else, add 1 teaspoon, each of ground black pepper and turmeric powder, to a glass of warm milk. Drink it before hitting the hay.
Ginger is an excellent expectorant having anti inflammatory properties which loosens and drives out mucus from your throat (30, 31). Many experiments have proved that ginger contain components with anti inflammatory properties (32).
Make a mixture of one teaspoon each of ginger and honey, juice of 1/2 squeezed lemon and 1/2 cup of hot water. Mix all these ingredients, stir an drink. This is outstanding remedy to cure sore throat (33).
14. Cayenne Pepper
Pain and inflammation of sore throat can be cured using cayenne pepper. The capsaicin in cayenne pepper reduces your discomfort by soothing your aching throat (34). Put five shakes of cayenne pepper powder in a cup of hot water. Use this solution for gargles. Repeat gargles every 15 minutes. Cayenne pepper will give a burning sensation but this is the most effective remedy for sore throat (35).
15. Tomato Juice
Mix ½ cup tomato juice and 10 drops of hot pepper sauce in ½ cup of hot water. Stir all the ingredients well, and gargle with it.
Gargling with Listerine mouthwash can also relax your strep throat.
The mucus-dissolving properties of fenugreek reduce the inflammation and make you feel better instantly (38).
Take 6 cups of water. Add 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds to it and boil for ½ an hour. Strain it, when it comes to room temperature. Use this solution for gargling. Repeat this remedy 3-4 times a day.
Herbal Remedies for Curing Sore Throat at Home
19. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root tea is the best herbal remedy for curing common cold and cough (42). Recent study on marshmallow preparations has confirmed its use as a remedy to cure sore throat. It soothes the pain and inflammation of mucous membrane (43). This herbal root contains mucous like substance that coats throat and provides relief. Consume this herbal tea. In order to prepare tea, steep 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow root in 1 cup of boiling water. Strain it. Add some honey and drink this herbal tea thrice a day (44, 45).
20. Raspberry Tea
Take 2 teaspoons of dried leaves and pour 1 cup of boiling water over it. Steep it for 8-10 minutes. Strain it and let it cool down. Gargle with this tea to get rid of soreness in the throat (46). The antioxidants present in raspberry cures sore throat and common cold (47).
21. Slippery Elm
A gel-like substance called mucilage that is found in slippery elm makes a protective covering on throat and reduces the tenderness (48, 49). Slippery Elm is a main ingredient of many commercial lozenges. It has pain killing effect (50, 51).
You can prepare this herbal tea as it soothes sore throat. Take 2 tablespoons of the inner bark of this herb and add it to 2 cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain it. Sip it, while it is still warm. Consume 3 times per day (52).
Sage is applied directly to the throat skin to cure inflamed throat (56). You can also drink sage tea or Gargle with it to calm a cranky throat (57). To prepare tea, steep 1 teaspoon of sage leaves in 1 cup boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes. Strain it and add 1 teaspoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar to it. Gargle with it 4 times a day.
23. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile is a wonder herb for your throat. It acts as a painkiller and soothes throat inflammation (58). All you need to do is, add a bag of chamomile tea in a cup of boiling water. Let it steep for 8-10 minutes. Add a little bit of lemon juice and honey if you want. Drink it 2-3 times a day.
Alternatively, you can put some chamomile leaves in steam bath and inhale its steam to get relief from sore throat (59).
Honeysuckle is extremely helpful in relieving the symptoms of flu, strep throat, and cough (60).
Its anti-bacterial properties keep your system protected from those nasty buggers, while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling in the throat. Simmer 2 cups of fresh leaves and flowers of Honeysuckle in one quart of boiling water, at least for 8-10 minutes. Strain the solution. Add lemon or honey to make it flavorsome.
You can prepare decoction, infusion or poultice from Honeysuckle leaves, berries or bark for the treatment of sore throat (61).
25. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea soothes the mucus membranes, thus, comforting your sore throat (62, 63). You can mix it with water to make gargle solution (64). A study has proved that gargling with licorice shows significant results by averting symptoms of sore throat (65, 66).
The Blackfeet made licorice tea and used it as a cure to relieve throat inflammation (67).
Note – Pregnant and nursing women should not use this remedy. It is also not recommended for diabetic patients.
Horseradish herb acts as an expectorant. It soothes throat and reduces inflammation (68). Mix 1 tablespoon horseradish root powder with 1 teaspoon, each of ground cloves and honey. Mix it in a glass of warm water and drink slowly.
27. Wheatgrass Juice
Wheatgrass juice is a good herbal cure for throat inflammation (69). Gargle with it to prevent bacterial infections in the throat.
Wheatgrass juice is also used as an mouth wash to cure sore throat (70).
28. Green Tea
The antioxidants present in green tea fights throat inflammation (71). Brew a cup of green tea (add a green tea bag in a cup of boiling water and steep for a few minutes). Gargle with it to do away with any infections in your throat.
Add a few drops of myrrh tincture in a cup of water. Mix well. Gargle with this solution 6 times a day. It will help combat inflammation. It is also one of the best throat infection remedies.
A randomized double-blind trial proved that Echinacea spray is an efficient cure of sore throat (72, 73). This herb is also recommended by many herbalists as a remedy to enhance immune system which helps fight infection (74, 75). Take 1 cup water and add 2 teaspoons of Echinacea tincture to it. Gargle with it three times a day.
Tea made from marjoram leaves or flowers is used for throat inflammation (76). Add 1 teaspoon of marjoram to a cup of boiling water. Steep it for 10 minutes. Strain it and add honey to taste. Drink it 2-3 times a day.
Alternatively, cloth dipped in marjoram decoction when wrapped around the throat provides relief from throat pain (77).
Basil is a herb having anti oxidant and anti viral properties. Tea prepared from basil leaves is used as a gargle to cure sore throat (78, 79). Many scientific researches have reported health benefits related to this herb (80).
To get rid of sore throat, gargle with the tea made from leaves and bark of Huisache (81). This herb is widely cultivated in the southern United States and tropical America. This tree has many medicinal properties which are used for the treatment of malaria, post-partum treatment and skin diseases.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to prevent scratchy throat. Hot fluids, like soups and teas also decrease irritation (82, 83, 84).
- Take complete rest, as it will help you fight off the infection and recover fast (51, 52).
- wash your hands frequently (53, 54, 55).
- Rest your voice (56).
- Eat small amount of food frequently to clear the postnasal mucus (57).
- Elevate your head slightly while sleeping so that mucus can drain easily (58).
- Take small chips of ice and let them melt in your mouth. The cold water soothes sore throat (59).
- Avoid the consumption of tobacco products and quit smoking (60, 61).
- Don’t intake sugary and caffeinated foods.
- Avoid exposure to irritants, such as smog and fumes (62).