9 Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat

woman with sore throat holding neck and cup of tea

9 Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat

December 22, 2023

A sore throat can be one of the most uncomfortable symptoms when you’re sick. Sore throats can be caused by viruses like those that cause colds or flu, bacterial infections like strep, allergies, or other infections. Whatever the cause of your sore throat, you’re likely looking for effective ways to relieve the pain and irritation. Here’s a list of some of the best natural remedies for a sore throat that can help relieve the pain and make you feel better.

1. Honey

Honey has been used in medicine for ages because of its antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. As one of the best natural remedies for a sore throat, honey both helps fight the infection and provides pain relief. Honey is most effective when mixed into a warm drink like herbal tea to coat and soothe your sore throat.

2. Saltwater Gargle

woman tilting head back while gargling salt water

Another one of the most popular natural remedies for a sore throat is gargling with salt water. Salt water can help reduce swelling and ease throat irritation. To make a saltwater gargle, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle with this solution for 30 seconds. You can repeat this process up to four times a day to help relieve your sore throat.

3. Steam

If you have a sore throat, dry air can further irritate it. That’s why one of the great natural remedies for a sore throat is steam. You can run a hot shower or bath, then sit in the bathroom for a while to inhale the steam. Or, you can pour just-boiled water into a bowl and lean your head over it with a towel overhead. Breathe normally for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the steam to enter your mouth and noise. Inhaling steam can help ease your sore throat and break up the mucus that’s causing it.

4. Chamomile Tea

cup of chamomile tea surrounded by chamomile flowers

Herbal teas such as chamomile tea are known as great natural remedies for a sore throat. Chamomile has been used for medicinal purposes for many years because of its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. It can help relieve inflammation in your throat and nose. Drinking chamomile tea may also stimulate your immune system to help your body fight off the infection.

5. Licorice Root

A well-known natural remedy for a sore throat is licorice root, which you can drink in licorice root tea. A study has found that licorice root tea may be effective in suppressing the growth of strep bacteria in individuals with strep throat. Studies also suggest that licorice root lozenges may prevent or reduce the severity of sore throats caused by surgery.

6. Marshmallow Root

pieces of marshmallow root on a wooden spoon

If you’re looking for more herb-based natural remedies for a sore throat, look no further than marshmallow root. Marshmallow root is an herb that contains mucilage, a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes sore throats when ingested. You can find marshmallow root as an herbal tea, a tincture, or in capsule form.

7. Garlic

Garlic is one of the natural remedies for a sore throat that you likely already have in your kitchen. Garlic has antibacterial properties and also contains allicin, which is a substance known for fighting off viral infections. Consuming fresh garlic or taking garlic supplements may help prevent and treat upper respiratory infections that cause sore throats.

8. Peppermint

vial of peppermint oil surrounded by peppermint leaves

Peppermint is another one of the herbs that can be used as natural remedies for a sore throat. This herb has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral qualities. The compound menthol in peppermint also helps to thin mucus and calm coughs and sore throats. You can drink peppermint tea or use a diluted peppermint oil spray to help relieve a sore throat.

9. Cayenne Pepper

Many people do not realize that cayenne pepper can also be used as one of the natural remedies for a sore throat. Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin, which is a known pain reliever. It’s suggested that mixing a small amount of cayenne with warm water and honey may help ease sore throat pain. Start with just a small amount of cayenne since it can be very hot.

Boost Your Immune System to Stay Healthy

These are some of the best natural remedies for a sore throat. If you tend to get sore throats frequently, you may need to boost your immune system so it can more effectively fight off upper respiratory infections. Check out these top ways to boost your immune system so you can recover more quickly and avoid getting sick in the future.