Apart from giving you a swollen and scratchy throat, sore throat brings along tremendous pain especially when you swallow your food or drink. Sore throat is primarily inflammation of pharynx and could be because of various reasons such as viral infections, bacterial infections, smoking, allergy, acid reflux, polyps, etc.
Although sore throat does not generally cause much discomfort and can be resolved with simple natural remedies, frequent occurrence may be the first signs of some serious underlying health disorders.Here are 20 best natural sore throat remedies that kill the bacteria or virus causing the infection and reduces the pain.
One of the oldest and most popular remedy for sore throat is saltwater gargle. Perhaps it is the single most remedy that first strikes your mind when you experience sore throat symptoms. Saltwater gargling loosens the mucus, reduces swelling and hence helps in flushing out the bacteria and other such irritants from the throat.
You can simply add half teaspoonful of salt into a glass of hot water and gargle with it several times a day. You can also add some honey to it if you wish.
With amazing anti-inflammatory properties, licorice root comes in top of the list of natural remedies for sore throat. It is also useful in treating a number of other diseases such as allergies, stomach ulcers, etc. What makes licorice root such an efficient remedy for sore throat is its glycyrrhizin component.It coats the throat and soothes it. It also discards mucus and phlegm from throat, lungs and nose to offer quick relief.
You can gargle with licorice root to get relief from the pain caused by sore throat. Add some licorice root to boiling water, let it steep, strain the mixture and gargle with it while it is still warm. However, one should be cautious not to use licorice in high doses as it may increase blood pressure, potassium levels in body and even affect cortisol levels in body. Pregnant women should not use licorice.
Native to Europe as well as North America, marshmallow root has been in use for centuries for relieving sore throat. It treats sore throat because of the presence of mucilage that soothes mucus membranes of the throat and relieves irritation and pain.
Take a tablespoon of dried marshmallow root and add to boiling water, let it steep for around 90 minutes, strain the mixture and drink it at least thrice a day for quick relief. Diabetics should consult the doctor before taking marshmallow root. Pregnant women and nursing mothers should not use this.
It has been in use since ancient times in North America as a natural treatment for sore throats. The herb’s inner bark contains mucilage which is a gelly-like substance. When you add water the mucilage swells. It is the mucilage in slippery elm that reduces the irritation caused by sore throat. It soothes the throat. This mucilage comprises of polysaccharides and protein that have demulcent effect on sore throat.
For the same reason, slippery elm is used in a number of herbal lozenges meant for curing sore throat. Slippery elm can be taken along with elderberry for relief from sore throat. Take some inner bark of the herb slippery elm (preferably one teaspoonful) and add them to boiling water (say 2 cups). Let it steep for sometime and strain the mixture. Drink it slowly while it is in lukewarm state. Slippery elm capsules are also available in the market.
With its antiseptic, antibacterial and astringent properties, sage emerges as one of the most popular natural remedies for sore throat. It fights the inflammation and hence brings relief to sore throat. To prepare sage tea, take one tablespoonful of sage leaves (dried) or 2 tablespoonfuls of sage leaves (fresh) and add it to a cup full of boiling water.
Let the mixture steep for sometime, strain it and drink. You can also add lemon or honey to it as per your taste. Sage throat sprays are highly recommended for relief from sore throat. Studies also claim that sage throat sprays are more effective than placebo in curing sore throat. However, people may experience minor side effects of sage such as throat dryness or a slight burning sensation.
Although popular among Chinese as a remedy for sore throat, honeysuckle flower is hard to find. Honeysuckle kills as well as prevent the bacteria that causes sore throat. It also soothes the respiratory passages. You can sip on honeysuckle tea several times a day for relief from symptoms of sore throat.
To prepare honeysuckle tea, add honeysuckle flowers to a bowl of boiling water filled to one fourth of its capacity. Steep the mixture for at least 10 minutes, cover it for sometime and then strain it. Recommended dosage of honeysuckle tea is four cups every day till you find relief from sore throat.
Chicken soup or chicken broth contains sodium that has amazing anti-inflammatory properties.Drinking chicken soup actually gives the throat a good feeling and will numb the pain associated with sore throat. It also helps inhibit infection that lead to sore throat.
Raspberry contains tannins that have amazing astringent properties. The tannins in raspberry help you get rid of sore throat by soothing the throat’s mucus membranes. You can prepare raspberry tea by finely chopping two teaspoonfuls of fresh leaves of raspberry and add them to one cup of boiling water.
Let the mixture steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and sip it several times a day. Raspberry also alleviates fever associated with sore throat.
With its outstanding antibacterial properties, honey is one of the most popular natural remedies for sore throat. Honey behaves like hypertonic osmotic i.e. it expels water from the inflamed tissues in your throat and hence reduce swelling as well as pain.
You can either add a teaspoonful of honey to your regular tea or simply take it during bedtime.
With strong antibacterial properties, baking soda kills that bacteria that cause sore throat. As it has alkaline pH, it reduces swelling in the throat tissues. Add half teaspoon each of baking soda and salt to warm water. Drink the mixture slowly.
Apple cider vinegar
Gargling with apple cider vinegar also works wonders on the throat. Besides being antibacterial in nature it is acidic that decreases pH of throat tissues thereby preventing bacteria from thriving.
It also contains inulin that increases T cells and WBCs in the body and hence boost the immune system. Add 1/2 cup of it to 1 cup of hot water along with 1 tsp of salt and gargle with the solution several times a day.
With natural antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, garlic goes easy on an irritating throat. You can simply chew on a garlic clove or add them to your soups, dishes and even tea.
Rich in vitamin C, lemon not only fights off the sore throat infection but also improves performance of the immune system to ward off cold and cough in the future. Add some lemon juice to a cup of hot water and gargle with the solution to get relief from sore throat pain.
Ginger has natural antibacterial as well as antiviral properties that fight the source of infection. It is also an analgesic and hence reduce the pain associated with sore throat. Cut thin slices of fresh ginger and add them to your tea or soups for relief.
This particular herb offers relief from the inflamed tissues of sore throat by thinning down the mucus, it helps in expelling phlegm easily. Sip horehound tea several times a day for relief.
Take 2 teaspoonfuls of fresh horehound herb and add them to boiling water. Let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and drink it.
This particular herb has strong antiviral and antibacterial properties that ward off the infection causing sore throat. Sip several cups of echinacea tea during the day for quick relief.
Containing capsaicin, cayenne relieves pain associated with sore throat. It hinders substance P that transmits signals of pain to the brain. You can add some cayenne to cup of warm water and pour some honey over it. Drink the mixture once the cayenne settles.
It contains natural pain killer called eugenol which also has antibacterial properties. Chew on a clove slowly to release the eugenol in it. It will reduce the pain associated with sore throat.
One sure shot way to get rid of the pain associated with sore throat is drinking lots and lots of fluid. Fluids remove the inflammation of throat and hence eradicate the irritation.
Drinking fluids moisten the mucus membranes of throat thereby enabling them to fight allergens and bacteria causing sore throat. You can drink juice or plain water.
Lozenges or cough drops help in producing enough saliva so as to keep the throat moist. Hence, sucking on these lozenges alleviates the irritation and pain caused by sore throat.
Ginger lozenges are pretty popular. Lozenges with cooling ingredients such as eucalyptus alleviate symptoms of sore throat more efficiently. Zinc lozenges containing 13 mg of zinc also help in curing sore throat much faster.