A sore throat can be a sign of an infection that you’ve caught from somewhere. Most of us have experienced a sore throat at least once in our life. They can be pretty painful and can get in the way of your daily activities.
Luckily, sore throats usually don’t last long. Infections tend to go away in a few days, usually without any special treatment. If you have a bacterial sore throat, it may be more appropriate to treat it with medication prescribed by your physician.
In most cases, a sore throat is caused by a virus. Viral infections are usually self-limiting.1However, the pain of a sore throat can still be a problem and many people experiment with different methods to make the pain go away.
Although some people will turn to OTC painkillers, lozenges and medicated throat sprays for pain relief, sometimes natural remedies for a sore throat may be useful in relieving the pain too.
Here are some of the top tried and tested natural remedies some people think can help with your sore throat.
#1: Saltwater gargles
At the top of the list, we have saltwater gargles. Why do you ask? Because they are actually pretty effective.
Rinsing and gargling with warm water mixed with a pinch of salt can have a soothing effect on your inflamed sore throat. The effect doesn’t last long, though, so you might need to repeat the gargling frequently. But, remember not to swallow!
Honey has been used for the treatment of sore throats for centuries. It also has a soothing effect on the throat as well.2,3
#3: Warm beverages
Warm chicken soup or honey and lemon with warm water are great comforts for a painful, scratchy sore throat. Their effect may not be too strong or even last very long, but there is a certain special relief for a sore throat when we drink something warm. We’re sure you know exactly what we mean if you’ve ever tried this yourself!
However, it’s a good idea to steer clear of beverages that contain caffeine since they can cause your mouth to become dry. A dry, dehydrated throat is always more painful for an already inflamed condition.
#4: Stay hydrated!
…which brings us to our next natural remedy – hydration!
Drinking plenty of fluids such as water with a sore throat may not seem to give you relief initially but hydration does help to cure a scratchy, painful sore throat. We know how hard it can be to swallow anything when you have an inflamed throat, but it’s worth it!
#5: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another ingredient found in our homes. It can be used for cooking and even household cleaning, but did you know it can also help your sore throat as well?
If you don’t like honey, you can always take apple cider vinegar in your tea instead!
This unconventional method to clear a sore throat could help as well. Cinnamon is a delicious spice that we use to flavour recipes. You can take a dose of cinnamon by drinking pure cinnamon tea. Cinnamon has a rich history in treating sore throats in Chinese medicine.
#7: Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural oil that can serve multiple purposes for your body. Apart from being an excellent moisturiser for your skin and a natural hair treatment option, this oil has also found a use as a way of treating an inflamed throat.
You can take coconut oil in many different ways. Some people simply take a spoonful of it and allow it to melt in their mouth; others will take it with soup or tea.
#8: Ginger root tea
Ginger root tea is a healthy option to consider for a sore throat. 4 It makes for an exquisite breakfast option and may help in sore throat pain relief.
Liquorice root is yet another natural food that can be used to ease a sore throat. You can take this natural herb through gargling with it in warm water, or drinking it with tea.5
Natural remedies for a sore throat may prove to be helpful. However, if you want a clinically proven treatment, consider using medicated lozenges or medicated throat sprays.
1. Common Threads in Persistent Viral Infections. Melissa Kane, Tatyana Golovkina. Journal of Virology Apr 2010, 84 (9) 4116-4123; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01905-09
2. 12 Natural Remedies for Sore Throat. Available at: healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sore-throat-natural-remedies
3. 15 natural sore throat remedies. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318631.php
4. Ginger: An Overview of Health Benefits. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/Abstract/2010/07000/Ginger__An_Overview_of_Health_Benefits.8.aspx
5. An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Licorice Gargle for Attenuating Postoperative Sore Throat: A Prospective, Randomized, Single-Blind Study. Available at: https://journals.lww.com/anesthesia-analgesia/Fulltext/2009/07000/An_Evaluation_of_the_Efficacy_of_Licorice_Gargle.13.aspx