10 Home Remedies For a Sore Throat

By jolene
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A sore throat refers to pain or irritation in the throat. It is mostly caused by inflammation of the tonsils (tonsilitis) or throat (pharyngitis). It can also be due to trauma.

A sore throat can occur due to a viral infection, bacterial infection, and gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is estimated that about 2.4 million emergency department visits are due to throat-related complaints annually.

While there are medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can help reduce the pain, home remedies can also be beneficial to provide additional relief. Below are 10 home remedies to try to soothe your sore throat.

Home Remedy #1: Honey Tea

Honey is a sweet and viscous substance produced by bees through the collection of floral nectar. The nectar goes through several processes that involves regurgitation, water evaporation, and enzymatic activity. Honey is then stored in honeycombs and can be collected for human consumption. The sweetness is attributed to the presence of fructose and glucose. Sealed honey does not spoil even after a long time as most microorganisms are unable to grow in it.

Traditionally, it has been used to treat burns and wounds. Due to its antibacterial properties, it can also be used as an antibiotic. It is also a common remedy used for coughs and sore throats.

Sore Throat

Home Remedy #2: Marshmallow Root

The marshmallow root comes from the marshmallow plant or Althaea officinalis that is native to Western Asia, Europe, and North Africa. Traditionally, it has been used for various medical purposes. The name of the plant reflects its usefulness as the Greek word “althainein” translates to “to heal.”

The flowers and young leaves are edible while the roots and stems secrete mucilage that has been used in cosmetics and skin care. The mucilage coats the throat and reduces the irritation. The ancient Egyptians used marshmallow root as a remedy for a sore throat.

Home Remedy #3: Ginger Root Tea

Ginger is a plant that is often used as a spice and in traditional medicine. Although there is little to no scientific evidence that supports its use medicinally, it has been traditionally used as a remedy for nausea, vomiting, and a sore throat. This is thought to be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in a sore throat. One study suggested that ginger root may help in the relaxation of airway membranes as well.

To make ginger root tea, add fresh ginger slices to hot water and let it steep. Honey and lemon can also be added to improve the taste.

Sore Throat

Home Remedy #4: Salt Water Gargle

Salt water gargle is a common remedy that can be used for cough and sore throat. Despite the absence of scientific evidence, many individuals have reported the effectiveness of salt water gargle to provide relief for a sore throat. The gargle creates a high salt barrier in the throat and its surrounding areas. It helps pull out fluids and wash out infectious pathogens.

To make a salt water gargle, mix 0.25 to 0.5 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargling is recommended once an hour for 30 seconds each. It is not recommended for younger children as they may not know how to gargle.

Home Remedy #5: Lemon

The lemon is the fruit of the lemon tree that is native to South Asia. The fruit has culinary and non-culinary uses globally. It is also a great remedy for a sore throat as it helps reduce the pain.

It contains antioxidants and vitamin C, which can be beneficial to help fight off an infection. Lemon also increases the production of saliva which helps the mucous membranes to stay moist. To maximize its benefits, a combination of lemon, honey, and warm water is recommended.

Sore Throat

Home Remedy #6: Sage and Echinacea

Sage or Salvia officinalis is a plant native to the Mediterranean region. It has both culinary and medicinal uses. Medically, there are some researches that have suggested positive effects of sage on human brain function. However, there were no firm conclusions. Sage has been used for the treatment of various inflammatory conditions including a sore throat.

Echinacea refers to a group of plants found in eastern and central North America. It is also an herb used as a remedy for many conditions due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. One study found the combination of sage and echinacea made into a spray can be effective to help reduce a sore throat.

Home Remedy #7: Steam or Humidifier

Steam inhalation can be beneficial for those experiencing a sore throat as the inhalation of warm and moist water vapor helps loosen mucus in the airways. It also reduces the inflammation of blood vessels in the nasal passages and airways. Steam inhalation can be done 2 to 3 times a day for 10 to 15 minutes. Essential oils such as rosemary or eucalyptus can also be added to the steam.

Those who value convenience can also try using a humidifier as it helps to keep the air moist. A sore throat can be due to dry air that is common during winter. The addition of hydrogen peroxide or vapor rub can also provide additional relief.

Sore Throat

Home Remedy #8: Licorice

Licorice comes from the root of a plant known as Glycyrrhiza glabra. It is a plant native to parts of Asia, Middle East, and southern Europe. Traditionally, licorice has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine in the treatment of various diseases. It has properties that are similar to aspirin and can therefore help relieve a sore throat.

While there is no scientific evidence to support its use medically, there are some studies who found that It helps reduce throat pain in patients with a sore throat after breathing tube removal. Some methods that may help are gargling with licorice water or drinking licorice root tea.

Home Remedy #9: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice and can be used in marinades, salad dressings, food preservatives, and chutneys. While there is little to no scientific evidence to support its use as a medicine, apple cider vinegar has been used traditionally for skin infections and weight loss. It is possible that the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar known as acetic acid may be beneficial to help fight bacteria.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, was an ancient Greek physician who used a combination of honey and apple cider vinegar in the treatment of coughs and sore throats. Those interested can try mixing a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of honey, and a cup of warm water.

Home Remedy #10: Peppermint and Chamomile Tea

Both peppermint and chamomile tea are good home remedies for a sore throat. Peppermint tea can be beneficial as it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the throat. It may be effective as it slightly numbs the throat and relieves the pain. Peppermint tea is easily available in various stores. It can also be made by steeping fresh peppermint leaves for 3 to 5 minutes.

Chamomile has traditionally been used since the Middle Ages. It can help promote restful sleep, reduce pain, and help fight off an infection. It can also help soothe a sore throat.

Sore Throat

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