A sore throat is the result of an inflammation of the pharynx, the tube that extends from the back of the mouth to the esophagus.
Some of the major causes of this condition are viral, bacterial, or fungal infections; irritants like pollution, smoking, acid reflux, or dry air; excessive shouting; or some kind of allergic reaction. A sore throat is often accompanied by a headache, stomach ache, the common cold and swollen glands in the neck.
Sore throats, while very common, can be painful and uncomfortable. Instead of making an appointment with a doctor, you can try some easy, natural remedies that will help alleviate the pain and, depending on the cause, possibly cure the problem.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for a sore throat.
(Out of the 10, we have covered 3 highly effective home remedies in this video as well.)
You can use fresh lemons to get relief from a sore throat as they help remove mucus.
- Try hot lemonade with honey. Mix the juice from half a lemon and one teaspoon of honey in one cup of warm water. Sip it slowly.
- Another option is to gargle with freshly pressed lemon juice diluted with an equal amount of warm water.
- You can also take half a lemon and sprinkle salt and pepper over it. Slowly lick the lemon.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is helpful for treating a sore throat due to its antibacterial properties.
- Add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon each of lemon juice and honey to a cup of warm water and drink it slowly. Do this two or three times a day. Soon you will get relief from the pain and inflammation.
- You can also make a gargle solution with apple cider vinegar. Mix one teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of warm water. Gargle with it several times a day.
Cinnamon can be used to treat a sore throat caused by the common cold.
- Add one teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and black pepper powder to a glass of warm water. You may also add cardamom. Strain the solution and gargle with it two to three times a day.
- Another option is to mix a few drops of cinnamon oil and one teaspoon of pure honey. Eat this two times a day to get relief from the pain and inflammation associated with a sore throat.
4. Salt Water
One of the best ways to get relief from a sore throat is gargling with salt water. Salt works like an antiseptic and helps draw water out of mucous membranes in the throat. This cuts phlegm and reduces inflammation, giving you instant relief.
- Mix one-half teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. If you do not like the salty taste, add a small amount of honey.
- Gargle with the solution. Do not swallow it. Spit the water out after gargling.
- Do this at least four times a day for best results.
Garlic has antibacterial and antiseptic properties along with other medicinal properties that can help treat or prevent sore throats.
- Eat a raw garlic clove daily to release the chemical known as allicin that helps kill the bacteria may be causing the sore throat.
- Alternatively, you can use garlic oil. Add a few drops of garlic oil to one-fourth cup of water and gargle with it once daily.
- Also try to eat garlic in raw and cooked form. If you do not like the taste, you can take garlic pills.
6. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that coats the throat, eases soreness and reduces irritation.
- Add one teaspoon of the inner bark of slippery elm to two cups of boiling water.
- Let it steep for a few minutes, and then strain the solution.
- Drink it slowly while it is still warm.
In fact, you can use this solution for the treatment of any kind of respiratory illness or laryngitis. If the herb is not available, you can also buy slippery elm in capsule form from any drug store.
Honey has antibacterial properties, which can fight the infection and speed up the healing process. It also works like a hypertonic osmotic, which means that it helps draw water out of inflamed tissue and thus reduces swelling.
- Add one to two tablespoons of honey to one cup of hot water and drink it several times a day. You can also add honey to your favorite cup of herbal tea.
- Before going to bed, eat one teaspoon of honey as it will give you soothing relief and help you sleep.
Another great remedy for a sore throat is turmeric, which has powerful antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Mix one-quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of warm water. Drink it slowly in the morning on an empty stomach. Do this once daily for three or four days.
- Alternatively, you can add one teaspoon of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of ground black pepper to a glass of warm milk and drink it before going to bed.
- You can also gargle with turmeric to soothe a bad throat. Add one-half teaspoon of turmeric powder and one-half teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and mix it well. Gargle with this mixture twice daily.
9. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root contains mucilage and hence it can also be used to coat the throat and soothe a sore throat. Marshmallow root tea is great for a sore throat along with a common cough and cold. This remedy is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, or people who are diabetic.
- Add one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root to one cup of boiling water and steep it for about half an hour.
- Strain the solution, add some honey and drink it.
- You can have three cups of this herbal tea in a day.
The mucus-dissolving properties present in fenugreek will give you instant relief from pain and inflammation. You can prepare a gargle solution using fenugreek seeds, which is very effective for treating a sore throat.
- Add two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds to six cups of water.
- Boil it for about half an hour. Allow it to come to room temperature and then strain it.
- Gargle with this solution three or four times a day.
Next time you have a sore throat, simply try some of these remedies to feel better. However, if your sore throat lasts more than two or three days, consult your doctor.