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Tis the season for sore throats, throat irritation, and symptoms of colds and flu.
Below we put together some of the best, most effective home remedy sore throat ideas. Soothe your irritated throat quickly, so you can get back to the things you love doing, whether you’re dealing with the common cold, strep throat, or viral or bacterial infections.
Of course, remember these alternative treatment options don’t take the place of medical care.
1. Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is the perfect go-to during the cold and flu season. Using manuka honey is also one of our favorite home remedy sore throat ideas.
Just a teaspoon of honey can be a germ fighter with powerful antibacterial properties. There’s some evidence this particular type of honey can help many health issues, including sinus problems. Manuka honey comes from a New Zealand scrub plant.
When bees pollinate from this specific plant, their honey is more potent with more healing properties than traditional honey. Manuka honey has a high concentration of methylglyoxal or MGO.
Manuka honey is one of the best natural antivirals and antibiotics, so it can help give you sore throat relief not only in the short term but also help you holistically heal.
Buying high-quality manuka honey is vital to get health benefits. You should look for a reference to either NPA, which stands for non-peroxide antibacterial activity, or a UMF rating.
The UMF rating measures the amount of NPA in the honey. You should also look for brands of manuka honey that have MGO. MGO is the antibacterial factor that makes Manuka honey so unique. The more MGO, the better for your sore and scratchy throat.
If you notice white patches on the back of your throat, it can be a sign of something like strep throat. Manuka honey may help you get better faster and provide quick relief.
2. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil can be a good home remedy for a sore throat. The use of peppermint for medicinal purposes dates back to Ancient Egypt. Peppermint oil may help with various health conditions including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
Peppermint oil can help beneficially affect the bacteria in your GI tract, which has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Peppermint can help with headaches and migraines, as well as other types of pain. The oil also has antimicrobial properties.
If you’re dealing with respiratory symptoms in addition to a sore throat, it can help with those because it’s a natural decongestant.
To use it for a sore throat, you can add a few drops of oil to ½ a cup of warm water and then gargle with it, but don’t swallow it. You can also add peppermint oil to steaming water and breathe it in, or massage it onto your throat.
For a soothing drink that will help your throat feel better fast, add two drops of lemon, one drop of peppermint oil, and two teaspoons of honey to a cup of water. Drink it at least twice a day for a sore throat, or you can have peppermint tea.
Another option is to make your own sore throat spray with peppermint oil. It’s like an all-natural numbing throat spray that’s also healing, rather than just masking your symptoms.
The mint in this herbal remedy can slightly numb the throat, relieving pain and delivering a soothing effect. Peppermint can also help flush out inflamed lymph nodes.
3. Licorice Root
Licorice root is historically one of the most frequently used medicinal plants, and it’s very popular in folk medicine remedies. We know that licorice has properties similar to aspirin, so it can naturally relieve pain including sore throat. Licorice has other simultaneous benefits that aspirin doesn’t, however.
For example, it has antiviral and antibacterial benefits, so it can help not just alleviate pain at the moment but perhaps treat the underlying cause of a sore throat.
In some studies, licorice helped reduce throat pain after surgery, following breathing tube removal. In another study, gargling with licorice water before surgery helped reduce the risk of getting a sore throat by 50% compared to gargling with sugar water.
You can buy licorice root extract on Amazon, or you can make licorice root tea. You can buy the licorice root in bulk and let it steep for five minutes in hot water or buy premade licorice tea in bags.
For cold and flu season, licorice root is excellent to have on hand, and it makes a great alternative medicine for a cold.
4. Hot Toddy
A hot toddy is a drink that combines water, honey, whiskey, and lemon juice. You can also add spices like nutmeg or ginger. It’s a classic among alternative remedies and seems to have real benefits for cold and flu-like symptoms.
The honey in a hot toddy coats your throat and reduces irritation. Honey also has antibacterial properties, and it can calm the nerve endings in the throat, reducing a cough if you have one.
A bit of whiskey can dilate the blood vessels on the surface of your throat. This helps immune cells in your blood multiply and better combat whatever infection you have. Whiskey can also thin mucus and break it up. Just don’t overdo it on the whiskey because it can be dehydrating.
If you include spices in your hot toddy, they can stimulate saliva production, improving mucus flow and hydration in your throat.
5. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is an excellent natural remedy not just for a sore throat but for a number of other ailments. Marshmallow plant extract contains something called mucilage. Mucilage is like gelatin. When you swallow it, it coats and lubricates your throat.
You can use marshmallow root as a capsule supplement, a tea, or a lozenge.
In 2019, a study found marshmallow root can not only relieve irritation and respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough, but it can do so quickly.
A separate study found, along with other natural extracts, marshmallow can help with sore throats caused by viral infections.
Other benefits of marshmallow root and being a home remedy sore throat solution include an ability to help with bronchitis. Marshmallow seems to loosen mucous and prevent bacteria growth.
Marshmallow root can also help with a variety of digestive conditions including intestinal colic, heartburn and constipation, as well as gastric ulcers.
Marshmallow extracts can help with inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract. It appears that marshmallow root extract mucilage can create a protective layer of tissue on the lining of your digestive tract. The root extract might also stimulate cells that support the regeneration of tissue.
6. Ginger Root Tea
Ginger is a spice with numerous health benefits. For example, it has potent anti-inflammatory properties that quickly relieve throat pain. Ginger is also antibacterial and it can kill some of the viruses that cause respiratory illnesses. Ginger may help with inflammation stemming from various illnesses.
You can make ginger root tea using fresh root. You simply have to boil a bit of the root and add lemon and honey for taste. You can also buy ginger root extract supplements. For a sore throat, in particular, tea can be the better option since it will have direct contact.
If you prefer, you can also buy ginger tea bags ready to brew.
- Besides being a home remedy for sore throats, ginger tea has a lot of other fantastic health benefits.
- For example, it can help with nausea, morning sickness, motion sickness, and side effects of chemotherapy.
- Ginger can be protective against heart disease and has many cardiovascular-related benefits. For example, it can lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
- Many studies have found ginger can help reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness, which could help with obesity.
- Ginger may help with lowering triglycerides, reducing A1C, and improving blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
- As well as throat pain, ginger can help with osteoarthritis and knee pain, headaches, sore muscles, and menstrual cramps.
- The antioxidants in ginger can relieve stress and improve your immune system. Research shows ginger may even prevent or fight cancer, like colon and pancreatic cancer.
Another option if you want to use ginger is to find it in throat lozenges.
7. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is generally a healthy thing to add to your routine. In animal studies, we see coconut oil can potentially reduce inflammation and fight infections. There’s also a soothing effect of coconut oil, making it a great natural remedy for a sore throat.
It’s versatile to use coconut oil. You can add a spoonful to your hot tea for example. You can also put it directly in your mouth and let it melt so that it will coat your throat.
At high doses coconut oil can have a laxative effect, so try not to have more than two tablespoons a day.
Other Home Remedies to Get Rid of a Sore Throat Quick
The solutions above are some of the bests home remedies for a sore throat in terms of herbs and supplements. There are also some other things you can do if you’re struggling with a sore throat.
- Use a saltwater gargle for your sore throat symptoms. The salt will pull water from your throat tissue to reduce swelling. Salt water can also be helpful to kill potentially harmful microbes in your throat. If you’re experiencing acute throat discomfort, try to gargle every hour with warm saltwater. Just add a teaspoon of salt to warm water.
- Add some lemon to your warm salt water because it has vitamin C. Just a teaspoon of lemon juice can also reduce inflammation and increase your body’s saliva production, making it a good natural pain reliever. Increasing saliva production can keep your mucus membranes moist, reducing pain similar to over the counter medications for temporary relief of your cold symptoms.
- Make sure in general that when you’re dealing with a sore throat, you have plenty of fluids and warm liquids like broth and tea with honey. You need your mucus membranes to stay hydrated while they heal. You might also occasionally have some ice water mixed in with warm liquids.
- Take hot showers or use a steamer for breathing it in. You can also sit in a steamy bathroom. This will help soothe and keep your throat moist and help with other cold and flu symptoms like a stuffy nose or headache.
Some people say you should use apple cider vinegar to gargle for pain relief. We don’t recommend that. It can burn and worsen your discomfort, even though it has antibacterial properties.
Final Thoughts—Home Remedy Sore Throat Ideas
It’s the season when many of us get colds or the flu. The above sore throat remedies can help you get pain relief naturally and get on the road to recovery faster. If you are sick for more than a few days, talk to your doctor and get medical care.