Sore Throat At-Home Remedies

A sore throat is nothing fun. It’s when you experience pain, itchiness, or irritation. You might even have difficulty swallowing foods and liquids, and the pain may increase when you try to swallow. Throat pain is the primary symptom of a sore throat.

A sore throat may not always warrant a trip to the doctor, but it’s still painful and may interfere with a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are some at-home remedies you can use to soothe the pain and irritation. This includes:

  • slippery-elm-barkSlippery Elm – This has been used as an herbal remedy for centuries. When it is mixed with water, it forms a slick gel coating that helps soothes the throat. To use simply pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You might even find some slippery elm lozenges at a health food store.
  • Licorice Root – By drinking licorice root tea, you can naturally get some relief to your sore throat. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root help reduce swelling and irritation, as well as soothe the mucous membranes in your throat.
  • Honey – Mix it with tea or simply take it straight up. It’s a common household remedy for a sore throat. One study found that honey was even more effective with taming coughs than the common over-the-counter suppressants.
  • Salt Water – Gargling warm salt water is a known treatment for a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat.
  • Peppermint – This herb is known for freshening your breath but spraying peppermint oil in your throat is also known to ease the pain. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and cough. And, according to a 2008 study, peppermint contains anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may help encourage healing.
  • Fenugreek – You can eat fenugreek seeds, use the oil topically or drink it in tea. It’s known as a natural throat remedy. Fenugreek has an anti-inflammatory effect and can relieve pain and kill off bacteria.
  • Chamomile Tea – Chamomile is naturally soothing and is one of the oldest herbs to be used medicinally for conditions like a sore throat. It’s also used as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and an astringent. Some studies have shown that inhaling chamomile steam can relieve cold symptoms and drink it in tea can also offer similar results.1296x728_natural_remedies_for_sore_throats-salt_water
  • Baking Soda Gargle – While salt water is more commonly used, gargling baking soda mixed with salt can kill bacteria and prevent both yeast and fungi growth. The National Cancer Institute recommends gargling and gently swishing a combination of 1 cup warm water, 1/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. They recommend repeating this every three hours as needed.

Over-the-counter treatments

When natural remedies aren’t cutting it, there are several over-the-counter methods to try. Ibuprofen can be an effective pain reliever followed by a full glass water while sitting or standing up so that it doesn’t stay in the throat or cause irritation.

What causes sore throats?

Typically allergies, dry air, and outdoor pollution as well as conditions like colds, flu, measles, chickenpox, mononucleosis (mono) and the croup, can all cause sore throats. These are all viral infections that will not respond to antibiotics.

Bacterial infections are responsible for only a small percentage of sore throats. If you have a severe sore throat accompanied by a fever, or when swollen tonsils block the throat, that’s when it’s a good time to see a physician.


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