17 Highly Effective Home Remedies for Sore Throat
A sore throat is a painful condition where the throat gets inflamed as a result of infection. It results in redness and irritation of the throat. Apart from treatment with antibiotics and other medicines, there are diverse home remedies for sore throat. In this article, we have discussed some extensive natural remedies used throughout the world.
Why Home Remedies need a try Before Medical Treatment?
Home remedies are common throughout the world when it comes to common infection or medical conditions due to seasonal changes, wounds, etc. It is a fortune of information and method that has been passed from generation to generation to make first-line treatment handy.
Home remedies are not just vague assumptions; rather, they are backed by scientific evidence of household items bearing therapeutic values.
Medicines are likely to have side effects, but the home remedies are rarely detrimental to the health of a patient. Thus, home remedies for sore throat should be given a try before switching to medicines.
Home Remedies for Sore Throat
Home remedies are the most sought after first-line therapy for the sore throat. Since ages, people prefer to treat a sore throat with a myriad of things present in the household. The home remedies for sore throat that are prevalent throughout the world for the medication are summed up below:
Saltwater is a common solution, but it can do wonders for a sore throat. Many of us have observed that while we suffer from a painful sore throat, our parents recommend us to gargle with saltwater. Saltwater has a bactericidal effect on the throat that helps to soothe the symptoms as well as curtains the secretion.
It helps to reduce swelling and inflammation. The concoction can be easily made by dissolving a half teaspoon of table salt in a glass of warm water. The solution should be used for gargling every three hours for an effective throat remedy. The amount of salt should not be in excess as it can cause further discomfort to the throat walls (1).
Honey is like an elixir that is used to treat various medical conditions. It has also found its use as a home remedy for sore throat. Honey is known for its antibacterial property that provides relief to a sore throat. It is observed that if a tablespoon of honey is taken before bedtime, it helps to get a sound sleep during the common cold. It can act as a potent cough suppressant.
Honey is also enriched with wound healing property that helps to cure the condition of a painful sore throat. It can be taken with hot water, tea, of lemon juice to cure a sore throat. Honey can cause botulinum toxicity in children below one year of age; thus, it should not be given to them (2).
3. Warm Liquids and Fluids
When someone is suffering from a sore throat, liquids are the preferred choice of food as they are easy to swallow. Fluids are also known to keep the mucous membrane clear and ease the flow of food. It prevents the chances of a sinus infection as well. Warm liquids help to soothe the back of the throat.
As the warm liquid cascades down your sore throat, you will feel a reduction in pain and swelling. Tea, soup, coffee, broth, are some options of warm liquids you can choose from to sip on. One should be careful as extra hot fluid can cause the throat lining to go burn (3).
Steam inhalation is the most common home remedy that is often suggested by physicians. It easily penetrates and helps to discharge the accumulated mucus. The accumulated mucus can be a reason for a sore throat due to infection.
Steam not only helps to loosen the mucus but also keeps the throat walls moisturized to prevent irritation. One can also take the help of a humidifier to inhale the steam. Another common method for steam inhalation is with the help of a nebulizer, or a hot water bath. Steam and humidity can do wonders for your sore throat (4).
Fenugreek is commonly used as a carminative, but it also has some significant benefits in the treatment of a sore throat. It possesses good healing properties. Fenugreek has the ability to reduce the pain from a sore throat condition. It also helps to kill the bacteria invading the throat and provides relief from the irritation and inflammation of the throat walls.
Fenugreek also serves the purpose of an antifungal agent. Fenugreek acts as a natural home remedy for a sore throat if taken in the form of herbal tea. One can also eat fenugreek seeds or use its essential oil for inhalation. It is advised that pregnant women should refrain from using fenugreek for a sore throat (5).
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6. Baking Soda
While gargle with salt water is the most commonly used natural remedy, baking soda also has magical effects to reduce the symptoms of a sore throat. Baking soda acts as a soothing agent for irritated throat linings. It helps to break the mucus formation in the throat and also helps to prevent acid reflux in patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disorder.
It helps to cease the growth of the bacteria and the fungi in the throat. For gargling, about one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda should be dissolved in warm water. The solution should be used for rinsing the sore throat every three hours (6).
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Garlic is a commonly used ingredient in cooking, but very few people are aware that it is an excellent antibacterial agent. It contains an organosulfur compound called Allison that helps to ward off any kind of infection. Garlic exhibits healing action and helps to prevent the common cold. Its antiseptic property helps to treat the sore throat condition(7).
Garlic can either be eaten raw by mincing it. If you find it hard to eat raw honey, you can add olive oil or honey to eat. The best way to relieve a sore throat is to suck a few raw slices of garlic with clove. One can also add garlic to salsa or add it to juices.
8. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root is a herb that is used as a household remedy for a sore throat. It is rich in mucus resembling substance that helps to create a coating over the throat walls. The mucus coating helps to soothe the soreness in the throat. It also helps to prevent the cough that is likely to accompany a sore throat but can make the condition even worse(8).
The easiest way to consume a marshmallow root is by making its tea. The dried roots of the plant are added to a cup of boiling water. The boiled condition is then used to sip two or three times a day, depending on the condition of the throat. Diabetes patients should be cautious while using marshmallow roots as it may cause a drop in blood sugar levels.
Peppermint is a component that has found its use as a mouth freshener. But, the essential oil also exhibits the ability to cure the conditions of a sore throat. Peppermint contains an active ingredient called menthol. The menthol is highly beneficial to treat inflammation, bacterial, and fungal infection. It encourages healing of a sore throat. The essential oil helps to dilute the mucus present in the throat and eases its way out.
Menthol acts as a decongestant to soothe a sore throat and ease a dry cough. Peppermint can be used in the form of drinking tea. If you are using peppermint oil, mix it with a carrier oil for topical application. Peppermint essential oil can also be used for inhalation or with a diffuser. The essentials oil should not be ingested (9).
10. Throat Coat Tea
Sore throat is highly relieved when we sip on some warm liquid. Throat coat tea is a unique blend of various herbs that serves the purpose of treating a sore throat condition. The therapeutic tea mixture contains a perfect blend of licorice root, marshmallow root, inner bark of the elm, and aqueous dry extract of the licorice roots (10).
This mixture is sold as a throat coat tea and helps to get relief from the pain and irritation of a sore throat. Once you drink the throat coat tea, you can see the effects within thirty minutes as it will help to subside the throat pain.
11. Chicken Soup
If your mother gives you some hot soup of broth to soothe your sore throat, she is familiar with this home remedy. It is a great option for poultry lovers who are finding it hard to gull their favorite chicken dishes. Chicken soup or broth not only helps to soothe a sore throat, but it also keeps you hydrated (11).
It is highly nutritious and has anti-inflammatory substances that help to reduce the sore throat condition. Chicken soup also helps to irrigate the sinus mucus to prevent accumulation. It is best if a low sodium soup is opted to soothe the soreness in the throat.
12. Licorice Root
Licorice has been long known as a part of the home remedies for a sore throat. It is a herb that is used by postoperative patients to ease the pain from sore throat. Licorice roots are a commonly found component in the composition of various herbal as well as allopathic cough syrups. It is also used for making cough suppressant lozenges (12).
Its therapeutic property to reduce inflammation and congestion helps to cure a sore throat. The common methods to use licorice as a home remedy for sore throat is by using it for gargling, chewing a piece of root, or drinking licorice tea.
13. Frozen Foods
While many of you can think that frozen foods contradict the remedy for sore throat, but it actually helps to alleviate the symptoms of a sore throat in some persons. Frozen or cold foods act as a counter-irritant agent to reduce the pain of sore throat. The cold food tends to numb down the throat walls, and thus the sensation of pain is dulled. Ice chips also help to decongest a sore throat as well as keeps the throat moisturized to prevent irritation.
Frozen foods like popsicles and sorbets are quite easy to swallow, and thus are good options to cure a sore throat. However, none dairy product should be preferred as it can trigger mucus secretion in some patients that can further unsettle the soreness of the throat.
14. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm exists as a traditional therapy to treat the condition of a sore throat. It is somewhat similar to the marshmallow root due to its slippery mucus-like consistency. It is believed to produce a coat-like layer on the throat to relieve the discomfort of the mucus membrane.
The protective film of slippery elm acts as a demulcent when taken in the form of tea or lozenges. It also helps to ease the pain (13).
15. Cayenne Pepper Gargle
Cayenne pepper gargle has gained popularity as a remedy for sore throat in recent times. The active ingredient of capsaicin is enriched with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It helps to cure the infection and provide relief from the symptoms of a sore throat.
Cayenne pepper gargle is done by making a condition of a half teaspoon cayenne pepper in a cup of water. It should be used with caution as it can cause a stinging sensation in the mouth and the throat.
16. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is a soothing herbal liquid that exhibits several medicinal properties. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant property of chamomile tea makes it a soothing solution for a sore throat. It also helps us to relax and stimulate the immune system to thwart the infection causing the condition of sore throat. Chamomile tea can be easily prepared with the help of a cup of warm water and few tea leaves left to get extracted (14).
17. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is applied as a gargling agent to ease the sore throat condition. As the vinegar is acidic in nature, it helps to kill the bacterias causing infection in the throat. Apple cider vinegar helps to form a coating film on the throat linings to prevent irritation. It also helps to moisten the phlegm. The gargle solution is made by mixing one teaspoon of Apple Cider vinegar with eight ounces of warm water. It can also be used in tea with honey to cure a sore throat (15).