Next time you’ve got a sore throat, whip up one of these natural proven remedies to ease symptoms.
Sore throats are a result of swelling and inflammation that lead to pain when swallowing and eating. They can be associated with a cold or the flu, seasonal allergies, and more. However, when you get a sore throat, the first thing you’ll want to do is alleviate the pain and reduce your discomfort.
While many people turn to over-the-counter medications and cough drops to deal with sore throat pain, it’s easy to make your own fix at home. So, skip the medications loaded with artificial sweeteners and make your own sore throat remedy with natural ingredients.
Natural Sore Throat Remedies You Can Do Yourself
1. Peppermint Tea
Thanks to the menthol component, peppermint tea can have a slight numbing effect on the throat, easing the pain and discomfort. (1)
To brew peppermint tea, boil water and pour it over a peppermint tea bag (or fresh peppermint leaves) in a large mug. Allow to steep for at least five minutes. Add raw honey for a dash of sweetness and for additional throat-soothing benefits.
2. Coconut Oil
While coconut oil is a common DIY remedy for many things – from face moisturizer to lotion to a hair mask and beyond – it’s also a great remedy for a sore throat.
If you’re battling a sore throat, you can swallow a spoonful of coconut oil directly, or you can add it to peppermint tea or any other hot beverage. It can even be added to soups or bone broth.
Most sore throats are associated with inflammation, and lemon is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial too, making it a perfect sore throat gargle. It can also work to boost output of the salivary glands, which can help to keep the throat from getting dry and scratchy. (4)
To use lemon for a gargle, add one teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to a cup of warm water. Gargle and swirl in the mouth for a minute or so, and spit. Repeat as often as needed for relief.
For a soothing drink to ease a sore throat, you can also add lemon, fresh ginger and honey to a hot cup of tea.
4. Raw Honey
Raw honey is an age-old remedy for sore throats thanks to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can coat the throat and decrease swelling and pain from an inflamed throat. Raw honey can even work as a natural cough reliever by reducing mucus production. (5)
While sore throats aren’t always due to infections, raw honey is effective at suppressing nearly 60 different species of bacteria, fungi, and viral infections, making it a good immune-supportive ingredient. (6)
To use raw honey for sore throats, you can simply eat a small spoonful to coat the throat as needed, or you can add it to herbal tea, coffee, or other hot beverages. You can also pair it with other sore throat remedies to help make them more palatable.
5. Eucalyptus Oil
If your sore throat is due to a decreased immune system or active infection, eucalyptus is an excellent remedy choice. It stimulates the immune system to fight infection while also increasing circulation in the respiratory system, helping to break up congestion and move infection along. (7)
Eucalyptus can be used to benefit sore throats in two ways. First, you can use it as a throat gargle. Mix one or two drops with warm water and gargle for 30 to 60 seconds. Discard. Repeat a few times per day as needed.
Secondly, you can diffuse eucalyptus oil and inhale it to get respiratory and throat benefits. Add five or six drops to water in your diffuser of choice, and breathe in as needed.
Zinc is well-known for being a one-two immune boosting punch with vitamin C. It is a mineral that can fight viral infections and support a healthy immune system. This key mineral can also reduce the duration of a cold and even decrease the chances of getting one in the first place. (8)
Foods rich in zinc include: (9)
In order to deal with a sore throat, using zinc in supplement form will have the best results. Supplements can range from lozenges to capsules, and dosages are typically around 30 milligrams for adults.
7. Chicken Stock
Chicken soup is good for more than the soul, because research shows it can actually help to reduce respiratory inflammation and fight the common cold. (10) It can also ease sore throat discomfort.
Not only does chicken broth fight sickness and soothe the throat, but it also hydrates the body, which is essential for recovering from illness. For an added health benefit, pair chicken stock with bone broth, which supports the gut and boosts immunity.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Ah, the ubiquitous apple cider vinegar. Is there anything it isn’t good for? Research shows that it can fight infections and bacteria, and thanks to its acidity, it can break mucus up in the throat and alleviate throat irritation. (11)
Apple cider vinegar can be hard to get down for some people, so don’t drink it plain. Instead, mix a tablespoon with ¼ cup of warm water and a dab of raw honey. Stir and gargle. Repeat as often as needed throughout the day, even a few times per hour. Consider it a liquefied version of a throat lozenge. You can also drink this mixture, but limit to no more than two tablespoons daily to avoid intestinal irritation.
Make sure to get apple cider vinegar that is organic and with “the mother,” for maximum benefits.
9. Salt Water
Sometimes the first line of defense for a sore throat is the simplest answer: gargling with salt water. Sodium decreases swelling and reduces pain. When paired with warm water, salt kills bacteria trying to settle into the throat. (12)
To make a saltwater gargle, pair a cup of warm water with ½ to 1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt. Stir until it dissolves, and then gargle and swish with the solution for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat as needed, as much as once every hour.
(Read This Next: 10 Immunity Boosters for Cold and Flu Season)