Sore throats are quite common and almost always painful. While a sore throat that lasts more than a few days may be cause for medical inspection, many tried-and-true home remedies can help ease symptoms until the body has dealt with the allergies, infection, or other issue that is causing the pain.

Try Lemon, Ginger, and Honey in Water

An age-old home remedy for treating a sore throat is a tea mixture of lemon, ginger, and honey. The ginger helps loosen mucus from the respiratory tract, while honey and lemon soothe the throat. You will need:

  • 1 teaspoon of powdered or a 1/2" chunk of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ squeezed lemon
  • ½ cup hot water

Mix the ginger and honey into the water and add the lemon juice. Allow to cool slightly, then sip for instant relief.

sore throat

Suck on Garlic

If you have garlic in your kitchen and enjoy its strong flavor, you may be in luck. Since time immemorial, garlic has been revered for its antibacterial properties and is popular in many homeopathic remedies. All you need is one fresh clove of garlic cut in half.

Simply place one half in each cheek, and suck on it as you would cough drops, for five to 10 minutes. If you can chew it, good for you, but if you can't, just crush it against your teeth to release its antibacterial allicin. Do this once a day to combat any infection that may be causing pain.

natural home remedies sore throat

Gargle with Salt Water

Gargling with salt water can ease pain immediately and even help cure a sore throat. Throat pain is often caused by inflamed mucous membranes, and salt lessens inflammation by pulling moisture from the swollen tissues; it also makes your throat less friendly to bad bacteria. You will need:

  • 1 cup of warm water (8 oz.)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt

Warm the water—it should not be hot. Dissolve the salt into the water, then gargle with the mixture for five to seven minutes. Repeat this twice or three times a day as required.

spoon of salt being mixed into water


Make Baking Soda Tea

Baking soda changes the pH of the throat, making it more alkaline, which can help kill off bad bacteria. Most people have a box of baking soda in their cupboard, so this is a great option for treating a sore throat. You will need:

  • 1 cup water (warm, not hot)
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Heat the water so that it is warm but not boiling. Then, add the salt and baking soda. Gargle and spit out the mixture. Repeat this process about three times a day.

natural sore throat remedies

Drink or Gargle Sage Tea

Sage has been used medicinally for centuries. It is an astringent herb that causes contraction of the throat tissues, relieving swelling and easing a sore throat. You will need:

  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • Little bit of honey (only if you prefer sweet tea)
  • 2 teaspoons sage leaves
  • ¼ ounce salt (if not adding honey)

Add the sage leaves to the boiling water and let them steep for 10 to 15 minutes, then strain out the leaves and drink the mixture. If you like sweet tea, mix in a little bit of honey.

treatments sore throat

Steam It Out

Steam is a great solution for easing the soreness in your throat, especially when you're also plagued by congestion from a cold or other infection. You will need:

  • 1 big bowl
  • 1 large bath towel
  • Boiling water to fill the bowl halfway

Simply add boiling water to a large bowl and lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel. Adding a bit of eucalyptus oil can help, too. Make sure to keep your face back from the water so as not to burn your skin.

woman leaning over a steaming bowl of water with a towel over her head


Chew Some Cloves

Some people know about cloves as an ancient remedy for toothaches. This pungent herb works in this way because it contains eugenol, a natural anesthetic and effective painkiller that can also ease throat pain.

Chewing on a clove releases this eugenol and can numb the throat for a while. You may want to use water to rinse your mouth after the herb has done its job.

cloves sore throat

Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another great option to alter the pH of the throat and take down germs. Its high acidity soothes pain and combats infection. When mixed with honey, it is even more effective. You will need

  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cup of warm water

Mix the ingredients together and allow it to cool until it is still warm, but palatable. Drink it slowly.

ACV sore throat

Prepare Chamomile Tea

Yet another natural remedy for treating a sore throat is chamomile tea. For a sound sleep, sip a cup an hour or so before bed—the flowers feature properties that go to work as natural pain-killing agents and also encourage relaxation. You will need

  • 1 sachet of chamomile tea
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • An empty mug

Add the tea bag to a mug of just-boiled water. Let the tea steep as long as you like, cool it a bit, then drink for fast relief.

sore throat chamomile

Hot Toddy

A hot toddy can take a sore throat down a notch. It warms the chest and helps soothe you off to sleep. This remedy, of course, is only for adults. You will need

  • 1 ounce of whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Hot water

Stir the ingredients into the hot water. Enjoy before bedtime for relief from pain and the often-related insomnia.

sore throat hot toddy


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