17 Home Remedies for Sore Throat


A sore throat, medically known as Pharyngitis, is caused by viral infection related to cold and virus. It feels scratchy and itchy and may cause pain that makes it hard to talk or swallow.

home remedies for sore throat

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The causes of sore throat:

  • Irritation from a cold or flu
  • Swelling of the tissues in the throat
  • Overexertion
  • Dry air
  • Smoking cigarette
  • Postnasal drip
  • Allergic reaction
  • Dry heat

Since this infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics might not be much of a help in this case. Sore throat can be treated easily with simple and effective home remedies. Here are some simple home remedies to provide you relief from sore throat.

Home remedies for sore throat:

1. Honey-lemon tea:

Honey is an extremely soothing and comforting ingredient. It coats the throat when it is dry and painful. Lemon, on the other hand, cuts through the unwanted mucus and kills the bacteria, relieving the pain in the sore spots. Take 250 ml of water in a saucepan. Then add 10 ml of honey in medium hot water. Then stir in one teaspoon of lemon juice. Add sugar to taste and then drink hot.

2. Alcohol:

Dilute three caps of vodka in warm water. Gargle with this solution and then swallow it. You can also add a pinch of rock salt or honey to this concoction. Repeat this procedure 4 times a day. This method is for adults only.

3. Apple cider vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best methods to get relief from sore throat. The high acidity level in apple cider vinegar can kill the viruses quite efficiently.  You can mix it with honey to soothe the soreness. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 cup of warm water. Drink this warm concoction twice a day. If you are not very fond of the strong taste of apple cider vinegar, then mix 1 cup of water with 2 ½ teaspoon of warm water and gargle once a day.

4. Garlic:

Sucking a clove of garlic may sound repulsive, but it can definitely help you kick the sore throat.  Garlic contains allicin, a compound that kills the bacteria and germs that cause irritation. Take one fresh garlic clove and slice it in half. Place 1 piece of garlic in each cheek and suck on it like a lozenge. Then crush the garlic to release the allicin. Try this method once daily for best results.

5. Cayenne pepper:

Drinking cayenne tea can also make you feel better. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, a chemical compound that relieves pain just as a painkiller does. It hinders substance P, which transmits the pain signals to your brain. The discomfort of the throat is diluted when it encounters cayenne pepper tea. Add ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper to one cup of boiling water. Stir in the honey and drink when it is warm. Make sure you stir the solution regularly so that the cayenne does not settle down. If you do not like too much spice, then reduce the powder quantity to 1/8th of the teaspoon.

6. Licorice root tea:

Licorice root tea can help you get some relief from the sore throat naturally. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of the licorice root help the soothe the mucus membranes in the throat, thereby reducing swelling and irritation. You can take the tea with licorice or brew it up on your own. Mix one cup of chopped, dry licorice root, ½ cup of cinnamon chip, ½ cup of chamomile flowers and 2 tablespoons of whole clove in a bowl thoroughly. Store it in a jar for future use. Combine 2 tablespoons of the tea mix with 3 cups of water and boil over medium heat. Reduce the flame and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the concoction and then enjoy it warm.

7. Fluids:

Drink plenty of water and fluids. This will moisten and soothe the throat and mouth. Fluid washes the bacteria that linger in the mouth.  You can also drink milk as it is soothing, non-irritating and calms the sore throat. If the pain is accompanied  by congestion, then avoid drinking milk. Milk increases mucus production, which can exacerbate the condition.

8. Gargle:

A salt and water solution can help relieve discomfort by shrinking the swelling of the tonsil. Salt acts as a mild antiseptic, which helps to draw out excess mucous, clearing the phlegm.  It helps to flush out viruses from the tonsils and adenoids that line the back of the throat. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 250 ml of water. Gargle with this concoction vigorously, for about 10 to 20 seconds. Repeat this 3 times a day. Do not overdo it as it can dry out the soft tissues, making things worse. You can also add lemon juice to this solution. Alternately, gargling with Listerine or baking soda can also help.

9. Lozenges:

Sucking on lozenges or hard candies can provide relief from sore throat pain. Lozenges, particularly, zinc lozenges contain menthol, which soothe the throat and sinuses, providing you relief within 3 to 4 days. Do not take zinc lozenges for too long as they can compromise the immunity.

10. Humidifier:

Do not let your room be too hot or too cold. Excessive moisture or lack of moisture in the air can thwart the body’s ability to recuperate faster. Place a humidifier in the room to balance the moisture levels. Adding moisture to the air will prevent the lining of the throat from becoming too dry.  If you do not possess a humidifier, place a large saucepan with water on a stove and simmer the water in medium to low flame. Make sure you do not let the pan dry out.

11. Steam:

You can also try steam inhalation to ease the pain. Steaming can help to ease the sore throat that hurts due to the dryness. Boil three cups of water and steep chamomile or ginger to it. Leave it for 5 minutes and transfer the water to a large bowl. Drape a towel over the head to trap the steam. Lean over the bowl and then breathe deeply through the mouth and nose for 10 minutes. Follow this method 2 times a day. Steaming will also make it easier to breathe if your nasal is congested.

12. Honeysuckle:

Honeysuckle is extremely effective in treating cold, cough, sore throat and flu. Its anti-bacterial properties can help to ward off the virus in the immune system, while its anti-inflammatory properties reduce the swollen tissue on the throats.  Honeysuckle flushes out the toxins from the bloodstream. To enjoy these benefits, all you need to do is brew a cup of honeysuckle tea. Simmer 2 cups of honeysuckle flowers and leaves and 1 quart of water for about 10 minutes. Strain the infusion and then add honey or lemon to make it more palatable.

13. Cloves:

Cloves have been used since centuries in Chinese medicine to ease painful throat and mouth. Cloves contain Eugenol, a substance that is a supposed to be a natural painkiller. Suck on a whole clove slowly until it becomes soft and releases the Eugenol in the mouth. This will numb the pain in the mouth. You can also swallow the clove.

14. Pomegranate:

Pomegranate is one of the best sources of antioxidants. The astringent properties of pomegranate cause contraction of the body tissue, thereby diminishing the pain. Pomegranate tea is an effective home remedy to treat the sore throat. Boil the pomegranate rind in 4 cups of water for 15 minutes. Stir in some honey and drink it every morning. You can also gargle with this tea for 30 seconds. If you do not like the taste of the pomegranate tea, then drink pomegranate juice at least 3 times a day.

15. Chamomile tea:

Chamomile is a natural remedy for sore throats. The components present in chamomile kills off the bacteria, acting as a natural painkiller. Chamomile also has anti-spasmodic protein properties, which enables the muscles to soothe the throat. To prepare chamomile tea, boil 1 cup of water and add 1 bag of tea bag. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Add juice of half lemon and drink warm.

16. Ginger:

Ginger is packed with properties that help to chase the sore throat pain. It is one of the best natural remedies to treat cold and sore throat. Ginger is expectorant in nature that helps to loosen and expel the mucous from the respiratory system. Its soothing aroma opens up the sinus, clearing off the blocked nose. It increases the oxygen supply to the body and flushes out the toxin, speeding up the healing process. To prepare ginger tea, slice 2 inches long ginger root into small pieces and boil it 3 cups of water for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to it and enjoy it piping hot.

17. Sage:

Sage is a natural astringent and an effective remedy for sore throat. It causes the body tissues to contract, helping you with swollen throat. The phenolic acid present in sage fights and kills the bad bacteria, the main culprit behind the symptoms of sore throat. Boil one cup of water and then put 2 teaspoons of sage leaves to it. Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Then strain the tea and add 1 teaspoon of salt to it. Gargle with it 3 times a day.


  • Drink beverages and water at room temperature. Do not go for cold drinks as they can make the throat ache worse.
  • Avoid irritants like smog, smoke and fumes. Breathing in these stuffs will irritate the soft tissues at the back of the throat. Avoid drinking caffeine induced drink as it hinders the body’s ability to fight the infection and can even prolong the sore throat.
  • Quit smoking. Cigarette smoke can irritate the lining of the throat.
  • You should give your vocal cords plenty of rest for a quicker healing and recovery. Take a warm shower and then go off to sleep. Do not scream or sing.
  • Visit the doctor immediately if the sore throat is accompanied by high fever and chills.
  • If the home remedies do not work for you, then you can take ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen for pain relief.