6 Natural Remedies For A Sore Throat

natural remedies for a sore throat

Sore throats are pretty much an unavoidable part of having coughs and colds.  We’ve all been there and we’ve all felt pretty sorry for ourselves, reaching for the Lemsip, ibuprofen or cough medicine in a desperate attempt to soothe the discomfort.

Well in recent years I got fed up with all the over-the-counter treatments that cost money, contained a bunch of phamaceutical chemicals and didn’t really do anything.
I wanted natural remedies for a sore throat that would gently ease my symptoms, but more importantly, that would actually nourish my body and help it heal.

Below are some of the remedies I researched and collected.  You can use them all freely and whenever you feel the need.  Soothe away!

Natural Remedies For A Sore Throat

1  Hot Lemon With Honey & Ginger

This drink really is a hug-in-a-mug and wonderfully soothing for cold symptoms.  It’s one of my favourite natural remedies for a sore throat and I love making it for poorly loved ones.
You can even use it as the basis for a fab homemade lemsip recipe, to support your immune system.

It contains 3 awesome antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients which work in combo to soothe your throat and destroy cold-causing pathogens.

  • Honey – A good quality general honey (or manuka honey if you can afford it) is an excellent inhibitor of the influenza virus [1a].
    Honey is also great for soothing pain and swelling [1b].
  • Ginger – Active compounds in ginger include gingerols and shagaols which are known for their potent antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties [1c].
  • Lemon – Lemon is also a gentle antimicrobial, with bacteria-killing power [1d].  As well as a familiar source of vitamin C, a nutrient which is important for boosting and supporting the immune system during times of stress [1e].

Hug-In-A-Mug Recipe – Peel a small piece of ginger and very finely slice it into a mug, squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add a teaspoon or two of raw organic honey.  Fill the cup with freshly boiled water and stir well to mix and infuse.
Sip slowly and enjoy the warming flavours.  The ginger will get stronger as you get to the bottom of the mug.

2  Saline Gargle

The most basic of all natural remedies for a sore throat, the saline gargle works on the premise that you’re rinsing your throat of viruses and bacteria.

The more you rinse these pathogens away, the less they remain in your throat and airway where they have to be dealt with by your immune system.  This in turn reduces your symptoms and the length of time you’re poorly.

Saline gargles are especially important for throat infections, tonsillitis and strep throat, for removing associated bacteria such as Streptococcus.

If you already use saline in a neti pot, you’ll appreciate how soothing and therapeutic saline irrigation is for congested noses and sinusitis [2a].

Saltwater Gargle – Boil a pint of water and add 1 teaspoon of salt.  Allow the water to cool and gargle whenever you can.  The more gargling the better.

3  Licorice Gargle

A number of scientific studies have shown licorice to be an excellent soother of the sore throat!

Throat pain and discomfort was found to be significantly less in patients who gargled a licorice solution, prior to being intubated with an endotracheal tube for anaesthesia [3][3a].

However when I talk about licorice, I don’t mean the version that comes as a gelatinous sweet (because that contains almost no licorice whatsoever).  I’m referring to licorice root only.  There’s a really important difference between the two!

Licorice Gargle & Licorice Tea Recipe – Place a handful of licorice root and an inch of sliced fresh ginger into a small saucepan of water.  Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 – 30 minutes (the longer the time the stronger the decoction).  Allow to cool and pour through a tea strainer into a mug.
Use the liquid as a gargle or as a tea, as preferred.  If drinking as a tea, you may wish to add honey for added sweetness, as this makes a strong brew.

Note: DO NOT DRINK licorice root tea if you have high blood pressure.  And do not take it as a daily tea, it’s meant for medicinal use only.

4  Dandelion Tea

The humble dandelion is a powerhouse of a healing plant!
It has a surprising array of therapeutic benefits including as an antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant [4][4a][4b].

It also contains loads of nutrients including various minerals, plus vitamins A, B6, C and K.  And is one of the best herbs for liver support and healing.

Furthermore it’s growing wild and free in your nearest pesticide-free lawn, so why not get harvesting and make your own brew!  Remember though, only ever harvest herbs away from roadsides, non-organic farmland and other polluted places.

Dandelion Tea Recipe – for my organic dandelion tea recipe, see this post.

5  Sage Tea

The healing compounds in sage (Salvia officinalis) include flavonoids called apigenin, diosmetin and luteolin.  And along with rosmarinic acid, these compounds all confer sage with good antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  Extracts of sage can also provide significant antibacterial activity [5].

Sage Tea Recipe – Add a generous handful of fresh sage leaves and stems to a teapot of freshly boiled water.  Cover with a tea cosy and allow to steep for about 20 minutes.
Pour the infusion into a cup and sip away.  Add a little organic honey for sweetness, if needed.

6  Essential Oil Diffusion

An essential oil diffuser such as this one by Tomons is an excellent addition to your arsenal of natural treatments.  You can use it to diffuse all different essential oil blends, in order to soothe your airways and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.

The following essential oils are particularly good natural remedies for a sore throat when used in this way:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Clove oil
  • Lemon oil

However, if you don’t have a diffuser, you can easily add a few drops of your chosen essential oils to a small bowl of just-boiled water.  Then put a towel over your head and lower it over the bowl, allowing you to inhale the infused steam as it rises upwards.

So, what are your favourite natural remedies for a sore throat?
Please let me know so I can try them out for myself!  Feel free to share in the comments below x

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