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Dozens of Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat

Updated on March 13, 2017
ChristinS profile image

Christin is a simple living, frugal, DIY enthusiast who loves showing others how to live their best by embracing simplicity.

Natural remedies for sore throat
Natural remedies for sore throat

Natural Treatment for a Sore Throat

Sore throat is one of the most common ailments and fortunately one that can be treated with a variety of home remedies.

Sore throats are common side effects of viral illnesses such as sinusitis and colds. Sometimes they are simply caused by irritation – exposure to cigarette smoke, talking too loud etc can all irritate the sensitive mucous membranes at the back of the throat. Other times they are caused by more serious illnesses like Tonsillitis or Strep throat which should be treated by a physician.

If you find a sore throat lingers beyond a few days, is accompanied by a high fever, rash, headache or stiff neck, you should see a doctor immediately, otherwise for your standard, run of the mill sore throat there are many natural remedies and recommendations for relieving and preventing worsening of symptoms.

Environmental Remedies

  • Dry air can often worsen a sore throat. Use a humidifier or vaporizer to help add more moisture to the air.
  • Change your toothbrush often, especially after illness. Sore throats and other infections can be contracted from bacteria left on toothbrushes.
  • Avoid eating foods that are salty, acidic, or spicy as any of these can further irritate a sore throat.
  • Snoring can also worsen a sore throat – use the nose strips and sleep on your side.
  • Rooms that are not well ventilated or tend to get “stuffy” can cause and/or exacerbate sore throat symptoms. Try to not keep the house too warm in the winter, particularly if you use forced air heat or other forms of dry heat.
  • You can help soothe a sore throat with aromatherapy as well.

Nutrients & Supplements for Sore Throat

If you are taking an antibiotic for Strep throat be sure to counteract the negative effects of the antibiotic by taking a pro-biotic supplement like Acidophilus. This will help elevate your bodies level of healthy bacteria and boost your immunity.

Colloidal Silver is a natural antibiotic which can be taken for short periods of time to help combat infections. Follow manufacturers directions and do not exceed recommended doses or take for extended periods.

Garlic – Eat it or take it in supplement form (or both) Garlic is a wonderful blood cleanser and has been shown to improve immune function.

Mushrooms like Shitake or Maitake can be used to help fight viral infections and boost the immune system.

Honey and Lemon Juice: Raw honey and pure organic lemon juice are great for coating the throat and soothing pain. Add a teaspoon or less of lemon juice and a Tbsp of honey to a cup of warm water and sip it.

Vitamin C – Take this in supplement form as orange juice can irritate a sore throat (it's acidic) Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for helping your body to fight illness and infection.

Cider Vinegar – gargle with it to help kill infection and keep the area clean

Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) - this is a very powerful natural germicidal and antibiotic. You can gargle with it or even drink it diluted with water for a very potent natural remedy. GSE is so powerful, yet gentle - that it has a variety of uses. You can wash your food with it, and then use it to sterilize a cutting board. It only takes a few drops for most applications and it is highly concentrated - a definite worthwhile investment.

The Most Useful Natural Product Every Household Needs

One little bottle of NutriBiotic GSE will last up to a year with regular use. It is a potent antimicrobial that you can use on any surface safely. I mix it with water to sterilize my cutting boards for example. Because it is from Grapefruit seed, it has no chemicals and is incredibly safe.

Drinking it or placing it in capsules can help you fight of viruses and infections. It can be blended with creams or coconut oil to treat skin issues like little bites and irritation as well.

Pull open the label and you'll dozens of ways to use it all over the house. A few drops is all you need. AMAZING stuff every household should have.

Herbal Remedies for Sore Throat Relief

  • Echinacea – this herb has been shown to boost immunity and help fight bacterial and viral infections. It loses its effectiveness if taken for too long at a time and should only be used in short bursts for best effect.
  • Goldenseal – can be taken short-term to help cleanse the body and boost immunity. It should not be used longer than a week at a time and people with ragweed allergies should use extreme caution with this herb.
  • Astragalus – A very powerful herb for boosting the immune system by increasing production of white cells. It also increases energy and is used in China to help cancer patients recover from the effects of chemotherapy. It is one of the best herbs for supporting the immune system and is not as well known as many others. Unlike Echinacea, you can use this herb throughout cold/flu season to boost your immunity.
  • Fenugreek can relieve a sore throat and swollen glands. Add several drops to 1 cup water and gargle with it a few times daily.
  • Licorice Root and Slippery Elm can both be found in lozenges. Licorice soothes soreness and slippery elm helps reduce irritation. Licorice should be avoided if you have high blood pressure.
  • Raspberry leaf tea is good for both sore throats and fever blisters and it also tastes delightful.
  • Sage – make an infusion of sage and gargle with it while warm. This can also be mixed with the cider vinegar from above.

Traditional Medicinals makes a product called “Throat Coat” tea that works well for laryngitis. It's made with organic licorice root.

Do You Use Natural Remedies for Sore Throat

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Aromatherapy also has its uses in the treatment of sore throats. Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, and Lavender can all be used to relieve cold/flu and sore throat symptoms. I add a few drops to a diffuser and breathe the air to clear the sinuses and help soothe.

Some other things to consider – if you find you have a chronic “tickly throat” or irritating, dry cough it may indicate the presence of food allergies. Hoarseness that is prolonged can point to more serious problems like oral or throat cancer. Be sure to take symptoms like these seriously and consult a healthcare professional if your sore throat is persistent or worsens.

© 2012 Christin Sander


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    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for commenting Billy hope it helps you both.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Excellent hub with some very useful tips. I will pass this on to my better half and maybe we can both suffer less in the future.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for voting and sharing onthegrind I agree honey is very soothing almost immediately.

      Thanks Sam209 we've had a crazy winter in the midwest too. As much as I like the warmer winter, I think it has caused a lot more illness this season than most. Thanks for commenting and stay healthy :)

    • sam209 profile image

      sam209 5 years ago

      With this up and down weather we're having in MD, there's always that possiblity I might have to try some of these remedies! Hubs like this are always useful! Thanks for the tips!

    • onthegrind profile image

      onthegrind 5 years ago from Florida, United States

      I follow several of the tips on here like garlic, honey, lemon, echinacea, vitamin C...The instant relief from honey is amazing. Good tips - like the natural stuff. Voted up, useful, and SHARING.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you Emily - feel better soon! :)

    • profile image

      Emily Sparks 5 years ago

      Thankyou! I shall try some of these. Voted up!

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Yes, it is interesting to know what foods can help with ailments. I don't like using prescription medication or over the counter medications unless absolutely needed. I think it is good to have a cold and let it run its course. During that time, I eat better, have more honey and lemon as mentioned before and try to rest.

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      thanks rlaha - there are many natural foods and supplements that are great for a variety of things :). I studied "alternative" health and nutrition for a long time and I rarely get sick. When I do it is very short-lived. Food can be great medicine! Thanks for visiting and voting I appreciate it very much.

    • rlaha profile image

      rlaha 5 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

      Hi. I never knew that Mushrooms were good for a sore throat. I usually use honey and lemon as well as weak tea for my throat pain. Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you chanroth I'm glad you found the hub helpful. Honey and lemon is just tasty in general too sometimes I think ;) I love it in tea :)

    • chanroth profile image

      chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

      Great hub and very informative! I use honey and lemon, even for cough. Thank you for sharing! :) I vote you up and useful!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Great information! I've suffered with bronchitis my whole life and a tablespoon of warm honey with lemon eases my wheezing in a snap!

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Like Dale, I use salt water to gargle with but I can see how the cider vinegar gargle would work too. I agree about the dry air, especially in the winter. Good tips here I'll have to bookmark this and refer back to it when I'm sick!

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      You are welcome, Christin, and keep up the excellent work!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks Nick - I find it a good time to make smoothies and other softer nutrient dense foods.

      peramore - I agree I'd much rather go the natural route than take medicines when practical.

      Anndavis - thank you for commenting and enjoying the hub - glad you found it useful :)

      Dale - I have used salt water gargles and they can be effective depending on the type of sore throat very true. I do find that just by itself salt is not the most effective however and I prefer to use other things in gargles as well. Thanks for commenting and reading the hub :)

    • Dale Hyde profile image

      Dale Hyde 5 years ago from Tropical Paradise on Planet X

      Great advice! I was surprised however, with such a large selection, you did not mention mixing some warm water and salt with the vinegar to gargle with. Absolutely nothing can live in a salt environment to my knowledge. I use this method prior to going to bed, and not drinking any further liquid after I gargle. What I have found to be the result of this gargle is that the sore throat may not disappear overnight, however, this method seems to stop it from getting worse, and then of course time allows you to get better.

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      All the good tips. Thanks. I have tried some of these, and it is soothing and helps me.

      Voted up and useful.

    • peramore20 profile image

      peramore20 5 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      Great hub. I love natural remedies, and taking medications that assist with relieving the pain of a sore throat oftentimes don't last very long or a nuisance to take.

    • NicholasA profile image

      NicholasA 5 years ago from Midwest

      Sometimes there is nothing more annoying than a sore throat. It can be hard to eat sometimes. I enjoy the natural ways of dealing with these. Good Hub!