10 Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Sore Throat

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Garo/Phanie/REX (1896004iw)Model released - Sore throat. Woman stroking her throat.Various

Sore throat is a common form of upper respiratory tract infection [1].

Most cases are caused by cold and flu viruses but it can also be a result of a bacterial infection, specifically by Streptococcus pyogenes [2].

It can also be an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, pet dander and pollution [3].

Apart from painful and scratchy throat, this condition also causes inflammation of the tonsil, hoarse voice, difficulty in swallowing, fever, cough and body aches [4].

For immediate relief, try these effective and safe remedies that you can make at home.

1. Lemon Juice

Over 700,000 tons of lemons are produced in a year, making it the “third most important citrus species” next to orange and mandarin [5].

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, lemon juice is one of the most popular beverages in the world.

It’s not only the delicious and refreshing taste that people love, but also its nutritional value.

As you probably know, a lemon is an excellent source of essential nutrients such as flavonoids and vitamin C [5].

This is why it’s a vital part of any healthy diet, preventing diseases like obesity, serious infectious diseases, and certain forms of cancer [5].

If lemon can resolve these major issues, then of course, it can help with minor ones.

Studies have shown that vitamin C in lemon juice can also help treat and prevent respiratory tract infections such as sore throat [6, 7, 8].

One of the ways it works is by preventing oral bacteria from adhering to the respiratory tract [9].

When oral bacteria are not able to attach themselves into the respiratory tract, they are flushed out more easily and they cannot cause any infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Stir lemon juice and honey in water.
  • Drink slowly.
  • Do this two to three times a day until throat pain subsides.

2. Salt Water

For many years, people have relied upon salt and water solution for sore throat relief.

The folkloric use of this remedy has actually been proven effective in scientific research.

Americans researchers recommend gargling with a solution of one-fourth teaspoon salt per eight ounce water [10].

It has long been established in scientific literature that salt has potent antibacterial mechanisms against microbes that infect the throat and respiratory tract [11].

A study posted in 1945 shows that salt has strong inhibitory effects on bacteria that commonly cause infections in the respiratory system [11].

Not to mention, this one is also the simplest of all the remedies that you can find here.

It only requires the use of salt and water. Who doesn’t have these things in their home?

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 8 ounces of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute salt in warm water.
  • Gargle solution for five to 10 minutes.
  • Don’t swallow.
  • Repeat four to five times a day for immediate relief.

3. Garlic

There’s no doubt that garlic is one of the strongest and most effective natural remedies readily available to treat a wide range of diseases.

A member of the Alliaceae plant family, this herb is known for its pungent aroma and unique flavor, which is why it’s a favorite in the kitchen [12].

Its use as a medicine dates back to the time of the Egyptian pyramids, curing diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, and many others even then [12].

Some even say that the laborers who constructed the pyramids relied heavily on garlic and other herbal remedies to cure themselves of diseases so that they would be able to finish the work.

For minor ailments like sore throat, garlic can provide immediate relief.

It has potent antibacterial effects that can help kill the source of infection, and in turn, alleviate the symptoms, as shown in various studies [13, 14, 15, 16].

Allicin is the main compound in freshly crush garlic that’s responsible for its antimicrobial activities [13].

It’s also very important to note that garlic works even on multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria [13].

This means that this should be your go-to solution if your sore throat keeps on coming back even after you’ve used antibiotics.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine honey and garlic.
  • Consume mixture once a day until sore throat disappears.

4. Cinnamon

The mere mention of the word “cinnamon” makes you want to think of all those delicious desserts and pastries.

Did you know that it can also actively defend the body against many types of illnesses, including respiratory tract infections?

A 2013 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal showed that cinnamon oil extract demonstrated strong antibacterial activities against Staphylococcus pyogenes, which is responsible for the “pathogenesis of tonsilitis” [17].

Cinnamon oil is in fact one of the essential oils with the highest bactericidal mechanisms, reports a 2008 study [18].

Even at low concentration, this oil can successfully disrupt the growth, formation and spread of various infection-causing bacteria, including those that cause soreness of the throat [18].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper powder
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix cinnamon and black pepper in a glass of water.
  • Strain the powder.
  • Gargle the solution three times a day.
  • Do this for up to one week.

5. Ginger

In 2002, scientists evaluated the antibacterial actions of ginger on microorganisms that cause infection in the respiratory tract [19].

They discover that it is highly effective in combating harmful pathogens such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae [19].

Ginger’s inhibitory effects on infection-causing microbes can be attributed to its active compound called gingerol [20].

That’s not all, ginger can also help tone down pain and inflammation associated with sore throat [21].

Apart from getting to the root of the problem, ginger also works to soothe the unpleasant symptoms that make you feel ill.

You don’t have to wait for its bactericidal actions to work, as it will immediately provide you with the comfort that you’re looking for.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Add ginger to water.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Strain the ginger.
  • Add honey.
  • Drink the ginger tea.
  • Do this twice a day for up to two weeks.

6. Echinacea

Another important remedy for sore throat that has been used since the early years is Echinacea.

It is in fact widely used in Europe and North America for treatment and prevention of various types of respiratory tract infections [22].

Many people have relied on this herbal remedy for cough and colds.

A clinical trial published in 2009 involved 154 patients with acute sore throat for no longer than 72 hours [23].

Some of the participants were made to use Echinacea and sage spray while others were required to use chlorhexidine/ lidocaine spray [23].

After using the treatment methods every two hours, 10 times a day for five days, the patients’ response rates were evaluated by the researchers [23].

Results show that Echinacea when combined with sage is even more effective than chlorhexidine and lidocaine in providing relief for sore throat symptoms, reducing them at a rate of 63.8 percent within three days [23].

One way it works is by stimulating the body’s immune system to give the body a much stronger shield against disease-causing pathogens [22].

Echinacea is also a practical solution if you want to reduce the discomfort caused by flu, sore throat and other problems in the respiratory tract [23].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried Echinacea
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sage
  • 1 cup of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put Echinacea and sage in a cup of hot water.
  • Let it steep for 15 minutes.
  • Drink the tea twice a day for one week.

7. Fenugreek

A plant that can be found in many parts of the world, fenugreek is highly prized for its ability to cure many diseases [24].

Research has pointed out many of its benefits for the health as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer, among others [25].

It is also a powerful antibacterial agent, as confirmed in various bodies of research [25, 26, 27, 28].

Fenugreek can ward off respiratory ailments such as sore throat by boosting the body’s immune resistance with its high antioxidant levels [29, 30].

It can help alleviate the symptoms of sore throat with its anti-inflammatory properties [31].

As you can see from these findings, fenugreek has a three-fold action against sore throat.

It kills the bacteria that causes the infection, improves the immune resistance, and tones down the swelling of the throat.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil fenugreek seeds in water for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let it cool.
  • Strain the seeds.
  • Gargle this solution two to three times a day until pain is gone.

8. Honey

Honey is another healthy sweetener everyone should use more often.

Apart from making dishes and desserts more palatable, it also works to improve health.

For those suffering from sore throat and other respiratory tract infections, honey works by destroying the root cause.

Various studies prove that honey has strong antibacterial activities against pathogens like Streptococcus pyogenes [32, 33, 34, 35].

Scientists from Algeria tested the effects of honey on Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus at various concentrations [32].

Its antibacterial activities were comparable to standard antibiotics such as like ampicillin, amoxicillin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamycin, penicillin G, and tobramycin [32].

And it not only inhibits their growth but also prevents them from adhering to the respiratory tract [33].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Consume honey every night before going to bed.
  • Follow this remedy for up to two weeks.

9. Slippery Elm

Native Americans were among the first to discover and use slippery elm for treating many ailments including sores, wounds, boils and many others [36].

But it was only much later that the scientists discover that slippery elm has immunity-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it an excellent remedy for sore throat, among other diseases [36].

In a 2004 clinical trial, researchers probed the efficacy of a traditional herbal tea that includes slippery elm as one of its main ingredients as treatment for acute pharyngitis [37].

A total of 60 patients were given either the herbal tea or a placebo four to six times a day for two to seven days [37].

It was found that the tea provides a “provided a rapid, temporary relief” for symptoms like throat pain and difficulty in swallowing [37].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of slippery elm inner bark
  • 2 cups of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put slippery elm in water.
  • Allow for it to steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain the bark.
  • Sip it slowly.
  • Follow this treatment once a day for one to two weeks.

10. Marshmallow Root

Since the ancient times, marshmallow root has been used for its broad spectrum of therapeutic effects [38].

It has been found to have “significant pharmacological activity” in cough, throat irritation and viral infections [38].

Its bactericidal powers work even more effectively than standard antibiotics, inhibiting the growth and spread of drug-resistant microbes that cause throat infection and other diseases [39].

Marshmallow root is a good remedy for sore throat, as it can stop the formation and spread of Streptococcus pyogenes, as reported in some studies [40, 41].

It also worked on other types of pathogenic bacteria that infected the respiratory tract [41].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of dried marshmallow root
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Let marshmallow root steep in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • Add honey.
  • Drink this tea three times a day until sore throat is cured.

Sore throat can make simple activities like talking and eating difficult.

To resolve this issue immediately, treat throat pain and inflammation with these proven techniques.

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