7 Remedies for a Sore Throat

Getting enough rest and staying hydrated can help you recover from a sore throat caused by the flu or other illness.
7 Remedies for a Sore Throat

Last update: 15 November, 2019

A sore throat is a very common ailment. You can treat it with over-the-counter medication and one of the many home remedies out there to speed recovery.

Home remedies should be used as a complement to whatever treatment your doctor recommends after examining you. You can also use them to avoid over-medicating throughout the day while still alleviating your symptoms.

In addition to a painful throat, you’ll probably experience other symptoms like general discomfort, scratchiness, and increased pain when swallowing.

Homemade Remedies for Sore Throat Pain

1. Gargle with salt water

This is one of the simplest ways to alleviate the pain of a sore throat. Salt helps to eliminate the bacteria, alleviate the pain and prevent infections in the respiratory tract, according to a study published in the Chilean Magazine of Infectious Diseases.


•  1 cup of warm water (8 oz.)

•   1 t. of salt


•  Mix both ingredients well and allow the salt to dissolve before gargling.

•  Do this 2 or 3 times per day.

2. Lozenges

There are many cough drops or lozenges you can buy over-the-counter that don’t contain pain-relievers and can alleviate your sore throat and stimulate saliva production.

Most of them combine ingredients like honey, which is anti-inflammatory and healing, with herbs like mint, methol, or eucalyptus.

3. Camomile Tea

According to a study from the Medical University of Camaguey, chamomile has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.

It’s always preferable to drink a recently-brewed cup of tea, but you will still get some of the benefits if you drink it later.

Another option is to make a chamomile compress. Prepare a cup of camomile tea. When it is still warm, but not hot, wet a small towel and apply it as a compress to the neck.  Let it sit until the compress is cold. You can repeat this as many times as you feel necessary to feel the effects.

4. Warm Compress on the Throat

Since a sore throat often includes inflammation in the area, applying a warm compress can give you some relief. That’s why grandma always tells you to put a scarf or handkerchief on the throat if you’re sick.

Heat does, in fact, dilate the blood vessels (vasodilation). Vasodilation, in turn, relaxes your muscles, which can lead to pain relief.

5. Ginger Tea

Ginger root is another natural ingredient that can provide relief from a sore throat. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties that can inhibit the growth of fungus, bacteria and other microorganisms that contribute to sore throat pain.

There are several home remedies that contain ginger, but ginger tea is the easiest to prepare. You can drink it up to three times a day if your throat is really bothering you.


•  1 T. of ground ginger or 2 T. of grated fresh ginger root.

•  1 C. of boiling water


  • If using fresh ginger, peel and grate it.
  • Add the fresh or ground ginger to the hot water and let it steep for 5 minutes.
  • Drink the tea warm. You can add lemon if you’d like.

6. Honey with Lemon

Honey is rich in vitamins and trace elements. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and energizing properties. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and, according to some studies, also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. The combination of the two ingredients will provide some relief from your sore throat.


  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 T. of honey
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


•  Boil the water and add the honey. Once the water has cooled a little, add the lemon juice. That way, it won’t lose its healing properties.

•  Mix well and drink.

7. Cloves

Cloves contain a substance called eugenol, which has anesthetic, antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. These can all help fight the root cause of the infection and relieve your sore throat.


•  Put 1 or 2 cloves in your mouth and leave them there for a few moments. After that, chew them and swallow them if you want.

Other Recommendations

Remember, natural remedies should be used as a complement to other treatments. Used alone, they are not a cure for sore throat. Instead, you should try them along with your doctor-prescribed treatment.
We also recommend trying only one remedy at a time. Using multiple home remedies at the same time can be counterproductive.
Finally, if the sore throat persists, accompanied by a fever, inflammation of the lymph glands, or a skin rash, consult a doctor.

  • Pelucchi, C., Grigoryan, L., Galeone, C., Esposito, S., Huovinen, P., Little, P., & Verheij, T. (2012). Guideline for management of acute sore throat. Clinical Microbiology and Infection. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-0691.2012.03766.x
  • Srivastava, J. K., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with a bright future (review). Molecular Medicine Reports. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2010.377
  • Chan, E. W. C., Lim, Y. Y., Wong, S. K., Lim, K. K., Tan, S. P., Lianto, F. S., & Yong, M. Y. (2009). Effects of different drying methods on the antioxidant properties of leaves and tea of ginger species. Food Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2008.07.090