11 Remedies to Speed Up the Relief an Irritated Throat

A scratchy throat can be caused by allergies or respiratory diseases. While it's important to determine its cause, some natural remedies can help soothe it fast.
11 Remedies to Speed Up the Relief an Irritated Throat

Last update: 30 May, 2022

The sensation of having an irritated throat is uncomfortable and can make common actions such as eating difficult. Although it’s usually a mild and sporadic symptom, taking immediate attention is decisive to prevent complications. So, how can you relieve a sore throat with natural remedies?

The properties of some ingredients help soften the tissues in this area to reduce burning and itching. In fact, some have antibacterial and antiviral properties that help treat their triggers more directly.

Why does a throat become irritated?

In the majority of cases, allergens or the flu and colds are the main causes of a scratchy throat. According to this Mayo Clinic report, constant exposure to allergens or pathogens triggers an immune response that makes you perceive this discomfort accompanied by burning and discomfort.

The most common triggers include:

  • Animal dander
  • Dust
  • Foods such as peanut butter, dairy products, or strawberries
  • Pollen
  • Cleaning chemical particles
  • Cosmetics and perfumes
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Pesticides
  • Viruses and bacteria (such as those that cause a common cold or strep throat)

Remedies to Soothe an Irritated Throat

Treatment for a scratchy throat can vary depending on its cause. Because of this, if it’s caused by a viral or bacterial infection, it’s best to consult a doctor. However, regardless of the type of trigger, some natural remedies can help.

They can soften tissue and reduce the presence of allergens and harmful microorganisms. In addition, they boost your immune system and generate a greater sense of relief.

Consult your doctor before taking them if you’re taking pharmacological treatment. In addition, the use of medicinal plants is not recommended during pregnancy, lactation, or in young children. When in doubt, it’s always best to ask a specialist.

1. Bee honey

Honey for an irritated throat
Honey strengthens the defenses and produces immediate relief for an irritated throat and a cough.

One of the best natural remedies to soothe a scratchy throat. Due to its moisturizing and restorative properties, it relieves burning in this area. It even helps relieve coughing, according to this study from the BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver (Canada).

How to use it?

  • The first option is to consume a teaspoon of honey every three hours.
  • Another way to reap its benefits is by adding it to hot water or a cup of tea.
  • It can also be combined with crushed garlic to enhance its effect.

2. Gargling with saltwater

A traditional remedy for a scratchy throat is gargling with salt water. Thanks to its antibacterial effect, salt water helps fight bacteria in the throat. It also relieves pain and excessive secretions caused by certain infections. That’s why they recommend it at the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement.

How to use it?

  • First, mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
  • Gargle with this mixture for two to three minutes.
  • Repeat the treatment every three hours until you feel an improvement.

3. Chamomile infusion

Chamomile tea.

Chamomile tea is a natural painkiller that can help treat various ailments. In fact, it’s been used since ancient times as a medicinal supplement. This plant contains anti-inflammatory properties to relieve a scratchy throat caused by colds and the flu.

In addition, some reviews have suggested that inhaling chamomile essential oils helps relieve cold symptoms, including sore throats, according to this study from Case Western University. In addition, this same goodness can be used when ingested as tea.

How to use it?

  • The first thing you have to do is pour a tablespoon of chamomile flowers in a cup of hot water.
  • When the tea is warm, strain and drink.
  • Repeat the treatment until you feel better. You can drink this tea two to three times a day.

4. Licorice root

Licorice root is a natural remedy to soothe a scratchy throat. Although this plant has other applications, it’s commonly used to reduce irritation and burning. Some studies have even shown that it’s effective when combined with water to create a gargling remedy.

How to use it?

  • Pour a teaspoon of licorice root into half a cup of boiling water.
  • When it’s cooled a bit, strain it.
  • Finally, gargle with it for two to three minutes
  • Repeat until you feel relief.

5. Mint

Mint has effective properties against colds and the flu and also promotes mucus clearance.

Both mint tea and oil may help soothe a scratchy throat. This ingredient has an active compound called menthol, which helps soothe irritation in the lining of the throat. In addition, it dilutes mucus and soothes the discomfort.

According to this study from the Jilin Agricultural Science and Technology College, mint also has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that support the treatment of infections. It’s a good supplement for colds, the flu, and allergy symptoms.

How to use it?

  • The first option is to add a handful of mint leaves to a cup of boiling water.
  • Let the infusion stand, strain, and drink it warm.
  • If you want, combine mint essential oil with olive or coconut oil. Massage this mixture onto your neck and chest. Avoid ingesting essential oils.

6. More plants to speed up the relief of an irriated throat: Marshmallow

Marshmallow is a plant that contains mucilage among its main components. These plants have the ability to soften, soften and deflate the mucous membranes, so they have a soothing effect on the throat.

How to use it?

  • Heat a cup of water and a tablespoon of marshmallow root. Let it boil for 2 minutes and turn off the heat.
  • After letting it cool for about 3 more minutes, strain and drink at a lukewarm temperature.

7. Propolis

Propolis or propolis is a resin that bees produce to keep the hive isolated and protected. It contains a large number of active compounds and has been used since ancient times, especially for its antiseptic properties.

It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, and the most common way to use it is as a tincture. Today, it’s also possible to find special pills and sprays to soften and soothe many oral problems that affect the mouth and throat.

In a study published in the International Journal of General Medicine, additional propolis therapy was applied to children with non-strep throat. The results were a reduction in the duration of symptoms and a lower rate of progression to more serious problems such as bronchitis or rhinosinusitis.

8. Sage and Echinacea Spray

Using a spray that combines these two plants is just as effective at treating a sore throat as over-the-counter sprays. If desired, it’s also possible to take the plants in the form of an infusion.

9. Hydration to soothe a sore throat

Liquids keep the throat hydrated, which favors the recovery of the mucous membranes and relieves itching. You can try it with any of the mentioned infusions, but also with broths or warm water with honey. Likewise, ice cream popsicles at cold temperatures can also help improve pain.

10. Use an air humidifier

Dry air can make sore throat symptoms worse. For this reason, it can be a good solution to use a device to humidify the environment. If none is available, it’s also possible to breathe for a while the steam that emanates from the hot water of the shower.

11. Apply heat

Keeping your throat warm is another positive measure to help relieve pain and itching. For this purpose, you can use warm cloths, a heating pad, or any warm clothing.

Try these sore throat remedies

Do you feel discomfort in your throat? Try these remedies and say goodbye to that uncomfortable irritation. Remember that medicinal plants may have contraindications and interactions with medications. Consult a specialist before taking them, and don’t use them instead of medical treatment (if prescribed).

Of course, don’t forget to consult the doctor if the symptom persists for more than a week or is very recurrent. Also, if it presents with acute pain, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, blood in the phlegm, or a fever.

Also keep in mind that to recover from any ailment, it’s important to rest, hydrate well and maintain a healthy diet.

  • Agarwal, A., Gupta, D., Yadav, G., Goyal, P., Singh, P. K., & Singh, U. (2009). An evaluation of the efficacy of licorice gargle for attenuating postoperative sore throat: A prospective, randomized, single-blind study. Anesthesia and Analgesia. https://doi.org/10.1213/ane.0b013e3181a6ad47.
  • European Medicines Agency. Marshmallow root. Noviembre 2016.
  • Frye R, Bailey J, et al. Which treatments provide the most relief for pharyngitis pain? The Journal of Family Practice. Mayo 2011. 60 (5).
  • Goldman R. Honey for treatment of cough in children. Official Publication of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Diciembre 2014. 60 (12): 1107-1110.
  • Jull, A. B., Cullum, N., Dumville, J. C., Westby, M. J., Deshpande, S., & Walker, N. (2015). Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD005083.pub4.
  • Jung, T. H., Rho, J. H., Hwang, J. H., Lee, J. H., Cha, S. C., & Woo, S. C. The effect of the humidifier on sore throat and cough after thyroidectomy. Korean Journal of Anesthesiology. 2011; 61(6): 470-474.
  • Kligler, B., & Chaudhary, S. (2007). Peppermint oil. American Family Physician.
  • Kwakman, P. H. S., & Zaat, S. A. J. (2012). Antibacterial components of honey. IUBMB Life. https://doi.org/10.1002/iub.578.
  • Mathieu, S. S., Bresnan, K., Garufi, L. C., & Hansen, S. E. Does garlic use prevent and treat viral upper respiratory infections in adults?. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(9): 58-59.
  • Mieres-Castro, D., Ahmar, S., Shabbir, R., & Mora-Poblete, F. Antiviral activities of eucalyptus essential oils: Their effectiveness as therapeutic targets against human viruses. Pharmaceuticals. 2021; 14(12): 1210.
  • McKay, D. L., & Blumberg, J. B. (2006). A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita L.). Phytotherapy Research. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.1900.
  • Pierro F, Zanvit A, et al. Role of a proprietary propolis-based product on the wait-and-see approach in acute otitis media and in preventing evolution to tracheitis, bronchitis, or rhinosinusitis from non streptococcal pharyngitis. International Journal of General Medicine. Noviembre 2016. 9: 409-414.
  • Pushpangadan, P., & Tewari, S. K. (2006). Peppermint. In Handbook of Herbs and Spices. https://doi.org/10.1533/9781845691717.3.460.
  • Schapowal A, Berger D, et al. Echinacea/sage or chlorhexidine/lidocaine for treating acute sore throats: a randomized double-blind trial. European Journal of Medical Research. Septiembre 2009. 14: 406.
  • Singh, R., Shushni, M. A. M., & Belkheir, A. (2015). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arabjc.2011.01.019
  • 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
  • Wani, S. A., & Kumar, P. Fenugreek: A review on its nutraceutical properties and utilization in various food products. Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences. 2018; 17(2): 97-106.
  • Weckmann G, Hauptmann-Voß A, Baumeister SE, Klötzer C, Chenot JF. Efficacy of AMC/DCBA lozenges for sore throat: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Clin Pract. 2017 Oct;71(10).

The contents of this publication are for informational purposes only. At no time can they serve to facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult with your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.