Before beginning any home remedy for sore throats, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s nothing serious.
If you have symptoms of strep throat (such as fever, malaise, headache, or stomach pain), or if your sore throat is very severe and/or accompanied by other symptoms, you will need to see a doctor.
But for sore throats that accompany a cold or that are fairly mild, there are many home remedies that can help ease the pain and speed healing.
Here are some sore throat remedies you can try:
Raw Honey for Sore Throat
Raw honey is an old treatment for a sore throat, and for good reason. It is reputed to have many anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and its thick consistency helps coat the throat.
It’s important to use raw honey and not the mass-produced commercial honey that is heated to a high temperature, filtered, and possibly stretched with corn syrup. Simply take a spoonful of raw honey when you need relief during the day, and before bed.
Echinacea Tincture for Sore Throat
One of the best remedies for a sore throat is tincture of echinacea. It also has a numbing effect on the tissue it touches, so it provides almost immediate relief in addition to bringing its germ-fighting capabilities to the sore area. You can add the tincture to warm water to make a tea and/or gargle, or squirt a dropperful directly into your mouth and throat.
Ginger Tea for Sore Throat
Do you have some ginger root in your refrigerator or dried in your pantry? Ginger is said to make an effective anti-inflammatory tea. Grate up about a teaspoon per cup, steep, and sweeten with some raw honey. You can drink this all day.
Hot Peppers for Sore Throat
It may seem contradictory, but hot and spicy peppers are reputed to help a sore throat. Try simmering some chicken stock with minced raw garlic and then add some red pepper. Sip several times a day.
Using a Humidifier to Help a Sore Throat
Try running a humidifier in your room at night. Sore throats can be greatly aggravated by night-time dryness.
Apple Cider Vinegar for a Sore Throat
While it stings when you use it, many swear by the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar. You can dilute it with warm water to use as a gargle that you can then swallow. You can make apple cider vinegar more palatable by mixing it with raw honey, water, and dried ginger and drinking this mixture hot or cold.
Licorice for Sore Throat
Not the candy – true licorice is what you need to help soothe a sore throat. Licorice root may be sold in bulk at your local health food store, or you may be able to find a commercial blend of licorice tea. It has a natural sweetness and throat-coating, anti-inflammatory properties.
Slippery Elm for Sore Throat
This herb has a history of soothing sore throats and coating mucous membranes to promote healing. You can make your own lozenges by mixing enough strong licorice tea with powdered slippery elm bark to make a dough. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick, cut it into small disks (try using the cap of a small bottle), and leave out on a paper plate until dry. Store them in a tin and suck on them as needed.
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