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9 Simple Ways to Cure Sore throat

9 Simple Ways to Cure Sore throat

Sore throat is a real sore! You can’t talk, you can’t swallow and you can’t sleep. The lump in your throat neither gets down nor comes up. The ache, the itchiness, the dryness, hoarseness and that scratchy feeling, you just can’t stand sore throat. You want to get fast relief from it and that too without antibiotics. You can, with the help of some simple home remedies from around the world!

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Sore Throat

1. Sweet Remedy with Licorice Root

Licorice root, the naturally sweet Egyptian herb, proves to be a great herbal remedy for sore throat. The natural chemicals within licorice roots are said to reduce swelling, help thinning mucous secretion, relieves off cough. It also heals body ulcers which is one of the reasons it is also used as a remedy for acid reflux that sometimes leads to sore throat. There are many ways you can use licorice for soothing sore throat.

  • Take some licorice root and boil it with water to make licorice tea. Strain and have it to soothe your sore throat.
  • Alternatively, you may use a pinch or two of licorice powder in any tea you like- herbal tea or your regular tea. Licorice powder is available readily in health stores.
  • You may also use licorice root powder with warm water to gargle with.

However, take note of the fact that using high amounts of licorice over prolonged periods can lead to high blood pressure. Use very little amount of licorice if you suffer from high blood pressure and also do not use it for more than a week. Heart patients and pregnant women as well as breast feeding mothers should avoid having licorice.

2. Slippery Elm for Soothing Relief from Sore Throat

Slippery elm is a tree, primarily found in North America. The inner bark of this tree is used since ages for getting relief from cough and sore throat. There is a gel like substance called mucilage in the inner bark of slippery elm which is said to reduce the irritation caused by sore throat. While you can easily get herbal lozenges having slippery elm as the main component, it is more beneficial to have tea prepared with it.

  • Boil a cup of water.
  • Add about a teaspoon of slippery elm herb and let it boil for some more time.
  • Put off the flame and let it steep for a couple of minutes.
  • Strain and have it warm to soothe your sore throat.

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, avoid using slippery elm.

3. Marshmallow Root- Another Herbal remedy for Sore Throat

If your throat is badly swollen and you can not swallow anything, you might like to have some Marshmallow tea to soothe your throat. Marshmallow root is the herb found in North America and Europe and is used as a traditional sore throat remedy since ages. Just like slippery elm, this herb too contains mucilage which soothes the mucous in your throat. To make marshmallow root tea,

  • Boil a cup of water.
  • Add one tablespoon of dried marshmallow root.
  • Let it steep covered, at least for half an hour.
  • Strain and have it.

Three to four cups of marshmallow tea can treat your sore throat fast. However, if you are a diabetic, you must consult your physician before using marshmallow root as it lowers the sugar level in blood, more so when you are having diabetes medicines. Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid marshmallow root too.

4. Honeysuckle Flower- Chinese Remedy for Sore Throat

The traditional Chinese medicine recommends honeysuckle flower tea for soothing sore throat. It mainly works by decreasing inflammation. It is a sweet herb that gives you a tasty tea. You will need honeysuckle flowers for making this tea. Do not use its leaves, just use flowers.

  • Take one liter of water and boil it.
  • Add a cup full of honeysuckle flowers.
  • Cover the pan and steep for at least ten minutes.
  • Strain and have it.

Have this honeysuckle tea at least four times a day to treat sore throat. If you have a scheduled surgery, you should stop having honeysuckle at least two weeks before the surgery date because it is said to slow down blood clotting which might increase the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.

5. Basil, Ginger, Peppercorn Tea – Asian Remedy for Sore Throat

After American, European and Chinese remedies, we should at least have one Asian remedy too for sore throat! Asians, especially Indians, use fresh Basil leaves, called Tulsi leaves along with ginger and peppercorns to treat sore throat in no time. They do it by making tea with dried tea leaves. You can, however, omit the tea leaves if you wish to and boil the other ingredients in water to have the essential concoction for sore throat.

To make this herbal tea for sore throat, you need

  • Water- 2 cups
  • Basil leaves- 4-5 leaves
  • Fresh ginger root- 1 inch piece
  • Peppercorns- 4-5

Directions for making herbal tea

  • Boil the water in a pan
  • Crush basil leaves, ginger root and peppercorns using mortar and pestle. If you do not have mortar and pestle, you can use any other heavy kitchen tool to crush them.
  • Put the crushed ingredients into boiling water.
  • Let them boil all together for the time till the water reduces to half of its quantity.
  • Strain the water in a cup and drink it right away.

Have this tea for three to four times a day to cure your sore throat.

6. Have Lemon, Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne, and Honey Tea

This is the traditional way of treating sore throat.

To make this tea, you will need:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar- 1 tsp
  • Cayenne Pepper- A pinch of it
  • Lime juice extracted from ¼ of a lemon
  • Honey- 1 tsp
  • Hot water- 1 cup

Take the hot water and add all the above ingredients in it. Stir it properly to nix them all and have it three to four times a day.


remedies for Sore throat

( Photo Courtesy: badlyricpolice)

7. Make Cinnamon Honey Milk or Tea

Cinnamon is a great spice and equally great herb to treat sore throat. As soon as you realize that you are going to have a sore throat (that typical itchy throat or sniffles tell you that), you should immediately have cinnamon mil or tea. It prevents the illness before it spreads due to its anti bacterial and warming properties. Chinese traditional medicine has long used Cinnamon for treating phlegm coughs.

To make Cinnamon milk, you will need

  • Milk- 1 cup
  • Ground Cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon- ½ tsp
  • Baking soda- a pinch of it
  • Sugar (optional) – 1 tbsp
  • Honey- 1 tsp

Directions for making Cinnamon Milk

  • Take a pan and put cinnamon, sugar (if using) and baking soda in it.
  • Mix well all the ingredients.
  • Add milk to all these ingredients and mix well again.
  • Heat the milk mixture until it’s warm. Do not boil it.
  • Once milk is just warm, put off the flame and add honey to it.
  • Mix well and have it.

Having this cinnamon milk just before going to bed will benefit your sore throat the most. If you are lactose intolerant and cannot have milk, you may use alternate milk such as almond milk. If, however, you just don’t want to have milk, you can even prepare cinnamon tea.

For Cinnamon tea, you will need

  • Ground Cinnamon- ½ tsp
  • Ground Ginger- ½ tsp
  • Cayenne pepper- ¼ tsp
  • Honey- 1 tbsp
  • Hot Water- 1 cup

Mix all the ingredients in a cup and pour the hot water over them. Drink it right away to soothe your sore throat. Like cinnamon milk, this tea is also best when taken at bedtime.

8. Gargle with Salt Water Helps

Gargling with warm water having salt in it, is perhaps, the most ancient method of checking sore throat. Gargle with salty warm water creates an inhospitable environment inside your throat that is not liked by the bacteria causing sore throat. High concentration of salt draws out the excess fluid, also called edema, out of the throat reducing inflammation which grants you relief from ache. This also leads to a dehydrated throat. Bacteria do not like dehydrated environment and thus cannot thrive. Therefore, salt water gargle does help in containing the growth of bacteria and stops your sore throat from becoming worse. Remember to gargle 4-8 times a day depending upon the severity of the soreness of your throat. Also do not gargle just after meals, you may end up with a vomit. Gargle before you have your meals or when your stomach is empty.

9. Honey- Simplest Home Remedy for Sore Throat

You can cure your sore throat just by having honey without needing anything else with it! And that’s why this is the simplest of all the home remedies for sore throat. You can, however, have honey mixed with lemon in hot water or add honey to any tea you take for treating sore throat, it is always beneficial. If you take 2 tablespoons of honey twice a day, you can destroy up to 100 percent of sore throat causing germs within 48 hours. Isn’t that amazing!

Apart from all these home remedies, one more thing is crucial to cure sore throat- ample rest. When you let your body and swollen painful throat take plenty of rest, you allow it to heal faster.


About Sara

Sara is a Boston-based registered dietitian who works with clients to improve their health by optimizing nutrition. You can find her running, sweating in hot yoga, cooking in the kitchen, dining out, or exploring. Eating Food-Mostly Plants, and improving our relationship with food, is the secret to lifelong health in her eyes.

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