This article is shared with permission from our friends at newhealthadvisor.com.
Sore throats, known medically as pharyngitis, are highly common and will likely be experienced by most people at some point in their life. The most common causes of a sore throat are bacterial or viral infections, overusing the throat, allergies, environmental influences, and/or tonsillitis. For many years, honey has been used to soothe the condition and offer relief, but what evidence is there to suggest that honey for sore throat works? Continue reading to find out.
Does Honey for Sore Throat Work?
Honey is believed to be a natural remedy to help with sore throats, and many people choose to consume it with hot tea to speed up recovery. This natural remedy, as mentioned above, has been used for many years in a treatment of this ailment, and with good reason too.
Honey works in numerous ways to help combat a sore throat:
- Honey has anti-inflammatory properties that work to lessen inflammation and swelling, whilst soothing any irritation within the internal glands, mucus membranes, and skin.
- Honey contains an enzyme known as ‘glucose-oxidase’, which works to fight against infections.
- Honey has great antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which help to fight against and eradicate bacterial and viral infections.
- Finally, honey works as a hypertonic osmotic, meaning it helps to drain water from the affected and inflamed tissue, reducing swelling and pain.
What About Coughs, Does Honey Work for That Too?
As previously stated, many people infuse honey with hot tea and consume the beverage to gain relief from a sore throat, but can the use of honey also benefit coughs? One study focussed on a group of children of two years of age and older that had infections in their upper respiratory tract. The children were given around two teaspoons of honey before they went to sleep, and the results showed a decrease in the amount that they coughed throughout the night, leading to a better sleep.
Honey yielded similar results to over-the-counter cough medicine, meaning it’s worth a try if you’re a suffering from a nagging cough. It is important to remember that children under one may suffer a reaction to honey, so they should not be given it.
How to Take Honey for a Sore Throat
There are numerous ways one can consume honey for its medicinal properties, and there are numerous other natural ingredients that can be infused with honey to provide an even bigger beneficial impact. Below are some suggestions on how to take honey for a sore throat:
1. Just Honey
- Add two tablespoons of fresh honey into a warm cup of tea and mix until infused.
- Consume this beverage several times throughout the day to obtain sore throat relief.
- You can also drink herbal tea with honey to get relief.
2. Honey and (Non-Dairy) Milk
- Heat some milk until warm (milk has soothing and relaxing properties, and also works to provide moisture to the throat).
- Add about a tablespoon of honey to the heated milk, and mix well until infused (the fact that the milk is warm will help with dissolving the honey).
- Drink this beverage several times throughout the day to get relief from a sore throat.
3. Honey and Lemon
Lemon is an astringent, meaning it helps to shrink tissue within the body, helpful for an inflamed and swollen throat.
- Add honey and lemon to a mug of herbal tea (the tea containing ‘tannins’, which are like lemons, in that they are also astringents).
- Lemon juice also works well; a good beverage to help with sore throats is lemon juice (freshly squeezed), a teaspoon of honey, and some cayenne pepper (just a pinch).
4. Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
- Mix a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in warm water to make the liquid.
- Drink the beverage whilst it is still warm.
As opposed to drinking this beverage, add a pinch of salt to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and mix well in warm water to create a liquid to gargle.
Do this at least two times a day to help with a sore throat.
Another variation includes cayenne pepper and lemon (via The Complete Herbal Guide):
- 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
- Juice from 1/4 lemon
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- Cayenne pepper to taste
Mix the ingredients into a cup of warm water and drink slowly. One cup is rarely enough for all day relief, but four may do the trick. This drink may also help reduce coughing.
More Remedies for Sore Throat
Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon into warm water with a teaspoon of black pepper (powdered), and some cardamom if you so wish. Strain the liquid and use it to gargle around three times a day.
A second option is to mix a teaspoon of honey with a few droplets of cinnamon oil and eat the mixture (up to twice a day) to obtain sore throat relief.
2. Salt Water
This method is an effective and easily utilizable treatment for sore throat ailments. Salt has antiseptic properties, and works to reduce phlegm and inflammation, and offer instantaneous relief:
Mix some salt, around half of a teaspoon, into warm water and gargle the mixture (do not swallow) up to four times a day. Adding honey will not only provide extra healing benefits, it will also nullify the intense taste of salt.
3. Sage and Water
Sage has healing properties in that it helps to reduce pain and swelling, associated with a sore throat. Mix sage (about a teaspoon) with some vinegar, a ¼ cup of brown sugar, and half a teaspoon of alum into about 1/8 cup of water, drink it to treat your sore throat.
There is evidence to suggest that turmeric is beneficial in fighting numerous infections and diseases due to its antioxidant properties and it can be helpful in combatting a sore throat. Gargle hot water infused with half a teaspoon of turmeric, as well as half a teaspoon of salt to get relief.
5. Tomato Juice
Tomatoes contain lycopene, whose antioxidant properties can help to cure a sore throat. Mix half a cup of tomato juice with a half cup of warm water, as well as around ten droplets of hot pepper sauce, and gargle for relief.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is believed to help fight against infections, naturally. When you brew some green tea, use some to gargle to acquire sore throat relief.
7. Raspberry Tea
Raspberry tea is a traditional and natural home remedy that is thought to be beneficial in treating numerous conditions, from sore throats to wounds.
- Obtain some raspberry tea leaves (around two teaspoons), and soak them in boiling water.
- Leave for ten minutes, then strain the fluid and allow time to cool.
- Gargle the liquid whilst it is still warm.
8. Ginger Tea
Another tea option is to combine ginger tea with cinnamon and lemon.
- 1 teaspoon of grated ginger
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup of water
Combine ingredients in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour three tablespoons of mixture into a cup of warm water and drink. Save the rest for additional cups of tea later in the day. Alternatively, you could mix ginger tea with lemon and pepper. Steep one bag of ginger tea in a cup of hot water. Add lemon juice and black pepper powder to taste. This remedy not only helps relieve throat pain, but it can also clear blockages.