Chances are unless you’re some sort of superhuman, you’ve had a sore throat. Sometimes a sore throat can lead to something worse like a cold or the flu, but most of the time they’re just annoying and painful.
It’s easy to turn to sugary lozenges and antibiotics to get rid of it, but there are plenty of natural remedies that can be just as effective.
What Is a Sore Throat
Pharyngitis, or a sore throat as it’s more commonly known, is essentially a pain or irritation in the throat. It can cause scratchiness and difficulty swallowing for the most part. Often the first sign of a cold, the biggest difference is that a sore throat typically only last for 2-3 days at the most.
The most common cause of them is viruses and bacterial infections. Viruses like measles, adenovirus (cold), chickenpox, croup or a whooping cough can aggravate it. Infections such as strep throat are the most common, while rarer cases may be gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Corynebacterium. Sometimes the reason can be as simple as smoking (second or first-hand), pollution/irritants in the air, allergies and dry air. Despite just how easy it might be to get one, it’s also just as easy to help prevent or even cure it.
Typically the best course of action is lots of fluids to keep yourself hydrated, and even some soup just like your mom always said. As long as you try not to aggravate it anymore, then it should subside unless it’s the start of something more.
6 Natural Cures for Sore Throat
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here. We also do not recommend the ingestion of essential oils except while under the care and direction of a qualified health practitioner.
Often referred to as ‘bee glue,’ it’s a red or brown resin that’s made by honeybees from tree buds and beeswax. They use it to fill crevices and seal honeycombs as it becomes hard and brittle after it dries. Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties make it great for sore throats. It’s also been found to help the immune system, and reduce swelling and pain.[4,5]
How to Use
- Create a mixture of ½ glass (200ml) of warm water and 40 drops of tincture.
- Drink twice daily.
- Propolis also comes in a throat spray that can be used directly.
2. Saltwater Gargle
Exactly what your mother, her mother, her mother before her and so on have been using for years. And for a good reason, because it works! Salt water is a great disinfectant that reduces swelling and removes bacteria from the tissue walls of the throat.[6,7]
How to Use
- Mix 1 teaspoon (5g) of salt into 8 fl oz (240ml) of warm water.
- Gargle for 30 seconds and spit at least once each hour.
- Don’t swallow the mix!
A flower found only in central and eastern North America. The leaves, flower, and root are all used in herbal medicine for its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and wound healing benefits. It’s been found to have a high amount of alkamides which boost the immune system and increase white blood cell production to fight infection.[8,9,10,11]
How to Use
- Make echinacea tea by using one to 2 teaspoons of leaves and petals per one cup of water.
- Steep in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, strain and consume.
4. Zinc Lozenges
Zinc is a mineral found in almost every cell that helps the body resist infection. While some studies have shown zinc lozenges can shorten your sickness by as much as 58%, some have shown no effects. Also taking zinc for longer than 5 days can have side effects like irritated mouth, metallic taste, and upset stomach. It’s up to you if the benefits outweigh the risks.[12,13]
How to Use
- It’s recommended to take no more than 5 lozenges per day for a maximum of 5 days.
- If a sore throat persists, contact your doctor.
5. Oregano Oil
Oregano is an aromatic plant that is often used as a culinary herb for its flavorful leaves. The oil has been used in natural medicine for decades because of its antifungal and antiviral properties.[14,15,16,17]
How to Use
- Mix a glass of water or juice with 3 drops of oregano oil once per day for relief in a few hours.
- This can be repeated for up to 5 days.
Sugary lozenges and antibiotics may seem like the easy choice, but they shouldn’t be your first one. There’s always an alternative way to dealing with problems like a sore throat, and the natural solution can work just as well. So give it a try and see for yourself!
6. Black Cumin Seeds
- 80g of Black or cumin seeds
- 250ml filtered water
- 1 Tbsp Cognac or whiskey
How to Use
Pour 200ml water over the cumin seeds, and boil for 15 minutes. In the 15 minutes, your mixture should turn thick and black, very textured kind of like wet coffee grounds. Strain the mixture and add the remaining 50 ml of water, and bring back to a rolling boil. Add the 1 Tbsp of liquor.
Take 1 Tbsp every 30 minutes, after two hours you should begin to feel relief.