5 Natural Remedies for Sore Throats

November 7, 2019

Between cold and flu season and the naturally brisk air most of the country is now experiencing, you may soon find yourself searching for ways to soothe a sore, scratchy throat. Whether it’s spurred by an airborne viral illness or just a lingering post-nasal drip, the undeniable truth is that sore throats are all too common in the Fall and Winter seasons. The good news? There are many natural remedies for sore throats that can help you find relief and feel better fast!


5 Natural Remedies for Sore Throats

Here are some of my top natural remedies for sore throats that I use at home and recommend to my patients.

1. Honey and Lemon

Between its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties, honey packs a powerful punch when used as an at-home therapeutic agent for sore throats. And it’s especially useful if you have an accompanying cough.

In fact, multiple studies have shown that pure honey can help to calm nighttime coughs in both adults and children. In fact, one study conducted on over 100 children aged 2 to 18 with upper respiratory infections found that using honey was superior to no treatment. Honey was also found to be as effective as dextromethorphan (a common cough suppressant ingredient) in reducing nighttime coughs. Furthermore, parents consistently rated honey most favorably for both cough relief and improved sleep in their children. [1]

While honey is a powerhouse against sore throats by itself, when you combine it with organic lemon, you’ll really begin to see results. Not only do lemons contain tons of vitamin C, but they are also loaded with antioxidants that can help boost your immune system. As a bonus, the acid in lemon juice can stimulate your gallbladder to release enzymes, which can improve your digestion and lower your mucus production as a result! [2]

To help soothe a sore throat, try drinking a warm cup of water mixed with a tablespoon or two of 100% pure local honey and freshly squeezed organic lemon juice (or a couple of drops of lemon essential oil). Also, you may want to consider trying mauka honey, which contains more antimicrobial properties than standard honey.

2. Oil of Oregano

Thanks to its strong antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties, oil of oregano is a great supplement to take when you’re experiencing a sore throat due to an upper respiratory infection.

In fact, a small trial published in 2011 showed that people suffering from upper respiratory infections who used a throat spray containing oregano oil along with other essential oils, experienced less severe symptoms within 20 minutes of using the throat spray than those who didn’t use the spray. [3] It’s also been shown to have pain-relieving effects in some animal studies. [4]

Oil of oregano is available in capsule form. Adults can try taking 2-3 capsules each day between meals for up to two weeks. Remember that if your symptoms linger beyond that, or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your physician. Another alternative is to add a few drops of oregano essential oil to a hot bowl of water or a diffuser and breathe it in.

3. Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathy is system of treatment based on the idea that, given the right natural substances, your body can heal itself. Those who practice it typically use plant-based substances or minerals to promote self-healing.

When it comes to natural remedies for sore throats, two of my top homeopathic choices are phosphorus and mercurius. Phosphorus is usually a greatremedy when you experience hoarseness and an itchy cough that hurts your throat. [5] It’s also often used for a cold that travels quickly to your chest or for laryngitis. Mercurius is best for throat pain that’s accompanied by fever, weakness, red spots on your tonsils, pus, and bad breath. [6]

Both phosphorus and mercurius are readily available at local health food and supplement stores. Note that they come in pellet form (not tablets) and are typically in a small cylinder tube—similar to the shape of a lip balm tube. You should follow the dosage instructions on the label, but make sure to consult your physician beforehand to discuss your individual case.

4. Water

Believe it or not, simply staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water will go a long way in relieving your symptoms, making this one of my top natural remedies for sore throats. Drinking lots of water will help to keep your throat moist and your mucus thin. And plenty of research backs up this claim.

A study showed that people who drink eight glasses or more of water each day are significantly less likely to experience a stuffy nose or sore throat than those who drink only three. [7]

If you’re suffering from a sore throat, try to drink an additional 32-64 ounces of water each day (on top of what you’re already drinking).

5. Tea

Herbal tea has long been hailed as one of the top natural remedies for sore throats, and with good reason. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers found that drinking herbal tea provided rapid, temporary relief of sore throat pain. [8] Another study found that patients who gargled with green tea post-surgery experienced significantly less throat pain due to placement of an endotracheal tube during surgery. [9]

If you’re experiencing a sore throat, sipping warm tea throughout the day may help to provide some relief. Personally, I like to add honey and lemon juice to my tea for maximum benefit.

Natural remedies for sore throats - Dr. Pingel


Key Takeaways

  • Even though sore throats are common during this time of year, thereare many natural remedies for sore throats that can help you find relief and feel better fast!
  • You can help soothe a sore throat by staying hydrated. Drinking water and tea are great ways to keep your throat moist and your mucus thin.
  • Incorporating antioxidant-rich 100% pure honey and organic lemon will also help to fight sore throats resulting from coughs or excessive mucus production.
  • Finally, adding in oregano oil and certain homeopathic remedies, such as phosphorus and mercurius, may help to provide relief as well.
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