Home Remedies for a Sore Throat: 5 Natural Sore Throat Remedies | The Old Farmer's Almanac

5 Natural Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

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Sage tea can be a helpful natural remedy for sore throats.

Soothe Sore Throats with Salt, Lemon, Sage, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Ginger

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Here are five simple home remedies to help ease sore throat discomfort! Let us know how they work for you.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

A sore throat is caused by your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections. Sore throats can be pretty uncomfortable, especially when you try to swallow. The mucous membranes in your throat are inflamed and swollen.

Of course, the most important thing you can do is drink fluids and stay well-hydrated! Keep your throat’s mucous membranes moist so it can heal.

Try drinking or at least sipping water every hour. If it’s uncomfortable, try drinking warm herbal tea from plants like echinacea, peppermint, or chamomile. Sucking on an herbal throat lozenge also produces saliva and soothes the throat.

Here are some natural sore throat remedies to provide relief using simple ingredients from your pantry. 

1. Gargle With Salt Water

Of course, one common way to ease the discomfort of a sore throat is gargling with salt water. The salt helps reduce swelling.

  • Combine 1 cup of warm water with one teaspoon of salt and stir to dissolve. Gargle with a mouthful of this mixture for 30 seconds, once per hour.

2. Gargle With Cool Sage Tea

Sage is an excellent cooking herb but has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe a sore throat.

  • Mix one teaspoon of herb in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain and gargle.

Learn how to grow sage.

3. Drink Lemon Water

Not only does lemon contain vitamin C and antioxidants, but it also increases the saliva you produce to keep your mucous membranes moist and soothe your sore throat.

Take one tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice mixed with a cup of warm water for a particularly scratchy throat, followed immediately by a tablespoon of honey just before bed. This will usually soothe your throat until morning.

Find more household uses for lemons.

Tea with lemon and honey.
Tea with lemon and honey. 
Credit: Syda/Shutterstock

4. Sip Apple Cider Vinegar With Honey

Apple cider vinegar has been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. It contains acetic acid, which has antibacterial properties. 

  • To help relieve throat pain, mix one tablespoon of cider vinegar and one tablespoon of honey or sweetener in a cup of warm water.

Note: Honey shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one.

Learn more about the health benefits of cider vinegar and see how to make another apple cider vinegar tonic.

5. Drink Ginger Tea

Ginger has been shown to relieve inflammation, which should help to soothe a sore throat. Some studies show ginger has antibacterial powers.

You can purchase ginger tea or make your tea with fresh ginger.

  • Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Turn off the heat, add one tablespoon of grated ginger root, and cover for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener) and a squeeze of lemon juice. Drink warm or cool. Reheat if desired.
Tea with ginger, lemon, and honey. And cold medicine. Photo credit: Fogey/Shutterstock
Tea with ginger, lemon, and honey. And cold medicine. 
Photo credit: Fogey/Shutterstock

Reader Recipes

Here are a couple of age-old recipes that readers swear by!

  • Horseradish Cocktail: “Make a syrup of 1 tablespoon of horseradish, 1 teaspoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix in a glass of warm water and drink slowly.”
  • Cider Vinegar With Pepper: “Put a capful of apple cider vinegar, three shakes of cayenne pepper, and black pepper into a cup of warm, salted water. Gargle as many times as needed. This remedy is said to change the pH balance in your throat.”

Of course, medications, including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and throat sprays, can soothe a sore throat. But we hope that these home remedies are enough to help with the pain of your sore throat and relieve your discomfort!

Note: Be sure to see a doctor if your sore throat lasts over a few days, as you could have strep throat or another infection.

Find more advice on relieving coughs and natural remedies for colds.

About The Author

Catherine Boeckmann

Catherine Boeckmann loves nature, stargazing, and gardening so it’s not surprising that she and The Old Farmer’s Almanac found each other. She leads digital content for the Almanac website, and is also a certified master gardener in the state of Indiana. Read More from Catherine Boeckmann

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