5 Natural Sore Throat Remedies

Salt, Lemon, Sage, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Ginger

October 10, 2018

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

When you have a sore throat, it’s your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections. Sore throats can be quite uncomfortable, especially when you 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 such as 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. 

Gargle With Salt Water

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

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

Gargle With Cool Sage Tea

Sage is a wonderful herb used in cooking, but also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to help soothe a sore throat.

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

Learn how to grow your own sage.

Drink Lemon Water

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

For a particularly scratchy throat, take 1 tablespoon of concentrated lemon juice 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. Credit: Syda/Shutterstock

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 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar and 1 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.

Ginger Tea

Ginger has been shown to relieve inflammation, which should help to sooth a sore throat. There are also studies that show ginger has antibacterial powers.

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

Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Turn off heat, add 1 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

Reader Recipes

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

Horseradish Cocktail: “Make a syrup of 1 tablespoon 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, 3 shakes each 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, there are also medications including NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and throat sprays. But we hope that these home remedies soothe the pain of your sore throat and help relieve your discomfort.

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

Find more advice on how to relieve coughs and find more natural remedies for colds.

Reader Comments

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Sore throat

You NEVER, EVER use warm/hot liquids when trying to get rid of the swelling associated with a sore throat!!!! ALWAYS use ice, which will reduce the swelling!!!! I learned this from my voice teacher, years ago, and it works for me, specifically cracked ice, every 20 minutes!!! When a football player is injured, you don't see anyone applying heat to their swollen joint, ice is applied!!!! Check it out, I know what I'm espousing!!!

Sore throat remedy

The capsaicin in sports rubs is what relieves pain. It's the same capsaicin that's in red pepper or jalapenos. Put half a cup of cider vinegar, half a cup of honey, and one pickled, seeded jalapeno in a blender, and liquify. Or stir the equivalent of red pepper into the honey/vinegar. Trickle it down your throat. I learned this from a pharmacist.

Sore throat

My voice teacher had me swallow cracked ice, every 20 minutes, for one hour, which reduces the swelling. I had a violent sore throat one Sunday morning when I was scheduled to sing a solo at church. With the cracked ice method, I had my voice in shape and sang my solo within 30 minutes!!! Also, she told me NEVER to use any hot beverages to treat a sore throat, ONLY very cold drinks, and of course the cracked ice method. Blanche knew of what she spoke, and I am the beneficiary, who is still singing at 83!!!!! Also never cover your throat/neck, because heat exacerbates the swelling. Athletes never use heat for an injury, only ice to reduce swelling.

Works while providing potassium

1/8-1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar in warm water. Immediate success!

Sore throat

Over the years we all get sore throat, some more painfully than others. I have found the best cure for sore throat skipping all that jazz about eating and drinking all kinds of stuff. Only certain people can tolerate my method, an absolute fix for sore throat for all time. @ night while sleeping take any blanket or sheet heavy or light and sleep with your head covered. Room temperature is the worst for sore throat due to air conditioning and different home heating elements. Breathing the warm air under the bed linen warms up your throat rather breathing in room temperatures. Breathing in the warm air under the linen also collects your own natural bodily moisture straight to the back of your the tender dried out throat. Lets say the situation even came up there is not bed linen or would like a different approach. Even an extra large hoodie or shirt (W/IT ON and closed off like a bag) works directly why because now you are taking the air off your chest. And as i said, only certain people can try this why?? Because people have a fear of suffication, trust me that will subside. My trick will take the sting off your sore throat in less than 15 minutes. The longer the better and I GUARANTEE YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY FORGET YOU EVEN HAD SORE THROAT THE MORNING AFTER!!!!

Taught In Massage Therapy

Since they always teach medicinal and homegrown ideas I have used Cayenne Pepper Powder for a sore throat. You get some hot/warm water and mix the powder in, according to how much of the heat/spice you can take. And sip it. It burns your throat and also the heat soothes and kills any bacteria that is starting. I have been doing this for 10 years and it works every time. It's also good for stuffy noses or sinus problems. Consult with your doctor if you have ulcers or aren't able to have spicy/hot herbs or foods.

My father made a syrup by

My father made a syrup by alternating layers of chopped onions and dark brown sugar in a small soup/cereal bowl. He would let it sit for a few hours while it made a syrup. A teaspoon or two full of that made good work of my sore throat.

I can drink hot lemonade

I can drink hot lemonade mixed with honey. This removes pain of my swollen tissues to a great extent. You just have to take a cup of hot water and mix the juice of half of the lemon into it. Along with this, mix a tablespoon of honey by stirring.


Add a shot of bourbon...perfect!

I always use this honey drink

I always use this honey drink mix I found. It works for me every single time...and I get a lot of sore throats! Stinking sinus problems :( Anyway I found a video on how to make it. http://secrethealthremedies.co...

Mix water & distilled vinegar

Mix water & distilled vinegar to gargle with about 5 times.

When I have a sore throat I

When I have a sore throat I gargle with a water vinegar mix. Soothes my throat.

I love to eat green olives

I love to eat green olives with garlic in them. I just ate 5 before bed tonight because my throat was starting to feel sore, now no more sore throat. Ive been doing this for awhile, other stuff I eat for a start of a cold or sore throat is spicy food or lots of salsa. It works every time. Try the green garlic olives, they are the best.

I just ate my 2 cloves of

I just ate my 2 cloves of garlic, it works great! I make toast with jelly and cheese slices, take a bite of the toast then the garlic...chew them together! Its kinda good, a little spicy but good and it does bring relief!

At first symptoms of sore

At first symptoms of sore throat, cough or sneezing/runny nose, take oscillococcinum (a homeopathic remedy). Repeat doses as directed. Six doses will deflect any typical winter illness if taken at first symptoms.

If you don't have any oscillococcinum at hand when symptoms appear, use Old Indian Wild Cherry Bark Syrup (a commercial preparation) and/or use aromatherapy.

For aromatherapy, I sprinkle oregano oil, eucalyptus oil, clove oil and lavender oil on a cotton cosmetic pad. This pad can be attached to a fan and the aroma will fill the room and kill all the fungus, bacteria & viruses in the room (including your nose and throat) as you sleep.

If you're on the go, you can take the pad with you in a plastic bag, sniffing it as often as possible. It'll clear your nose, soothe your throat and help kill off the viruses/bacteria in your nose and throat.

A cold washrag around your

A cold washrag around your throat at night will help ease the pain by morning.

When I get a sore throat I

When I get a sore throat I eat a clove of garlic. The antioxidents in the garlic help kill any bacteria that might be causing the infection. It stings your throat and gives you garlic breath but it works!

When I get a sore/scratchy

When I get a sore/scratchy throat I suck on halls cough drops, any mint candy or mint gum and drink ice water at the same time-it freezes your throat, plus you get fluids you need, It works for me!