Sore throats can be the result of a number of different things — screaming to loud at a concert, a bacterial infection, allergies, etc. Although it’s not always a cause for concern or a trip to the doctor, that pain and scratchiness in the back of the throat can be annoying and affect how you eat, talk, and even sleep. Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies that you can rely on to help assuage your sore throat. In this post, we will go beyond hot tea to deliver some powerful home remedies.
1. Hotty Toddy
We’ve mentioned the hotty toddy in a previous blog post, but it is a popular home remedy that helps relieve cold symptoms — including a sore throat — and is even backed by science. It has water, whiskey or rum, lemon, honey, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to alleviate your sore throat and get you back to feeling yourself. Get the complete recipe and science-backed explanation for why it works in our post The Hotty Toddy: Grandpa’s Cure for the Common Cold.
If you don’t want to make yourself a full hotty toddy, then you can opt for the healing properties of one of its ingredients: honey. Honey has antibacterial properties and has been used to help heal wounds for centuries. It can help fight off bacteria while also combating inflammation in your throat. You can mix a few tablespoons of honey with a glass of warm water or tea and drink it. Make this home remedy several times a day as needed.
Lemon is another powerful ingredient in the hotty toddy that you can use on its own for your sore throat. Lemon can help break up mucus in your throat. Plus, the citrus fruit contains lots of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system as it fights the root cause of your sore throat. Try mixing a few tablespoons of lemon juice with a glass of warm water as needed.
4. Salt Water
Another traditional home remedy for a sore throat is to gargle salt water. Warm liquids can help soothe the throat while salt can actually help kill bacteria that may be causing your sore throat. Just mix about half a teaspoon of salt with about 8 ounces of warm water and gargle it. You can do this every few hours until your sore throat starts to feel better.
5. Baking Soda
Just like with a salt water gargle, a baking soda gargle could also help you fight off a sore throat. This home remedy isn’t as widespread as gargling with saltwater, but it can be just as effective. Baking soda helps kill bacteria and keep it from spreading. It could also help break up mucus that is stuck in your throat. Add about half a teaspoon of baking soda to warm water and gargle it every few hours as needed.
6. Hot Sauce
This home remedy might sound like it could hurt an already fiery throat, but hot sauce could actually help your throat feel better. Most hot sauces are made from peppers, which contain capsaicin. This chemical compound is known to help fight inflammation and reduce pain. We don’t recommend drinking hot sauce right out of the bottle, though! Instead, put a few drops of hot sauce in a glass of warm water and gargle it. The hot sauce may burn a bit at first, but the properties from capsaicin could be just what you need. If you don’t have hot sauce around the house, you could also create a similar concoction with cayenne pepper.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
You may have heard of apple cider vinegar as a home remedy to control blood sugar levels, to remove warts, or to combat other ailments. This tangy vinegar may also help your sore throat go away. In fact, apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties, which help it fight off infection. Plus, the acidic nature of the vinegar can help break up mucus that may be in your throat. And you don’t have to down a shot of apple cider vinegar to enjoy the effects. Mix a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and gargle it. You can do this several times a day, but make sure to drink plenty of water in between.
Did your grandmother ever tell you to suck on a clove of garlic to cure a sore throat? Well, she might not have been wrong. Garlic is another food that has antibacterial properties. Plus, it contains allicin, which is a compound known to help fight infection. You can take advantage of garlic’s medicinal properties by including fresh garlic in your diet. And, you can even suck on a clove of garlic just like grandma suggested — but please brush your teeth afterward to freshen up your breath!
A home remedy that relies on technology is a humidifier. Sometimes sore throats can happen or be exacerbated because the air is dry, which can be harsh on the throat. Try using a humidifier to add more moisture to the air, soothe the throat, and open up your sinuses. You could also add some essential oils or hydrogen peroxide to the humidifier solution to take this home remedy up a notch. If you don’t have a humidifier, you can simulate the effects by taking a hot shower or bath and letting the bathroom get steamy.
We hope that these home remedies can help you get back to feeling 100%! But remember that if symptoms persist or get worse or other symptoms arise, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to conduct an assessment to determine the root cause of your sore throat and provide treatment options. And prevention can often be the key to avoiding a sore throat, so make sure to check out these 5 prevention techniques.
If you have any home remedies to help a sore throat, we’d love to hear them! Send your ideas to our team and we can incorporate them into our post.