A sore throat can be very uncomfortable. The main symptom is pain and irritation in the throat, especially when you swallow. A sore throat occurs as part of your body’s immune response to viral or bacterial infections. Your natural immune response leads to inflamation and swelling of the mucous membranes in the throat. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that may provide relief, including some that are supported by scientific evidence.

Throat Coat tea

Throat Coat is an herbal tea sold to provide sore throat relief. Throat Coat herbal tea contains licorice root, elm inner bark, marshmallow root, and licorice root aqueous dry extract and is sold to help relieve sore throat. A small study showed it helped reduce sore throat pain for 30 minutes after drinking it.

Salt water

Gargling with warm salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions. It’s also known to help kill bacteria in the throat. Make a saltwater solution with a half-teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water. Gargle it to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clean. This should be done every three hours or so.

 Peppermint

Peppermint is known for its ability to freshen breath. Diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats. It contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may encourage healing. Never use essential oil without mixing them with a carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or softened coconut oil. For peppermint oil, mix five drops of the essential oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. Never ingest essential oils.

Baking soda gargle

While the saltwater gargle is more commonly used, gargling baking soda mixed with salt water can help relieve a sore throat as well. Gargling this solution can kill bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast and fungi.

Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes a sore throat. Simply add some of the dried root to a cup of boiling water to make tea. Sipping the tea two to three times a day may help ease throat pain.

Slippery elm

Like marshmallow root, Slippery elm has a mucus-like substance in it. When mixed with water, it forms a slick gel that coats and soothes the throat. To use, pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir, and drink. You may also find that slippery elm lozenges help.

Sage and echinacea

Sage originated in the Mediterranean and is now grown throughout the world. It has been used to treat many inflammatory conditions, and controlled studies suggest it can help relieve throat pain .In one study, a sage-echinacea spray was actually slightly more effective at reducing throat pain than a chlorhexidine lidocaine spray. Neither treatment caused negative side effects. Echinacea is another herb that is widely used in traditional medicine. It has been shown to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a natural health tonic that’s been used in folk medicine remedies for centuries. Its main active ingredient, acetic acid, helps fight bacteria. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, even prescribed a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey – known as oxymel – to treat flu symptoms such as coughs and sore throats. To help relieve throat pain, drink 1 cup of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and an optional tablespoon of honey. The possible risks of apple cider vinegar include tooth decay and digestive problems.

Honey

Honey is a delicious sweetener that is often used in combination with other natural ingredients to soothe a sore throat. In addition to helping fight infection and providing pain relief, honey can undeniably make remedies taste better. Honey may be especially effective when combined with warm water and apple cider vinegar or herbs. However, it shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one because their guts haven’t had a chance to acquire healthy bacteria that can fight off germs, such as botulism spores, that are sometimes found in honey.

Licorice root

Licorice root with mortar and pestle

Ginger root tea

Ginger is a spice with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects that may help relieve throat pain. One study found that when ginger extract was applied to throat swabs from people with bacterial respiratory tract infections, it helped kill some of the bacteria responsible for the illness.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a fragrant and delicious spice that’s high in antioxidants and provides antibacterial benefits. It’s a traditional remedy for colds and flus and is used in Chinese medicine to ease sore throat pain. Cinnamon tea is available for purchase in most grocery stores in both herbal and regular varieties. You can also add cinnamon to herbal or black tea. Another delicious option is to make your own cinnamon almond milk, which may be especially soothing on your throat.

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