21 Effective Home Remedies for Sore Throat

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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The most popular home remedies for a sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, include gargling, the consumption of garlic, cinnamon, horehound, slippery elm, mango bark extract, ginger, holy basil, inhaling water vapor, echinacea, and black peppercorn.

Apart from these, you should avoid smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol consumption, eating sour foods, and exerting pressure on the voice box for quick recovery.

Home Remedies for Sore Throat

Sore throats can be easily tackled by the effective implementation of home remedies. These remedies help provide instant relief and also help speed recovery.

Solutions for Sore Throat (Dos)


This is the oldest trick in the book – the old-fashioned saltwater gargle. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, gargle, and spit it out. Repeat this process up to four times a day. Salt acts as a mild antiseptic that draws the water out of the mucous membranes and helps clear the phlegm as well. It also helps in making the immune system more effective. Alternatively, gargle with a baking soda solution. Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of warm water and drink a few times a day.

Inhaling Water Vapor

With the help of a humidifier or a vaporizer, take deep breaths of steam. You can also try leaning over a sink with the hot water running. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam. Do this for 10-15 minutes every day. This helps clear the whole throat area. Think of it as a car wash for your throat!


A healthy diet that encompasses all the essential nutrients should be consumed. The obvious supplement candidates are vitamin C and vitamin E, the minerals zinc and magnesium, and immune-boosting vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower. This helps curb body weaknesses and speeds up the recovery process.



Sore throats may be accompanied by fever, which can also lead to dehydration. It is essential to consume a large amount of water or fluids to hydrate the body.


Honey has been a sore-throat remedy for countless generations. It has antibacterial properties and it also acts as a hypertonic osmotic, which means that it draws water out of inflamed tissues. Honey intake reduces the swelling and discomfort in the throat. Add honey to 1 cup of hot water or herbal tea for better results.

Honey with Lemon

Fill a teaspoon halfway with honey, and then squeeze a lemon on top until the spoon is full. Now, add a little pepper to it and suck slowly. This combination has a soothing effect on the throat.


This herb reduces the swelling of the throat tissues. Horehound has been used as a traditional cure for a sore throat for many years and is very effective against it. Take a few teaspoons of the herb and boil it in 1 or 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, strain, and drink.

Home remedies for sore throat - infographic

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm has been used as an herbal remedy for wounds, ulcers, boils, burns, and skin inflammation for centuries. It contains mucilage, which forms a coating over the throat and provides the much-needed relief from sore throats. Take 2 teaspoons of the inner bark with 2 cups of water. Boil it, strain it, and drink the mixture at least twice a day for a few days up to a week.  Use of slippery elm (bark, un-powdered) is banned/restricted by some countries such as the UK so consult your local health specialist before use.

Marshmallow Root

The leaves and roots of marshmallow herb contain mucilage, which is helpful in treating colds and sore throats. Steep 2 teaspoons of herbs in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, strain, and drink. Perform this routine 3-4 times a day.


Echinacea is known to be an immune-stimulator and improves immunity to ward off infection. This herb’s antibacterial and antiviral properties will help speed up recovery from sore throats.


Garlic has been used in domestic treatments for the common cold and associated symptoms for hundreds of years. It is believed that dried garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which help in fighting off infections. Garlic is used for sore throat treatment as well. It is consumed directly by chewing a few cloves.

Mango Bark

Mango bark helps soothe sore throats as well as curing other illnesses. You need to extract the fluid of the bark, which is then ground and applied to the neck. It can also be used for gargling after diluting 10 ml of fluid in 125 ml of water.


Cinnamon is known to have anti-inflammatory effects. Coarsely powdered cinnamon can be added to a glass of water, along with two tablespoons of honey and a pinch of ground pepper, and then boiled. This too is a good remedy for a sore throat.

Black Peppercorn

Take half a teaspoon of black peppercorn seeds and pulverize them into powder. Mix this powder with hot milk and consume it early in the morning before breakfast or any other food in your stomach. This can be practiced for few days to get relief from a sore throat. An alternative is to mix the peppercorn powder in warm water and gargle it early in the morning. This is one of the quickest and most effective home remedies for a sore throat.

Holy Basil

Add a few basil leaves to water and boil it. Drink this mixture several times throughout the day. This will give relief from sore throats.


Drinking a concoction of hot water with ginger, lemon, and honey can provide relief from sore throats very quickly.


Avoid Smoking

Smoking worsens the condition of the walls of the throat. The irritation is intensified because of the smoke entering the throat on the way to the lungs.

Avoid Chewing Tobacco

Chewing tobacco also irritates the walls of the throat and worsens the condition of a sore throat. For speedy recovery, it is essential to avoid chewing tobacco.

Avoid Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption has also been associated with sore throats. Alcohol seems to provide relief, but actually does more harm than good. Alcohol dries out the tissues and worsens the condition.

Relax the Voice Box

To avoid strain to your throat, try resting your voice for a while. This helps relax the throat and speeds recovery.

Sore’ Food

Avoid fried/spicy food. Whilst suffering from a sore throat, many types of food can be consumed to soothe or ease the pain to the throat. Fluids are especially effective. Ice cream helps provide a numbing effect that eases the irritation as well.

If a sore throat lasts for a week or longer, check with your doctor. A persistent sore throat could be a sign of acid reflux, mononucleosis, Strep throat, or in a worst-case scenario, AIDS.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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