12 Simple Sore Throat Remedies

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Here are a dozen home remedies to help soothe and get rid of sore throats, these are simple to whip up and treat yourself with–nothing too fancy for ingredients and you likely have many of these items in stock at home.

GlassItems noted with * are to be used as a gargle every other hour or so (unless directed otherwise)

  1. *Cayenne Pepper: Mix 1/8th of a tsp of cayenne pepper with 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. *Salt: Add 1 tsp of table salt to a cupful of warm water.
  3. *Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar with a cup of warm water.
  4. Ginger: Make a strong brew with freshly grated ginger (about 3 tsp per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.
  5. *Thyme: Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain before using.
  6. Honey & Lemon: Mix two tsp honey and 1 tsp lemon juice with one cup of boiling hot water. Allow to cool a bit then drink.
  7. Licorice Root: Make a brew with licorice roots (one or two pieces per cup) and sip. You can also brew licorice tea bags or chew on a piece of licorice root to help relieve the pain. Licorice root can affect blood pressure if too much is consumed, not recommended for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure.
  8. Cloves: Slowly chew on a few cloves.
  9. Green Tea: Sipping a cup of this can help, but gargling with it is also recommended since it naturally fights infections. See this page for more info on its health benefits.
  10. *Baking Soda & Salt: Mix 1/2 tsp of each baking soda and salt with a 1/2 cup of warm water.
  11. Chamomile: Best to start sipping this tea as soon as you feel one coming on.
  12. Hydrogen Peroxide: Gargle 3% hydrogen peroxide to fight the infection. If the taste is too much for you, dilute with some water first (about 50/50).

Tips

  • Run a humidifier in your room at night to help prevent your throat from getting too dry, a Herbal Decongestant Steam can also help.
  • Sucking on hard candies or lozenges can be soothing.
  • Throw out your toothbrush and start a fresh one to avoid reinfecting yourself.
  • If coughing is the problem, see this page for help.

Sore throats are a common symptom of a cold or flu developing but they can also be a sign of bacterial infection that can lead to problems if untreated (strep, tonsillitis, etc.). If it doesn’t seem to be getting better after two or three days, make sure to see a doctor since you may need antibiotics to fight the infection.

Note: These are simply tips I’ve collected, they’re not professional medical advice. Be aware that some spices and herbs may conflict with prescribed medicines–always check with a doctor before treating yourself.

Do you have a tried and true I missed? Feel free to share it below!

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Published: September 21, 2009

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36 Comments to “12 Simple Sore Throat Remedies”
  1. Lenetta @ Nettacow says:

    Have to say I’m personally a bit skeptical of gargles for sore throat . . . it’s been my feeling (and I’ve read something somewhere, though can’t recall where now) that when you gargle, you kind of close off your throat so the gargling doesn’t actually reach the part that is actually sore. But it doesn’t hurt to try, either!

    • Lisa says:

      What is a good sore throat gargle for a child with strong gag reflexes? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

      • Jacqui says:

        Instead of using a gargle for sore throat you can use honey. What I have found most effective is ‘spun’ honey. You can get a spoonful and put a little in you mouth at a time, let it melt on your tongue then swallow gently, to let it sort of trickle down your throat. The best honey for this is ‘organic’ and if possible produced within 100 miles of where you live.

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I definitely like the idea of coating the throat using any variety of lozenge. They do help.

    I also suggest, as simple as it sounds, water. Drink plenty of it to make sure you are well-hydrated. Often, sore throats can be caused when it’s just dry in there, and drinking more water can help that.

    I’d also add to maybe avoid dairy products for a while, as they can increase mucus production which may stick in your throat. Then, when this dries out because of too little water…

    For me, teas, of all varieties, are so nice in such a situation.

  3. alexandra says:

    The best remedy for a soar throat is a strong tea of Sage (Salvia Officinalis) with some honey. The Sage is a strong antisceptic so it solves any problem right away. It is nasty and bitter to drink, though, that is probably why the honey is put in it. But honey is also antisceptic, so it doesn’t harm in any way.

  4. Rose says:

    I can vouch for the hydrogen peroxide. Swear by it in fact.
    I dilute it with water and gargle. I understand bout the solution maybe not getting to throat, but the fact remains, your sore throat will be GONE in 15 minutes.
    A 50 cent bottle will keep you ready at the first hint of soreness.
    It is also great for removing bodily fluids from clothing. I keep a bottle with a spray by the laundry. When my dog had pups in a pillow bed, got every last dab, of whatever that green stuff was, out.

  5. belami says:

    i use white vinegar for a sore throat. i gargle with it. it works for me.

  6. M says:

    I read online and found that a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter works. I tried it and its a great help. It lines the throat kinda like a lozenge does.

  7. Kevin says:

    When attending boarding school, and in grade 8, I had been given the suggestion to use 1 teaspoon of honey 3 times a day for my sore throat. It worked!

  8. P says:

    Equal amounts of honey and vinegar! mix the two together and have it! it seriously helps the throat! TRY it: 1tsp Honey and 1tsp Vinegar(of any type) in a bowl, mix them and have it!
    DONT DRINK WATER IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT AS THE AFFECT WOULD BE REDUCED!
    *Please note, every person is different, so the results might differ for you as an individual*

    P

  9. MNM says:

    The peroxide and water 50/50 mixture worked best for me but I found that I could not tolerate the peroxide taste even when diluted, so I added just a little honey didn’t think it would hurt since honey is used in many sore throat remedies! Tasted better and worked well! Hope you feel better soon!

  10. andoola says:

    the best gargle I tried was hot tea salt and lemon..let it steep .you will see if you have an infection the tea will become unclear and if you are ok the gargaled tea becomes clear. I used the same treatment for urinary tract infections ,I just washed with it every time I went to the bathroom.

  11. John Boy says:

    If you won’t to put an end to this nonsense of sore throat concoctions, try the only cure my little wooden head came up with years ago, out of screaming desperation. Take two Nature’s Own (or equivalent) chewable vitamin C tablets and put them on each side of your mouth in the pouches behind the teeth and close your trap. That seals them in for a slow melt, even over night while sleeping, if your not afraid to do so. This remedy has killed even the throat wars from hell. It is not a miracle cure by any means; it still takes time, but far less time than any other remedy out there. Unless you get stone drunk for four days. Good luck. Most remedies insure your going to have a lot of pain, this C tab remedy limits that threshold from a 10 to a 2.

  12. Tyler says:

    Don’t substitute clove oil for clove buds. I did it. It was a mistake. I spent half an hour puking… o.o

  13. Marcela Mexia says:

    Be careful with your teeth while making gargles with hydroxen peroxide, the doctor once told me this could damage the teeth enamel.

    • mars says:

      Your doctor lied hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antiseptic. It does not destroy teeth enamel. It kills bacteria, clears infections and is well known for many beneficial uses ouside of medicinal purposes. It’s even included in namebrand mouthwash and toothpaste for those reasons. Your doctor doesn’t want you too use it because your usage would actually cause him to lose a lot of money.

      • Richard says:

        If you have cavities the peroxide will cause sever pain. The Dentist is correct. Trust a man who went to med school and not someone behind a keyboard, lol!

        • M says:

          You are both technically correct. In excessive or undiluted amounts, H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) can in fact cause damage to the enamel of the teeth, and if swallowed can make you very sick. But in small, dilute amounts, it does kill infection in the mouth, and it whitens teeth. Many DIY teeth whitening strips list hydrogen peroxide as their main active ingredient. I use Hydrogen peroxide as a fix for canker sores, as it disinfects and cauterizes them at the same time. Bottom line, it’s perfectly safe- just make sure to dilute it, and don’t swallow it.

  14. Kadee says:

    Hydrogen is actually a good cleaner for your teeth and it does kill bacteria, but my doctor told me not to gargle with it when I had strep throat because it not only kills the bad bacteria and infectious cells but it kills the good bacteria and good cells. He advised to just use warm salt water.

  15. Kristy says:

    My mom got a recipe from an older lady when we were kids & we still use & swear by it. 1/3 hydrogen peroxide, 1/3 Listerine, & 1/3 water. I keep a glass by the bathroom sink & gargle every time I walk by or go to the bathroom. I’ve never had strep, so I’m not sure if it will help with that but it may also be why we’ve never had strep. (As a side note, spritzing Listerine on a sunburn works better than anything else I’ve ever tried. It cools & reduces the pain.)

  16. pete says:

    I am drinking green tea with mint whilst sucking on hard licorice.
    I don’t know how well it cures, but it relieves well and tastes lovely.
    a remedy I swear by is fresh pineapple. (not tinned or processed) A homeopathic doctor on tv said thee enzymes in it fight the sore throat.

  17. Gina says:

    Desperately searched for relief from the worst sore throat of my life. Severe strep and an abcessed tonsil, everything felt like ground glass or razor blades. Tried the hydrogen peroxide first, the taste is awful and induced some gagging which probably took away any positive benefit. Next I tried the baking soda/ salt mixture and I have to say Hallelujah!! The swelling decreased and my throat felt better for quite awhile. I can successfully drink more than ice water now! Things are looking up! =)

  18. MichaelBubleLover says:

    I tried the lemon and honey one. AND WOW, THEY DON’T LIE, IT WORKS!!!!!!!!!! Really useful ideas, thanks guys….

  19. Veronica says:

    A really simple method for a really lazy sick person (such as myself) is just to squirt the lemon juice right into your mouth. You can aim it to hit the back of your throat and coat the whole sore area. I swear you can feel the lemon juice working its magic, makes the pain much more bearable and no chemicals are needed :)

  20. Mya says:

    I have a terrible sore throat, and it hurts to swallow. What is a remedy you only do once, bit immediately works!

  21. melanie says:

    Sitting with child dRy cough that doesn’t go away no honey or lemon in house any other suggestions

  22. Nonnos says:

    Look Mya, go grab 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt, put it in a 1/2 a cup of water, mix well, gargle it. It will feel a hundred times better for you, then keep your throat constantly hidrated. Always drinking teas and such, just watch for cold wind and cold drinks. Take care.

  23. Skyler Allan says:

    I was told of a rememdy that I have only tried once but it worked great, for a temporary moment anyway, but try chewing up marshmallows, and chew them real well to the point where they are nothing but mush in your mouth and lightly swallow small ammounts at a time, this should southe just about any sore throat out there

  24. Cody says:

    I use a cotton swab with iodine on it rub it on the sore throat being careful not to Taste it cause it is quite disgusting tasting otherwise but it does work

  25. Lily says:

    Should I drink the Honey and Lemon water? Or just gargle it?

  26. BT says:

    These all seem like great remedies, alas. I cannot gargle without gagging and swallowing whatever I’m gargling. If I swallow some lemon juice and honey, would that relieve my sore throat?

  27. commanderpuddles says:

    Don’t throw away the toothbrush, run it in the dishwasher on a sanitary mode or sink it in boiling water (remove from burner when reaches boiling) for 5 minutes to kill germs. this should be done before using a new brush as well. ever notice they don’t label tooth brushes as “sterylized” but most people open and stick in their mouths right away? just sayin’.

  28. caroline hollister says:

    I work in a nursing home and a lot of the mature and seasoned ladies suggestions are salt and water mix, honey and water, etc. but my personal favorite was from Ms. Katherine – she suggested to gargle with scotch whiskey as long as you can and spit it out … got to say, the relief was immediate … she lived to 107 yrs until her passing, i miss her still but i remember a lot of her advise :)

  29. Teresa says:

    For me Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses! You heat like 1/2 cup of molasses with 2 T of water; when warm but not boiling, take it out of the heat and add the juice of a lemon and do gargles with it…! It always works wonders!


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