10 Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

Updated on June 5, 2017
Annsalo profile image

I am a mother of three children who hates loading my body with the chemicals in pharmaceuticals. These are the home remedies my family uses.


When using sore throat home remedies, it helps to know why your throat is hurting. Some conditions that give rise to a sore throat may need to be treated by a medical professional.

Most sore throats, however, can be soothed with natural remedies. If you treat the pain with a natural remedy but don't get relief, you may need a medication to treat the cause.

What Caused My Sore Throat?

The most common causes for a sore throat are viruses such as cold, flu, and occasionally mononucleosis. Also bacterial infections such as strep throat and tonsillitis can cause a severe sore throat. A sore throat caused by a virus is great to be treated with home remedies.

If you have a bacterial infection, nature also provides antibiotics to destroy or arrest the growth of micro-organisms. However, you might choose to consult a doctor for an antibiotic prescription to clear the cause of the sore throat.

Sometimes when dealing with a sore throat you may need to use natural remedies to treat a cough. Often the constant hacking can cause the sore throat. So the easiest way to treat the sore throat is to treat the cough.

If you only need to treat a sore throat, here are a few tips. Choose a natural home remedy that appeals most to you.

10 Sore Throat Home Remedies

1. Salt water

Salt water is one of the most widely-known sore throat home remedies.

  • Mix a couple of teaspoons of salt in warm water and gargle.
  • Do not swallow this mixture.
  • Repeat every couple of hours.

Salt water is said to reduce swelling and discomfort in your throat.

2. Garlic

Garlic doesn't taste great but it works.

  • Peel three pieces of garlic.
  • Take the first two pieces and place at the back of your teeth and chew them.
  • Let the warm juices go down your throat.
  • After you are done swallow them.
  • Take the third piece and suck on it for a few minutes, then swallow it whole like a pill.

Raw garlic can be harsh on an empty stomach, so this is a remedy to try at mealtimes. Repeat up to 3 times a day.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an amazing product for many things. It is by far one of my favorite sore throat remedies. Start using it at the first sign of a sore throat. Apple cider vinegar can often keep the pain from getting worse and if caught early enough may get rid of it all together.

  • Just gargle a small amount of natural Apple Cider Vinegar then swallow it.
  • You can do this throughout the day.

Swallowing too much of this in one day may cause some extra trips to the bathroom, so only use small amounts. Organic apple cider vinegar is best if you have access to it.

4. Honey

Take a teaspoon of natural (preferably local) honey every hour. It will coat your throat and give you some relief. No need to take the entire teaspoon of honey in your mouth at one time.

  • Take small amounts from the teaspoon
  • Let the honey warm in your mouth around your tongue, then glide smoothly down your throat.
  • This technique will help coat all areas of your throat with honey's healing qualities.
  • Honey can also be added to warm tea to relieve pain in your throat.

5. Ginger

  • I like to take a 3-quart pot and throw in one peeled ginger root.
  • Boil for 15 minutes then simmer for another 15 minutes (longer if you have time).
  • Remove the ginger root and drink warm ginger tea to help a sore throat.

6. Cayenne Pepper

Okay so this one tastes horrible, but it works. So if you like cayenne pepper give it a try. You can do this multiple ways.

  • If you have access to only powdered cayenne, then add a teaspoon to a cup of warm water and drink. I prefer the actual pepper.
  • You can chop your favorite kind of chili pepper fine, and eat it straight. I like to let it linger at the back of my mouth to let the juices run down my throat.

7. Peroxide

  • Gargle peroxide twice a day.
  • Do NOT swallow.
  • Gargle and spit.

Peroxide is known for being great at killing bacteria.

8. Onion

Raw onion is a natural antibiotic and disinfectant. It can be used as a natural sore throat remedy. However if you are like me and can't bite into a peeled onion like an apple, there's another solution.

The best solution I have found using onion as a sore throat home remedy is to:

  • Chop an onion into tiny pieces
  • Add to a mug of boiling water.
  • Let it infuse for about five minutes, just like making a cup of tea.
  • Sweeten it with honey, and sip it (hot or cold).
  • Most people will be fine with the small onion chunks and can, in fact, chew them. But strain the tea if you prefer.

The onion tea (with or without honey) is an effective sore throat remedy.

9. Lemon

Again this is one where you get the most benefit if you can eat it by itself.

  • Just cut and peel a lemon like an orange, and eat.
  • Juice the onion and add it to water if you don't think eating plain lemon will work for you.
  • Sweeten with honey if you like, but never add sugar. Honey should be your preferred sweetener.

10. Mixture

I have found the best thing is to mix a few of these throughout the day:

  • A nice glass of ginger water with honey and lemon added to it makes a good breakfast time drink.
  • Mix apple cider vinegar and onion at lunch time.
  • Cayenne pepper and garlic at dinner.
  • Gargle salty water or peroxide at night before bed.


I am not a doctor. I am just a mother of three children who hates loading my body with the chemicals in pharmaceuticals. Always talk to your doctor before using any sore throat home remedies. If your doctor rejects all natural remedies and simply pushes pills at you, I urge you to find a new doctor. Since I am not a doctor, this advice is not being given to replace a medical professional's advice. Talk to your doctor and find out which treatments might be best for you.

Do you use home remedies to treat your sore throat?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2016 Annsalo


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    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      I've tried salt water and apple cider vinegar as home remedies for my sore throat and I can say that it works to some extent. Sometimes, it is better to take this natural remedies instead of medications.

    • Penny Sebring profile image

      Penny Leigh Sebring 

      3 years ago from Fort Collins

      This is a great list. Ginger is one of my favorites, and it has the added benefit of soothing an upset stomach!


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