home remedies for sore throat

Home Remedies For Sore Throat

Some common remedies for a sore throat include using lemons, honey, salty water and getting plenty of rest. But remember, it is always important to visit a trained and registered medical practitioner when sick, and I highly discourage self-medication.

This article is for educational purpose only, and should not in any case be used to substitute medical treatment. Always visit a trained medical practitioner to seek medical advice.

Sore throats can be uncomfortable, irritating and painful. While they don’t always warrant a medical check-up, you should visit your doctor when sore throat symptoms persist. In this article, I will take you through some natural remedies you can use at home for a sore throat.

Below are some ways you can use to soothe a sore throat, using simple ingredients at home. Use the table of contents to jump to the specific section of the article you are interested in.

  1. Honey
  2. Salty water
  3. Ginger
  4. Peppermint
  5. Baking soda
  6. Steam therapy
  7. Hot vegetable soup
  8. Rest


home remedies for sore throat - honey

Did you know that honey is equally as effective(or more effective) as a cough suppressant than Dextromethorphan? According to a study, honey has a better impact on acute cough and sore throat in children[1].

If you don’t know what dextromethorphan is, it is an ingredient in most cough syrups bought over the counter. So, any other day you get a sore throat, remember that honey can be better than other drugs, including antibiotics, in relieving the symptoms[2].

Please note that it is not advisable for children under one year of age to use honey. According to the Healthline, consumption of honey by children under 1 year causes a disease called Botulism. If your child is under one year old, please consult your doctor for medical advice.


Using Salty Water Remedy

Am sure you have heard the saying, “Salt is the light to the world”. This is true as salt has been proven to have many medicinal properties that can be helpful to you and me. One of those properties can help relieve a sore throat.

All you need to do is perform a salt gargle at least once or twice daily (Once in the morning and evening). Salt water will help soothe the sore throat and break down any bacteria present in your throat[3]. Add half a teaspoon of salt in clean, boiled or distilled water and gargle.

Using Ginger

The anti-inflammatory properties of Ginger will help soothe any pain and inflammation which is the cause of pain when your throat is sore. Ginger has gingerols and shogaols, which scientists say give the naturally occurring plant its excellent properties[4].

To use ginger to soothe your throat, you will need to add freshly grated ginger in a cup or glass of hot water, and then add lemon, too, for more flavour and impact. Let it sit in the hot water for some time to release the ginger flavour, and drink while warm.


Like Ginger, scientists have proof that peppermint also has anti-inflammatory effects that can be useful for sore throats. Apart from that, it also has antimicrobial properties that will help fight off bacterial infections, which are one of the causes of sore throats[5]. The menthol property in peppermint, besides helping you have fresh breath, will also help break up mucus and calm the sore throat you experience..

Click here to read how you can make peppermint tea to help soothe your throat.

Baking soda

A gargle of water mixed with baking soda will help prevent fungi and bacteria from growing in your throat. This will also help soothe your throat, relieving the pain and inflammation of sore throats.

Mix a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and one glass of warm water to make the solution, and add a pinch of salt. You can then gargle this baking soda solution maybe four times daily. Ensure you don’t swallow the solution and rinse your mouth afterwards.

Steam therapy

Steam therapy can be very effective in soothing the throat and even decongesting your nose. You can use a humidifier for this; if you don’t have one, I will show you how to improvise one. All you need is hot water in a bowl, you can then cover yourself with a blanket or towel and inhale the steam.

Adding peppermint or ginger to hot water can also make it more interesting. Please note that when using this for a child, you should be extra careful of the hot water to prevent burns and other accidents.

Hot vegetable soup

This is everyone’s grandmother’s first recommendation regarding sore throats and colds. The reason is valid because there is research to back up this claim. Chicken soup, in particular, is very good [6]. So get that grandma’s chicken soup recipe and prepare it, then watch it do wonders for your throat.


In today’s busy world, people rarely have the time to rest, and the CDC has also proven that lack of sleep reduces the body’s immunity, making you more susceptible to infections. Rest may be one of the good things you need.

Ensure you get 8 hours of sleep daily so your body’s immune system remains strong and effective. I know you work hard to care for your loved ones, but don’t do it so much that you forget to care for yourself.

When To Visit A Doctor

You should visit a doctor or a medical practitioner when any of the following occurs;

  • You start having chest pains or difficulty breathing.
  • The sore throat doesn’t improve or resolve within a week.
  • Start having ear pain or eye pain.
  • Your condition gets worse over time.
  • You develop a blood-stained cough.
  • You start noticing weight loss.

How will your doctor diagnose a sore throat?

Your practitioner may order a blood panel, a Full Hemogram, a throat swab or a sputum analysis, depending on the presentation of your condition.

Your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics for you. they will also prescribe an anti-inflammatory or anti-histamine medication to help soothe the sore throat.


By Henf Henf

Am Henfrey Wangulu, a Clinical Officer/Physician associate based in Kenya. I am a Tech and Health enthusiast and in my free time, I like Swimming, Art and socializing with other people

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