While cold and flu symptoms differ for everyone, a sore throat is usually the first sign that I’m coming down with something rough. What starts as a burning in my throat quickly turns into a rattle in my chest and pressure in my ears. Then it’s all downhill from there. Sore throats can be caused by a whole bunch of things: a bacterial infection, a viral infection, strep throat. But no matter the cause, it’s best to treat it at the first sign of pain with a natural sore throat remedy. Thankfully, there are a whole host of remedies that you can use at home and that don’t require a trip to the doctor to ease the pain.
Read on to learn about some of my favorite sore throat remedies and get the recipe my battle-tested sore throat elixir.
Sore Throat Remedies + a Healing Elixir Recipe
Whether you’re coming down with a cold or something more sinister, these simple remedies should have you feeling back to normal in no time.
Ginger has been used to ease cold and flu symptoms for hundreds of years. It’s anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Plus it helps flush out toxins from the body and improves blood circulation.
Sage has astringent, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It’s one of the most well-known medicinal herbs and it has a long history of use for sore throats, coughs, and inflammation.
Raw 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.
Not only does licorice help get rid of cough-inducing phlegm and eliminate throat pain, but it might even help prevent a sore throat in the first place. This 2009 study found that post-operative patients who gargled with a licorice solution were less likely to develop a sore throat, making it a great sore throat remedy to try.
Most of people use chamomile for its soothing, sleep-inducing benefits, but it has also been shown to fight bacterial infections, reduce inflammation and soothe pain.
Honey on its own is a potent antibacterial and antifungal that’s brimming with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. When used for a sore throat remedy, it coats inflamed tissue and soothes pain.
Cayenne pepper stimulates your body to produce endorphins, which in turn reduce pain. It’s also packed with Vitamin A, said to encourage healing of skin and tissue.
Raw garlic contains a compound called allicin, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
A type of tree bark, slippery elm soothes mucus membranes in the throat, reduces swelling and decreases pain.
Sore Throat Elixir
Yield 12 ounces
This soothing sore throat elixir combines the best natural remedies for soothing throat pain. To use, either take it by the spoonful or dilute it in a glass of water and sip throughout the day.
- ½ cup cool water
- 1-inch piece of ginger root, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 1 cup raw honey
- 1 echinacea and elderberry tea bag
- 16 ounce glass jar with lid
- Mesh strainer or cheesecloth
- Place all ingredients in a small glass jar (if using a tea bag with a string, drape the string over the edge of the glass jar so the string and label stay dry). Screw the lid tightly and shake well.
- Refrigerate for 12 hours so that the tea and chamomile flowers can steep fully.
- Shake again, then strain to remove the herbs.
- To use, take 1 tablespoon by mouth or dilute in 8 ounces of water and sip.
- Store any unused portion in the refrigerator and use within 1 week.