A sore throat is an inflammation of the throat and/or tonsils that can be painful when you swallow. It is one of the most common health complaints with around 10 to 30 percent of primary health center patients complaining of one each year [R].
Here are 5 natural sore throat remedies supported by studies:
1. Slippery Elm
This species of elm is commonly used to relieve digestive problems. It contains a gummy substance called mucilage which becomes a gel when combined with water and forms a layer along the digestive tract, throat, tonsils, and others. This formed gel can relieve dry and sore throat and reduce inflammation [R] [R].
Simply mix 1 tablespoon of slippery elm tea, herb, or extract in hot water. Drink this concoction three times a day. You can also suckle on a slippery elm lozenge as needed [R].
2. Arnica Montana
Also called wolf’s bane, this flowering plant in the sunflower family is actually toxic when consumed. However, its diluted supplement counterpart is used as a homeopathic treatment. They are safe for use and have been studied as a treatment for diabetic eye damage, muscle pain, and postsurgical edema and pain [R].
In 2017, two case studies reported that dilute arnica was effective in treating severe postsurgical sore throat and dysphagia. The patients were treated with three doses of arnica over 36 hours and reported relief of their severe symptoms after 48 hours of treatment [R].
3. Monk Fruit
In China, this fruit is traditionally used as a natural remedy for cough and sore throat. Due to its siraitiflavandiol component, it is effective in killing some of the most notorious bacteria, such as Candida albicans, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Streptococcus mutans in cell culture [R].
Additionally, lab studies have proved that certain components of this fruit inhibited the growth of oral fungi and bacteria species [R].
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an essential oil with a myriad of uses. Derived from Melaleuca alternifolia extract and noted for its antibacterial properties, it has been used in Australia to treat sore throats and minor injuries for nearly a century [R].
Three to six drops of organic tea tree oil mixed with lukewarm water should be gargled for sore throat relief.
5. Raw Honey
This sweet treat contains antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are perfect in healing respiratory diseases, such as sore throat. It can also reduce coughing and secretion of mucus, which adds to its respiratory benefits [R].
The Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Sciences published a research that stated that honey can inhibit the growth of nearly 60 species of bacteria and some species of viruses and fungi. It is also laden with antioxidants due to its phenolic compounds, organic acids, and peptides [R].
For fast relief of sore throat, a mixture of organic raw honey and tea, lemon oil, or lukewarm water is recommended.
Although these natural remedies are proven effective, it is still important to seek the help of your physician if:
- you have a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- you’re having difficulty swallowing or breathing.
- your sore throat symptoms are not relieved after a week of treatment.
We strongly advise you to have a regular check-up with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least every three months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplement mentioned in the list for long-term.