A sore throat can occur for many reasons. However, for most people, if they feel a sore throat coming on, they know they need to treat it right away as it can mean an impending cold or flu. Thankfully, common home remedies for sore throat can help kill bacteria and viruses and alleviate pain and swelling in the throat.
About Sore Throat
A sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, occurs when you feel irritation, itchiness or pain in the throat. It’s usually very noticeable when you swallow and the pain can intensify. Additionally, sore throat may also simply occur with breathing.1
Usually, a sore throat is caused by a virus or bacteria in the throat. A viral infection in the throat is typically due to the cold or flu viruses, and sore throat is often one of the first signs of this type of infection. If caused by cold or flu, a sore throat will typically pass within a few days once the body’s immune system has fought off the virus.1,2
Another, more severe cause of sore throat is strep throat. Caused by the streptococcal bacteria, strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes swelling and pain in the throat. It’s usually accompanied by more severe symptoms and can take longer to recover from. It can also cause serious complications if left untreated.1,2
Other possible causes of sore throat can include:
- Mononucleosis (mono)
- Vocal cord strain
- Acid reflux
People who smoke may also experience sore throats repeatedly. This is due to irritants that affect the throat and airways. Exposure to secondhand smoke and other environmental toxins can also cause a dry, sore throat.1
Depending on the underlying cause, your sore throat may also be accompanied by the following symptoms:
- Swollen glands
- Muscle aches and pains
Best Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
When you feel a sore throat coming on, certain home remedies can help ease symptoms and prevent infection. Try these best remedies for sore throat:
Cayenne Pepper - Cayenne pepper is an easy at-home treatment for a sore throat. Substances in cayenne pepper help to numb pain and can also alleviate the sense of itchiness and reduce inflammation.
Honey - With natural antimicrobial properties, honey can help to relieve a sore throat by attacking the microbes causing the underlying infection. Honey also provides a soothing sensation to alleviate the soreness.
Honey and Cinnamon - The combination of honey and cinnamon work to alleviate soreness, reduce inflammation and kill an underlying infection causing a sore throat.
Apple Cider Vinegar - The high acid content in apple cider vinegar can help to kill off infectious bacteria. Apple cider vinegar is also an astringent and anti-inflammatory, which helps to soothe the throat and reduce swelling.
Ginger - A traditional home remedy for staving off a flu or cold is to eat raw ginger or drink ginger tea at the onset of a sore throat. Ginger helps to kill bad bacteria and reduce inflammation involved with a sore throat.