December 16, 2021
4 min. read

Sore Throat? Here are 7 Soothing Remedies to Try at Home


Dealing with an itchy, scratchy, sore throat? No matter the cause, sore throats make it harder to eat, drink, sleep, and talk…and generally function in our day-to-day.

What causes a sore throat?

Viruses that cause the common cold and the flu are also responsible for most sore throats. However, bacterial infections, and allergies can be culprits as well.

Other causes include:

The best way to determine the root cause (and most targeted treatment) of your sore throat is to consult with your doctor.

But if you need relief quickly, or have to wait for an appointment, you might give one of these tried-and-true home remedies a try:


If you don’t already have some honey in your kitchen cabinet, head to your local grocery store and grab some, as it can have a soothing effect on your throat by reducing irritation. Honey also has antibacterial properties that can promote health and wellbeing, too.


Chamomile Tea

You may already be used to having a nice cup of chamomile tea before bed. Fortunately, in addition to helping you drift off the sleep, chamomile has also been shown to gently relieve sore throat symptoms, too. Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is a long-trusted solution to the common cold. A bonus tip? Add a little bit of honey to your chamomile tea for an extra dose of protection.

chamomile tea

Marshmallow Root

If you’ve never heard of marshmallow root, your sore throat is going to be happy to hear about it now. Marshmallow root is a plant that may actually help relieve throat pain. It helps to build a protective coat in your mouth and throat that can relieve irritation and swelling.

marshmallow root

As an added plus, marshmallow root can also reduce dry cough symptoms. Look for it in the vitamin or supplement aisle at your local health food store, either in capsules or loose in bags.

Licorice Root

Known for its sweet flavor, the licorice plant holds certain properties which may help reduce the pain and swelling of a sore throat. Try mixing ground licorice root with warm water, and steep it for several minutes before drinking. As an alternative, you may also consider gargling licorice water or taking licorice root lozenges.

licorice root


Garlic is good for more than just garnish. In fact, garlic is actually also loaded with organic antibacterial properties like allicin, which is known to fight off bacterial infections.


Studies also show that ingesting garlic on a regular basis can actually help to prevent the common cold—though you may want to brush your teeth afterwards.

Salt Water

Salt water is known to help reduce swelling and irritation in your throat. To treat a sore throat, try dissolving ½ teaspoon in a glass of warm water and gargle, remembering not to swallow, every three hours while sore throat symptoms persist.

salt water


Low humidity can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy too. Especially in the dry air of winter, you might have some success adding a humidifier to your home to ease throat discomfort and pain.


Trying all or one of these natural remedies may provide some much-needed relief for your sore throat. If your throat pain persists, or gets worse over time and you want to rule out strep throat, it might also be a good idea to check in with your provider to see if your throat needs medical attention or if there are over-the-counter products you should try. In the meantime, keep up healthy habits like washing your hands, try the above tips, and for one final tip—replace your old toothbrush as soon as possible with a new, clean, germ-free one.

Resources: 1. D;, A. S. M. (n.d.). Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes and infection. Retrieved December 11, 2021, from 2. Johnston, C. S., & Gaas, C. A. (2006, May 30). Vinegar: Medicinal uses and antiglycemic effect. MedGenMed : Medscape general medicine. Retrieved December 11, 2021, from
3. Honey as a topical treatment for wounds. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Retrieved December 11, 2021, from 4. Charlotte Smith, M. D. (2020, January 23). 6 at-home remedies to ease your Sore Throat. Penn Medicine. 5. 6 sore throat remedies that actually work. Cleveland Clinic. (2021, October 8). 6. Abdullahzadeh, M., Matourypour, P., & Ali Naji, S. (2017, June 5). Investigation effect of oral chamomilla on sleep quality in elderly people in Isfahan: A randomized control trial. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 7. Srivastava, J., Shankar, E., & Gupta, S. (2010, November 1). Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 8. Möller, J., Kelber, O., & Nieber, K. (2019, September 09). Marshmallow root: A medicinal plant with a great tradition. 9. Agarwal, A., Gupta, D., Yadav, G., Goyal, P., Singh, P. K., & Singh, U. (2009). An evaluation of the efficacy of licorice gargle for attenuating postoperative sore throat: a prospective, randomized, single-blind study. Anesthesia and analgesia, 109(1), 77–81. 10. Bhatwalkar, S. B., Mondal, R., Krishna, S., Adam, J. K., Govender, P., & Anupam, R. (2021). Antibacterial Properties of Organosulfur Compounds of Garlic (Allium sativum). Frontiers in microbiology, 12, 613077. 11. Josling P. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: a double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in therapy, 18(4), 189–193. 12. Moyad M. A. (2009). Conventional and alternative medical advice for cold and flu prevention: what should be recommended and what should be avoided?. Urologic nursing, 29(6), 455–458. 13. Humidifiers: Ease skin, breathing symptoms. (2021, June 8). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved December 15, 2021, from(

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