Sore Throat Remedies: 16 Natural Gargles
Gargling is a simple and remarkably effective way to kill germs and soothe a sore throat. Try one of these trusted homemade gargles next time you’re looking to relieve throat pain.
Sore throat remedy: Salt and water
Try grandma’s sore throat remedy by mixing 1⁄4 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water. (Use the hottest water you can comfortably tolerate. Cold gargles are ineffective.) If you have it, add 1 tablespoon of Listerine for germ-killing power. The briny solution helps rinse away and neutralize acids in the throat, relieving the burning sensation and promoting fast healing of irritated mucous membranes. Note: Mix a fresh batch of gargle for every use. Better to waste a bit pouring it out than to leave it in your glass, where it might become contaminated with bacteria. Also, do not swallow the gargle; spit it out. If grandma’s recipe doesn’t work its magic, opt for sugar-free, menthol-based cough drops — this doctor explains why.
Sore throat remedy: Lemon and water
Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 cup of water for this home remedy for sore throats; the astringent juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile (acidic) environment for viruses and bacteria. Besides soothing your throat, drinking lemon water every day can also benefit your health big time in these 12 ways.
Sore throat remedy: Ginger, honey, and lemon in water
This sore throat home remedy mixes 1 teaspoon each of powdered ginger and honey, 1⁄2 cup of hot water, and the juice of 1⁄2 squeezed lemon. Pour the water over the ginger, then add the lemon juice and honey, and gargle. Honey coats the throat and also has mild antibacterial properties. Here’s why you should buy a jar of the trending manuka honey.
Sore throat remedy: Hot sauce and water
The capsicum in hot peppers helps alleviate pain and fights inflammation. Add five shakes of ground cayenne pepper (or a few shakes of hot sauce) to a cup of hot water for sore throat relief. It’ll burn, but try this gargle every 15 minutes and see if it helps. In fact, this study reveals that hot peppers could make you live longer!
Sore throat remedy: Sage and water
Sage can soothe a sore throat and ease painful or swollen nasal passages — the herb can even boost your brain! One traditional home remedy calls for 1 teaspoon sage, 1⁄2 teaspoon alum, 1⁄4 cup brown sugar, 3⁄8 cup vinegar, and 1⁄8 cup water.
Sore throat remedy: Turmeric and water
This yellow spice is a powerful antioxidant, and scientists think it has the strength to fight many serious diseases. For a sore throat remedy, mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of hot water and gargle. An added bonus? Turmeric may even banish your belly issues!
Sore throat remedy: Wheatgrass juice
Another good sore throat remedy: Wheatgrass juice. A quick rinse and spit with this chlorophyll-rich liquid helps prohibit bacteria growth and ease throat pain. Wheatgrass juice is said to help stop toothache pain and revitalize weakened gums when it’s held in the mouth for about five minutes. Here’s why experts say juicing and these 20 other health trends are overrated.
Sore throat remedy: Clove tea
Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered or ground cloves to water, then mix and gargle. Cloves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and heal a sore throat. (These are the seven genius ways this cook uses tea in her favorite recipes!)
Sore throat remedy: Tomato juice
For temporary relief of sore throat symptoms, gargle with a mixture of 1/2 cup of tomato juice and 1/2 cup of hot water, plus about 10 drops of hot pepper sauce. The antioxidant properties of lycopene may help remedy a sore throat faster. (This is the strange reason why tomato juice tastes better on airplanes!)
Sore throat remedy: Green tea
Green tea is known to naturally fight infections. Next time you brew a cup, make a little extra and gargle with some of this remedy to kill any bacteria your sore throat may be harboring. (This is why health nuts are obsessed with matcha tea.)
Sore throat remedy: Apple cider vinegar and salt
If your throat is left raw by a bad cough, grab a bottle of apple cider vinegar because germs can’t survive in the acidic coating it’ll form on your throat. Gargle with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours. Despite it being great for a nasty sore throat, apple cider vinegar does have its pitfalls.
Sore throat remedy: Goldenseal and water
Gargling with the herbal germ-killer goldenseal (1 1⁄2 teaspoons of goldenseal tincture in 8 ounces of water) kills viruses and bacteria as it soothes inflamed throat tissue. (Chow down on these 16 foods for even more anti-inflammatory benefits!)
Sore throat remedy: Echinacea and water
Echinacea is an herbal virus killer. Add 2 teaspoons of tincture of echinacea to 1 cup of water and gargle this home remedy three times daily. In addition to easing sore throat pain, an echinacea gargle will give your immune system the boost it needs to fight the infection. In addition, make sure you eat these eight healing foods to get rid of that pesky head cold.
Sore throat remedy: Myrrh and water
You may be able to speed the healing process with myrrh (a few drops of tincture of myrrh in a cup of water). Highly astringent, myrrh is superb at combating inflammation, which may be why it helps keep your skin looking silky smooth at any age. It’s an antiseptic too. Gargle six times a day—a bit of an effort, true, but well worth it.
Sore throat remedy: Licorice water
Licorice root can soothe a sore throat and eliminate cough-inducing phlegm; a 2009 study found that post-operative patients who gargled with a licorice solution were less likely to develop a sore throat post-surgery. Mix one teaspoon of licorice syrup or powder with eight ounces of water and swish. Sore throats aren’t the only thing licorice can remedy. Check out these eight surprising health benefits of licorice!
Sore throat remedy: Raspberry tea
Raspberry tea is an old home remedy believed to treat everything from the flu to open wounds. One recipe calls for pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried tea leaves. Steep for 10 minutes, then strain and let cool a bit. Gargle while warm. (These are the 10 best teas for every mood!)