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.

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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

istock/John Scott

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

istock/Kateryna Maksimenko

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.)

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