Natural Home Remedies for Sore Throat: Doctor-Approved

Written by Dr Nelson Lau - MBBS FRACGP, GP & Digital Health Specialist

What Causes a Sore Throat?

Knowing what is causing sore throat is equally important as home remedies for sore throat. The burning, scratchy feeling in your throat can have multiple potential culprits:

  • Viruses: The common cold and flu tops the list. They’re usually to blame for a sore throat alongside other typical symptoms.
  • Bacterial Infections: Strep throat, caused by the Streptococcus bacteria, gives you a particularly painful sore throat, sometimes with fever and white patches on your tonsils.
  • Allergies: Seasonal sniffles and sneezes can lead to an irritated throat due to postnasal drip and constant throat clearing.
  • Dry Air: Especially during those arid, winter months, a lack of humidity can dry out your throat, leaving it scratchy and uncomfortable.
  • Irritants: Smoke, pollution, and harsh cleaning chemicals can all irritate sensitive throat tissues.
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Natural Home Remedies for Sore Throat

You will likely find natural home remedies in your kitchen and maybe your garden for gentle, healing solutions:

1. Honey

This soothing remedy boasts antibacterial properties while coating your throat and easing your discomfort.

Simple and Sweet: Enjoy a spoonful straight, swirl it into warm tea, or drizzle it over a piece of toast. Always choose raw, local honey for maximum potential benefits as processed honey often has the beneficial nutrients removed. Note that honey should not be given to babies younger than 1 year of age due to the serious risk of botulism.

2. Warm Fluids

A warm beverage can help to soothe a scratchy throat. The heat itself loosens mucous and eases irritation.


Options: From soothing herbal teas (ginger, chamomile, or peppermint) to warm water with lemon and honey or even clear broths, all of which can provide your throat comfort.

3. Saltwater Gargle

This classic remedy can be very effective as salt reduces inflammation and can offer some temporary relief.

The Recipe: Mix a quarter teaspoon of salt into a glass of lukewarm water. Gargle several times a day (no need to swallow).

4. Humidifiers

These help to combat the dry air that aggravates sore throats by adding moisture to your room and making breathing easier.

5. Marshmallow Root

Not the candy kind, but a herb used for centuries as a throat soother. Marshmallow root tea is available in health stores as an option.

6. Slippery Elm

The inner bark of this tree creates a soothing gel when mixed with water. It coats the throat, decreasing irritation. It can be found as a lozenge, tea, or in powder form.

What to Avoid When You Have a Sore Throat

Here’s what to steer clear of:

  • Smoking: If you smoke, even taking a temporary break will offer your sore throat some relief. Smoke seriously irritates and weakens your immune response.
  • Irritants: Fragrances, cleaning products, and dust can all worsen your throat discomfort. Let those sensitivities guide you and avoid these triggers.
  • Spicy or Acidic Foods: These can feel like sandpaper on an already tender throat. Swap them for blander options until things improve.

When to Consult a Doctor?

While most sore throats clear up with home care, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice if you experience:

  • A sore throat lasting more than a week
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • High fever or chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck
  • White patches on your tonsils

Remember, these could be signs of a more serious infection requiring professional treatment

Can Telehealth Doctors Help with Sore Throats?

Telehealth services are a convenient way to speak with an online doctor from anywhere in Australia. They can help diagnose the cause, recommend over-the-counter medications, or even prescribe antibiotics if needed for bacterial infections like strep throat.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the home remedies for a sore throat and stuffy nose?

When your sore throat is paired with a stuffy nose, think about tackling that congestion to get relief. Steam inhalations (carefully lean over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head) can help loosen mucous. Humidifiers fight back against dry air that irritates both your nose and throat. Saline nasal sprays or rinses gently flush out irritants and help clear your nasal passages. All of these indirectly ease a sore throat caused by irritating postnasal drip.

What are the home remedies for a sore throat and cough?

Honey, warm fluids, and saltwater gargles are effective home remedies.  Honey’s anti-inflammatory and potential antibacterial properties soothe both irritated throats and coughs.  Warm fluids, whether herbal teas or broth, loosen mucous and temporarily calm coughs while keeping you hydrated. Saltwater gargles ease throat inflammation, which might make coughing less frequent.

How do I get rid of a sore throat quickly?

Unfortunately, there’s no magic potion to erase sore throats overnight. The best way to speed up healing is to prioritise your body’s natural defences. Get lots of rest, stay hydrated to thin the mucous, and rely on the soothing remedies we’ve discussed.  While a sore throat might linger, these strategies make the process much more comfortable.

Is there a way to cure a sore throat overnight?

While we’d all love a miracle cure, it’s very unlikely a sore throat will completely vanish overnight. However, the natural remedies we’ve covered can often offer significant relief. They reduce inflammation and can support your immune system. With a little help from nature, you should wake up feeling much better, even if your sore throat isn’t entirely gone.

How do I fix my throat when it hurts to swallow?

Focus on soothing foods and drinks until the worst of the pain subsides. Soft foods like soups, yoghurt, applesauce, and scrambled eggs are gentle options. Warm liquids are particularly comforting – teas, broth, or warm water with lemon and honey. Throat lozenges often contain numbing ingredients to provide temporary pain relief. If you are having difficulty swallowing fluids, you should get checked by your doctor to see if significants is swelling in your tonsils.

Is ice cream good for a sore throat?

For some people, the cool, creamy texture of ice cream provides soothing relief. For others, dairy products can thicken mucous and make matters worse.  A small amount of ice cream might be the perfect treat to ease discomfort momentarily, but if it worsens your congestion or cough, there are plenty of other home remedies to fall back on.

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Disclaimer

This content is created for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. For emergencies please immediately contact 000.