Natural Remedies for the Common Sore Throat

by | Last updated Jan 11, 2024 | Flu and Colds

The average child will have between 6 to 10 colds a year, while the average adult will have 2 to 4 colds a year. What can you do to speed recovery? After all, antibiotics are ineffective in combating the cold viruses.


Contrast Shower

Do an alternating hot and cold shower as tolerated: hot for 1 ½ minutes and cold for 30 seconds; do three exchanges. Be sure to make the second and third changes progressively hotter. Finish with cold. Hot and cold showers boost the number of circulating white blood cells. Perform this treatment twice a day. Rest afterwards.

Cautions: This treatment should not be tried by individuals who have bleeding disorders, severe anemia, blood vessel disorders, or neuropathy without first consulting a health care professional.

Heating Throat Compress

The heating compress is the application of a cold moist cloth to the throat inducing a warming reaction and directing the germ-fighting white blood cells to the area. This warming effect is maintained by a dry cloth covering applied over the cold compress which warms up.


Dip a cotton cloth in cold water and wring it out so that it does not drip when applied. Wrap it around the neck. Place a larger piece of wool flannel over the cotton, extending about a ½ inch on each side. Wrap it around the neck snugly and pin it securely. Initially, it is cool but should warm up within 5 minutes. If it doesn’t warm up, take it off, and repeat the same procedure using a dry instead of a wet cotton cloth. Leave it on for 6 to 8 hours. When you take it off, rub the neck with cool water.



The cineole in cardamom combats inflammation of the throat and larynx. Ginger, turmeric, peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus also contain cineole.

Herbal Antiseptic Gargle

Sage or thyme tea makes an excellent gargle because of their astringent, antiseptic properties.  For a gargle, add 2 teaspoons of sage leaves (or thyme), and a pinch of salt to 1 cup of boiling water. Remove from the heat and steep for 20 minutes.  Let cool before gargling.  Use 3-4 times daily.

Immune Boosters

Try slippery elm lozenges; they are known to soothe sore throats. Slippery elm contains antiseptic and anti-allergic compounds. While garlic and astragalus root are both immune boosters, garlic also has anti-viral and antibacterial phytochemicals. Garlic improves activity of the natural killer cells that destroys viruses as well as cancer cells.

If you have been exposed to a cold or flu virus, try this cocktail: Take 1 quart of water, 1 peeled garlic clove, and 1 lemon or grapefruit (peel skin off and chop the fruit in medium pieces). Blend everything up and drink. Do not use a medicinal amount of garlic if you have a bleeding disorder, are taking a blood thinner, or have low blood pressure.

Herbal Cautions

Pregnant or lactating women, individuals with medical conditions, or those using prescriptions should talk to their pharmacist before using any medicinal amounts of herbs.  Do not take garlic if you are on a blood thinner, have a bleeding disorder, or low blood pressure.

When to See a Doctor

Some colds lead to secondary infections such as a bacterial middle ear infection or sinus infection which are usually treated with antibiotics. When a cold is accompanied by high fever, sinus pain, significantly swollen glands, or a mucus-producing cough, see a doctor.

Not all sore throats are caused by an infection. If you have them frequently, your sore throat might be a sign of allergies or gastric reflux. Although strep throat can be successfully treated with vigorous hydrotherapy, the bacteria can damage the heart valve and kidneys. If you have strep, it is imperative that you see a doctor. Red and swollen tonsils (sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus), tiny red spots on the soft or hard palate, swollen, tender lymph glands in your neck, fever, and a possible rash warrant a doctor’s visit immediately.

Key Words:

sore throat relief      natural sore throat remedies    herbs for sore throat

Works Cited:

Craig, Winston, Ph.D., Herbs for Your Health, A Guide to the Therapeutic Use of 40 Commonly Used Herbs, Golden Harvest Books, 2005.
Dail, Clarence, MD and Thomas, Charles, Ph.D. Hydrotherapy: Simple Treatments for Common Ailments, Teach Publishers, 1995.
Duke, James A, The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook, Rodale Books, 2000.
Duke, James, Ph.D., The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods : Proven Natural Remedies to Treat and Prevent More Than 80 Common Health Concerns
Moore, Fred, M.D., et al, Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage, Pacific Press, 1964.
White, Linda, MD and Foster, Steven, The Herbal Drugbook, Interweave press, 2000.
www.umm.edu › Medical Reference › Complementary Medicine > Peppermint.
www.pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/summary/summary, cineole.

Pin It on Pinterest