How to Cure a Sore Throat – Causes, Symptoms and Remedies

The change of seasons can be quite refreshing, except that it brings with it a lot of ailments like the sniffles, cold, cough and a sore throat. What’s more is that it reminds you that you have one every time you swallow. You don’t get respite even when you lie down or take a break from your hectic routine. The pain in the throat is sometimes unbearable.  So much so that you keep looking for quick fix solutions to address your health issue. A sore throat may come with various other symptoms as well, like sneezes, a runny nose and so on.


Your clogged throat sometimes does not even respond to medicines with the speed you would like.  Also the sound of your voice changes, it becomes hoarse and sometimes you are unable to speak. So let’s find out about a few sore throat remedies which can give you some relief from the pain in your throat.

Causes for Sore Throat

The irritating lump in your throat can get on your nerves sometimes.  Besides causing you unmitigated distress, it can affect your everyday routine as well. If you are eating right and have taken pains to stick  to exercise and still get knocked down by recurring illness, it is time to find out the reasons behind that lump in your throat and of course how to cure a sore throat.


  • Viral Infection-The majority of sore throats are caused by a viral infection. These are infections caused by a virus, such as the cold or flu.

Other types of viral infections are:

  1. Mononucleosis, which is contagious and generally transmitted via saliva.
  2. Measles, which is a contagious illness which comes with rash or fear.
  3. Chickenpox, which is an infection that causes skin sores
  4. Croup, which is an infection of the larynx.
  • Bacterial Infection-A bacterial infection can also cause a sore throat. These types of infections include:
  1. Strep throat, which is an inflammation of the throat, caused by the Streptococcuspyogenic 
  2. Diphtheria, which causes throat inflammation.
  3.  The whooping cough, which affects the respiratory mucous membrane
  • Environmental Factors

Not all sore throats are viral or bacterial. There are several other causes of throat pain:

  1. If you’re allergic to pet dander, pollen, mold or other irritants, an exposure to these allergens can cause postnasal drip. This is when excess mucus builds up irritates your throat and cause pain or inflammation.
  2. Dry air is another reason for making your throat feels scratchy and raw.
  3. Active smoking or passive smoking can trigger off a sore throat.
  4. Yelling or too much talking can trigger throat strain.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is one of the reasons you may have a sore throat. This is a digestive problem that occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. This condition causes a number of symptoms, such as:

  • A sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea

The Symptoms of Sore Throat

The symptoms of a sore throat can persist for many days, and if it does persist, you need to see a doctor and find out whether there is any underlying condition that is triggering these problems. You should pay special attention to sore throat symptoms, and if they last for more than three days, you need to get it checked by a doctor. The symptoms of a sore throat are the following.


  • You experience pain and an uncomfortable feeling which refuses to go.
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Sore, swollen glands in the neck or jaw
  • Swollen, red tonsils
  • Pus on your tonsil or white patches.
  • Your voice gets affected becomes muffled.
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting or nausea.

Home Remedies

A sore throat, at the nascent stage, responds very well to home remedies which come straight from your kitchen. Try these home remedies to alleviate the pain that comes with a strep throat. Done diligently, these remedies can help your sore throat disappear gradually. Check out these home remedies for a sore throat and you will feel the positive impact in a few days.

1. Drink Licorice Root Tea

This is one of the best remedies for a sore throat. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root helps curb the irritation and the uncomfortable feeling that comes with a sore throat. The mucous membranes of your throat get considerable relief by drinking this tea.  You can buy tea with licorice in it, or brew up your own. The brew is very comforting and the warm drink soothes your throat considerably.


You will need

  • 1 cup chopped dry licorice root
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon chips
  • 2 tablespoons whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup chamomile flowers

Mix everything in a bowl nicely. Store in a glass jar away from light and heat if you wish to save some for later. To prepare the tea, combine 3 heaping tablespoons of the tea mix and 2.5 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to very low temperatures, and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a large mug through a strainer, sip, and enjoy your warm beverage.

2. Make Baking Soda Tea

Baking soda is often regarded as the go-to remedy for treating sore throats.  Baking soda has antibacterial properties, which could help to kill off the germs responsible for sore throats. The alkaline properties soothe the inflammation in your throat.  You can also add a little bit of salt to make the concoction a little bit more effective.

You will need

  • 1 cup of very warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon or a little less baking soda

Heat the water until it is very warm, but not boiling hot. Mix in a ½ teaspoon of salt and a ½ teaspoon or a little less baking soda, stir, and check the temperature of the water. Pour a little amount of the liquid into your throat; let it stay there for a while and then gargle. Drink this a couple of times a day till your condition improves.

3. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a wonderful remedy for a throat infection. Include this in your warm brews and get some welcome relief.


You will need:

  • One teaspoon of cinnamon
  • One teaspoon of black pepper powder


Add one teaspoon each of cinnamon powder and black pepper powder to a glass of warm water. You may also add cardamom. Strain the solution and gargle with it two to three times a day. Another option is to mix a few drops of cinnamon oil and one teaspoon of pure honey. Eat this two times a day to get relief from the pain and inflammation associated with a sore throat

4. Turmeric Brews for Sore Throat

We all know the myriad benefits of turmeric and how it protects our bodies from numerous diseases and infections. Try these remedies with turmeric and you are sure to get relief from sore throat conditions.

Remedy #1 Gargle: This method coats your throat with turmeric, and helps to flush out bacteria and other material that could be causing your sore throat. It helps cure your throat condition in a very short time period.


You will need:

  • 1/4th spoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 a spoon salt
  • ½ cup of warm water.


To use this remedy, take about half cup of warm water; add to half a spoon of salt and one-fourth spoon of turmeric powder to it. Use this concoction to gargle first thing in the morning. Do not drink or eat for around 30 minutes after you gargle for effective results.

Remedy #2 Haldi: The golden drink or haldidoodh is fast becoming a great remedy for a number of ailments. Its anti-inflammatory properties help you soothes your throat with great effect.


You will need

  • ½ a spoon of turmeric
  • ½ a spoon of ground turmeric
  • One glass of hot milk


To use this remedy, take half a spoon of turmeric and coarsely grounded black pepper and add it to a glass of boiling milk. Drink this up twice a day, especially before you hit the bed as it has sleep inducing properties too.

Remedy #3 Turmeric Tea: The warm water combined with honey and lemon juice makes a great remedy for a sore throat. When turmeric is added to the mix, it makes the concoction all the most effective as a sore throat treatment.


You will need:

  • 1 tbsp. of turmeric powder.
  • 1 lemon (juice it up)
  • 1 tsp. of honey


To use this remedy, add one tablespoon of turmeric powder to 4 cups of boiling water and let it boil for few more minutes. Strain (if required) and mix with lemon juice and honey. Drink the tea when it is still warm to find quick relief from a sore throat.

Remedy #4: This remedy utilizes the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of ingredients like ginger, pepper, tulsi or basil leaves, honey, and garlic. It is also known as kashaya and is thought to be used by our ancestors for centuries together.

You will need

  • 1 tsp. of ginger
  • 1 tsp. of pepper
  • A few basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • Few cloves of garlic


Here is how you can use it.  Add some ginger, pepper, basil leaves, honey and garlic along with turmeric to some water, and allow it to boil for 20 minutes till the liquid is half of its original quantity. Strain and drink the fluid to get relief from a sore throat and prevent it from getting worse.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

This is a great remedy for warding off bacterial infections. Stave off your throat infection with a concoction of hydrogen peroxide.

You will need

  • 3 percent Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Water
  • A drinking cup


Pour one cap-full of Hydrogen Peroxide into your cup or glass. Warm up some water, but do not make it scalding hot and dilute the Peroxide with a small quantity of warm water. Gargle with great care before spitting the liquid back out. Mix in a little honey if the taste seems bitter. This remedy can cure sore throat symptoms.

6. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a wonder brew which kills bacteria and provides you ample relief from pain. It also has anti-spasmodic properties that help the muscles relax and soothe your throat considerably.


You will need

  • 1 bag of chamomile tea and a mug.
  • A cup of boiling water


When the water has boiled, pour it into your mug and add the tea bag. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. You can add a bit of honey and lemon to make it a little tastier.

7. Cayenne and Honey Remedy

We love to have something hot and spicy when we are down with the flu, don’t we? Cayenne pepper fits the bill perfectly. Drinking warm water with cayenne can actually make you feel better. Cayenne (and other hot peppers) consist of a chemical compound called capsaicin, which temporarily relieves pain, like aspirin. It accomplishes this by creating obstacles for something called substance P, which is something which sends pain signals to your brain. Thus, your distress and discomfort nosedive when you take a sip of this hot brew. This is the best medicine for a sore throat.


You will need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey


Add 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper to one cup of boiling water. Mix in the honey, and wait until the mixture is warm but not hot before drinking throughout the day as needed. Make sure to stir it frequently as the cayenne settle down at the bottom of the glass or cup. If you find the decoction too hot and spicy for your palette sensitive to spice, reduce the pepper to as little as 1/8 of a teaspoon.

8. Clove Remedy

Cloves have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe and heal a sore throat.


You will need:

  • 1-3 tsp. of ground cloves.
  • 2 cups of water


Add 1 to 3 teaspoons of powdered or ground cloves to water, then mix and gargle.

9. Tomato Juice Remedy

The antioxidant properties of lycopene may help remedy a sore throat faster.


You will need:

  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 10 drops of hot pepper sauce


For temporary relief of sore throat symptoms, gargle with a mixture of 1/2 cup tomato juice and 1/2 cup hot water, and add about 10 drops of hot pepper sauce.

10. Lemon Water

The astringent juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile (acidic) environment for viruses and bacteria.


You will need:

  • 1 tsp. lemon juice.
  • 1 cup of water.


Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice in 1 cup water and have it for great results.

A few Quick Tips

Besides trying out these home remedies, do follow a few steps to ensure that you hit the road to recovery sooner than later.

  • Increase your liquid intake.
  • Use a humidifier in your room.
  • Gargle with warm salt water several times daily.
  • Take a few over the counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen, Tylenol etc.
  • Throat lozenges also provide temporary relief.

Should you Go to a Doctor?

If your throat infection or a sore throat lasts for more than three days, it may be time to seek help from a doctor. Rush to the doctor’s chamber if you suffer from the following symptoms.


  • Severe and prolonged sore throat
  • Feeling difficulty in your breath, swallowing and opening the mouth
  • Severe Joint pains
  • Earache
  • Rashes
  • Fever (Over 101°F)
  • Blood in saliva or phlegm
  • Recurring sore throat
  • Lump in the neck
  • Hoarseness which persists for more than 2 weeks

Should you be Taking Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are drugs that kill or impair bacteria. Penicillin or erythromycin are well-known antibiotics, prescribed when the physician suspects that you may be suffering from streptococcal or other bacterial infections which can be only be treated with antibiotics.


However, a number of bacterial throat infections do not respond to penicillin and need to be treated by another kind of antibiotics. Antibiotics do not cure viral infections, but viruses do lower the patient’s resistance to bacterial infections. A combined infection, bacterial and viral may need to be treated with antibiotics. When an infection occurs and you are prescribed antibiotics or medicine for a sore throatyou must follow or have the entire course of tablets as prescribed, because the infection will not be eliminated, but only be suppressed.

A sore throat can be quite a problem as it affects your daily life. You might not be able to speak, and the constant pain which you get reminded of every time you swallow can be extremely trying. So as soon as you feel the sore throat symptomsyou should start home remedies to stop the symptoms from getting worse. A sore throat can be treated with home remedies, you just need to be a little careful and you will be able to get rid of your sore throat in a jiffy!

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