It’s funny how pain can take us by surprise. For instance, pulling a muscle you never knew you had or realizing just how much a paper cut can sting. It’s the same for sore throats. You never think about how much something so menial can hurt until it does.
Whenever I come down with a sore throat I know it’s often one of the first signs of something worse. To quickly counteract that possibility, I reach for the best natural remedies for sore throat I can think of: herbs of course! Instead of using nerve cell numbing anesthetic cough drops, try herbs that will actually treat the cause and bring down inflammation.
Whether you’re coming down with a cold or have been exposed to strep or airborne irritants, these simple yet effective remedies will have you forgetting your throat even exists in no time. However, if your sore throat is accompanied by a fever, I strongly advise you seek a visit with your healthcare practitioner.
The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Let me begin with one of the most tried and true remedies; slippery elm. A woodsy and earthy bark that soothes all mucus membranes, slippery elm contains compounds that are both germ-killing and histamine balancing allowing it to soothe and bring down irritation, swelling, and by extension, pain. This is the herb I always reach for first. Slippery elm will often keep the beginning stages of a sore throat from taking hold as well as get rid of the worst cases after a few doses.
• As a tea– A bit slimy in consistency but works quite well if you’re fine with the texture. I like this one.
• As porridge– This is a very easy way to take slippery elm and it tastes delicious. Check out this recipe.
• In a capsule– I like this brand
• As a lozenge– Buy them here, or make your own slippery elm lozenges
• As a tincture– I like this brand (keep in mind that this form is the least effective but may work in a pinch)
Adults can take and of these preparations 3-4 times a day.
Throughout history, licorice root has been revered for its ability to soothe and calm sore throats. It is also an expectorant, so if you have a croupy cough along with an aching throat, this remedy will work for that as well.
You can easily buy the tea (I like this one) or licorice root itself (I like this one and this one) to make the tea at home. It has a sweet flavor, so feel free to add other tasty herbs like cinnamon or a few cloves to balance the sweetness.
The best way to make licorice root tea is by method of decoction (learn how to do it here) to insure you get all of the good stuff out. You can also take licorice root as a capsule or tincture, but I really feel the best results from the strongly made tea.
Adults can take licorice root 2-3 times per day.