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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 one of grandma’s sore throat remedies 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.

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Sore throat remedy: Lemon and water


Mix 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in 1 cup of water for this sore throat remedy; the astringent juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile (acidic) environment for viruses and bacteria. In addition to being an effective home gargle, lemon water has some great benefits when you have it first thing in the morning.

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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. Watch for the early signs of a cold and learn how to stop it.

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Sore throat remedy: Hot sauce and water


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. Feeling feverish? Here’s how to bring down a fever naturally.

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Sore throat remedy: Sage and water


Sage can soothe a sore throat and ease painful or swollen nasal passages. One of the traditional sore throat remedies calls for 1 teaspoon sage, 1⁄2 teaspoon alum, 1⁄4 cup brown sugar, 3⁄8 cup vinegar, and 1⁄8 cup water. Eating these foods can also help fight a cold.

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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 sore throat remedies, 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 help your belly issues, in addition to these other health benefits.

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Sore throat remedy: Wheatgrass juice


Another good sore throat remedy: Wheatgrass juice. A quick rinse and spit with this chlorophyll-rich liquid help 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. Curious about the next big juice trend? Here’s what drinking celery juice does to your body.

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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.

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Sore throat remedy: Tomato juice


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 ten drops of hot pepper sauce. The antioxidant properties of lycopene may help remedy a sore throat faster. And here’s what will help with that nagging cough you can’t seem to get rid of.

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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. Just how sick are you? We break down 5 signs it’s time to call in sick.

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Sore throat remedy: Apple cider vinegar and salt


If your throat is left raw by a bad cough, grab a bottle of apple cider vinegar because germs can’t survive in the acidic coating it’ll form on your throat. Gargle with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water; use several times a day if needed. For a gentler treatment, combine 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon every four hours. Try these natural home remedies for head colds, too.

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Sore throat remedy: Goldenseal and water


Gargling with the herbal germ-killer goldenseal (1 1⁄2 teaspoons of goldenseal tincture in eight ounces of water) kills viruses and bacteria as it soothes inflamed throat tissue.

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Sore throat remedy: Echinacea and water


Echinacea is an herbal virus killer. Add two teaspoons of tincture of echinacea to one cup of water and gargle this home remedy three times daily. In addition to easing sore throat pain, an echinacea gargle will give your immune system the boost it needs to fight the infection. In addition, make sure you eat these foods high in vitamin C.

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Sore throat remedy: Myrrh and water


You may be able to speed the healing process with myrrh (a few drops of tincture of myrrh in a cup of water). Highly astringent, myrrh is superb at combating inflammation. It’s an antiseptic too. Gargle six times a day—a bit of an effort, true, but well worth it.

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Sore throat remedy: Licorice water


Licorice root can soothe a sore throat and eliminate cough-inducing phlegm; a 2009 study found that post-operative patients who gargled with a licorice solution were less likely to develop a sore throat post-surgery. Mix one teaspoon of licorice syrup or powder with eight ounces of water and swish.

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Sore throat remedy: Raspberry tea


Raspberry tea is an old home remedy believed to treat everything from the flu to open wounds. One recipe calls for pouring one cup of boiling water over two teaspoons of dried tea leaves. Steep for ten minutes, then strain and let cool a bit. Gargle while warm. Next, find out the supplements you should be taking during cold and flu season.

Originally Published in 1,801 Home Remedies