Each year, about 10 to 30 percent of people reach out primary medical centers for sore throat treatment (1). Sore throat or pharyngitis is an infection caused by bacterial or virus which leads to the inflammation of mucus membranes or tonsils in the throat (2). It is one of the common health ailments during winters and transition between the seasons.
Dry throat, difficulty while swallowing, itchiness, pain, and hoarseness are some the common symptoms of a sore throat. Actually, sore throat resolves on its own in 1 – 2 weeks without any complications. However, in some cases it can turn into chronic conditions like strep throat, Rheumatic fever, Upper respiratory infection and others.
The worst part is – sore throat is very contagious. So, it is very important to treat them as soon you observe its symptoms. If you are looking out for a natural solution to speed up the healing process of sore throat then the first ingredient you have to consider is – “Honey”.
Don’t believe me! Here’s a quick study that proves the effectiveness of honey in treating sore throat…
“A study was conducted on 200 sore throat patients, 100 out of those were given honey along with other medications for sore throat. And the remaining 100 were given same medications without honey. After evaluating for 15 days, the results stated that people who took honey showed faster relief from signs and symptoms of sore throat.”
Can Honey Really Provide Relief from Sore Throat?
- Honey contains an enzyme called glucoseoxidase which contains anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties. They combat the bacteria and prevent the infection from spreading.
- Honey tends to act as a hypertonic osmotic which removes water from the inflamed tissues and reduces the swelling discomfort associated with sore throat.
- When you consume honey, you are basically coating a slippery layer of protection on your dry throat which soothes the itch, pain and irritation of sore throat and cough as well.
- Manuka honey in particular, is known to cure sore throats and tonsillitis caused by streptococcus bacterium.
How to Use Honey for Sore Throat?
Honey can be coupled with one or more ingredients as a home remedy for a speedy recovery from sore throat. We have listed them below for your convenience.
1. Raw Honey
Consuming 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey (or manuka honey) directly or by adding it into juice, tea or water helps to get relief from the discomforts caused by sore throat. You can take it once in the morning and once before going to bed. You can also make delicious honey tea by following the below process…
- Mix a tablespoon of honey, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a cup.
- Pour hot water over it
- Sip this to soothe sore throat.
- Drink this tea before going to bed to get relief from sore throat.
2. Honey, Lemon and Ginger Infusion
The citric acid present in lemon combats the bacteria causing sore throat. Ginger acts as an expectorant which loosens and expels the mucus from respiratory system.
- Warm a cup of water
- Squeeze a lemon and add a few slices of ginger to it.
- Now mix and steep the concoction for 5 minutes.
- Add a tablespoon of honey to it and sprinkle a pinch of salt.
- Let it steep for another 5 minutes.
- Drink twice a day or till the symptoms last.
Alternative Method: Extract juice from a 3-inch ginger root. Mix it with 3 tablespoons each of raw honey and lemon juice. Consume the mixture several times in a day whenever your throat is irritated.
3. Honey and Milk
Milk is a relaxing agent. It is known to soothe the irritation and itchy lesions in sore throat. Turmeric contains antiseptic and antimicrobial properties which deal with the bacteria causing bacteria.
- Slightly warm up a mug of milk.
- Add a tablespoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric to it
- Drink it every night before sleep.
- Follow the remedy till the sore throat disappears.
Note: Milk is known to thicken the phlegm in the throat so it is advisable to take it in lower quantities and slowly.
4. Honey and Turmeric
Turmeric consists of curcuminoids, a bunch of powerful antiseptics, antibiotics and anti-bacterial compounds. They reduce the inflammation caused by sore throat and kill any infection present in it.
- Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric to 4 cups of water and heat it at low flame.
- Once the concoction is warm enough to handle, remove from the flame.
- Squeeze a lemon and add honey.
- Drink whenever the irritation or agony of sore throat is high.
5. Honey and Garlic
Garlic is a decongestant which clears out the mucous formed in the throat. Allicin is an organosulfur compound found in Garlic which helps to kill and remove soreness causing bacteria from the throat.
- Mince 3 cloves of garlic and mix it into ½ cup raw honey.
- Cover the mixture and let it sit overnight.
- Add 1 teaspoon of this mixture to a cup of hot water.
- Stir well and drink to clear sore throat
- Drink 3 cups in a day to prevent sore throat.
Alternative Method: Mince and crush about 10-20 Garlic cloves. Add it to about 1/3 cup of honey and mix well. Consume 1 tablespoon every night before bed.
6. Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
Being highly acidic, apple cider vinegar kills germs and bacterium as soon as it enters your system and forms a protective coating in your throat.
- Heat a cup of water.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon of raw honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
- Drink when it is warm.
- Repeat the process once or twice in a day until sore throat clears.
Alternative Method: Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into ½ cup of warm water and mix well. Use this mixture gargle. Repeat the process twice in a day.
7. Honey and Black Pepper
Black Pepper is filled with flavonoids, antioxidants and vitamin C. It loosens the phlegm in throat and makes respiration easy.
- Take about 5-6 black peppers and roast them.
- Now grind and powder them.
- Add a pinch of this fine powder to ½ tablespoon of honey.
- Eat this mixture every morning as a preventive and cure for sore throat.
8. Honey and Orange Juice
Orange Juice consists of citrus acid which works best in preventing any kind of cold, cough or sore throat. Vitamin C present in orange juice helps to eliminate the virus causing sore throat.
- Heat a glass of orange juice on high flame.
- Turn off the stove once before it reaches the boiling point.
- Now add honey to it and mix well.
- Drink it once or twice a day.
9. Honey and Cinnamon
Sore throat can cause a lot of inflammation and swelling. Cinnamon is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It loosens the mucus and reduces the inflammation.
- Heat 1 cup of milk until hot but not boiling.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon and powdered ginger into it.
- Add 1 tablespoon of honey for sweetness and mix well.
- Consume it daily before going to bed until sore throat clears.
Alternative Method: Combine 1 teaspoon of honey and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon powder. Mix well and consume this mixture. Repeat the method every 3 – 4 hours depending on the intensity of soreness and inflammation.
10. Honey and Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is known to ease pain by blocking pain signals being sent to the brain. But the only drawback of using Cayenne pepper is that it may cause inflammation in open sore throats.
- Take 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Mix 1 drop of cayenne pepper oil.
- Swallow whenever the pain in throat is unbearable.
Alternative Method: Add freshly squeezed lemon, one teaspoon of honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper into a cup of hot water. Consume whenever needed.
Note: Cayenne or Honey must not be given to children below 1 year.
11. Honey and Ginger
Ginger is a natural painkiller. It has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which fight against the infection.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of raw honey with 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger juice.
- Consume the mixture immediately.
- Or else add the mixture to a cup of warm water and consume.
- Repeat the process several times in a day.
12. Honey and Lemon
Honey soothes the soreness and fights bacteria that cause infection while lemon acts as an astringent that breaks up mucus. Lemon also contains essential nutrients and vitamins that support the immune system. You can consume the mixture of 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to get relief from sore throat. Or else try the process mentioned below…
- Cut a lemon in half.
- Boil both halves for 3 minutes or else roast them until the peel turns golden brown.
- Let them cool until they’re comfortable to touch.
- Squeeze the juice into a container and add 1 cup of raw honey.
- Mix well and take 2 tablespoons of this mixture every 4 hours.
- Repeat regularly to soothe and coat throat and cough caused by irritation.
Manuka Honey for Sore Throat
Manuka honey is produced by bees when they pollinate a particular Manuka bush in New Zealand and Australian lands. It has higher nutritional value than any other honey variation available. The nutritional value of Manuka honey is 4 times that of an ordinary honey. Active manuka honey is rich in anti-oxidants and it contains antibacterial properties which help to kill the streptococcus virus that causes sore throat and cough.
- Heat a cup of water.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon each of manuka honey and lemon juice.
- Drink this slowly to get relief from the sore throat.
- Follow this regularly to get rid of irritated throat.
Precautions and Tips
- Usually, unprocessed and raw honey is preferred for any of the above mentioned remedies. Most of bottled honey is processed. Any honey usually tends to lose its medicinal value when heated over 40 degrees.
- Children under the age of 1 must NOT be given honey.
- If you are on a weight loss regime, understand that honey contains considerable amount of calories. Calculate calories before you proceed with any remedy.
- Not ALL of the above mentioned remedies suit all body types. If you happen to find out that your body is allergic to any of the ingredients, refrain from following that method.
If you have any queries regarding any of the above mentioned remedies, please do write to us in the comment section below.