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If you’re dealing with a sore throat, you aren’t alone. Illnesses like strep throat are going around, and we’re sneaking up on allergy season, which can also cause sore throats. According to The Top Supplements and other holistic health sites and information providers, there are effective home remedies for sore throat. Below, we detail some of the options that might work best.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

Sore throats aren’t fun to deal with. It can feel scratchy and dry, and it’s painful to swallow. Sore throats can be symptoms of:

  • Allergies
  • Strep throat
  • The common cold
  • Upper respiratory tract illnesses

Symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or pink eye that come with a sore throat can mean a virus causes it.

Other symptoms that may occur along with a sore throat include fever, red or swollen tonsils, and red spots on the roof of the mouth. You might also notice swollen lymph nodes, especially on the front of your neck.

Bacteria can cause strep throat, so in this situation, the course of treatment might be antibiotics, but if a virus is causing it, these won’t help.

What Are the Best Natural Remedies for a Sore Throat?

The following are some things you can do on your own to help the symptoms of a sore throat and soothe the pain:

  • Add honey to warm tea. Honey can help alleviate symptoms of upper respiratory infections. In one study, honey was more effective at helping symptoms than traditional treatments like diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, and antibiotics.
  • Gargle with salt water, which can help soothe the pain in your throat and kill bacteria. You can add around ½ teaspoon of salt to warm water and gargle.
  • Another option you can gargle with is baking soda. You can also combine it with salt water, which can help prevent fungal growth and kill bacteria.
  • Chamomile tea has long been used in traditional and folk medicine. Chamomile can reduce discomfort because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Chamomile tea can also strengthen and stimulate the immune system, helping you better combat the underlying infection.
  • Peppermint tea, oils, or lozenges can help with sore throat pain. Peppermint also has antiviral and antibacterial benefits.
  • Use a humidifier where you sleep, adding moisture to the air and reducing discomfort when your throat is very dry.
  • Gargle with green tea. Green tea is an anti-inflammatory that may reduce pain.

Are There Supplements That Can Help a Sore Throat?

Some of the over-the-counter supplements that might help you as you’re battling the pain of a sore throat include:

  • Marshmallow root is an herb that contains mucilage. Mucilage is a mucus-like substance that can coat your throat and soothe pain. You can get marshmallow root as a tincture, tea, or capsule.
  • Licorice root can help prevent the growth of bacteria that causes strep throat and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Slippery elm has similarities to marshmallow root because it also contains mucilage. When you combine slippery elm with water, it forms a gel that can coat your throat and soothe pain and irritation. If you’re going to use this natural remedy, you can pour boiling water over the powdered bark, stir it, and drink it.
  • Garlic has antibacterial properties primarily thanks to its allicin content, which fights infections. Garlic supplements can help prevent and treat infections of the upper respiratory tract.
  • Zinc is a key nutrient for the healthy function of your immune system. You can also buy high-dose zinc lozenges, which in research, have been proven to shorten the duration of colds and illnesses.
  • Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, and you can step fresh, sliced ginger in hot water, or you can take it as a capsule.
  • Fenugreek is an herb in various forms, including as a tea or capsule. Fenugreek can help with pain, and it might kill bacteria that lead to inflammation and irritation.

There are a lot of natural ways you can deal with a sore throat, and many of these methods also help tackle the underlying illness causing it.

With that being said, this isn’t medical advice or a replacement for talking to your doctor, so do that before trying other natural remedies. They might need further testing to rule out any other potential causes for a sore throat.