Do you have a lump in your throat that is making it difficult for you to swallow? Perhaps you are feeling pain, tenderness, hoarseness, dryness or hollowness in your throat? If so, you are probably experiencing the onsets of a sore throat.

Causes of a sore throat

  • Excessively dry climate
  • Air pollution – smoke and dust
  • Allergy or asthma
  • Part of viral flu or a common cold
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Swollen glands

The simple swelling of the mucous membrane is, basically, your body’s response to a sore throat – its in-house sore throat remedy. You feel like you have been given a different voice box altogether for a while – an alien to your own ears!

It might, just, be a symptom of the common cold in which case waiting for it to go away on its own might be best. On the other hand, if it is the sign of a throat infection, it will require some treatment.

You might like to consider these home remedies for your sore throat to help yourself during this uncomfortable period. 

How to cure a sore throat

To avoid the harsh side effects of allopathic medicines, try these natural sore throat remedies to relieve yourself.

1) Gargle with

  • salt water – Dissolve half a tsp of rock salt in warm water and gargle. This will help reduce the swelling in your throat. It will also help loosen the mucus and flush it out.
  • Henna leaves – These may also be used as a decoction that you can gargle.
  • Cardamom powder – Dissolve the powder in water, strain, and gargle.
  • Methi seeds – Boil them in water, strain, and gargle.
  • Turmeric water – Turmeric is an excellent antioxidant. Mix ½ tsp of turmeric powder in hot water along with ½ tsp of salt. Gargle every 2 hours.
  • Basil water – You can boil water with tulsi leaves (basil). You can either drink this mixture after straining it or gargle with it.
  • Tankana Bhasma – This is made from borax. You can dissolve some Tankana Bhasma powder in water, and gargle once or twice a day.

Generally speaking, you can gargle these solutions every 2 hours for about 30 seconds to help relieve your discomfort.

2) Drink lemon/ginger water:

Add a spoon of honey and lemon juice to warm water and drink it. Honey can help relieve the pain of a sore throat.

3) Drink warm liquids

Warm fluids will help moisten your throat preventing a dry throat and the resulting dehydration. You can try these hot beverages:

  • Tea with ginger and honey is a popular concoction that soothes the inflamed throat.
  • Red hibiscus tea helps ease your sore throat. Red hibiscus tea is also beneficial as it is high in Vitamin C.
  • Sip some warm water from time to time to keep yourself hydrated and moist in the throat.

4) Take Triphala and Yashtimadhu decoctions

What to avoid when you have sore throat

  • Dairy – Dairy products cause excess mucus in some people. So, if you find that it affects you adversely, stay away from dairy till your symptoms subside.
  • Fried food and sweets – Delicious to the tongue but detrimental to the throat, these foods are difficult to digest. They further irritate your throat and worsen your symptoms.
  • Dry and hard foods – Dry toasts and raw vegetables can irritate the throat and worsen your sore throat.
  • Smoking – The tar that accumulates when you smoke tobacco settles in the throat, causing further irritation.
  • Add 1 tsp of Yashtimadhu (licorice roots) to 2 cups of water and boil the mixture for 5-10 minutes. Drink this decoction 2-3 times a day. You may also add some honey to it.
  • Mix ¼ tsp of Triphala powder in water and leave it covered overnight. Drink the clear water in the morning. Triphala has high levels of Vitamin C and clears mucus from the body. It is also an effective detoxifying agent.

5) Chew betel leaves

Betel leaves is an ancient and traditional folklore medicine that can help ease your sore throat. You can also boil betel leaves and basil leaves in water till it reduces to about half the content. Strain and drink the liquid. You may add honey or salt to it as per your taste.

6) Chew cloves

Keep a few cloves in the back of your mouth – between your teeth and cheeks. You may bite them from time to time to release the oils in them. Their numbing properties prove an effective home remedy for sore throats. They are also useful when you have a dry cough.

7) Detoxify your body and mind

Have you tried yoga for the body and meditation for the mind? The asanas and pranayamas in yoga help clear the breathing tract, ejecting mucus along with toxins. Meditation  helps you relax and de-stress. It helps energize you and strengthens your immune system, acting as an effective preventive and curative mechanism for sore throats.

Along with these remedies, ensure that you eat a balanced diet. Lead a disciplined and regular lifestyle with adequate rest. When your body is tired, it will not be able to harness its self-healing powers effectively. Regular sleep and relaxation will rid you of that irritating dry throat and remedy your sore throat.

It is a simple affliction and one that used to work itself off on its own in the good ol’ days.  Unfortunately, several extraneous factors such as pollution and long hours of stress have led to more stubborn symptoms. Eating, drinking, talking and, even, breathing become an effort. So, don’t hesitate and wonder how to cure yourself of a sore throat anymore. Try out these home remedies for a sore throat and lead a more comfortable life!

You could also try the Art of Living’s Online Meditation Breath Workshop to help boost your immune levels. It can help you prevent and remedy your sore throat, with its harmonious blend of yoga asanas, pranayamas and meditation techniques.

Learn how to treat your mind, body, and emotions with the processes taught in The Art of Living Meditation and Breath workshop. This is your complete healthcare package.

Learn More

(Written with inputs from Dr. Sharika Menon, Vaidya, Art of Living)