10 Best Sore Throat Remedies Fully Reviewed
Runners are no stranger to sore throats. With their constant exposure to the elements and the went they often catch into an assortment of bugs and viruses. There is also the allergy factor. Even if you aren’t prone to allergies, the constant exposure to plant pollen will take its toll on your nose and throat.
Being familiar with this unpleasant symptom we also know runners have searched high and low for change, from home remedies to natural solutions and have encountered a myriad of answers from everyone and their mother.
We are here to set the record straight. We have done our homework on what will ease your discomfort and have ordered them below. We know that not every remedy works for everyone, but we are confident that there will be something on this list for everyone.
- Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea
- Pleasant Taste
- Strepsils Sore Throat Lozenges
- Numbs Throat Pain
- Barlean’s Organic Oils Olive Leaf Spray
- Powerful Antioxidant
10 Best Sore Throat Remedies
1. Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Tea
This herbal tea blend was created with sore throats in mind. Key ingredients include slippery elm and marshmallow root that help break up mucus and coat the throat with a protective film; licorice root soothes, loosens congestion and reduces inflammation. Users can feel the throat-coating effects immediately after drinking it.
The taste is sweet and earthy with a silky texture. The licorice flavor is notable but most users enjoy it with a bit of honey and lemon which can also benefit your throat.
Steep this tea in 8 ounces of water for 10-15 minutes and enjoy the throat coating effects up to 6 times daily.
The ingredients in this tea are organic. Some of the ingredients are licorice root, slippery elm bark, marshmallow root, wild cherry bark and more.
The price for 16 tea bags is a bit steep, coming to over 3 dollars a bag. The organic ingredients and protective throat feel are worth for those needing to use their voice despite the sore throat.
Pleasantly sweet taste
Slippery elm & marshmallow root break up mucus and coat throat
Licorice root soothes and reduced inflammation
Great for singers and performers
2. Strepsils Sore Throat Lozenges
Strepsils lozenges work just like your standard cough drop to soothe the throat and numb pain. They also have 2 active ingredients, 2,4 Dichlorobenzyl alcohol and Amylmetacresol, that act as antiseptics. This can help you prevent infection when the symptoms are just starting. Users report a noticeable difference between these and menthol-only cough drops.
The lemon honey flavor has a pleasantly sweet taste that many users actually enjoy.
Allow one lozenge to dissolve slowly in mouth every 2-3 hours as needed.
Each lozenge contains 1.2 mg of 2,4 Dichlorobenzyl alcohol and 0.6 mg of Amylmetacresol. They also contain sucrose and glucose as sweeteners.
Price may range but these drops are typically less than 10 dollars for a 24 pack.
Antiseptic properties to prevent infection
Numbs throat pain
Pleasant lemon-honey taste
Antiseptic properties may be unnecessary if sore throat is not caused by infection
3. Barlean’s Organic Oils Olive Leaf Spray
Olive leaf has been studied for antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties to help target any cause of a sore throat. The powerful antioxidant Oleuropein helps to boost the immune system while peppermint works as a decongestant to thin mucus and soothe irritation.
The peppermint in this spray produces a strong flavor. While a few reviewers do find it pleasant, most find it too strong to be enjoyable. That being said, most people find they can deal with the bad taste by sucking on a cough drop after.
This spray can be used by spraying directly in the throat 2-5 times and is safe for use every 30 minutes as needed.
Glycerine, water, olea europaea leaf extract, natural lemon flavor, sage leaf extract, peppermint oil, and menthol.
At just over 10 dollars a bottle, this spray is a good value and lasts a long time.
Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties
Peppermint works as a decongestant
Strong peppermint taste
4. Zand HerbaLozenges Echinacea Zinc
These lozenges contain 5 mg of zinc in each which has been shown to reduce the length of colds. Additional ingredients such as echinacea have added benefits for boosting the immune system.
The Echinacea Zinc lozenges have a nice cherry flavor and are sweetened lightly with brown rice syrup.
Take as needed and allow these lozenges to dissolve slowly in mouth.
Brown rice syrup, orange juice, orange oil in an herbal base of hibiscus flower, orange peel, lemon peel, Rosehips, Lemongrass Herb, Perilla leaf and Schizonepeta herb.
These lozenges are sold in packs of 15 and come to about 35 cents per candy. They are a bit expensive but users find the cost worth it for the natural sweetener and quality ingredients.
5 mg zinc shortens cold duration
Pleasant cherry flavor
No artificial sweeteners
No cane sugar
5. Bee Propolis Sore Throat Spray
This natural throat spray is made up of 95% Propolis. Propolis is a plant-based substance that bees collect and line their hive with to protect it from bacteria and viruses. Users report that this spray soothes the throat immediately and seems to help them recover faster from infection. Some users also feel this spray is helpful when used prophylactically for allergies.
Despite having no added alcohol, sweeteners, flavors or refined sugars, this spray has a slightly sweet and subtle taste that most users enjoy.
Apply this spray directly to the throat as needed.
This spray is 95% Propolis extract with non-GMO vegetable glycerin and purified water.
At just under 15 dollars for a small bottle, this spray is a bit more expensive. However, you can feel comfort in knowing that it is all natural and made from just 3 ingredients. The propolis is also sourced responsibly from remote apiaries in Canada.
Propolis works as a natural defense against bacteria and viruses
May benefit allergies
Subtle sweet taste
No artificial sweeteners, flavors or refined sugars
6. Herb Pharm Soothing Throat Spray
This spray is packed with herbs to help fight infection and numb discomfort. The combination of echinacea and sage helps to kill off bacteria and boost your immune system. Users report instant relief after a few sprays.
The spray has a strong herbal flavor that is slightly spicy and bitter. It is not a pleasant taste but it is manageable.
Herb Pharm recommends spraying 2-3 times directly on throat and swallowing. Use this spray as needed to numb your throat but do not exceed using 5 times a day.
Hyssop, Echinacea, Propolis, Sage, St. John's Wort, Organic Cane Alcohol, Distilled Water, Organic Vegetable Glycerin
At around 12 dollars for a small bottle, the price is on par with other natural sprays and does last a long time.
Instant numbing relief
Immune boosting echinacea
7. Yogi Honey Lemon Throat Comfort Tea
This herbal formula is filled with throat soothing and coating ingredients such as honey, slippery elm bark, and wild cherry bark. Peppermint adds a cooling refreshment and echinacea root boosts the immune system.
This tea has a slightly fruity taste flavored from the cherry with hints of warmth and spice from the peppermint, echinacea and slippery elm.
Steep tea for 5-10 minutes and drink as needed.
This tea consists of organic ingredients such as honeybush leaf, lemongrass, lemon myrtle leaf, licorice root, peppermint leaf, wild cherry bark, stevia leaf and more.
This organic tea can be bought in bulk and comes in around 25 cents a bag.
Echinacea boosts the immune system
Pleasant sweet and slightly spicy taste
Organic herbal blend
Some find the licorice flavoring overpowering
8. The Republic of Tea Organic Turmeric Ginger Green Tea
Hot tea is soothing for a sore throat as the hot water itself can help thin mucus. The turmeric in this blend works to reduce inflammation and speed recovery. Green tea also has plenty of antioxidants to boost your immune system in fighting a viral infection.
Most users enjoy the pleasant taste of this tea and find that the flavor is not too strong. Some add honey for its throat soothing properties but many find the natural sweetness does not require any added sugar.
Tea can be a helpful tool in your recovery and there is no danger in having too much. This Tumeric Ginger Green Tea should be steeped for 1-3 minutes.
This tea contains organic ingredients including turmeric, green tea, ginger, and cinnamon. It also contains natural honey flavor.
Tea is a relatively cheap way to recover from a sore throat. This blend can be bought in bulk for less than 30 cents a bag.
Hot liquid soothes throat and thins mucus
Turmeric reduces inflammation
Green tea is rich in antioxidants
Taste of turmeric is not for everyone
9. Up Nature Wild Oregano Oil
Oregano oil has strong antimicrobial properties. Using this oil as a steam treatment breaks up mucus and clears the throat to soothe and boost the immune system.
When using this product as aromatherapy or steam treatment, it has a strong oregano scent. This oil is not intended for internal use, users who place it under their tongue or add it to water report a very strong and unpleasant taste.
Place a few drops of oil in steaming water and inhale the steam. This oil is not recommended for internal use.
100% pure oregano oil.
Around 20 dollars a bottle, this essential oil is not cheap. However, when using drops at a time, a little goes a long way.
Great for steam treatments
Works for infection as well as allergies
Not intended for internal use
10. Chloraseptic Warming Throat Spray
Chloraseptic spray contains the numbing agent Phenol to help numb your sore throat. The spray itself will not reduce the recovery time from your sore throat but it can help to reduce pain so you can stay hydrated and well-nourished. This spray provides a warming sensation and immediate pain relief.
The Warming version of this spray has a lemon-honey taste that is not as medicinal or chemical as some of the other flavors.
This spray can be applied directly to the painful area and should be left in place for 15 seconds before being spit out.
Active Ingredients: Phenol 1.4% Inactive Ingredients: caramel color, citric acid, FD&C yellow no. 5, FD&C yellow no. 6, glycerin, flavors, saccharin sodium, sodium citrate, sucralose, purified water
For less than 10 dollars you can get this effective spray that provides immediate relief for throat pain.
Immediate warming relief
Sweet honey-lemon taste
Does not do much to heal or speed recovery
The Metrics We Used To Determine the Best Sore Throat Remedies
It is difficult to choose the best sore throat remedy as there are many different products that can be beneficial. Many remedies can be used in conjunction with each other as well as some of the other recommendations below. To determine the best options for healing a sore throat, we broke it down into the following criteria.
Why It Works
Sore throat remedies available over-the-counter are typically divided into 4 categories: lozenges, sprays, teas and essential oils.
Lozenges: Sucking on lozenges, cough drops or hard candy can help keep the throat moist. Lozenges are also an easy and typically tasty way to incorporate throat soothing or immune boosting ingredients such as menthol or zinc.
Sprays: Throat sprays are available with a wide variety of ingredients to help soothe throat pain and fight infection. Most sprays will have some numbing ingredients as well as antiseptics and immune boosting ingredients. Sprays are easy to apply directly to your throat but often have an unpleasant taste associated. Especially those that are alcohol based.
Teas: Tea is a great option for staying hydrated and warming your throat. There are a wide variety of teas with herbal blends that are specially chosen to soothe the throat and add an emulsifying coating to help it heal.
Essential oils: Essential oils are not as popular as a sore throat remedy but they can be very beneficial and are great for adding to a steam shower or steam treatment.
Many of the ingredients used to treat sore throats are not the tastiest. We looked for remedies that have, if not a pleasant taste, at least a palatable one.
Although there are many ingredients that can help with a sore throat, here are some of the most commonly found in these remedies:
- Echinacea is an herb that is commonly found in sore throat remedies. It has immune boosting effects that can help support your body as it heals itself.
- Peppermint Oil has large amounts of menthol which works to numb and provides a cooling relief. It also is good for breaking up mucus and acting as a decongestant.
- Marshmallow Root has soothing properties and is great for breaking up mucus and coating the throat.
- Slippery Elm is another throat coating ingredient that provides a protective barrier along the throat. Taking slippery elm after applying a numbing treatment may prolong the effects of pain relief.
- The Licorice Herb is very effective in reducing throat pain, reducing inflammation and it can also loosen congestion. This ingredient is frequently found in teas. It does have a strong flavor that some people are averse to but its benefits for the throat may be worth testing out.
- Sage is not as common but works well as an antimicrobial agent to help fight infection.
Other Things to Consider When You Have a Sore Throat
Sore Throat Causes
In order to best treat your sore throat, it is helpful to understand what is causing the discomfort. Most sore throats caused by infection are viral with the exception of strep throat. Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the Streptococcal bacteria and should be treated with a prescription of antibiotics from your doctor. Antibiotics do not do any good in killing viruses so, for most other throat infections, you will need to wait for your body to fight off the virus. Support your immune system by staying hydrated and looking for immune-boosting ingredients.
If you have a perpetual sore throat without other cold symptoms, the cause may be irritation rather than infection. Acid reflux is a common cause of throat irritation and does not always feel like heartburn. Reducing your intake of acidic foods and taking antacids, such as TUMs, may improve your throat symptoms. Chronic acid reflux can do damage over time so, consult a doctor if symptoms persist. Allergies are another common cause of throat irritation due to post nasal drip. Allergy symptoms may be alleviated with antihistamines and decongestants. Many people also find seasonal allergies can be improved by eating local honey or trying products with propolis.
Additional Factors to Improve Your Sore Throat
Sore throats can range from a tickle to tough and not every situation is going to be cleared up right away no matter what sort of treatment you use. Those are just the facts of healing. There are certain steps you can take to speed the process along and make sure you are up and ready to face the day as soon as possible.
Any runner can tell you the importance of Staying hydrated. It’s practically an instinct for most runners. But we know you might become a bit fluid averse if your throat hurts since swallowing will become especially uncomfortable. Also, many people tend to avoid fluids when they have a lot of mucus build up. Well keeping up with fluids will actually break up your mucus and speed your healing along.
Staying hydrated also means avoid fluids that dehydrate you, such as coffee, soda, or alcohol, as these could delay the healing process.
Cold, dry air can actually be a source of throat irritation as well as exacerbation the issue. Avoiding running during these conditions as to not aggravate existing symptoms. A good way to alleviate your sore throat and speed along your healing is a humidifier. It’s important to keep your space warm and humid.
As an additional note, if you have access to a steam room, such as through a gym membership, that can be accommodating in much the same way as a humidifier.
Many of the choices on this list work, at least in part, as an anti-inflammatory. An anti-inflammatory reduces your swelling which is the key cause of soreness and discomfort. There are other over-the-counter anti-inflammatories that can aid in the same way as the remedies above, such as fever reducers, or other natural anti-inflammatories such as turmeric.
Salt or Apple Cider Vinegar gargles
Gargling warm salt water generally helps break up the mucus solution as well as help deal with any infections that may be causing the sore throat. Some suggest using apple cider vinegar with the salt water or just plain water but this should be done with caution. Apple cider vinegar is fairly acidic and this can worsen some causes of a sore throat.
Ice and Heat
Most often the cause of a sore throat is swelling. Like with any swelling a sore throat can be treated with hot or cold. Sucking on ice chips or cubes can help reduce swelling. Warm beverages and soup can also provide a soothing effect on the throat.
Avoid acidic foods
Acid reflux is a common cause of a sore throat or can even exacerbate existing symptoms. To reduce a chance of this you should avoid acidic foods that will cause a flare up. Acidic foods can also aggravate any soreness already present with a sore throat and be fairly unpleasant.
Q: Do sore throat remedies contain alcohol?
A: Some of the lozenges, syrups, or sprays on this list contain alcohol as a numbing agent. Soreness can be soothed by alcohol combined with various anti-inflammatory medicines. The amount is generally pretty minimal. If the amount of alcohol in the medication is enough to be concerned about in terms of functioning then there will be a warning on the package, but that is unlikely to be an issue with any product on this list.
Q: what is bee propolis and why is it in some of these remedies?
A: Propolis is a waxy substance produced by bees from plant matter and used in the construction and insulation of their hive. Use of this substance has been shown to reduce inflammation as well as combat certain types of bacteria. This makes it an excellent treatment for a sore throat caused by infection but should still work as a coverall treatment regardless of the cause.
Q: Can I do anything to supplement the teas on this list?
A: Many treatments for a sore throat contain lemon and honey. Adding lemon and/or honey to any tea or beverage you are already drinking to treat a sore throat can only improve its effectiveness. A little honey as a sweetener will also help the more bitter teas used as treatments go down smoother.
Q: What about colloidal silver in cough drops?
A: You may see various cough drops that feature silver as one the ingredients. Colloidal silver is a trending supplement that claims to boost the immune system. Silver was used as an antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal before antibiotics but its use was discontinued. Now it is not recognized as a safe ingredient by the FDA and the NIH does not recommend taking it as a supplement.
Q: How do I know if I have strep throat?
A: Strep throat may present with various symptoms so you should see a doctor for testing and diagnosis if you have a persistent sore throat. Typically Strep is associated with a fever and enlarged tonsils with pustules forming on them. Strep throat is not typically associated with coughing and nasal congestion. These symptoms are more likely related to a viral infection or allergies.
- Natural and Home Remedies That Soothe and Get Rid of a Sore Throat, Web Article, ,
- 1 Sore Throat Remedies Guaranteed To Make You Feel Better Fast, Web Article, Mar 09, 2018 ,
- You Won't Believe the Supplement People Are Now Taking to Stay 'Healthy', Web Article, Mar 17, 2017 ,