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Author: Christine Magdurulan

Natural Remedies to Soothe a Sore Throat: Propolis, Ginger, and More!

A sore throat is a common health ailment that may arise from throat irritation, microbial infection, or even both. While a mild and uncomplicated sore throat usually goes away on its own, natural remedies are also readily available to soothe the discomfort and irritation.

Here are some remedies from nature you may consider to soothe a sore throat:

1. Propolis

Propolis has been commonly used worldwide as a traditional medicine since ancient times. Propolis comes from natural resins that bees collect from trees so as to build and protect their hives. Propolis owes its medicinal properties to the many components such as plant essential oils and flavonoids which have antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. The soothing benefit of propolis for sore throat is even affirmed by a recent clinical trial in 2020 showing more patients treated with propolis had an earlier resolution of symptoms compared to those with no treatment.

2. Ginger

The popular use of ginger to soothe throat irritations is supported by tradition and laboratory studies of its components. Compounds such as gingerols and shogaols found in ginger have been shown to possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities which could be beneficial in relieving sore throats.

3. Peppermint

The cooling sensation of peppermint has led to its wide application as a soothing remedy for various aches and pains, including that of the throat. Additionally, it also contains substances that may address the inflammation associated with a sore throat.

4. Sage

Sage is an herb native to the Middle East and Mediterranean areas. It is widely used to add flavor to dishes.  In traditional medicine of Europe, sage has also been used in a variety of conditions including sore throat. Owing to this benefit of sage, its medicinal properties have been studied. In one clinical trial, it was found that a throat spray made with sage was able to achieve pain relief in patients with sore throat.

5. Clove

Clove oil contains eugenol, a substance known to possess antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and pain-relieving properties. One study reported that eugenol has wound-healing benefits for the mouth comparable with chlorhexidine.

These natural remedies are available in their raw form or in ready-to-use preparations and combinations such as teas, lozenges, and throat sprays. While these remedies may be helpful in soothing a sore throat, it still is best to consult your doctor especially when symptoms are persisting or worsening.


Semwal R.B., et al. Gingerols and shogaols: Important nutraceutical principles from ginger. Phytochemistry. 2015;117:554-568.

McKay DL, Blumberg JB. A review of the bioactivity and potential health benefits of peppermint tea (Mentha piperita L.). Phytother Res. 2006;20(8) 619-633.

Ghorbani A., Esmaeilizadeh M. Pharmacological properties of Salvia officinalis and its components. J Tradit Complement Med. 2017;7(4) 433-440.

Batiha G.E., et al. Syzygium aromaticum L. (Myrtaceae) : Traditional Uses, Bioactive Chemical Constituents, Pharmacological and Toxicological Activities. Biomolecules. 2020;10(2) 202.

Jesudasan J.S. et al. Effectiveness of 0.2% chlorhexidine gel and a eugenol-based paste on postoperative alveolar osteitis in patients having third molars extracted: a randomised controlled clinical trial. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2015;53(9) 826-830.

What to Do When Your Throat Hurts

Having that scratchy feeling on your throat that hurts when you swallow? That could be a sign that your throat is irritated, inflamed, or even infected.

Most sore throats are caused by viral infections such as the common cold or flu. Some throat problems are generally minor and may go away on their own.

Here are some ways that may help you relieve sore throat:

1.Try hot tea like chamomile tea with lemon or some hot soup. Ginger tea may also help.

2. Gargle with warm salt water that can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions.     

3. Keep your throat moist with lozenges or water.

4. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids.

5. Gargle with warm salt water or use ice chips.

6. Throat sprays such as those with propolis and over-the-counter pain relievers can help, too. Propolis has properties that can heal wound effectively like in sore throats.

7. You may use a humidifier or vaporizer, especially when sleeping, to keep air from getting too dry.

If the sore throat persists for several days or is accompanied by fever, please consult your doctor.


Esposito C et al. Phytomedicine (2020), doi: