What to do for a sore throat: 7 steps to get well faster

At a loss about what to do for a sore throat? Here are some tactics you can use to ease the discomfort and decrease your suffering during recovery from the flu.

1. Drink lots of water


Water moisturizes and soothes the throat and provides fluid for flushing the dead virus particles out of your system. It’s easier to blow your nose and cough out any phlegm when your body has more water to make phlegm and mucus. When you drink more water, you expel waste faster, shortening the number of days you cough for. It’s even better if you can take the water with any of these as a tea:

  • Chrysanthemum: steep dried flowers in hot water.
  • Barley: boil in water and simmer for 20 minutes. Barley can be eaten.
  • Lemon: mix lemon juice with water.
  • Luo Han Guo: boil in water.

All these soothe the throat well. You might have a favorite to rely on. Mine is barley. Bottoms up!

2. Eat Manuka honey/propolis

honeyManuka honey fights bacteria and soothes the throat. Even when I’m well, I take half a teaspoon daily to nourish my immune system. Propolis isn’t part of honey. It’s something bees collect to hold their hive together. It has antiviral properties. I take Manuka honey lozenges which contain propolis for my sore throat.

3. Eat cactus

Cactus gel is full of antioxidants, polysaccharides, and other phytochemicals. With so many types of nutrients, your immune cells will be well nourished for battle when you eat cactus. It’s strongly anti-inflammatory so it helps to bring down swelling. I take Millennium Powder Beverage to get my cactus.

4. Eat a variety of mushrooms

mushroomsMushrooms are full of polysaccharides. They are a nutrient boost for the immune system. I find Brand’s Essence of Mushroom particularly handy in my time of need because of the many mushrooms it’s made of.

5. Eat mint

Mint is especially good for the respiratory system. It’s soothing and helps in fighting flu. Menthol, a phytochemical in peppermint, is antiviral.

mint is antiviral
Source: http://www.ijeit.com/vol%202/Issue%208/IJEIT1412201302_43.pdf

6. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables

They will nourish the different parts of the immune system so that the various cells and organs can have the fuel to fight the flu.

7. Eat less meat

It’s harder to digest, and creates problems in the body that your immune system has to deal with. Eat less meat during this time to reduce your immune system’s workload. Let it focus on fighting the flu.

Still not well?

If your sore throat doesn’t seem to go away after 2 or 3 days, I suggest seeing a doctor to check if it’s a sign of something serious. I hope you’ve found this useful. Drop me a note in the comments if it is!

Want to avoid the flu? Check out our guide for doing so naturally. Visit our products section for product recommendations for improving your immunity.

18 Comments on "What to do for a sore throat: 7 steps to get well faster"

  1. Thank you for posting this information. While I have often heard about using honey for a sore throat, I had not heard of Manuka Honey. I looked it up on wickapedia and they stated that most of the supply is counterfeit or adulterated. Where do you get yours and how can a person tell if what they are buying is genuine or not?
    Good luck and keep posting


    1. Hi Susan! There are many brands of manuka honey, and many places selling them. I’d suggest getting one from a store you trust. Also, look at the labelling and ask the staff if you need to see if the product is reliable. If the staff can’t answer your questions or give you assurance that the manuka honey is of good quality, don’t buy it.


  2. Thank you for providing this informative article. Some tips we all could use, not only for the cold and flu season but also daily to prevent illnesses.
    All your recommendations are natural remedies which I like.
    I didn’t know about the mint or cactus having antioxidants, mushrooms having nutrients to boost the immune system, or mint being good for the respiratory system.
    I did know about honey and like you I take it every day.
    Here’s a tip for you and your readers. Himalayan Pink salt. Add 1 part to 5 parts of honey and put it under your tongue to dissolve slowly at bedtime and you will get a peaceful sleep. The kicker is the Himalayan Salt has over 80 minerals that your body needs. Let me know what you think.
    Enjoyed reading and learning your article. Keep up the great service.


    1. Hi Robert! Thanks for your info about Himalayan pink salt. I just saw some the other day and considered bringing some home, but my husband thought that salt is salt, anything claiming to be anything more is scammy. His take on some healthy food is sometimes different from me… until he reads elsewhere about how something is good!

      I’ll look into Himalayan salt since you’ve mentioned it. I’ve not had anyone around me try it and comment on it. Hopefully it is really as nutritious as you say it is. Let me know if there is a particular brand you prefer or trust!


  3. Hi there Regina,

    Great tips on sore throat remedies without going to the doctor. My personal preference is drinking a lot of warm water, eat lots of oranges and stay away from sugary or high carbs diet. And some good rest is recommended. I always cure myself within days with these techniques.

    I find it interesting that you mention about mushroom. Will it be the same as taking mushroom soup too?

    Thanks for your advice.


    1. Hi Cathy! Great you’ve your own effective strategy for sore throats! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. If you’re looking for vitamin C (because you mentioned oranges), I recommend acerola cherry. It contains much, much more vitamin C than orange. You’re right about sugar. It’s in fact a culprit for many diseases out there. So I minimize my sugar intake on a daily basis.

      If you make your own mushroom soup, yes it is nutritious too! If you’re talking about Campbell’s or other off-the-shelf canned mushroom soup, I say look for alternatives. There are excellent mushroom supplements in the market like Brand’s Essence of Mushroom and Immune Renew.


  4. You have a interesting and helpful site. I had never heard of that type of honey. Where can you find it?

    I have never been much of a tea drinker. I wonder if you could brew it in coffee.
    We alway use locally made honey and get the bee pollen when we can. we also use essential oils to cure other ailments.

    Keep up the good work.
    Hillbilly Vapor


    1. Hi Paul! You can find it in health stores and supermarkets. I suggest looking in health stores because they’re more familiar with it. You can also find it online at sites like iherb–Wedderspoon Organic, Inc., 100% Raw Manuka Honey, KFactor 16 is one of the most trusted manuka honey products there so I guess you can start looking from there.

      Actually, the best way to eat manuka honey is straight up so that you retain all the good antibacterial properties. The taste is different from other honey, quite medicinal. I’m not sure if that will match coffee! 😀

      It’s great that you have locally made honey and bee pollen in your area. I live in the city. Please do continue, I’m sure it has its benefits! Manuka honey is just something I have found to be reliable.

      I have a super effective essential oil blend that I use for blocked nose! Thanks for mentioning essential oils. They are useful! I use pine essential oil in my mopping solution for disinfection.


  5. I have always thought that Honey is the remedy for all sicknesses and you have it at number two on this list for the sore throat. I have always used honey and maybe it doesn’t have any medicinal value to it but it definitely makes everything just feel better. That combined with hot tea is the ultimate remedy.


    1. Hi Eric! Nice to know you’re already using honey. Honey is actually very nutritious. Manuka honey has special properties like being anti-bacterial. The more liquid supermarket variety is what you’d usually add to that nice cuppa tea, while Manuka honey is best taken by itself.


  6. Hi Rosanne,
    I found this really interesting. The medical profession seem to class most sore throats as viral infections these days, so it’s a good idea to try and self-treat for the first few days if you can. I would say one exception to this is tonsillitis, but bacterial infections tend to come on much more quickly and you go from feeling OK, to feeling really unwell in about 1/2 a day! I am a big advocate of manuka honey, since I was born in New Zealand and it is a native tree there. It has great antibacterial properties as well, so is a great suggestion for sore throats. I found your article really informative and a good list of things to try, so thank you.


    1. hi Mara! Thanks for all the really helpful information. It’s really amazing what bee products can do for us. Strangely, I didn’t purchase any on my trip to New Zealand years ago because I hadn’t known how good it was back then.

      My mother in law was the one who introduced the benefits of Manuka honey to me. So glad she did! You really have to find a trusted brand though. There are many Manuka honey brands around buy not all are the same excellent quality.


  7. Hello Rosanne,

    Despite the sore throat could become a serious health problem, but we attacked properly, it seems that the solution is easier than we think.

    Seven of your solutions in your great article What to do for a sore throat? all seem easy and reasonable, but the intrigues me is mushrooms, some are not edible?.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.



    1. Hi Renan! You’re right! A sore throat could be a problem that is easily solved if you have the correct knowledge.

      About mushrooms, as a guide, those sold in shops and in food products are edible. I don’t go foraging, and most people don’t either, so I am assuming here that whoever reads this gets his mushrooms from the supermarket. Check out this post for some of the most nutritious mushrooms.


  8. Really interesting solutions here. And things I wouldn’t have thought of. I like the way you have a reason for why each of them is good, essentially the scientific part which you tell us what is it in that will benefit you.

    Some great tips here I will have to try. Can anything of these things NOT be used for children under 5?


    1. Hi Ruth! Honey should only be consumed by kids older than 1 year old. Other than that, kids of all ages can use these solutions. However, some young kids may not like the sensation of mint. For these kids you may want to take some effort to deliver the goodness of mint in a more palatable or fun manner. For example, there are throat sprays for kids that contain mint.


  9. Hi, Interesting! I did not know mushrooms and cactus can actually help in relieving sore throats too! For mushroom, do you meant cooking normally with vegetables or mixing with herbs? For myself, usually if I have sore throats, I would just drink lots of water mixed with honey and get lots of rest! I think getting a good rest is really important as it helps us to recover together with the foods you mentioned!


    1. Hi Jacob! Yes you’re right! Rest is definitely important for repair and recovery in the body. The immune system can become impaired by a lack of sleep, while adequate sleep enables your immune system to function normally.

      It’s fine to cook the mushrooms. To get a greater variety, it helps to have products that combine several mushrooms in one.

      Mushrooms and cactus may not soothe the sore throat directly, but they nourish your immune system to fight the infection causing the sore throat. Different foods have different disease fighting nutrients so it helps to have a few solutions to fall back on.


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