Honey for Sore Throat: Is It Helpful?

There are many natural home remedies for a sore throat that aim to provide you with pain relief. 

Honey has antibacterial properties and is considered one of the best home remedies for throat pain.

So, it can help you, but in what ways and how exactly? Read the rest of the article to find out all there is to know about using honey to treat a sore throat.

Key Takeaways

  • Many health and wellness professionals recommend honey as an effective remedy for throat pain.
  • Eating one teaspoon of honey each morning is considered to benefit your overall wellbeing.
  • Research shows that honey has bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties.

Is Honey Effective for Treating a Sore Throat?

A sore throat can be the cause of a lot of discomforts. 

A viral or bacterial infection can cause a sore throat [1]. 

Sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of being infected with the flu or suffering from a cold.

It’s usually accompanied by a cough and an itch or a feeling of pain in your throat. So, the question now is, will honey help with your sore throat? 

Well, you’re in luck, as honey is widely considered one of the best natural remedies for sore throat. Honey has antibacterial properties as well as healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Because of all of that:

Using honey is a great way to deal with a sore throat. 

All you have to do is either eat one or two teaspoons of honey or mix the honey with some hot water, chamomile tea or any other type of tea or hot drink (you could also mix honey and lemon for an added vitamin boost).

One thing to note is that if you experience any symptoms related to Covid (like sore throat), immediately seek treatment from your doctor.

Honey can help with your cough, but it’s not a miracle cure. So, be sure to seek out treatment from your doctor if symptoms persist.

Honey for Sore Throat: How Does It Work?

The research (published in the International Journal of Microbiology) shows that honey has bactericidal and bacteriostatic properties [2].

In layman’s terms, honey is good at killing bacteria and stopping the growth of bacteria. 

Honey has antiviral properties (meaning it can kill and/or stop the growth of some viruses). 

Research on how honey helps with a sore throat is inconclusive, and the exact process remains unclear. 

What is known is that honey can kill bacteria and viruses, and because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can also soothe the pain in your throat (i.e. it can reduce inflammation). 

A study (done on children diagnosed with the common cold) suggests that honey can be helpful with clearing the airways and breaking down the mucus [3]

Honey is excellent at soothing the “feeling of itchiness” at the back of the throat. Because of that, honey will help reduce coughing.

How to Use Honey to Treat Sore Throat

It doesn’t matter if you have a sore throat due to a viral or bacterial infection, as honey will most likely help relieve pain in both cases.

If a cough accompanies your throat pain, honey is one of the best natural remedies that can help relieve both symptoms.

If you want to cure your sore throat, taking one to two teaspoons a couple of times a day (usually 2-3) is a good idea. If you choose to do this, there is nothing to prepare. All you have to do is get yourself some Australian natural raw honey and dig in!

The next thing that I will talk about is sadly not for drinking but gargling. In a glass of warm water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir. Add the same amount of honey. 

Warm salt water can help break down mucus in your throat, which in turn can help you get rid of that horrible itchy feeling (that usually accompanies a sore throat). 

Instead of drinking this home remedy, you should gargle it. Why? Because saltwater is not for drinking [4]! Gargling is the key!

The last thing that I’ll mention is hot tea (yeah, that’s right, hot tea is great for a sore throat!). Just add two teaspoons of honey to the tea of your choice and drink it. 

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Alternative Home Remedies for Throat Pain

Lemon

Lemon, specifically lemon juice, is known for its ability to soothe a sore throat. The reason behind it is that it will help break down the mucus (which is the leading cause behind those nasty sore throats).

There is nothing more to this, drink freshly squeezed lemon juice, and you will be fine. Don’t use cold water, as it may worsen the feeling of pain in your already sore throat (so use warm or hot water instead).

Salt Water

Saltwater is not for drinking! What it is suitable for is gargling. Put one teaspoon of salt into a cup of water (water should be hot or warm, but not cold!). Stir it, and start to gargle.

Water with salt is a great remedy as it will help break down the mucus in the back of your throat, leading to some pain relief and a reduced feeling of itchiness.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is extremely helpful when it comes to soothing the pain that comes with a sore throat. 

Just like with salt water, this remedy also involves gargling. You need 1 cup of warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it well. Now the only thing that’s left to do is (you’ve guessed it) gargle!

Zinc

Zinc is yet another one of those great home remedies for sore throats. It’s advisable to take it in syrup form (or tablets) as this will allow zinc to stay longer in your throat and “put up a bigger fight” against mucus and bacteria in it.

Zinc is not only good medicine for your overall health but is also a great way to prevent and/or fight the common cold [5].

Marshmallow Root

Marshmallow root is yet another excellent home remedy for sore throat [6]. Marshmallow root has substances that will help you get rid of that nasty sore throat. 

Add the root to the boiling water to make tea. Take a few sips now and then (throughout your day) to get that much needed (and deserved) relief from pain.

Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is perfect for soothing a sore throat. It contains ingredients that will block the response from your pain receptors.

Just add half a teaspoon to a glass of hot water and start gargling!

FAQ

How Often Should I Take Honey for a Sore Throat?

Honey may be one of the best superfoods out there [7]. If you are looking to soothe a sore throat, honey might be the remedy you were looking for!

Taking anything between one teaspoon a couple of times a day to doing the same thing but using a tablespoon will do you just fine.

You can also go with tablets if you don’t want to be bothered with doing all that heavy lifting with teaspoons and/or tablespoons.

Can Honey Irritate Your Throat?

In some extremely rare cases, yes. But it mostly happens to people who are allergic to bee pollen or anything related to bees (like honey).

So, what’s the answer? If you are not allergic to it, honey will probably not irritate your throat.

Can You Soothe a Sore Throat With Honey?

Yes. Honey can soothe sore throats and help with the inflammation and the feeling of itchiness that almost always leads to coughing.

The Bottom Line

As shown above, research suggests honey is one of the best remedies for painful and itchy throat. 

Purchase quality local honey and give honey a try next time you have a sore throat.

Sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943825/
  2. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijmicro/2019/7686130/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18056558/
  4. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-qa-why-cant-people-drink-seawater
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6483791/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30064132/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549483/
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Beekeeper
Snezana Mitrovic
Your Beekeeper

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Snezana is a beekeeper and a passionate gardener living on the outskirts of Melbourne, Victoria. She loves to grow her food, look after the bees, and harvest the honey, which she enjoys sharing with her friends and customers. Snezana wants everyone to have access to natural, raw Australian honey due to its many benefits.

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