Sore throat refers to the painful, scratchy and irritated throat. It poses difficulty in swallowing food and drinks [1].

Although it’s not a serious condition, it can make you feel uncomfortable.

People with greater risk of suffering from a sore throat are children, people who smoke, who have allergies, people with weak immune system and those who work in environments that expose them to other infected people [2]

The reason behind a sore throat can be either viral or bacterial infection or some other factors.

Most of the sore throats that people experience today are due to a viral infection such as cold, flu, mononucleosis, chickenpox, croup, or measles. It’s also possible for bacterial strains to infect the throat and cause pain. It can happen due to Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep throat) and diphtheria.

Often, it goes away without treatment. You’re lucky if it does.

For problems like a sore throat, honey can be your go-to solution. It’s not only inexpensive, but it’s also effective and safe. With its sweet taste, even children would love to use it to relieve the pain in their throats.

This article reviews the therapeutic efficacy and uses of honey for a sore throat home remedy.

Medicinal Properties of Honey

Honey for a Sore Throat: Good or Bad?

Honey is a sweet substance that’s made when bees collect nectar and store it in honeycombs [4].

Throughout history, it has been popular for its medicinal properties. A cave painting found in Valencia, Spain shows that humans have begun collecting honey about 8,000 years ago [5].

Honey has natural sugars, proteins, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and antioxidants. It also has various therapeutic purposes [4].

Honey’s antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing activities are quite beneficial. [4].

Its antimicrobial properties are quite strong. It can fight even antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains [4]. Most of these pharmacological effects are due to the fructose, glucose, and antioxidants that you can find in honey [4].

Honey has gained worldwide recognition for its role in complementary and alternative medicine [4].

How Honey Combats a Sore Throat

1. Honey can combat allergies

As mentioned earlier, allergies are some of the most common cause of a sore throat.

It’s a good thing, honey can help control allergies.

A study that conducted in 2013 shows how high dosage of honey treated allergic rhinitis in 40 patients [6]. The participants consumed either honey or placebo for a period of four weeks [6].

Those who consumed honey showed improvement in allergies, and a sore throat [6].

2. It fights harmful microorganisms

It is a well-known fact that honey is a strong antiviral and antibacterial agent. Since most sore throats are due to viral and bacterial infections, honey can help in this matter.

A study confirms that honey has the ability to inactivate microbes. It can also prevent them from causing further infection [7].

3. Honey boosts the immune defense

Honey boosts the immune defense

Another way honey helps in solving this problem is by strengthening the body’s immune defense.

Honey is rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants. Thus, it can power up the immune resistance. Then it will be more difficult for harmful pathogens to cause illness [8].

4. It tones down inflammation

The primary reason there’s a pain in the throat is the inflammation. This can be healed, thanks to honey’s anti-inflammatory activities. Honey can inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes to tone down swelling in the throat [9, 10].

6 Ways to Use Honey for Sore Throat


Here are the remedies that you can try if you’d like to use honey to treat throat pain and inflammation.

1. Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar

Honey for a Sore Throat: Good or Bad?

The importance of apple cider vinegar in your everyday life is uncountable. It solves many health problems for you. It won’t be a surprise to know that apple cider vinegar is useful in treating your sore throat as well.

So what actually makes apple cider vinegar and honey a good remedy for a sore throat? It’s the acidic content of the apple cider vinegar. It has a high range of acidic contents. These components help to treat your sore throat faster by killing all the germs and bacteria.

The following remedy will clear your throat and relieve it from the infection.

How to use apple cider vinegar:

You will need a cup of water, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and one tablespoon of raw honey.

Heat the water and combine the raw honey with it. Next, add the apple cider vinegar and mix well. Drink this mixture while it’s still warm. Drink it twice a day until you get relief from the problem.

You can also use this same mixture for gargling as that will be quite beneficial in this case as well.

Read More: 8 Sassafras Tea Benefits and Uses You Didn’t Know

2. Honey and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice contains vitamin C. It’s an effective way to combat respiratory infections like those that cause a sore throat.

An easy way of using lemon juice:

Take 1 glass of warm water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of honey.

Add lemon juice and honey to warm water. Mix well. Drink the mixture in the morning and before going to bed. Do this every day until throat pain and swelling subside.

Read More: 15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Gingivitis (That’ll Actually Work)

3. Honey and Cinnamon

Honey for a Sore Throat: Good or Bad?

One of the oldest remedies for a sore throat is the combination of honey and cinnamon. This combination is also great for other respiratory ailments.

Here is a simple method of using cinnamon:

Boil 1 cup of water in a pot. Add honey and cinnamon and stir well. Remove from heat and let it steep for 15 minutes. Drink slowly the concoction. Follow this remedy once a day for up to one week.

Read More: How to Use Honey and Cinnamon for Cold

4. Honey and Ginger

Ginger can tone down inflammation and fight microorganisms that cause infection. Thus, it’s good for a painful throat.

Learn how you may use ginger:

In a pot, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and strain the mixture. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey. Drink this tea once or twice a day for up to two weeks.

5. Honey and Turmeric

Also an effective anti-inflammatory, turmeric can help soothe a sore throat.

A simple method of using turmeric:

Put 1 cup of water in a pot, and boil. Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the stove and strain the powder. Mix in 1 tablespoon of honey.

Drink this turmeric and honey tea every day for one to two weeks, or until condition gets better.

6. Honey and Onion Juice

Onion juice is a quick way to ease the pain and discomfort of a sore throat.

How to use onion juice:

Chop 1 onion into small pieces. Put in a jar with a lid. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and mix well. Store the mixture in the refrigerator. Chill for 24 hours.

The next day, take one tablespoon of the liquid. Do this every day until a sore throat is gone.

7. Honey and Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has soothing effects on the throat to tone down soreness and swelling.

Learn how you may use chamomile tea for sore throat:

Boil 2 cups of water in a pot. Add 2 tablespoons of chamomile leaves. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Cover and let it steep for 15 more minutes. Strain the mixture. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Mix well.

Drink this tea twice a day for one to two weeks or until swollen throat tones down.

Read More: How to Get Rid Of Smegma: 7 Ways to Treat It at Home

Other Causes and Symptoms of a Sore Throat


If viruses and bacteria are not the culprits, it may be any of the following factors causing throat pain:

  • Allergy to pollen, dust mites, and chemicals cause accumulation of mucus in the throat. It causes pain and inflammation
  • Dry air that can make the throat feel irritated
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Talking in a loud voice that can strain the throat
  • Medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) [3]

Apart from having a painful throat, there are other symptoms that you should know about:

  • Throat dryness
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • White patches on tonsils
  • Hoarse voice [2]

When Do You Need to Consult a Doctor?

A sore throat is quite painful which you want to get rid of as soon as possible. These home remedies can soothe your symptoms. But if you see the following symptoms, you must make an appointment with a doctor:

  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Can’t open your mouth.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Rashes.
  • Earaches.
  • Joint pain.
  • High fever.
  • A recurring sore throat.

Over the counter sore throat and cough medicine:

Your doctor may prescribe pain relieving drugs such as Acetaminophen and ibuprofen if the sore throat causes pain. Besides menthol sore throat candy and lozenges may help you get relief from the irritation or tickle of the throat.

Liquid cough syrups dayquil and nyquil may take care of the day and night time symptoms of sore throat and cough. The medicines can soothe cough, sore throat, minor headache, aches and pains.

Warning: You should consult a doctor before using any of the over the counter sore throat remedies kids.


A sore throat is usually not a cause for concern.

It can affect your daily activities like eating and talking. Thus, it’s a good idea to cure your sore throat using honey.

Honey can resolve this problem with its anti-allergy, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immunity-boosting properties.

Using its combination with other ingredients like ginger, garlic, or onion can make the remedy even more potent.

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