General Throat Problems: Natural treatments

A woman with throat problem

Most people experience a sore throat when they get cold; viruses that cause the common cold invade the cells that line the throat, killing some of them and causing inflammation and an immune response. The symptoms include an itching, burning or stinging sensation when you swallow. In the case of a cold or even flu, this rarely lasts for more than a couple of days. In general, such short-lasting throat pain is nothing to worry about and it’s important to remember that your GP will not give you antibiotics since viral infections do not respond to them.


If your throat symptoms last longer, you need to determine the underlying cause. More serious viral infections such as glandular fever also cause the throat to feel very raw; symptoms can flare up for weeks or even months. Bacterial throat infections are more serious and can cause quinsy if untreated. This extremely severe form of a sore throat is due to an abscess forming deep within one of the tonsils. Thankfully, bacterial infections such as diphtheria are now rare because of childhood vaccinations but can affect children and adults who have not been immunized.

Oral thrush, an infection of the mouth and throat caused by the Candida fungus, can also lead to a sore throat but is easily treated using medicine bought over the counter.

Natural treatments for throat problems


Make a decoction of the root, bark, and flowers and use as a gargle.

Toothache Plant

Chew the flower heads and leaves.

Fig Tree

Make a decoction of the ripe fig and uses as a gargle.


Mix the pure juice of the cucumber with some honey.

Indian Long Pepper

Make a decoction with 1 teaspoon each of ground long pepper, cloves (Syzgium aromaticum) and rock salt. Filter, and drink while still warm.

Apple Tree

Use apple juice as a gargle.


Chew a small piece of fresh ginger, allow it to stay in the mouth for a while and swallow slowly. If the taste is too strong, take it with a teaspoon of honey.

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