Treating sore throats using honey has always been a thing in my family.
Ever since I was little, my mom always gave me a blend of tea and honey each time I had a sore throat or a bad cough.
Because I’ve switched to a vegan lifestyle, I’ve had to find a way to adapt to the seasonal sore throat and coughing… a situation I find myself going through at least once a year.
Fortunately, a sore throat is rarely serious enough to demand a trip to the doctor, but it’s painful and can keep anyone from sleeping soundly for several nights.
Vegan Alternatives To Honey For Sore Throats
1. Salt Water
According to health sources like Healthline, gargling with salt water can help soothe a sore throat and break down secretions.
Saltwater is also known for being able to kill bacteria in the throat.
You can easily make this remedy by pouring a half-teaspoon of salt in a glass filled with warm water, and gargling the water to help reduce swelling and keep the throat clean.
A process you can do every three hours to relieve and eventually cure a sore throat.
2. Peppermint Oil
Diluted peppermint oil sprays have the ability to relieve sore throats.
The peppermint plant contains menthol, an organic substance that helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that may help you heal.
You should never use peppermint oil (an essential oil) without first mixing it with a carrier oil like olive oil or sweet almond oil.
Mix five drops of peppermint oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice before you ingest it. Never ingest essential oil on its own.
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea has long been used for medicinal purposes.
Because it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and astringent properties, you can rely on it as an alternative to honey.
Some study reviews actually show that inhaling chamomile steam can help with cold-related symptoms, including a sore throat. Drinking chamomile tea can offer you the same benefits.
Plus, it can also help you fight a sore throat by helping stimulate your immune system and its capacity to fight off the symptoms of a cold.
4. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow Root contains a mucus-like substance that coats and soothes a sore throat.
To effectively use the marshmallow root, you add some of the roots to a cup of boiling water to make tea. Sipping the tea throughout the day may help relieve the soreness in your throat.
Note: If you have diabetes, please contact a doctor before consuming the marshmallow root tea. Some evidence suggests that marshmallow root may cause a drop in blood sugar levels.
5. Lemon & Ginger Tea
This is the solution I resort to the most.
The natural anti-inflammatory nature of ginger is ideal to reduce irritation, swelling, and inflammation in the body, but can also function as an analgesic. Therefore, it can provide you with some relief for your sore throat.
In addition, both lemon and ginger are also known as immune system aids, so they enable your body to better fight off the symptoms of cold or flu, which includes soar throats.
Preferably, boil water with a slice of lemon peel and actual ginger.
Fenugreek is a natural remedy for sore throats.
According to research, Fenugreek can help relieve pain and kill bacteria that cause irritation or inflammation, but it also has an antifungal effect.
Fenugreek is available in diverse forms, but for sore throats, fenugreek tea is the go-to.
It so happens that garlic also has antibacterial properties! It contains allicin, an organosulfur compound known for its ability to help against infections.
Furthermore, studies show that taking a garlic supplement can help prevent the common cold virus. Because of garlic’s natural healing effects, it’s been used by our grandparents as a way to relieve and cure sore throats.
8. Licorice Root
For a long time, licorice root has been used to cure soar throats.
In fact, recent research shows that mixing licorice root with water for gargling is actually an effective solution to attenuate sore throat.
9. Slippery Elm
For those unfamiliar, Slippery Elm is a tree in which the inner bark is used as medicine.
Akin to marshmallow root, slippery elm has a mucus-like substance that when mixed with water, forms a gel that coats and soothes the throat. To use it, you usually have to pour boiling water over powdered bark, stir for a few seconds and then drink it.
However, while this is a traditional medicine for sore throat, more research is required before its benefits are scientifically approved. Entities such as the U.S National Library of Medicine suggest that taking slippery elm may decrease the effects of other medications you take.
10. Cayenne Pepper
The reason cayenne pepper is on this list it’s because it contains a property called capsaicin, a natural compound known for blocking pain receptors.
Ingesting cayenne pepper with mixed water and a touch of agave syrup may help with pain relief for sore throats. However, this is not scientifically proven.
You should not use cayenne pepper if you have open sores in your mouth, and if you don’t, start with a very light sprinkle of cayenne pepper, as it can be quite hot.
It really doesn’t matter how rigidly you follow a healthy plant-based diet, like everyone else, you’re likely to get a sore throat now and then.
Fortunately, other than honey, many alternatives provide you with pain relief for your sore throat. However, if these alternatives don’t work after a few days (or even after you take pharmaceutical medicine), please make sure you visit the doctor!
If you feel severe or persistent pain, that may be an indication of a serious infection that requires medical attention.