Updated: Sep 27
Soothe your throat, kill pathogenic microorganisms, reduce phlegm with these 10 easy to use homemade Ayurvedic remedies for healing your sore throat.
Explore more on the Saumya Blog, selected top Ayurveda blogs and websites to watch.
Ayurvedic Remedies for a Sore Throat
Coughing, sneezing, constant throat clearing and blowing? Food as medicine, herbs, and Ayurveda lifestyle tools can help you feel your best.
Why We Need Ayurvedic Immunity Boosters
Modern society often leaves us feeling disconnected from the rhythms of nature, but we’re still impacted by our physical and energetic environments. Seasonal transitions can be particularly stressful on our respiratory and immune systems.
Changing Environments: Changing from high heat to windier, cooler, drier weather in our environments imbalances the doshas. Paired with an increase in pollen and other airborne irritants,(including smoke), these seasonal changes can aggravate our allergies, lungs, and sinuses.
Change of Pace: We tend to extend outward in the warmer, sunnier time of the year. When the days begin to shorten and cool of in autumn, we begin to retreat inward. As winter arrives, we move less in the darkest days and may find ourselves feeling sluggish, heavy, and less healthy and resilient. To balance Kapha, invigoration is needed. To balance Vata, grounding and soothing is the name of the game. To balance Pitta, expelling excess Pitta is needed at the end of summer.
Change in Diet: We need hearty food to stay grounded through the bite of Vata season. We need invigorating foods to balance Kapha, and we need cooling foods for Pitta. But these same foods that support our wellbeing one part of the year, can clog our systems with mucus and toxins once during certain seasonal changes.
1. Ayurvedic Gargle
In a glass or cup of warm water, combine ½ teaspoon of good quality salt and ½ teaspoon good quality turmeric powder. Stir until it’s dissolved.
Gargle with this mixture (while it’s warm) three to four times a day. Once with your morning and evening teeth brushing, and one to two times in between. You'll be glad you did.
This mixture is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and soothing to irritated sore throats.
Now, it asks the question, what is the root cause of the sore throat? It's necessary to determine the sources of the sore throat in order to treat is correclty.
Three Primary Types of Sore Throats
1. Pharyngitis – A common reason for doctor appointments especially in cooler and cold weather. This is the one that has us calling in sick to work.
2. Tonsillitis – When those itty-bitty soft lumps of tissue in the back of your throat snare the bacteria and viruses. When an infection develops, it causes inflammation. This is Pitta in the tonsils. Pathogenic microbes can cause tonsillitis as well.
3. Laryngitis – Say ahh….when the vocal box gets a visit from Pitta (inflammation), it’s laryngitis. Pathogenic microorganisms can cause laryngitis. This inflammation can also be triggered by environmental causes.
Now, let's go up stream one more level and see if your sore throat might have it's roots in the sinuses. Is there sinus drainage (postnasal drip)? Do you find yourself clearing your throat? Is your stomach feeling off? Appetite changed? Do you suddenly sound like Janice Joplin or Louie Armstrong?
If you’re clearing your throat or feeling that trickle or a river flowing in the far back to the throat, the origin of that river is in the sinuses, and those eight sinuses.
Explore Sinus Related Articles:
Mouth breathing, allergies, and acid reflux may also causes sore throats. Having a clear picture of the root cause of your sore throat, is important. Keep in mind, there could be more than one source of imabalance.
2. Replace Your Toothbrush!
At the first sign you're coming down with something, replace your toothbrush. Replace it again when you've cleared the crud.
Why? Glad you asked. Because toothbrushes hold onto germs even when rinsed well in hot water.
Even when you're not fighting a bug, change your toothbrush just before the change of each season.
3. Ayurveda Herbal Remedies for Sore Throat
What are the Best Ayurvedic Immunity Boosters?
According to Ayurveda, one of the best ways to maintain balance during seasonal changes is to practice ritucharya – modifying our routines to complement our environments.
No single Ayurvedic immunity booster will work for everyone, but herbal remedies, Nasya oil, and Ayurvedic cleanses are a good place to start.
Herbal Remedies for Immune & Respiratory Support
Chaywanprash: A revered Ayurvedic supplement, Chaywanprash is made from a highly-concentrated blend of nutrient rich herbs, spices, minerals, and vitamin C. It can be consumed daily to strengthen the immune system and balance the doshas.
Pippali: An ancient herbal remedy, Pippali has been used for centuries to reduce respiratory inflammation and irritation and remove phlegm deposits from the airways.
Turmeric: Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, helps flush toxins and decreases inflammation in the lungs and air passages. Turmeric may also make the body more resilient to infection.
Ginger: Another potent anti-inflammatory herb, ginger strengthens agni - the digestive fire - which is often needed after holiday eating, a long winter, and as the spring winds (Vata) arrive which may blow out the fire.
Astragalus: This flowering plant has been used for centuries to stimulate the immune system and make the body more resilient to physical, environmental, emotional stressors.
Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory properties that can help strengthen immunity post-illness. It is also believed to improve brain function and reduce anxiety, depression, mental fog, and supports healthy adrenal function.
Tulsi: Tulsi is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory. It also alleviates anxiety which may be provoked during illnesses.
Herbs aren’t the only Ayurvedic immunity boosters you can eat! Visit the Saumya Ayurveda blog to learn more about immunity boosting Ayurvedic foods. Check out our online recipe box and seasonal tips too.
Which Ayurvedic herbal remedy is correct for you depends on your constitution, current conditions, location, stage of life, and the season.
As with all herbs, the tenet of Ayurveda is that what works well for one person may be incorrect for another. To know what herbs are correct for you, schedule a consultation with a seasoned Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. (Herbs are listed for informational purposes only.)
"Ayurveda is gentle and effective because it is not a one size fits all approach. It is a compassionate look at the unique you, gaining a clear picture of what is going on for the whole you, then with clarity and specificity, providing you the most supportive and gentle herbal remedies." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
4. Drink Warm-Hot Water
According to Ayurveda, drinking hot water offers several benefits:
1. It supports healthy digestion
2. Encourages good elimination -drink a cup first thing in the morning as well for optimal morning bowel movements.
3. Increases blood circulation
4. Supports healthy metabolism
5. Reduces stress while drinking it
Enjoy our popular article: Ayurveda Stool Analysis: What Your Poop Says About Your Health
5. Drink Honey-Lemon-Ginger Tea
Let's break this down one by one.
Honey is considered a demulcent (think okra slime, licorice, aloe vera) thereby it relieves inflammation (Pitta). It is also a natural expectorant encouraging the expelling of mucus. What else can honey do? Iit’s a bit of a showoff but it should be proud of what it can offer.) Honey is also antibacterial. According to the National Institute of Health, “the healing property of honey is due to the fact that it offers antibacterial activity.”
Honey is also a nutritive. Nurtitives contain a high amount of nutritive herbs contain high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. These foods are medicines that are wholesome, nourishing, and conducive to well-being.
Robert Sherman wrote, “it takes a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down.” According to Ayurveda, a spoonful of honey IS the medicine. That's right, lick honey right off the spoon, it's what we call a lick-able in Ayurveda. Pretty tasty medicine.
Did you just ask, what's a secretagogue? Secretagogue helps another substance liquify. Think of it as a mucus buster. That thick, gooey, hard to move, stuff becomes softer and more liquidy so it can be expelled.
3. Ginger Root
Ginger falls into the category of pungent herbs energetically. Pungents open the respiratory system and encourage circulation. Ginger supports healthy circulation of prana, of breath itself.
Potentiate this Ayurvedic herbal remedy by adding a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Honey, Lemon, Ginger Tea
Combining lemon, honey, and ginger (salt and pepper) ingredients together creates an Ayurvedic herbal remedy that provide eight major areas of herbal benefits:
1. Soothes the throat 2. Acts as a natural decongestant, reducing excess mucus production 3. A tasty expectorant, expelling mucus from the respiratory system 4. Anti-tussive, that annoying tickle in the throat, this might do the trick 5. Anti-inflammatory, reduces inflammation in the body. 6. Anti-microbial, it’s a gentle way to kill pathogenic microorganisms 7. Gentle cleanses 8. Burns ama
6. Daily Nasya Oil Therapy
Nasya, herbalized nose oil drops, are in incredibly effective treatment for clearing the head, nose, throat of ama (toxins). It is also focusing and calming for the mind.
Ayurvedic involves Prana – the vital life force that enters as, for example, through our breath. But seasonal changes can aggravate our respiratory systems and block the passageways through which Prana flows and nourishes our gross and subtle (pranic) bodies.
Nasya therapy helps restore and support the balanced flow of Prana. It involves applying herbalized oil to our nasal passages to lubricate and form a barrier against airborne irritants. Nasya doesn’t just relieve mucus and congestion, it supports greater mental clarity and reduces stress and anxiety.
Our blog on Nasya Oil Treatment takes a closer look at the benefits of this Ayurvedic immunity booster and what to know before you begin your own practice.
7. Ayurvedic Cleansing Program
An Ayurvedic detox helps rid your body of toxins (ama), rebalances the doshas and Prana, and improves overall health and wellbeing. The spring seasonal transition is a great time to do an Ayurvedic cleanse and bolster your immune system, remove toxins (ama), and balance all three doshas. Ayurvedic cleanses have also been shown to decrease stress and increase energy levels, so you can greet spring in optimal health.
Kitchari tailored to your doshic picture, is a key to smooth sailing from one season to another.
“I was looking for a home cleansing program and Saumya Ayurveda delivered. I work full time, have a family, sports, commute, --and this cleanse was manageable! I had such a positive cleanse experience; I plan to do it again and I have it on my planner already. got the results I wanted, after day three, and with minimal effort. It is amazing what the correctly designed Ayurveda cleanse can do for one’s body and mind. I look and feel better!" - A.B., White Bear Lake, Minnesota
8. Avoid Cow Dairy
While a bowl of ice cream seems like it would soothe a sore throat, cold dairy especially, promotes mucus production. All cow dairy, cold or not, is best avoided while experiencing a sore throat. Cheese, yogurt, milk, all of it, please. Avoiding cow dairy helps with the goal of preventing post-nasal drop.
This Ayurveda remedy can go a long way to getting rid of phlegm in your throat.
9. Simhasana, or Lion's Pose for Sore Throat
Roar like a Lion to release body and mind tensions. This asana stimulates the throat area and increases circulation.
Yes, roar with exhalation but don’t force it, let it come out on its own. Keep the throat relaxed, this is very important to avoid straining this region. Contract the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor, and the exhalation will follow.
Avoid forcing the exhalation out, let the breath flow out naturally. The roar is not a growly roar, it is a light, breathy, haaa.
Kneel on your tuchus with your feet pointing behind you, rest on your heels. If this is not comfortable, you may place a pillow between the buttocks and legs to relieve any strain on the knees.
With awareness, move your hands to your knees and allow them to rest there. Settle into the asana. Establish diaphragmic breathing. Don't underestimate the power of diaphragmatic breathing. Read Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life and find out why and how easy it is to change your life.
If you notice your breath is constricted in any location, invite it to release.
Inhale through your nose, open your mouth gently but widely with a soft quality to it, stick your tongue way out there, and exhale with force, deeply contracting the abdominal and pelvic muscles as described above.
While exhaling, roll your eyes upward focusing between your eyebrows. Bring the whole body from the seated posture, push yourself up with your hands going into your knees and spread your fingers like a big cat’s claw.
When you feel this asana is complete, that is to say, you’ve pushed everything out, return to the seated posture, relax, become aware of diaphragmatic breathing again. Repeat for a total of three times.
10. Cleanse Your Body and Mind
We care for our bodies in many ways; but nourishing meals, regular exercise, and routine check-ups aren’t our only source of health and happiness. Our minds carry emotional imprints that can affect our wellbeing, too. Learn how to improve your mental and physical health.
Yog-asna, guided meditations, and pranayama (breathwork) are the foundation to regaining and mainting our physical and mental well-being.
Eplore related articles on the Saumya Blog: How to Detox Emotionally|10 Ayurvedic Practices for Emotional Cleansing Ayurveda Breathwork Pranayama Guided Practices
"When we're coming down with something and not feeling well, we need to rest. So please rest and do potentiate your healing with our guided practices." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.
"The breath is the connection between the mind and body, so by training the breath, we become calm, focused, and grounded, we slow down the aging process by decreasing stress. These practices are so simple and easy to have as part of our daily life. We actually feel and look younger."
- Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
1. Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. When we re-learn to breath diaphragmatically, we move from the flight-fight-freeze mode, to rest, restore, relaxation mode from where we want and need to live.
3. Ayurveda Daily Routines: Ayurvedic Morning Routine | 6 Rituals for a Calm and Centered Day
"Choose a couple of practices from the routines that provide you with the greatest support. Perform them while applying our two minute meditation technique and your mundane tasks, just transformed into a mellifluous meditation. This is meditation applied to daily life." - Veena, Saumya Ayurveda
"Veena was able to help me regain my energy in just a few months and I’m feeling like my “young” self again! I love the food plan she designed for me, and all the supporting practices (am/pm routines, breathing techniques, herbs, and spice mixes) are so enjoyable to incorporate into my day. I highly recommend Saumya Ayurveda if you want to feel better and have more vitality.”
-Molly Rossini, Minnesota
Ayurvedic Medicines for Anxiety is a natural way to begin to alleviate excess Vata in the mind.
Explore More Breathwork: Ayurveda Breathwork Pranayama
These ten Ayurvedic Remedies for a Sore Throat are natural ways to soothe a sore throat.
"I came to Veena when I was exhausted from working a crazy schedule and my body was turning against me. She provided me a plan and I’m definitely on the right track with her help. I highly recommend Veena at Saumya Ayurveda."
- Shiela G., New Mexico
"Veena has brought energy and vitality back into my life. She is a skilled practitioner and someone whose recommendations."
- S.. New Hampshire
“Feeling unbalanced, fearful, gut in constant upheaval? Any one of those in this time of uncertainty and you need to have a consultation with Veena. Regardless of your current or chronic health issues, Veena is an amazing healer with solutions for your dis-ease. With over 5,000 years of Ayurveda tools in her healing toolbox, Veena can lead you from blah to vibrant!
She is knowledgeable, intuitive, compassionate, and highly skilled—and she does it all with a marvelous sense of humor. Book a consultation now and return to wellness and wellbeing.”
Discover the Saumya Ayurveda Way
We all want to be heard, understood, and cared for as whole beings, not a set of isolated symptoms. True health is more than the absence of disease, which is why Western medicine so often leaves us feeling hopeless and unseen.
Deep down, you already know what you’re searching for: a new framework for living – one that brings your entire being back into balance. With Saumya Ayurveda, you’ll receive individualized guidance to create the physically, mentally, and spiritually vibrant life you crave.
Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.
She is President Emeritus of the Meditation Center and former staff member of the Minnesota Institute of Ayurveda.
Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee. She remains passionate for over 30 years, helping clients feel their best physically, emotionally, and spiritually with Ayurveda.
Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven into your daily life, naturally