Honey and Lemon for Sore Throat

Honey and lemon are considered as remedial for a sore throat resulting either from a bacterial or viral infection. These two ingredients have been used globally for around thousand years as homemade solutions for soothing pain and inflammation of the pharynx.

Honey and Lemon for Sore Throat
Honey and Lemon for Sore Throat

Does Honey and Lemon Help a Sore Throat

Pennsylvania state university did research (2007) on 105 children (divided into three groups) with symptoms and problems of a sore throat and cough. It was observed that children who consumed honey post dinner, showed improvement in relieving the cough than other two groups.

In the same year, Journal of Leukocyte Biology published a study indicating Manuka honey to help boost the immune system. This fact has been further proven in their 2008 research that shows this type of honey plays a significant role in preventing the growth of the sore-throat-causing strep bacteria.

There is a lack of scientific evidence regarding if lemon juice really helps with the problem; however, it has been used for the purpose over decades with positive results.

How Do They Work

Honey and lemon both are enriched with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. On one hand honey has a germ combating enzyme, known as glucose oxidase; on the other hand, lemon is an astringent that eliminates mucus. Honey is a natural hypertonic osmotic, aiding in discharging unnecessary fluids from the affected tissues whereas lemon provides a soothing effect to the throat by helping in salivation. They both contribute in boosting the immune system, offering strength to fight off detrimental bacteria and viruses.

How to Use Honey and Lemon for a Sore Throat

Only Honey and Lemon Mixtures

Honey and Lemon Tea

Add and blend one tablespoon of honey and lemon each to one cup of warm water. You may use sugar for further sweetening, while cinnamon powder and apple cider vinegar (a tablespoon each) can also be added.

Adding honey and lemon to any herbal or green tea is equally beneficial for your sore throat.

Lemon Juice with Honey

Extract the juice from some roasted lemon slice and add honey to it. You can store this mixture in the refrigerator for around two months. While one tablespoon is enough for adults to reduce a cough, children need only a half tablespoon.

Both the mixtures can be consumed daily.

Whiskey Hot Toddy

Mix one tablespoon of honey and two ounces of whiskey (rum or brandy can be used instead), add four ounces of warm water, a blob of butter and one teaspoon of lemon juice and put it in the microwave for one minute. This mixture should be consumed while hot.

With Cayenne Pepper

Mix two teaspoon of honey with one tablespoon of lemon juice and a half teaspoon of cayenne pepper in one cup of boiled water. Stir well and drink whenever required.

With Ginger Tea

First, boil the ginger roots for twenty minutes then mix two tablespoons of honey and lemon juice. You can drink this in both hot and cold condition.

Note: Instead of drinking, you can also use the mixture for frequent gargling as it minimizes the problem of a sore throat.

Safety and Precaution

Side Effects

Although a limited quantity of honey and lemon drink is not harmful, individuals with problems like citrus allergies should refrain from following these tips.

For Pregnant Women and Babies

As long as refined and pasteurized honey is used, these methods are safe during pregnancy. Still, before consumption, it is important to consult a medical practitioner.

Babies under one year should not have honey as it can lead to infant botulism, a digestive system damaging ailment.


  1. http://everydayroots.com/sore-throat-remedies
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sore-throat-natural-remedies#Honey5
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/honey/faq-20058031
  4. http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/treating-during-pregnancy#Treatments