Sore Throat
Health Benefits

A Fresh Remedy - Lemon for Sore Throat

| Modified on Feb 26, 2024

We've all had that, "I just know I'm getting sick" feeling when we feel our throat starting to get sore and scratchy. There's no shortage of possible causes - a cold, the flu, or simple overuse - but finding an effective natural remedy can be difficult. In the Table of Contents for Sore Throat we literally have an A to Z listing of natural sore throat remedies, from "Acid Reflux Connection" to "Zinc." We have identified a few of our favorites. One of the most effective home cures for treating a common sore throat is lemon.

Tips on Treating a Sore Throat with Lemon from Earth Clinic Readers

Kyle told us how his Grampa cures a sore throat!

[YEA]Sore Throat: well you get a lemon and cut it off at the top and you put a pepper mint in the center of the lemon then in a bout a hour of sucking on the lemon bammm baby its gone i got this from my 73 year old grampa.

Fabio likes the traditional lemon and honeyl

[YEA] So I wake up in the morning almost every day with a sore throat. I got sick and tired of it and started looking for cures on the internet and came across this page. I tried lemon water and honey and a few minutes later BAMM no more sore throat lol. this works great.

Rob tells us how an old woman from Oregon taught him how to use a fresh, whole lemon for a sore throat - and it works!.

[YEA]A very old woman from Oregon told me about this about 20 years ago, and it's got a 100% success rate so far, at least for me and the friends I've suggested it to.

To permanently cure most kinds of sore throats, you merely need to suck on a lemon. Use either one small lemon or a little more than one-half of a big lemon. Cut it into sections as you would an orange, and suck the juice out of each section. Try one more time an hour later if the sore throat still hasn't passed. If it's still sore after an hour after your second dose, you should strongly consider seeking medical assistance.

Lemon juice is very acidic, and can erode the enamel on your teeth, so I would recommend brushing your teeth soon afterwards. You can just drink lemon juice instead if you don't have an actual lemon handy. On one occasion I mixed about three-fourths of a cup of lemon juice with about 2 cups of water and gulping that down seemed to work just as well. After reading some of the other cures posted here, it occurred to me that gargling with a lemon juice / water mixture might have been a good idea. Merely having a glass of lemonade or two doesn't seem to work very well--I suppose because it doesn't have enough lemon juice in it. I feel that the idea is to assault your throat with the acidity of the lemon juice, and if you get enough down there at one time, the soreness just stops. I am no doctor, but I have not yet had a sore throat for the last 20 years or so that a lemon didn't permanently cure.

What Causes a Sore Throat?

First, identify the type and cause of the pain. Most sore throats are caused by viral infections or colds, which causes the nasal and sinus passages to drain into the throat, irritating the throat tissues. Allergies also make it hard to breathe, turning you into a "mouth-breather." As you breathe in this way, your throat becomes irritated and sore. Antibiotics don't usually work very well to treat these issues, but natural cures are often able to effecively treat a painful sore throat.

Why Lemon Relieves Sore Throat Pain

Lemon is an effective remedy for treating a sore throat and functions in two unique ways to restore health. Lemon is a natural astringent, so it helps to reduce mucus in the throat. In turn, this property helps relieve a sore throat. Lemon is also full of vitamin C, an important antioxidant and support to the immune system. As the immune system becomes stronger, it works to heal the sore throat.

There are Many Ways to Treat a Sore Throat with Lemon

In addition to the suggestions at the top of the page, scroll down and read more suggestions from our readers. You can use lemon juice in a couple of different ways. You will find further suggestions for treating your sore throat with Lemon and Garlic and Lemon Juice and Sea Salt.

One of the most potent forms of treatment is taking a straight teaspoon of fresh lemon juice. Otherwise, you may prefer making a tea with added lemon juice. To do so, heat 1 cup of hot water. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon and 2 tablespoons of honey for added flavor and health benefit. Stir and enjoy.

You may have to drink several cups of this tea throughout the day, but you probably won't mind. It tastes great in addition to being good for you. Give it a try and let us know what you think or tell us about your favorite natural sore throat treatment.

Related Links:

10 Best Natural Remedies for Soothing a Sore Throat
10 Cold and Flu Home Remedies
Natural Allergy Relief: Top 13 Home Remedies
Top 10 Natural Remedies for Flu

20 User Reviews

5 star (15) 
4 star (1) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (3) 

Posted by Valentyna (Perth) on 07/02/2014

Having my tonsils taken out as a little girl I was always having sore throats. But then in Australia someone suggested nibbling on a slice of lemon (with the peel on) helps - and yes it does.

Posted by James (Sydney, Nsw) on 02/24/2012


I have had a sore throat overnight and was getting rather annoying, so I went on this website and saw this lemon juice and honey cure, I tried it out and it worked! ... Well sort of, it worked for awhile but then it stopped. So I made some more and drank that and it worked again, so I'm just going to take it every time my sore thoat comes back and hopefully it wil get the "message" and go away. Hopefully.

Posted by Nathalie (Farrockaway, Ny) on 06/21/2011

okay I tried the lemon juice just a little bit and put like half a cup of hot water the lemon juice was bottled in the fridge so it came out warm with the hot water from the sink. I gargled it a few times but im not a a very good gargler idk I dont do it as much but then I tried gargling it deeper and when I did that mucus or w. E it may be started spittin back up im guessin thats either the thing that was causing strep throat or idk it was cleaning it out and I feel as if it worked.... But I only did it for a little and though my throat is cleared I still feel the soreness im sure if I did it for a while longer it wouldve been gone , I just dont have the time so im making me a tea... to clear off the rest im hoping and pretty sure itll be better after the tea if not ill go back to deep gargling the lemon juice with hot water ....

Posted by Julie (Charleston, SC) on 09/25/2008

Sore Throat: Lemon and Salt work for a sore throat because they dry up infection. Most sore throats are caused by infection in the glands in your throat and lemon, salt, ginger kill infection.

Replied by Joshe
(Madison, Wi)

Bad sore throat yesterday. Gargled with some straight lemon juice at about 4 am this morning (I couldn't seem to fall back asleep due to throat). This morning, my throat feels not completely normal, but it doesn't hurt at all. This website is going on my bookmark list.

Posted by Becka (Brighton, MI) on 09/13/2008

Honey and lemon on Peanut Butter helped my sore throat. Mix Two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter, A tablespoon and a 1/2 of lemon juice and honey. Eat with spoon when throat is sore.

Posted by Kyle (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) on 06/15/2008

Sore Throat: well you get a lemon and cut it off at the top and you put a pepper mint in the center of the lemon then in a bout a hour of sucking on the lemon bammm baby its gone i got this from my 73 year old grampa

Posted by Dave (Boston, MA) on 05/08/2008

I squeezed the juice of one lemon plus a tablesoon of honey and a dash of ground ginger and microwaved the mixture for 30 seconds. It was very soothing, cleared up my sore throat, and it tastes good too!

Posted by Fabio (Toronto, canada) on 07/10/2007

so i wake up in the morning almost everyday with a sore throat so i got sick and tired of it and started looking for cures on the internet and came across this page, i tried lemon water and honey and a few minutes later BAMM no more sore throat lol. this works great.

Posted by Susan (Edmonton, Canada) on 05/30/2007

For a sore throat...1/2 cup of warm water, fresh lemon or lemon juice squeezed into warm water and 1 tsp honey. It really works....and it is very soothing.

Replied by Anne
(Winter Haven, Fl)

didnt work for me... Drank and gargled it:( my throat is still sore. I didnt really like how it tasted.

Replied by Diane
(Los Angeles, California Usa)

For a sore throat try hot water with salt in it and gargle with this salt water every ten minutes. This usually helps a sore throat.

Posted by Tony (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) on 05/09/2007

Sucking on a lemon: If you have mononucleosis, do not try this. I did, and my throat is worse. (It did NOT cure my throat)

Posted by Djuana (Brooklyn, NY) on 01/24/2007

I tried fresh lemon squeezed on half a spoon and honey on the other half and swallow it down. This really works for sore throat!

Posted by Anonymous (USA) on 12/30/2006

a mug half full of hot water. A good sized lemon. Cut in half (use a strainer or de seed if desired)squeeze lemon juice in to mug of hot water. And most important ingredient: HONEY. 2 TSP depending on how sweet you prefer. IMPORTANT FYI : When sick w/ a cold or flu try not to drink orange juice or apple juice they tend to en flame a sore throat. So since you must drink lots of fluids Gatorade/Powerade ,7up, teas (best if hot no caffeine too) but stay away from cold juices that are citric acid HOT IS BEST

Posted by Anj (London, UK) on 10/06/2006

Equal amount of lemon juice/ fresh ginger juice/ honey/ fresh onion juice mix everything together have a tablespoonful every hour for two to three days. This cures a cold/ cough/ sore throat. Mum used to keep a bottleful in the freeze and you had to make an effort do drink about six to eight times a day, has a nice taste. People who don't like onions can make it without.

Posted by Victoria (Tampa, FL) on 06/17/2006

You need to be careful when eating lemons or the juice from a lemon if you have a scratchy or dry throat at ALL. I am a singer and my doctor advised me to use a cool mist humidifier, drink water constantly, and suck on hard candy. Throat drops with menthol- BAD, lemons- BAD, and soup with salt- BAD. These will all dry the throat.

Replied by Selena
(Fredericton, New Brunswick)

Lemons work. I have had many sore throats. The only reason that some people say lemons are bad is because you're not supposed to eat lemons when u have strep throat. If the lemon is too sour, boil some water and put a teaspoon of honey in with two slices of lemon. Stir and let set for 2-6 min. Hope it helps

Posted by Lud (Australia) on 06/11/2006

I tried the lemon sucking thing and I couldn't take it, so I went out to the back and found an orange that was safe to eat, but just a bit sour. It was pretty big, and by the time I finished it my throat was feeling a lot better.

1 2