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7 Super Quick Sore Throat Remedies For Singers

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Written by Ramsey Brown.

Cold, flu, and allergy season is upon us and nobody likes to fall victim to a sore or scratchy throat. Especially not a singer or performer whose livelihood relies on the ability to use their voice efficiently. Aside from a sore throat being a nuisance, singing with a sore throat can put you at risk of damaging your vocal cords permanently. 

This is why professional singers and musicians take necessary precautions to avoid the risks of performing when their voices are compromised. A sore throat at it’s best starts as a slight, non-serious irritation that subsides on its own within a few days. But in the worst-case scenario, the pain can turn extreme and result in a horse voice or even being lost completely. 

Singers, actors, radio personalities, teachers, or anyone whose profession revolves around the capacity of their voice needs a quick and reliable sore throat remedy on standby — so whenever a pesky sore throat begins to sneak up, you can stop it in its tracks. 

Often, these fixes are already in your kitchen pantry or medicine cabinet and you don’t even realize it. Now I’m no doctor and this isn’t medical advice, but there are plenty of home remedies out there that can offer you relief from your sore throat and even help prevent one from happening. 

In this article, we are going to share 7 super quick and easy sore throat remedies that are especially great for singers and musicians needing quick relief. We will also discuss some ways to take care of your voice before, during, and after a sore throat, as well as how to prevent one from happening. 

With these tips, you’ll be able to keep your singing voice healthy and your performances on point. Take note! 

What Causes Sore Throat Among Singers?

If you’ve been singing long term, you’ve probably been in the dreaded situation where a performance is approaching and for one reason or another, your voice is feeling and sounding rough.

There are many different reasons why a singer or performer may experience a sore throat. It could be caused by a change in weather or your environment, a viral infection such as a cold or the flu, overuse from singing for a long period of time, from dehydration, or pure lack of sleep.

Whatever the cause, irritation in the throat is due to dryness and inflammation. This then causes the larynx and vocal cords to swell and typically results in hoarseness, nasal congestion, sniffing, coughing — all of which make your voice sound even worse.

For singers, these problems can escalate fast. Singing with an already sore throat only increases pain, irritation, and raspiness — leaving your voice unable to heal. Medication and pain relieving agents like cough drops or numbing spray help to minimize the feeling of discomfort, but the root of the discomfort doesn’t go away for quite some time. 

Remember, the throat is sore because the vocal cords are dry and inflamed, so the problem must be addressed with decreasing the dryness and irritation. 

7 Sore Throat Remedies For Singers 

Just like an athlete may suffer from pain and physical body aches from overuse — singers go through similar problems. Because vocal cords are indeed muscles of the throat, it is easy to stretch your voice too far and strain it, just like any other muscle in your body. 

If you get a sore throat frequently from singing, it may be from performing songs out of your vocal range, not warming up or warming down properly, or from bad control of your breath. 

If you are a singer with a performance approaching soon, but are suffering from an irritated throat and raspy voice — you need a fix fast. Again, this is no professional medical advice but simply a suggested list of at-home DIY remedies to help with a sore throat. 

These 7 natural remedies have been praised by many professional singers who need to quickly get their voice back on par and they can help you do the same. Take a look at the list below: 

1) Gargling Salt Water

Turns out Grandma’s around the world were right — saltwater is one of the best home remedies for sore throat, as it helps decrease inflammation, irritation, and swelling. Salt functions as a magnet so when it hits the back of your throat, it’s essentially drawing out irritants or infection and bringing them to the surface of your throat. This is then where the human body can then deal with the toxins in a better way.

All you need to do is to dissolve ¼-½  teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of warm water and gargle every one to two hours. Just know, gargling salt water won’t magically cure your sore throat and it definitely won’t cure a viral infection. However, it does soothe irritation and provide symptomatic relief when done consistently. It’s even said to have preventative benefits as well. 

2) Humidifier & Essential Oils

Intaking dry air can irritate your throat and contribute to a dry cough and inflammation of the vocal cords. This is particularly common in winter months when heating units pump dry air into our office and homes.

Humidifiers help to maintain proper humidity levels which then helps to loosen phlegm, alleviate cough, and combat congestion symptoms such as a sore throat. Using a humidifier has even more health benefits because proper humidity levels can reduce the survival of flu viruses on surfaces and in the air. 

To take this remedy even further, you can add essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, and tea tree to your humidifier. These oils plus others have strong antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. When inhaled, the essential oils go directly through the air passages to the throat and then act quickly to fight the infection and discomfort of the throat ailment.

If you don’t have a humidifier, the same trick will work in a hot shower or bath. Put a few drops of essential oil on the bottom of the shower floor and the steam from the water will act just as the humidifier would. Just remember, some essential oils can be harmful to pets and children. Be sure to do your research before using humidifiers to ensure it is safe for your loved ones. 

3) Honey & Ginger

The anti-inflammatory and natural antibacterial properties of honey help lessen mucus secretion and heal a sore throat. Drinking one cup of warm water with one teaspoon of honey may reduce pain, combat inflammation, and settle a cough.

Ginger is a precious herb utilized to heal the inflamed mucous membrane of the larynx and other respiratory woes. Proofs have revealed that the antibacterial properties of ginger can greatly reduce inflammation. Taking a sip of ginger tea or adding shred pieces of ginger to hot water helps eliminate pain or sore throat.

Hydration is also very crucial as it assists in keeping the throat moist and allows mucus to clear away. Intake plenty of warm fluid like water, soup, and herbal teas to help maintain hydration and prevent the throat from drying out, thus averting the risk of infection.

4) Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been a hot topic within the health field in most recent years. ACV has many uses and health benefits, including its antimicrobial properties that can help fight infection from the body. It is proven to loosen phlegm, boost the immune system, and create an alkaline environment in the body — which helps to kill off some bacteria and viruses. 

All you need to do is mix one or two tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar (Dr. Bragg is my personal preference) into some warm water and chug it back. The taste of the ACV is less than pleasant, so it’s recommended to add honey, lemon, and/or herbal tea to the solution. Drink once or twice a day until your symptoms improve. 

Keep note that ACV must always be diluted when ingested because it’s potency can burn and cause harm to your esophagus and stomach lining. With that said, people with acid reflux or stomach ulcers should avoid this remedy or any other acidic drink entirely. 

5) Herbal Teas

A warm cup of tea not only makes you feel cozy and more relaxed but according to research, it is good for the overall health of your voice. 

There are many different herbal teas that you can try for quick sore throat relief. Clove tea and green tea both contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to fight against infections while providing relief. 

Raspberry, chamomile, and peppermint tea are great choices for relieving pain and reducing inflammation. Chamomile tea can also serve as a natural lubricant, so if your voice is hoarse and you’re having difficulty speaking, this may be your best option. 

Slippery elm tea is made up of dried and ground bark of the slippery elm tree. It has been used for hundreds of years in native Indian and Eastern herbal medicine for treating inflammation of the upper airways. It soothes and coats the throat making it easier for talking and singing. 

Additionally, peppermint tea can naturally numb your throat and alleviate your pain. Most of these teas can be found at your local herb shop or health store. When choosing the best tea for your sore throat, you may also want to check the caffeine content because when dealing with illness, it’s extremely important to get plenty of rest. Which brings us to our next sore throat remedy...

6) Plenty of Rest

Whenever you have a sore throat, laryngitis, or your vocal cords are irritated or swollen, you will need time to rest your voice so it can heal properly. Just like when you sprain an ankle, walking on it only makes the injury more severe. When your voice is strained, exerting the vocal muscles even further will make the problem worse and extend the healing time even more.

It’s crucial to prevent situations that require shouting or talking when you have a sore voice. If you need to speak in front of a group or at a meeting, ignore the natural temptation of speaking louder and utilize a microphone or amplifying device instead.

Singing will also make your vocal cords more inflamed, hence will take more time to recover. In the unfortunate case that you have an upcoming performance but are suffering from a vocal injury, it may be best to reschedule the event until you are completely recovered. 

It’s understood that nobody wants to cancel a show or disappoint their fans. However, your health is the first priority and your true fans will understand that. Plus, you will not perform as well with a hoarse voice.


Sage is a time-proven remedy for irritation and inflammation of the mouth, throat, and tonsils. According to one study, echinacea/sage spray was just as effective at soothing a sore throat as traditional over-the-counter throat sprays. 

Echinacea by itself is seen as more of a preventative supplement. But it can still be useful for treating your cough from the inside out as it helps to break up mucous and alleviate runny nose, thus prevents coughing and sore throats. 

These two powerful ingredients combined make for an amazing sore throat remedy. It’s often easiest and most effective to make into a tea. You can purchase this throat-soothing tea already bagged or it is very simple to make it yourself. 

You can buy sage as a culinary herb and reputable websites like sell echinacea root. Then it's as simple as simmering and straining. Gargle with the tea frequently and swallow. 

What to Avoid when Healing a Sore Throat 

In order to advance the healing process of your sore throat and hoarse voice, avoid the following:

  • Unnecessary Vocal Cord Use - the additional stress on your throat leads to more inflammation and a longer healing time. 

  • Whispering - It sounds strange but this puts more stress on your vocal cords than speaking typically. 

  • Alcohol - Staying well hydrated is necessary for healing. Therefore, alcohol should be completely avoided because of its dehydrating effect.

  • OTC Cold Medicines -  those that have decongestant ingredients can make your throat dry, leading to more irritation.

  • Smoking - smoke and nicotine irritates the throat, which leads to coughing and prolonged healing time.

Wrapping Up 

With Winter upon us, sometimes coming down with a sore throat is unavoidable. Becoming ill is inconvenient, but especially for singers and performers who are required to have a heathy voice in order to make a living. 

In the unfortunate scenario of your voice becoming sore, make sure you try one (or all) of the 7 remedies mentioned above. These have been proven and backed by professional singers to quickly heal and alleviate your sore throat symptoms. 

If you have any other remedies that you think should be added to this list, please comment below so others can try it for themselves. Stay healthy!  

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