8 Foods That Help Soothe a Sore Throat

If traditional salt-water gargles and cough medicines still aren’t doing the trick to rid you of your sore throat, it may be time to try something new. Here’s what to eat to make swallowing less painful during (or after) a cold.


Suck on some licorice to soothe your achy throat — and, while you’re at it, help nix that lingering cough. Studies show this treat can reduce pain and calm pesky tickles in our airways.


Steep some dried sage in a mug of warm water or sprinkle it into your next bowl of chicken soup. Sage helps fight inflammation and has been used for centuries to alleviate physical discomfort of all sorts, ulcers included.

Ice cream:

A sore throat is a great justification to scarf a few spoonfuls of your favorite frozen treat. Cold foods help numb pain and their creaminess enhances the pleasant effect. And if you’re worried about dairy products making coughs worse, rest assured in the findings of a recent study: Unless you’re allergic to it, dairy doesn’t actually give rise to more mucous or worse hacking like mom used to say.


Easy to swallow, smooth going down. Not only are bananas packed with the vitamin C that helps bounce you back from illness, they’re also really cheap. Delicious both at room temperature or frozen, break one off a bunch and enjoy.

Cooked cabbage:

Packed with antioxidants to help you recover from a cold or flu, cabbage can be your hurting throat’s new best friend. Stir-fry a chopped hunk of it with olive oil and turmeric to lower illness-related inflammation even further.

Cooked carrots

Sautéed, steamed, or roasted, carrots help sneak some immune-boosting vitamin A into your system. Plus, these veggies are brimming with natural pigments (carotenoids) that can literally make your skin look great.


A classic remedy, teas of many flavors — caffeinated or not — can salve pain and help give your body’s infection-fighting response a useful kick. Brew yourself a pot of ginger, chamomile, green, or black tea, and take advantage of the beverage’s additional power to lower stress, increase focus and crack down on inflammation.


Another go-to you’re probably well aware of, this yummy treat has been found to be just as effective in calming coughs as common cold medicines. Why not go the natural and tastier route when soothing yourself?