Today, I’m sharing how I make customized herbal honey throat sprays to treat my family’s sore and scratchy throats.
I use raw honey in these, but you can substitute vegetable glycerin for a vegan product. Also, remember that honey should not be given to children under a year old.
I base my throat sprays on a recipe found in Rosemary Gladstar’s book: Medicinal Herbs, A Beginner’s Guide. (This is a fantastic book for those looking to build your personal library! It has lots of beautiful photographs and easy to follow recipes.)
The recipe revolves around using tinctures, but if you prefer to avoid alcohol completely, you can substitute a strong herbal tea instead.
I’ll give more details on that below, along with a list of herbs to consider using when designing your spray.
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DIY Herbal Honey Throat Spray Recipe
- 2 tablespoons total of herbal tincture(s) or tea – see list below
- 2 tablespoon raw honey (or vegetable glycerine)
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
Directions to Make
Mix all of the ingredients together and pour into a 2 ounce glass spray bottle. I buy glass spray bottles at Specialty Bottle.
Directions to Use
Spray into your mouth, directed towards your throat, as needed. When made with tinctures, this throat spray will last for several weeks, stored in your refrigerator.
Herbal Tea Variation
If you don’t want to use alcohol based tinctures, you can make this recipe with a strong herbal tea instead. Just be sure to keep the resulting spray in your refrigerator and be aware that the shelf life will be reduced to about 2 days.
To make a strong herbal tea: put 1 or 2 tablespoons of dried herbs, or 2 to 4 tbsp fresh herbs, in a heat proof jar and pour a cup of simmering hot water over them.
Let this steep for at least an hour, or more. The longer it steeps, the stronger the tea will be.
Strain and use in the recipe above instead of the tinctures and water. Extra tea can be frozen in ice cube trays for later use.
Herbs to Consider Using in Your Throat Spray Recipe
Be sure to research each herb before use to ensure that it’s not contraindicated for your personal health situation. A persistent or severe sore throat can be a symptom of serious illness and may need evaluation and/or treatment by a health care professional.
Tinctures can be found at your local health store, online (I like Herb Pharm or Mountain Rose Herbs brand), or you can make your own by following the directions HERE, using the herb(s) of your choice.
- Spilanthes – My favorite addition! It adds a tingly numbness that is exceptionally helpful when dealing with a raw feeling throat. It’s anti-microbial and antiviral in nature and helps when your stomach is upset. You can buy a high quality tincture/extract at Mountain Rose Herbs or make your own. (Spilanthes is easy to grow!)
- Echinacea – is another one good to help with throat pain. It also helps boost your immune system. You can buy a tincture at Mountain Rose Herbs or check your local health store.
- Violet – one of my favorite all around plants. Soothes inflammation and heals. I also used this in a spray I made to help my husband when he quit tobacco, since it’s purported to fight oral cancers. Make your own tincture from violets growing in your yard or buy Herb Pharm’s brand at Amazon.
- Rose petals – are cooling and astringent. Make your own tincture easily by covering fresh or dried organic or unsprayed rose petals with vodka for four to six weeks.
- Marshmallow Root – excellent at coating and soothing inflamed throats. You can buy marshmallow root tincture/extract at Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Thyme – good for bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. (Herb Pharm has some available on Amazon.)
- Elderberry – The classic antiviral, very effective against influenza. (You can buy tincture/extract at Mountain Rose Herbs, or make your own using my directions HERE, or check your local health store.)
- Schisandra – A favorite adaptogen, it helps the body cope with stresses & illness. (You can buy at Mountain Rose Herbs or make your own with dried berries, soaked overnight.)
- Astragalus – My other favorite adaptogen! It gives a subtle boost of energy and increases the ability to fight off colds. (You can buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
- Lemon Balm – is antiviral, calming, soothes nervous stomach and powerful against cold sores. It’s easy to make your own if you grow lemon balm in your garden, but you can also find the extract/tincture at Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Ginger – is antibacterial, helps upset stomach, nausea and chills. It’s super easy to make a tincture using ginger root bought from your grocery store or find ready-made at Mountain Rose Herbs.
- Purple Dead Nettle – sometimes used for allergies or inflammation. (Gather from your yard in spring.)
- These are just a few ideas; there are many more options to mix and match. Invest in a reference book such as Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech. It lists many plants, their uses and contraindications, and will give you direction on other herbs to try out. Hands down, it’s the most loved and used book in my personal library!
This article was originally published January, 2014 and updated March, 2020.
HERBAL SALVES & BALMS
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