What is Causing Your Burning Throat and How to Treat It

More than half of people experience symptoms of reflux at one point in their life. Among the many symptoms, burning throat is most easy to notice.

Other symptoms include hiccups, unpleasant taste in the mouth, or heartburn.

Acid reflux is a common condition that occurs when your stomach acids and other stomach contents back up into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter. Statistics show that 20% of Americans are affected by acid reflux [1]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072438/.

Another cause of burning sensation in your throat might be a common cold or sore throat.

Symptoms of acid reflux

The symptoms of acid reflux can range from mild to severe. They are more commonly felt when lying down or bending over, after a heavy meal, and after eating spicy or fatty meal [2]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/behindtheheadlines/news/2017-09-11-could-a-mediterranean-diet-be-as-good-as-drugs-for-acid-reflux/.

Acid reflux can occur at any time of the day, but most people experience symptoms at night.

Here are some of the common symptoms.

  • Heartburn ranging from uncomfortable to painful
  • Sour or bitter taste in your mouth
  • Burning sensation in your throat and mouth
  • Regurgitation, or a feeling of liquid and food moving up your throat up rather than down
  • Dyspepsia, or a burning feeling and discomfort in the upper middle part of the stomach
  • Sore throat and a sensation of a lump in the throat

Home remedies for burning throat

Saltwater solution


This is one of the most popular and well-known remedies for sore throat.

Mix ¼ teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of water. Use as warm water as you can tolerate.

Gargling with cold water is not effective [3]https://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html. Gargle with the briny solution for a minute or two to neutralize acids in your throat.

This will relieve the burning sensation you feel, and promote healing of the irritated mucous membrane.

Use a fresh batch of solution for every use. It is much better to waste the solution than leave it in the glass and risk being contaminated with bacteria.

Do not swallow the gargle, spit it after a minute or two gargling.

Lemon and water

Benefits of Lemon Water

You will be surprised how many remedies for burning throat you can find in your kitchen cabinet.

For this remedy, you need 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 cup of water. Lemon helps shrink swollen throat tissue and create an environment that kills off bacteria and viruses [4]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/.

Drink lemon water two or three times per day to improve your overall health, but also get rid of sore throat.

Ginger, honey, and lemon

Ginger honey and lemon

If you want to take things to the next level, you need even more natural ingredients.

Add 1 teaspoon powdered ginger, and 1 teaspoon of honey in a ½ cup of hot water.

Squeeze half a lemon in as well. Honey will provide antibacterial properties, while ginger and lemon will boost your overall health [5]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16366855.

Hot sauce and water

hot peppers

You can use hot peppers or anything else that is spicy. For the sake of argument, let’s go with hot peppers.

Add five shakes of ground cayenne pepper to a cup of hot water.

Words of warning, this solution will burn at first. Gargle every 15 minutes with the solution to relieve pain, discomfort, and burning sensation.

Sage and water


There are a lot of remedies that combine water. You can use sage as well, a herb that can soothe sore throat and ease painful swollen nasal passages.

Bonus points, sage can boost your brain [6]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4676988/.

For this traditional remedy, you need 1 teaspoon sage, ½ teaspoon alum, ¼ cup brown sugar, 3/8 cup vinegar, and 1/8 cup of water. Mix all the ingredients, and drink.



Similar to the cayenne pepper, turmeric is spicy but helps in treating burning throat. You can use it to fight off many diseases [7]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022204/.

Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric and ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of hot water. Gargle with the solution several times per day.

Tomato juice

Tomato juice

If you need temporary relief of symptoms of sore throat, gargle with a mixture of ½ cup of tomato juice and ½ cup of hot water.

If you like to take the extra step, add 10 drops of hot pepper sauce in the mix. Tomato is rich in lycopene, a compound that can help your throat heal faster.

Green tea

Matcha green tea

Green tea is known for its abilities to fight off infections [8]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763290/.

Just brew a cup of tea, drink some, and then gargle with some to fight off bacteria in your throat.

Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

When you have a burning sensation in your throat due to a bad cough, apple cider vinegar is the best solution. Germs cannot survive in the acidic environment vinegar forms on your throat [9]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5788933/.

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 glass of warm water. Gargle with the solution several times per day.

If you want something gentler for your throat, mix ¼ cup of honey and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar. Take one tablespoon of the solution every four hours.


golden seal

Goldenseal is another great germ-killer you can employ for your throat problems [10]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3100400/.

Mix one and a half teaspoon of goldenseal tincture in 8 ounces of water. Gargle to kill viruses and bacteria, but also soothe your inflamed throat.

Licorice water

Licorice root

Licorice root is another great remedy for eliminating cough problems. Gargle with licorice solution to prevent sore-throat, but also treat the problem [11]https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429085/.

You need 1 teaspoon of licorice syrup or powder and eight ounces of water for best results.

Raspberry tea

Raspberry tea

On first glance, you might think it is an odd home remedy. But raspberry tea works for sore throat, and many other nasty problems.

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of dried tea leave. Steep 10 minutes, strain, and then gargle while the solution is still warm.

Is my burning throat a sign of cancer?

This is a common question among patients. Yes, burning sensation in your throat might be a sign of oesophageal cancer, commonly known as throat cancer.

But there are other symptoms, and they include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent indigestion or heartburn
  • Weight loss
  • Pain in the throat or behind the breastbone
  • Cough that won’t go away

The pain and burning sensation are different.

For example, if you have throat cancer, you will feel the burning sensation in your throat when you swallow, or your food may stick in your throat for a while. This is the most common symptom of oesophageal cancer.

You will also experience pain in the middle of your chest. The pain gets worse when you swallow.

When to seek a medical help

GERD, which is one of the causes of burning sensation in your throat, accounts for 22 to 66 percent of visits to the emergency room for noncardiac chest pain. Because the symptoms are too similar with common conditions like cold, people often avoid going to the ER.

However, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should have your burning sensation in throat checked:

  • Heartburn that seems different
  • Heartburn that is worse than usual
  • Severe chest pain
  • Squeezing and tightening sensation in the chest
  • Pain radiating through the arm, shoulder, back, neck, and jaw

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