Ear, Nose & Throat

Burning in throat-7 Causes and 15 Home remedies

Burning in throat is a very unpleasant feeling. We might not be able to concentrate on anything if we have burning throat. Our mind is constantly pondering over the possible causes of burning feeling in our throat, and we want to get rid of this peppery feeling as soon as possible. In this article, we will try to make you understand about all the possible causes of burning sensation in our throat and also give you some suggestions on how to get rid of this problem naturally, and from the comfort of our own home.

Why does my throat burn? Let’s learn it now:

burning in throatBurning sensation in throat causes:

1. Burning throat due to GERD:

GERD is the abbreviation of a medical condition called Gastroesophageal reflux disorder. It is also called as GORD. In GERD, there is reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, which leads to having this sensation of burning in our throat. Let’s learn about the symptoms and causes of GERD now.

Symptoms of GERD:
Burning feeling in area of chest:

This feeling is experienced immediately after we eat something. This burning sensation occurs behind the breastbone or sternum. It is also called retrosternal burning, and it lasts for few minutes to hours on end.

Burning throat due to GERD:

As the fluid from the stomach including stomach acid moves into the throat or esophagus due to reflux, it makes us sense a burning feeling in our throat. We can feel a hot, sour and salty fluid in the throat.


Some people can also experience difficulty swallowing or dysphagia. This doesn’t occur in all the people. But, it can also occur in some people as a complication of GERD.

Chest pain:

GERD can also lead to chest pain, mainly behind the sternum or breastbone. In some people, this can even lead to confusion if this chest pain is related to heart attack or angina or if its due to GERD.

Food stuck in the throat:

Due to the reflux or backward movement of the acidic stomach contents into the throat, we can even get a feeling of food getting stuck in the throat.

Hoarseness of voice:

This can occur due to irritation of the vocal cords and larynx due to the acid reflux.

Bad breath:

Bad breath or Halitosis can also occur due to the reflux of acid contents of stomach into the esophagus and the mouth.

A continuous cough:

The acidic food that gets into the mouth due to GERD can also enter the larynx and trachea. This can lead to a continuous cough as the respiratory tract tries to get rid of food substances from it. In some people, this reflux of food into the respiratory tract can also lead to aspiration pneumonia.

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Causes of GERD:

There are many different causes of GERD. Let us list out some of the causes that can lead to GERD and ultimately to burning sensation in throat.

  • Eating heavy meals at once
  • Consuming food just before going to bed without giving any gap between eating and sleeping
  • Eating Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges in excess
  • Drinking excess of caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee
  • Eating spicy foods containing excess of chilies, spices, garlic, onions, etc
  • Being obese or having more weight than the recommended BMI or body mass index
  • Lying flat on the bed immediately after eating your food
  • Taking drugs like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and other Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which can lead to GERD or heartburn
2. Throat burning due to Esophagitis:

Esophagitis is the swelling or inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. It can occur due to various causes and can ultimately lead to burning feeling in the throat. Let’s look at the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of esophagitis.

Causes of esophagitis:

There are many different causes of esophagitis. The most common causes of esophageal irritation and swelling are:

GERD leading to reflux esophagitis:

GERD is by itself one of the most important causes of burning in throat. But, GERD can also lead to esophagitis as a complication and this can, in turn, lead to burning sensation in throat. The esophagitis that is caused by GERD is called reflux esophagitis.

Drugs leading to pill esophagitis:

We keep taking many drugs on day to day basis. These drugs can cause many different side effects. The side effects of some drugs are esophageal inflammation leading to pill esophagitis. Some examples of such drugs are NSAIDS, bisphosphonates like alendronate, risedronate, etc which are used to treat osteoporosis, certain antibiotics, etc.

Infections leading to infectious esophagitis:

There are many different infections like viral, bacterial and fungal infections that keep attacking our body every day. These infections can inflame our esophagus and lead to infectious esophagitis. You are at more risk of developing this type of esophagitis if your immune system is weak due to any cause like having AIDS or HIV infections, suffering from Diabetes, cancer, taking any immunosuppressive drugs, etc.

Eosinophilic esophagitis:

We all know that some people are allergic to various foods like soybeans, peanuts, almonds, other nuts, milk, pet fur, animal dander, dust, pollen, etc. In such people who have allergies, there is an increased number of white blood cells called eosinophils in the blood. These eosinophils can lead to the development of inflammation of the esophagus called esophagitis.

Symptoms of esophagitis:

There are many symptoms of esophagitis like:

  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Retrosternal pain and burning
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • A continuous cough, chest pain behind breastbone
Diagnosis of esophagitis:

Diagnosis of esophagitis requires careful history taking by your physician. Your physician will also perform various tests like endoscopy, barium meal x-ray, etc to rule out various disorders. You may also need to undergo allergy testing if you are allergic to anything.

Treatment of esophagitis:

Treatment of esophagitis involves treatment with drugs like pantoprazole, ranitidine, etc. You may also be given antacids syrups containing aluminum hydroxide, etc. You can also follow home remedies for burning in throat that we will discuss later in the article.

3. Burning in throat due to Allergies:

Many of us suffer from various allergies. These allergies can be to dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts like peanuts, walnuts, soybeans, etc. Allergies can also be caused by pollen from the flowering plants, to molds and dust mites. Even the animal dander and fur from your pets can trigger allergies in people prone to develop allergies.

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A substance which induces allergic reaction in our body is called an allergen. This allergen activates or stimulates our immune system. There is an increase in the number of white blood cells called eosinophils in the body. There is also increase in the release of a substance called histamine in the body.

This allergic reaction can lead to development of many symptoms in our body like burning in throat, itching in the throat, etc. Also watering of eyes, redness of the eyes and irritation of the eyes can occur. Skin rashes called urticaria also develop due to these allergies. The rash caused by urticaria is extremely itchy or pruritic. The entire immune mechanism which leads to the development of these symptoms of allergy is called hypersensitivity reaction.

In some people, serious symptoms like hypotension or lowered blood pressure, fainting or dizziness, inability to breathe or breathlessness can develop in response to an allergen. This is called anaphylaxis. This is an emergency which needs you to get admitted to a hospital. So, if you develop any such symptoms like dyspnea or shortness of breath, swelling of lips or fainting after eating something, then go to the emergency department immediately.

4. The peppery feeling in throat due to infections:

Burning in throat can also be caused by any infection affecting the respiratory tract. We have 2 parts in our respiratory tract. They are the upper respiratory tract and the lower respiratory tract. The larynx, pharynx, tonsils, sinuses, nasal cavity come under the upper respiratory tract. The trachea, bronchi, lungs come under the lower respiratory tract.

Various infections like viral, bacterial and fungal infections can affect the upper and lower respiratory tract. When we suffer from any respiratory tract infection, we have many symptoms like cold, cough, sore throat or burning sensation in throat, fever, hoarseness of voice, etc.

5. Throat burning due to dryness of throat:

We need appropriate amount of moisture in the respiratory passages. This moisture protects the airways from irritation and keeps them functioning normally. But, sometimes we might have low levels of moisture or humidity in the environment. This can also occur in dry climates and dry hot regions.

When there is a lack of humidity in the surroundings, our respiratory passages also become dry, irritated and sour. This can develop burning sensation in throat. When we develop burning feeling in throat due to lack of moisture, we need to use humidifiers to keep the air moist. We can also add essential oils like eucalyptus oil to the humidifiers. Just add few drops of eucalyptus oil to the humidifier to soothe your irritated throat.

6. Burning mouth syndrome:

Apart from the organic causes of developing throat burning, we can also develop burning in throat due to some causes like burning mouth syndrome. This is the term given to describe the soreness, burning in throat, mouth and oral cavity, without having any underlying disease.

The people having this problem will need to undergo counseling by a psychiatrist called CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy. They will also need to take antidepressant medications if their throat burning is severe. This condition can also lead to having a sour and salty taste in the mouth and the throat.

7. Post nasal drip:

A condition called post nasal drip can also lead to having burning in throat. In this condition, there is a passage of mucus or fluid from the sinuses and the nasal cavity into the throat, rather than coming out through the nose. As the mucus and fluids get accumulated in the throat, we tend to develop a burning sensation in the throat.

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The people having this condition can also suffer from a cough, irritation, and soreness in the throat. People having conditions like sinusitis, allergies, common cold or flu, etc can develop postnasal drip.

ALSO READ: Constant mucus in throat-Causes and treatments

Burning sensation in throat home remedies:

Home remedies for burning in throat
Image Source: onlymyhealth.com

There are many home remedies or natural remedies for burning throat. Let us try to learn about them and try them out to relieve burning feeling in throat.

1. Baking soda:

Try to drink a glass of water after mixing ½ teaspoon of baking soda in it. This helps in neutralizing the stomach acid, as the baking soda is alkaline. This alleviates the chest pain and burning behind the sternum, and also the burning in throat.

2. Aloe vera juice:

Aloe vera has a soothing effect on your stomach. It helps in relaxing your stomach lining and reducing the symptoms of acidity and burning. So, just grab ½ a cup of aloe vera juice and drink it half an hour before eating your meals.

3. Chewing sugar-free gum:

You might wonder how this remedy works. But, this remedy does work truly. You just need to take a sugar-free gum and chew it for 30 minutes after having your meals. This stimulates the release of saliva from the salivary glands. Saliva is alkaline, and so it also helps to neutralize the gastric acid.

4. Ice cream:

Wow, don’t you love this remedy? I too love this remedy. Eating a cold ice cream tends to soothe our throat and alleviate the burning feeling. It also lifts our mood at the same time. What else do we want?

5. Bananas:

Bananas act like a natural antacid. So, try to eat bananas after 15 to 20 minutes after each meal. If you eat ripe bananas, this remedy will be more effective in relieving heart burn.

6. Ginger tea:

Ginger is very effective in combating stomach problems. Just take ½ inch piece of ginger, crush it coarsely. Then add it to a glass of water, and bring to a boil. Then filter this water and drink this ginger flavored water. This helps to give you relief from burning in throat.

7. Avoid smoking:

Smoking contains nicotine and this can trigger symptoms of acid reflux. So, try to avoid smoking and all products that contain tobacco.

8. Avoid alcohol:

Alcohol is also a major trigger of burning feeling in throat. Try to restrict intake of alcohol until your symptoms disappear or cure. Later on also take alcohol in moderation, but it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol.

9. Don’t wear tight clothes:

Tight clothes can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux. So, wear loose-fitting clothes. They make you feel comfortable and also reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and throat burning.

10. Reduce weight:

We already discussed that obesity or overweight can also lead to GERD or acid reflux. So, try to reduce your weight. You can do yoga, exercises, walking, aerobic exercises, etc to reduce weight. Eat healthy food to achieve your weight loss goals.

11. Avoid allergens:

Many types of allergens can also lead to burning throat. So, try to identify the things that you are allergic to. The avoidance of allergens surely improves your symptoms.

12. Restrict caffeinated beverages:

Coffee and tea are favorite beverages of many people throughout the world. But, if you have throat burning, they can trigger and aggravate these symptoms. So, try to avoid them to get relief from symptoms:

13. Cumin remedy:

Cumin is very effective in getting rid of burning sensation in throat and acid reflux. Just roast some cumin seeds, and powder the. Mix it with some honey and eat it every day. This will get rid of your burning throat woes.

14. Salt water gargles:

Take some warm water, mix some salt in it and gargle with that water. This can surely reduce the symptoms of irritation in your throat.

15. Apple cider vinegar:

Take a glass of warm water. Add, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon of honey to it, and mix well. Then drink this water to get relief from your sore and irritated throat.

I hope you people have understood about all the different causes of burning in throat, and also the home remedies available to get rid of these symptoms. Hope you benefit from it.

  1. http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/heartburn-and-gerd#1
  2. http://www.healthline.com/health/esophagitis#diagnosis6

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