December 27, 2023

A scratchy or sore throat can be an unpleasant symptom when you’re sick. It can hurt just to swallow your saliva, and coughing makes you wince. When your throat is really sore, all you can think about is finding relief. Thankfully, there are a number of remedies you can try at home to help soothe a sore throat. Here’s a list of some of our favorite sore throat remedies that actually work.

1. Honey

One of the most popular and effective remedies to soothe a sore throat is honey. Honey has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties. This means consuming honey can reduce throat inflammation and irritation, helping it feel better. You can eat a spoonful of honey on its own, or add a tablespoon of honey to warm water or tea to sip on.

2. Hot or Cold Liquids

cup of hot tea

If you want to soothe a sore throat, try sipping on hot liquids like herbal tea or chicken broth. The warmth can help relieve the pain in the back of your throat and reduce coughing. Or, try cold liquids such as ice water or popsicles. Different people have different preferences when it comes to what soothes the throat best. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids no matter the temperature to thin mucus and keep things flowing.

3. Saltwater Gargle

Gargling with warm salt water has been a sore throat remedy for generations. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt (or baking soda if you prefer) in a cup of warm water. You can gargle with this solution every three hours to provide relief from your sore throat. This remedy works because the salt water reduces the swelling and irritation in your throat that are causing you pain.

4. Steam

woman breathing in steam from bowl of hot water with towel overhead

If you have a sore throat, dry air can irritate it and make it worse. Adding moisture to the air can help provide relief. You can run a hot shower or bath and sit in the bathroom to inhale the steam. Or, add just-boiled water to a bowl and lean over it with a towel over your head. Breathe in the steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Breathing in steam moistens your throat and nasal passages and can help break up mucus. You can also add moisture to the air using a humidifier.

5. Hot Toddy

If you are of legal drinking age, a hot toddy can help soothe your sore throat. Mix hot water, honey, lemon juice, and whiskey, and drink it warm. You can also add spices such as cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg, which can improve mucus flow in your throat. The honey helps soothe throat irritation and calms your throat’s nerve endings. A small amount of whiskey can help thin and break up mucus as well as dilate blood vessels in your throat for better blood flow.

6. Rest

young woman sleeping with mask covering eyes

When you are sick with a sore throat or other symptoms, one of the best things you can do for your body is get plenty of sleep and rest. Sleep is essential for your immune system to function properly as it fights off your illness. Fighting infection also takes a lot of energy, which is why it’s important to rest even outside of sleeping hours so your body can use the energy it has for healing purposes.

7. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen can help relieve some of the pain associated with a sore throat. You can also try taking an antihistamine to dull or relieve throat pain that’s being caused by post-nasal drip.

More Health Tips From the Experts at Hines Street Pharmacy

These are some of the best at-home remedies that can help soothe a sore throat. If you would like additional advice or recommendations on over-the-counter medications or home remedies, please stop by to see us at Hines Street Pharmacy. Our expert pharmacy staff will be happy to answer questions and provide recommendations to help you feel better as quickly as possible!