20 Sore Throat Home Remedies

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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What home remedies help to soothe a sore throat?

There are various sore throat remedies that can be used at home to help soothe a sore throat. Listed are 20 home remedies ; some of these may be familiar, like drinking warm liquids with honey or gargling with salt water. Check out the other 18 remedies to soothe a sore throat including using roots and leaves like marshmallow slippery elm, or eating frozen foods.

1. Warm saltwater gargle

Rinse the mouth with a warm saltwater gargle (1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water) and then spit it out. Don't swallow the salt, and don't use too much salt, as this could further dry out the sensitive throat membranes. Gargling with saltwater is an easy and economical way to help cleanse the throat and loosen phlegm. Gargle frequently to relieve symptoms of throat irritation caused by postnasal drip. A 2005 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that gargling with saltwater may even help prevent upper respiratory tract infections.

2. Drink warm liquids

Drinking warm liquids such as caffeine-free tea, water with honey, or warm soup broth can be soothing on a sore throat, and according to the American Osteopathic Association, hot fluids also help thin sinus mucus, which allows for better drainage and decreased stuffiness. Warm beverages also help keep you hydrated, which is important when you are feeling sick.

3. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications

OTC pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) can help relieve the pain and inflammation caused by a sore throat. They may also help reduce an accompanying fever if the sore throat is caused by an infection. Note: Do not give aspirin to children because of its link to Reye's syndrome, a disorder that can cause brain damage and death.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/18/2015

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