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What are the Best Treatments for Sore Throat?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are a number of different reasons why an individual may develop a sore throat. Fortunately, many of those underlying causes are not due to some type of serious ailment, and can be treated with relative ease. For conditions that do not involve a serious illness, many treatments for sore throat are no further away than the local pharmacy or even the spice rack. At other times, a visit to a doctor and possibly a prescription medication will be necessary.

If the throat is sore due to a cold or flu, one of the best treatments for sore throat is mixing a small amount of salt into a glass of warm water. The solution is then gargled, allowing the salt to coat the infection found in the throat. The salt helps to draw moisture from the inflamed tissue, making the environment for the infection less hospitable. As the inflammation subsides, the throat begins to feel better.

Another of the more popular home treatments for sore throat is the creation of an herbal tea containing cayenne, honey, lemon, and apple cider vinegar. This combination can often soothe a throat that is sore due to excess vocalization, such as speaking before crowds or singing for extended periods of time. The honey helps to coat and soothe irritated tissue, while the other ingredients help to calm any inflammation and also provide nutrients that help the body heal. Some recipes for this tea also call for adding peppermint in some form during the brewing process.

There are also a number of over the counter medications that are effective treatments for sore throat. Medicated drops formulated to ease the rawness that is part of a sore throat are common, and are very convenient to carry along and use throughout the day. There are also spray compounds that can be administered with ease, bringing temporary relief. Many of these products contain menthol and other ingredients that help to deaden the pain, making it easier to cope with the sore throat while the underlying reason for the pain is addressed and treated.

In situations where home remedies and over the counter treatments for sore throat pain prove unsuccessful, a visit to a physician will be in order. After assessing the condition of the throat, the doctor may prepare a shot of antibiotics or provide a prescription for medication that will help to heal the infection. Depending on the severity and cause of the sore throat, the medication may take a couple of days to significantly reduce the pain. In the interim, the doctor is likely to recommend using various home remedies to help keep the discomfort at a minimum until the prescription medicine takes effect.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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