woman with a sore throat holding her neck and a mug of tea
February 20, 2024

In these colder months, it’s more common to get sick with colds, flu, and allergies due to the cold, dry winter air. One of the most common symptoms people experience is a sore throat. Sore throats can make you feel miserable, with pain, itchiness, or irritation every time you swallow. The good news is there are a number of at-home sore throat remedies that can help soothe this pain and irritation. Here are some of the best sore throat remedies that actually work.

1. Honey

Honey is one of the most popular sore throat remedies. This remedy has been used for generations to soothe sore throats. A recent study has shown that honey may be even more effective at relieving symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections than other treatments like antibiotics and antihistamines. Honey not only soothes a sore throat but is also effective as a cough suppressant. If you’re experiencing both a sore throat and a cough, honey can help treat both symptoms at the same time. Eat a spoonful of honey on its own, or mix it into a warm drink.

2. Baking Soda and Saltwater Gargle

young woman gargling saltwater solution

Gargling with a baking soda and saltwater solution is another one of the most effective sore throat remedies. A baking soda and saltwater mixture can reduce bacteria in the throat and prevent the growth of fungi. To make this solution, mix one cup of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and an eighth teaspoon of salt. Gently gargle and swish this solution in the back of your throat and mouth. You can use this rinse three to four times a day. Rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards.

3. Warm Liquids

Sipping on warm liquids is one of the well-known sore throat remedies that works. Hot tea or broth can soothe your throat to reduce pain and irritation. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps clear mucus membranes to keep things flowing and prevent sinus infections. The warm temperature may even help reduce coughing by soothing the back of your throat. Try drinking warm herbal teas like chamomile or peppermint tea for additional anti-inflammatory and other medicinal benefits.

4. Steam

woman inhaling steam over bowl of hot water with white towel over her head

Dry air is known to irritate a sore throat, so adding moisture by inhaling steam can be an effective sore throat remedy. Run a hot shower or bath with the bathroom door shut and sit in the bathroom to inhale the warm, humid air. You can also add just-boiled water to a bowl and lean your face over it with a towel draped over your head to inhale the steam through your nose and mouth. Another way to add moisture to the air is with a humidifier.

5. Rest

One of the best sore throat remedies is getting plenty of rest. If you feel a sore throat starting, make sure you get enough sleep at night. Physically resting your body and getting sleep can help your immune system fight off the infection. A link has also been found between sleep loss and an increased risk of developing an infection. Lying flat in bed can increase the pressure in the back of your throat and cause swelling, so try sleeping in a propped up position to alleviate discomfort and pain so you can get a good night’s sleep.

Tips to Avoid Getting Sick

These are some of the best at-home sore throat remedies that can help you feel better quickly. However, the best way to stop a sore throat is to avoid getting sick in the first place. Follow these tips to stay healthy during cold and flu season so you can avoid catching colds and flu to keep your throat pain-free!

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