ZocdocAnswersWhat are some natural remedies for a sore throat?

Question

What are some natural remedies for a sore throat?

Does honey actually work? What about salt water? I do not like taking prescription medication.

Answer

Sore throats can be caused by many medical issues and illnesses. Some of these include viruses, bacteria, allergies, and any other causes of post nasal drip. Because the cause of these sore throats is so varied, and most of the causes are simple things that will get better by themselves over time, there are many home remedies that are highly effective, and many of them you have probably heard either from your mother, grandmother, or a well-intentioned neighbor. These are effective because the treatment for most sore throats is simply supportive, i.e., you try to reduce the symptoms and make things tolerable until your body has fixed things. You mention two of them in your question itself: salt water and honey. Gargling salt water has long been touted as an effective aid at reducing the symptoms of a sore throat. Adding honey to warm teas has similarly been recommended, and increasing the amount of liquids that you consume is also a good idea. Warm liquids especially (such as a thin soup) can help to make the throat feel better. The key to all of these is that they are ineffective at curing anything that needs medical attention, and so if you are concerned about your sore throat or it persists, please speak to your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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