Sore throat spray

A man using throat spray (Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels)

At first, it started as a tickle in the back of your throat. Now, you’ve confirmed your worst fear – you have a sore throat. Ugh, the discomfort and annoyance alone are enough to cast a shadow on anyone’s day. Fortunately, remedies for soothing and overcoming sore throats are widely and readily available. Some of the best remedies for sore throats tie back to using ancient herbal concoctions while others lean on advances in modern medicine. 

While many remedies exist, the first inclination many of us have would be to simply ignore the symptoms. In a recent study, it was found that one in four people still try to “power through” symptoms when feeling sick. Maybe it’s the frequency or severity of our discomfort that springs us into action. All the same, 46 percent of people still ignore the symptoms when feeling sick with 21 percent of the debilitating symptoms being sore throats. 

To add to our findings, a study shows that 78 percent of respondents feel pressure to power through the work day even when they’re sick. Perhaps the most common denominator among these ailments boils down to stress, with 42 percent of workers feeling stressed out when they attempt to call out sick. However, there are still mixed views across the board. For instance, it was found that 41 percent of those surveyed said they would rather cover for their colleague while 69 percent of respondents state that a severe cough is not a good enough reason to skip work for the day.

Lucky for us, remedies exist that have proven to be useful combatants against sore throats. For more information about the best remedies for sore throat, our list dives into natural remedies and modern medicine used to cure sore throats and restore balance to your day. Don’t see your favorite remedy? Drop a comment below and let us know! 

Ginger, vitamins, herbal remedies (Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels).

The List: Best Remedies for a Sore Throat, According to Experts 

1. Salt Water Gargle     

Forget going to the medicine cabinet, our first home ready can be put together with ingredients found in our kitchens. As mentioned in US Kannabia, “A warm salt water gargle can soothe your sore throat and kill harmful bacteria.” As an easy and cost-effective solution, this remedy is suitable for just about everyone. 

A spoonful of salt
A spoonful of salt (Photo by Jason Tuinstra on

Depending on the severity of discomfort, “patients with sore throats should gargle with salt water at least once every hour,” reports RheMedi. As a time-honored remedy for soothing sore throats, gargling salt water helps flush out irritants and “is an effective remedy for killing bacteria and loosening mucus, and easing pain.” Additionally, gargling salt is known to reduce pain and discomfort.

“Saltwater is the perfect home remedy for sore throats” states Ochsner Health, saying “It can calm inflammation and irritation and reduce swelling.” Best of all, it’s an easy remedy to make. “For the saltwater mix, dissolve ¼ teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water.” Next, you gargle the solution for “approximately ten seconds then spit it out.”

2. Honey

Honey is often referred to as the best thing for sore throats” reports Holland and Barrett. When combined with a warm cup of tea or warm water and lemon, honey can provide comfort. This makes sense as honey is “very soothing and full of natural antibacterial properties that can help to send your sore throat packing.” For honey richer in antibacterial properties, consider opting for Manuka honey.

(Photo by Danika Perkinson on

Perhaps your sore throat has evolved into a cough. If that’s the case, the natural antibacterial properties have shown that “honey is even more effective than cough suppressants,” explains Elder Berry Queen. While it’s still not recommended to give honey to children under the age of one, “taking one tablespoon one to two times a day” with tea or warm lemon water is “a long-standing way to soothe a sore throat.”

Ochner Health says “Honey can reduce irritation, act as a cough suppressant, and adds the perfect pinch of sweetness to your cup.” As a popular ingredient, honey can be found in the cabinet or pantry of most households and is the perfect ingredient to coat a sore throat for not only immediate but long-lasting relief. 

3. Ginger

Eat Beautiful raves that using ginger “actually works better on sore throats than any other sore throat remedy.” Considered the “go-to” remedy for sore throats, “Put about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ginger tincture in two to four ounces of water.” Next, take a sip, gargle for 30 seconds, and if you can manage, swallow the remedy. For some, this ginger-infused remedy may be spicy which can serve as a benchmark for the future. When gargling, it’s important to tilt your head back and side to side to “get the ginger into your nasal, throat, and ear cavities.”

Ginger (Photo by sentot setyasiswanto on Unsplash)

Ginger possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties like gingerols which is part of why ginger “has been used extensively for centuries by people across the world to soothe sore throats,” says Holland and Barrett. In addition, ginger has long been known to possess immune-boosting effects in addition to analgesic properties which provide temporary pain relief. Perhaps this is why ginger is known as a “great-tasting natural remedy for sore throats.”

As one of the best remedies for sore throats, various forms of ginger can be used to soothe a sore throat, such as: fresh ginger slices, ginger tincture, and ginger paste. However, when combined with other ingredients such as lemon and honey, this remedy is coined as the “best sore throat soother,” by Deb and Danelle. Here’s how the remedy is concocted: Start by packing half a quart canning jar full of lemon wedges then add freshly grated ginger on top. Now, cover it all with honey, “screw the lid on, and let it be for 24 hours at room temperature.” For use, take by the spoonful or add some to a warm beverage. Following use, store in the fridge.

4. Take a Hot Shower

Dry air can be harsh on our airways and “there’s a chance that it might be the cause of your sore throat” explains Elder Berry Queen. In some cases, dry air may even be the root cause of your symptoms. Fortunately, “Steam also loosens mucus and moisturizes a sore throat.” By breathing in steam from a warm shower, you can soothe your sore throat and open your sinuses. 

Shower head
Shower head (Photo by Pixabay on Pexels)

“Use your shower” says Holland and Barrett. By shutting your windows and bathroom door, you can create a steamy atmosphere of moist air that helps relax and hydrate your sore throat. For maximum benefit, “focus on deep inhales and exhales while you’re enjoying your shower.” An alternative technique to mimic a steamy environment is to boil a pot of water with some menthol ointment then stand nearby to inhale the steam. 

At ENT and Allergy, Dr. Griffiths states, “Any humidification can relieve symptoms,” as steam helps to humidify airways. Since tissues in your throat are responsible for producing mucus, when they become swollen they can get “dry and scratchy.” By taking a steam shower, the humidity can “add some moisture back into the area, soothing it in the process.”

5. Throat Sprays

If natural remedies aren’t working out, then it’s time to consider bridging to “over-the-counter options,” says US Kannabia. While over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen, cough drops, and lozenges often take the front stage, throat numbing sprays are highly effective and provide immediate relief. To find a spray for your sore throat, consider the “Over-the-counter options at your local pharmacy.”

Throat spray
Throat spray (Photo by Ron Lach on

“One of the most popular and fast remedies for sore throats is a specially-designed throat spray,” explains Holland and Barrett. While most provide immediate and temporary numbing effects, “There are many “over-the-counter sprays you can find that coat your throat with a thin protective layer to reduce hoarseness and swallowing pain.” Additionally, some throat sprays provide lubrication. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that a throat spray matches your symptoms and needs. 

“A really sore throat won’t be completely gone after one application,” explains Eat Beautiful. For maximum effectiveness a “throat spray can be used upon the first onset of symptoms and/or perpetually until symptoms abate.” Remember, most throat sprays only provide temporary relief

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Tim Lanoue

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