Good to Know

Tips for Treating Sore Throats

April 27th, 2011


  • Sore throats happen.  
  • If your sore throat accompanies other common cold symptoms, such as a runny nose and cough without fever or red throat, there's typically no need for antibiotics.

In our house we make our favorite honey-lemon "tea".  We stir together juice from half a lemon with 1-2 tablespoons of honey and boiling hot water.  The honey soothes and the vitamin C helps repair.  


  • Here are some more tips that will help you ride out your sore throat in relative comfort:
  • Hydration - Stay hydrated by drinking chicken or miso soup.

  • Popsicles - Suck on a fruit-juice popsicle for relief.
  • Gargle - Gargle with salt water.  This age-old remedy soothes pain and reduces inflammation.  Mix a teaspoon of salt with very warm water and gargle several times a day.
  • Cider Vinegar - Mix one-quarter cup apple cider vinegar with one-quarter cup honey, and take one tablespoon every four hours for pain relief.
  • Lozenges - Try sugar-free lozenges containing vitamin C or zinc.
  • Tea - Ginger, echinacea, chamomile, and mint teas are helpful.  Add honey for even greater relief.
  • Vitamins - Take a daily multivitamin/mineral with antioxidant vitamins A and C and the mineral zinc, all of which help fight seasonal infections.
  • Avoid Dairy - Avoid dairy products, as they increase mucus production.  (One exception is unsweetened yogurt with active cultures.)
  • Throat Spray - Try a natural throat spray.



  • Sources
  • The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B. White, MD, and Steven Fpster (Rodale, 2000)
  • “Honey: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals” by J. Evans and S. Flavin, Br J Nurs, 8/14/08
  • “Vitamin C Dietary Supplements: An Objective Review of the Clinical Evidence. Part 1”
  • by Mark A. Moyad, MD, MPH, and Maile A. Combs, Sem Prev Altern Med, 2007