A sore throat is a common ailment often attributed to illnesses, such as a cold or strep throat. Treatment of a sore throat usually focuses on relieving pain until the underlying condition has been cured. The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health state that strep throat is the most common bacterial cause of a sore throat but most sore throats are caused by viruses. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections; however, until the infection is cured, various drinks can provide pain relief.
Some throat pain can be improved by drinking cold liquids. These should not include caffeinated, carbonated or citrus beverages, as these can exacerbate the pain. Instead, use water, ice pops, mild fruit juices and even milk. Some individuals may prefer the liquids be only slightly cool.
Numerous types of herbal tea soothe a sore throat. Nearly any mild tea, including specially formulated sore throat teas, can be used. A long-standing home remedy for throat pain includes mixing honey and lemon into the tea to taste. The lemon can cut mucus if it exists with the sore throat, while the honey coats the throat. It is important to sip the tea only after it has cooled because hot liquids can cause more pain.
You can try gargling with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 cup of warm water as one sore throat remedy. Dr. Thomas Weida, a professor, at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center says you can try gargling with any fluid, but if your throat pain increases, you will need to stop.
Lemon juice as a sore throat remedy goes against typical recommendations to avoid citrus. However, The Doctors Book of Home Remedies suggests mixing a little bit of lemon juice into a large glass of lukewarm water.
Several over-the-counter medicine drinks also exist. Such drinks are made of a combination of drugs like antihistamine, decongestant and a pain reliever, according to Drugs.com. Look for medicinal drinks which are specifically formulated to only treat throat soreness. Mix these medicines with water, typically warm, and drink once every four to eight hours.
- The U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health: Strep Throat
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Sore Throat
- Family Doctor: Strep Throat
- Drugs: Theraflu Cold and Sore Throat Powder Packets
- ABC News: Will Gargling Really Help A Sore Throat, And What's The Best Way To Gargle?