How to Treat a Tickly Throat

A tickly throat may be caused by postnasal drip, sinusitis, irritation from dry air, the common cold or one of several other mild conditions. Occasionally, a persistent tickly or sore throat could indicate a serious health concern, and should be evaluated by a physician if it does not resolve within a week, or if you have other symptoms, such as a fever, rash or swollen glands. Most of the time, you can treat your tickly throat with simple home remedies.

An woman is holding a cup of hot tea. Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Step 1

Keep your throat moistened by drinking plenty of fluids. Warm liquids are usually more soothing and more effective in treating a ticklish throat than cold ones. Try plain water, tea, broth or warm water with honey and lemon. Lemon can temporarily remove excess mucus, and honey can coat your throat, easing the tickling.

Step 2

Run a humidifier or take a steamy shower. Both of these measures can relieve dryness, which may be causing or exacerbating your throat irritation.

Step 3

Gargle with warm salt water to cut mucus and kill bacteria. Mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt into a glass of warm water and gargle, then spit it out.

Step 4

Suck on cough drops, throat lozenges or hard candy. These temporarily coat the throat and soothe irritation.

Step 5

Talk to your doctor about trying herbal remedies or supplements if you have a cold. The University of Maryland Medical Center states that vitamin C and zinc have the potential to reduce the duration of a cold. Some herbal remedies include slippery elm, garlic, sage and ginseng.

Things You'll Need

  • Warm fluids

  • Humidifier

  • Salt

  • Cough drops

  • Herbs and vitamins (optional)


Do not take any herbal medications or vitamin supplements without seeking a doctor's advice, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, take prescription medication or if you have any health issues. Some may be dangerous or may be contraindicated if you have certain conditions or when taking some prescriptions.

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