What Juice Helps a Sore Throat?

Hot chocolate with foam in two mugs
Drink a hot chocolate or another warm drink rather than acidic juice to help a sore throat. (Image: milarka/iStock/Getty Images)

What juice helps a sore throat depends on what type of sore throat you have. Most sore throats don't benefit from juice at all, as juice's high acidic content can aggravate irritation. But a sore throat without other symptoms might be the result of dryness. In that case, drinking any type of juice could alleviate the problem. Consult your doctor to properly determine what is causing your sore throat and how to treat it.

Juice and Sore Throat

KidsHealth.org notes that acidic juices, such as orange and grapefruit juice, can aggravate a sore throat. Carrot juice is less acidic, but might still sting going down. If you have a sore throat and are craving citrus juice, this might be an indication you need vitamin C. Alternative sources of vitamin C include warm rose-hip tea and warm lemon water, but these might still be too acidic for your throat. Vitamin C supplements might solve the problem. Take them with a liquid that won't be as bothersome to your sore throat. Consult your doctor before taking vitamin supplements.

About Sore Throat

A sore throat can be caused by several medical conditions, but it is most frequently triggered by a virus. Sometimes, a sore throat signals the beginning of a case of the common cold. Mucus might trickle down the back of the throat when you are asleep, irritating it. Or a virus may infect your throat directly. The most common bacterial cause of a sore throat is strep throat. White patches on the throat along with tender neck glands are typical symptoms of strep. Strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever, so it must be diagnosed by a doctor and treated with antibiotics. The Epstein-Barr virus causes mononucleosis, commonly called mono, characterized by fever, sore throat and swollen glands. Other symptoms of mono might include fatigue, enlargement of the liver and spleen, headache and rash. Most adults are immune to the virus, but it can be a problem among teenagers. Breathing through the mouth can dry out the throat, causing soreness. Allergies may also be behind the problem.

Other Liquids for Sore Throat

The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests gargling with warm salt water to soothe a sore throat. The University also recommends drinking unsweetened cranberry juice to strengthen the immune system in the case of mononucleosis; however, the acidity of this juice could be aggravating. KidsHealth.com suggests warm soups, hot chocolate or sweetened tea. Honey is a popular folk remedy for a sore throat. Stir a spoonful into a warm mug of water or milk. Mother Earth News notes that licorice, marshmallow and mullein are all traditional herbal remedies for a sore throat. Look for teas containing these ingredients if you'd like to try them, but be aware that their effectiveness is not scientifically substantiated.

Sore Throat Treatment

Most sore throats do not signify a major illness, and go away after about a week. If your sore throat lingers, consult your doctor. Reduce the spread of infection by washing your hands frequently, especially during fall and winter months when germs are spread more readily indoors. Use paper towels rather than cloth to reduce the transmission of germs in your home. Hand sanitizer can also help protect you from getting a virus or bacterial infection.

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