Fast Ways to Get Rid of a Sore Throat

A sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, is a common condition usually caused by a cold or flu virus. A sore throat is usually the first sign that you may become sick from the virus. A sore throat will typically clear up on its own as the virus dissipates, but there are things you can do to speed up the process.

A woman with a cold is sitting in bed. (Image: DeanDrobot/iStock/Getty Images)

Increase Fluids

Drinking more fluids such as water, tea, soup or fresh fruit juice keeps your throat moistened, preventing scratchiness and irritation. Tea with honey and lemon is especially effective, says the Mayo Clinic. The Mayo Clinic indicates that the honey coats the throat, protecting it from irritants and the lemon helps to cut the mucus. Drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol to prevent dehydration.


Gargling with warm salt water has also proven to be helpful in treating a sore throat. The warm water provides additional moisture; the salt helps to cut through any mucus or bacteria in your throat or mouth. Mix 1/2 tsp. salt into 8 oz. warm water. Take a few sips at a time, gargle and spit out the solution. Repeat until all the solution is gone. Repeat daily or as needed.

Rest Your Voice

Whenever possible, rest your voice. You do not have to isolate yourself; communicate verbally when you need to but try to find other ways to communicate in the meantime. When you have a sore throat, the virus has infected your throat, reducing the efficiency of your throat muscles. Talking, yelling or singing can further irritate your throat muscles. Prolonged use of your voice without rest can also cause, laryngitis, a condition that causes you to "lose" your voice temporarily.


Take an over-the-counter (OTC) non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen. These medications will help to relieve your sore throat, but they will not treat the virus that caused it.

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