There are many causes of sore throats. Most of the time they are not serious, but if the pain is severe or persistent then you should see your doctor about it. Here are home remedies I have found helpful for sore throats:
Anti-inflammatory medicines are some of the most effective sore throat treatments around. They can make you feel better and decrease the swelling associated with sore throats. You may have some of them already in your medicine cabinet. They include over-the-counter medicines such as Advil (Ibuprofen) and Aleve (Naproxen). Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is another one to try. It can help relieve the pain, but has no anti-inflammatory effects.
A tried and true remedy is the saltwater gargle. Gargling several times a day can provide pain relief, loosen mucus in the throat, and flush out irritants. Just dissolve half a teaspoonful of salt in one cup of water. Add a little honey if you like. But remember to not swallow! Spit it out after gargling.
Sore throat lozenges and cough drops can be found at any grocery or pharmacy. Sucking on them stimulates saliva production and helps keep your throat moist. Some brands have menthol or eucalyptus that can help cool and numb your throat.
Sore throat sprays like Chloraseptic don’t cure anything, but they can provide temporary relief.
Even if you don’t have a cough you can use cough syrup to coat your throat and ease the soreness. Be careful though because some can cause drowsiness. If you need to stay alert then use one of the non-drowsy formulas available over-the-counter. Then use a nighttime medicine like NyQuil to help you sleep better during your sore throat.
Drink plenty of fluids. The moisture helps relieve your throat pain and your body can function better when it is well-hydrated. Plain old water or ice chips work well, but you can try a watered-down fruit juice or something salty like chicken broth if you need some flavor.
A warm cup of tea can be soothing. Try adding a teaspoonful of honey to it if you like.
Chicken soup is one a popular home remedies. I don’t know of any scientific basis for it, but it works for me.
Getting plenty of rest is important. When you are under stress or have inadequate sleep your body has a harder time fighting infection and inflammation. Rest can help shorten the course of your illness.
Often a cool mist humidifier at your bedside can help keep your throat and sinuses moist during the night and reduce throat pain.
Some people I see in the office want antibiotics for their sore throat. If an infection such as “strep” is the cause then antibiotics can help heal the throat and prevent complications. But most sore throats are caused by viruses and are not helped by antibiotics. So if your sore throat is from a virus don’t be surprised if your doctor doesn’t prescribe antibiotics.