A sore throat could be the main symptom of coronavirus. Is there anything you can do at home to ease a sore throat?
1. Gargle salt water then spit it out
“Salt water is a simple home remedy anyone can try,” advises Dr Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.
“Simply mix one teaspoon of salt with a few inches of warm water, stir to dissolve, and gargle slowly. Try and keep the salt water in contact with the sore area for as long as you can, as the salt has a local anti-inflammatory action.”
2. Suck ice cubes, ice lollies or ice cream
This tip coincides nicely with the heatwave, because chances are you’ve already stocked up on ice lollies to help keep yourself cool. But how can it help with a sore throat?
“Lowering the body temperature has been shown in many medical studies to reduce inflammation,” suggests Lee. “The effect of the cold lowers the production of proinflammatory cytokines (chemical messengers that give the signals for inflammation) and other inflammatory markers. Less inflammation means less discomfort.”
3. Have some honey
Lee cites a 2020 review of 14 clinical studies which “concluded that honey is useful in treating symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections”, she says.
“Honey has been shown to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. It also works as an anti-inflammatory… And is also a powerful antioxidant.”
Lee’s advice? “Simply mix two teaspoons of honey with hot water, stir to dissolve, and sip it slowly. Or you can mix it with lemon juice, to also give a boost of vitamin C.”
4. Take a hot shower
This one might not be the most appealing thing to do in a heatwave, but it could help ease your sore throat. Lee says cranking up the temperature of your shower “helps moisturise the throat and nasal passages through inhalation of the steam”.
“If your throat is dry, this causes evaporation of water from the mouth and throat and makes your throat feel scratchy and irritating. Humidified air, such as steam, can be very soothing. You may want to humidify the house too, which you can do simply by positioning bowls of water around the room, especially on or near radiators.”
5. Try menthol throat lozenges
It all started with 3 Fishermen who lost their voices at sea!
James Lofthouse, our founder, presented them with bottles containing a mixture of liquorice, eucalyptus and menthol.
However, rough seas often led to broken bottles so he thickened the mixture & the lozenge was born! pic.twitter.com/pa2tXpxuB3
— Fisherman's Friend (@Fishermans_UK) July 10, 2022
If you have any menthol throat lozenges knocking about, now’s the time to dig them out. “Menthol is made by combining eucalyptus and peppermint oils, and can soothe a sore throat and help reduce a cough,” says Lee.
“It works by desensitising specific pain receptors in the back of the throat, resulting in numbness.”