10 Ways to Soothe Sore Throats


A sore throat may be caused by a viral infection (such as the cold) or a bacterial infection (like strep throat or diphtheria). Allergies, cigarette smoke and reflux can also irritate the throat. Whatever the origins of your sore throat, here are the top 10 ways to ease that soreness and irritation.


Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce swelling and relieve pain. Our staff at Chemistworks can help you select an anti-inflammatory that’s right for your needs.


Gargling with salt water (half a teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water) or baking soda kills bacteria and reduces swelling. Gargle every couple of hours.

Lozenges and sprays:

Choose brands with a cooling or numbing agent, like menthol or eucalyptus. Chemistworks offers a range of lozenges including Strepsils, Difflam and Betadine varieties.

Cough syrup:

Cough syrups coat the throat and provide temporary pain relief. Be sure to take a non-drowsy formula if you’re headed into work.


Teas featuring lemon, marshmallow root, chamomile, pomegranate or ginger (or a combination of these) are renowned for their ability to soothe mucus membranes and prevent infection. Add honey for added health benefits.


While sucking garlic sounds repulsive, the allicin in garlic fights the germs in your throat. Try sucking on a clove of garlic like a cough drop once a day.


Place a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil in a bowl of boiling water and inhale the rising steam. This will reduce congestion and dryness in your throat.

Moderate temperatures:

While you might be craving a glass of ice water, extremes in temperature can aggravate your throat more. So keep that tea just warm and lay off the ice-cream.


About 10 per cent of sore throats are caused by a bacterial infection treatable with antibiotics. Viral infections are not effectively treated with antibiotics, although your doctor may prescribe decongestants or pain relievers.

Fluid and rest:

Make sure to rest and keep your fluids up. Try some chicken broth or watered-down fruit juice as well as water.