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A sore throat is a common health issue associated with various conditions—often colds. In most cases, the cause is viral rather than a bacteria-born infection. Many find that their sore throat goes away within a week as the body's immune system gets to work, so they do not need to take any medication. Even though it is usually safe to wait for the situation to correct itself, there are some helpful treatments for sore throat that reduce the pain and speed up healing. If your sore throat persists and other symptoms like fever present themselves, it’s best to see a doctor.

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Take antibiotics

Antibiotics are only effective against infections caused by bacteria, so in most cases of a sore throat, they can’t help. Even if bacteria is the cause of a sore throat, the antibiotic medication is unable to relieve the pain. At best, it might reduce the length of time the illness continues by a day or so. Given their ineffectiveness as a cure, the majority of people should not consider this treatment. For people who face risks of complications from certain conditions, a course of antibiotics can play a useful preventative role. In such cases, it’s important to visit a healthcare provider.

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Painkilling medicines

Although you cannot expect medications to cure a sore throat, they do help to relieve their pain. Many people take painkillers for this purpose. Children can also take these medicines, but it is important to adjust the dose for their weight. Anyone with unique health issues, or a person taking medications for any reason, needs to check with their doctor before taking any additional medicine. Even these common painkillers may have unpleasant side effects when mixed with other types of medicine.

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Gargle

Gargling warm salt water is one of the best-known folk remedies for sore throats, and there is evidence that it does work. The usual way to proceed is to put about half a teaspoon of salt into the glass of warm water, drink and swirl it around the throat, and then spit it out. You can do this a couple of times a day to alleviate your sore throat. Some prefer to replace the salt with baking powder. Gargling can provide antiseptic qualities, and it may be effective for cleaning out phlegm associated with a sore throat. People also believe that rinsing with salt water strengthens the body's immune system.

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Keep well hydrated

Some people say drink warm water for a sore throat and others say cold, but the key is to stay hydrated. The popular liquid remedies for a sore throat vary between countries. Many people vouch for the effectiveness of including a spoonful of honey in these drinks. In English-speaking countries, some still use the whiskey-based drink known as a hot toddy. A toddy is often composed of one-third whiskey to two parts warm water with a little sugar.

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Hot drink advocates

While everyone agrees that it is important to maintain a healthy intake of liquids, opinions are sharply divided over the value of hot beverages. In the UK, for instance, the medical community recommends cold beverages. Mayo Clinic recommends hot tea with lemon to help clean and soothe the infected throat. In addition to the hot tea, researchers also suggest having warm soup. Without any conclusive medical evidence to support the hot or cold drink approaches, each person can decide what to use based on their personal preferences.

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Avoid cigarette smoke

Smoking cigarettes, or being in the proximity of smokers, is an awful idea for anyone with a sore throat. Smoke is guaranteed to aggravate sore throat symptoms and delays recovery. There are many other well-known and more serious reasons why nicotine addicts should try to break from their smoking habit. Even so, the discomfort they endure from the cigarette smoke and sore throat combination may give them the motivation to make this lifestyle change.  

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Lozenges and ices

Many people with sore throats find some relief by sucking lozenges. Pharmacies stock unique lozenges and sprays advertised as sore throat cures. It is hard to find medical proof about the effectiveness of these lozenges, but since they are inexpensive and some people find them useful, it might be worth giving them a try. Sucking hard boiled candies, frozen pops, and ice cubes may also bring relief. Remember it can be dangerous to give hard candies to little children.

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Garlic

Garlic has long been a traditional remedy for a sore throat. Garlic is known to strengthen the immune system and help it resist both viral and bacterial infections. In small amounts, it seems that garlic can also help alleviate sore throat symptoms. A diet that includes garlic may be helpful for boosting the immune system, so your body fights off these infections better.  

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A Little Cinnamon

Since ancient times, cinnamon has been a popular spice. Its value as a sore throat treatment is less well known, but it contains anti-inflammatory properties that help ease sore throats. Instead of adding cinnamon to food, the suggested cure requires the sufferer to take their cinnamon in a glass of boiled water along with a couple of tablespoons of honey and ground pepper. You can also sprinkle a little cinnamon in your tea or other beverages.

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Steaming

Breathing in steam for a quarter of an hour each day of your sore throat may help alleviate symptoms. If you have a special vaporizer or steamer, you can use it to treat your symptoms. You can also boil water and breath in the steam with a towel placed over your head and the hot pan. Be careful not to get too close though.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.