20% off £30

Buy 1 Get 1 FreeSummer ShopOffersOffers HubBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 Free25% off Online Only OfferOutletFlash Sale up to 50% offFree gift with purchase1/2 Price2 for £50Better than half priceShort DatedBuy 6 for £15 Mix & MatchVitamins & SupplementsVitamins & Supplements HubJoints, Aches & PainsGut HealthImmunityChildren's HealthEnergyHealthy HeartLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyWeight ManagementExercise & RecoveryVitamins & Supplements Shop AllCBDShop all CBDCBD OilCBD CapsulesCBD SprayCBD GummiesCollagen & SilicaHair, Skin & NailsShop all Hair, Skin & NailsHair GrowthFunctional MushroomsVitaminsShop all VitaminsMultivitaminsVitamin AVitamin BVitamin CVitamin DVitamin EVitamin KVitamin DrinksMineralsShop all MineralsMagnesiumIronZincCalciumSeleniumChromiumSupplementsShop all SupplementsFibre SupplementsAcidophilus & Friendly BacteriaPeppermint OilGrapeseed ExtractLecithinCollagen & SilicaOmega & Fish OilsPlant Sourced SupplementsSuperfood SupplementsArnicaApple CiderRaspberry KetonesAloe VeraChondroitin & MSMCo Enzyme Q10Evening Primrose OilGarlicGinkgo BilobaGlucosamineGlucomannanSeaweed, Kelps and Aquaceuticals5 HTPDigestive EnzymesSaw palmettoCharcoalWomen's HealthShop all Women's HealthMenopauseMenstrual SupportUrinary Tract HealthPregnancy & ConceptionMen's HealthShop all Men's HealthProstate HealthChildren's HealthConditionShop all ConditionCholesterolAllergy & Hay Fever CareAnxiety SupportBone & Muscle HealthMuscle Support & Joint PainBrain & Memory SupportWomen's HealthMen's HealthChildren's HealthCold & Immune SupportFatigueDigestive HealthHair, Skin & NailsHeart & CirculationLiver CareMood SupportSexual HealthSleep & RelaxationStress ReliefVisionHerbal & Licensed RemediesShop all Herbal & Licensed RemediesRescue RemedyAshwagandhaMilk ThistleGinseng & GuaranaHomeopathic & Flower RemediesShop all Homeopathic & Flower RemediesRescue RemedyTissue SaltsFlower RemediesHomeopathic RemediesAt-Home TestsVegan Vitamins & SupplementsCBD Homeopathic Buy one get one 1/2 priceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeSave up to 1/2 PriceHolland & BarrettVitabioticsSolgarNew NordicBioglanBetterYouNatures AidGrass & Co.Nature's WayH&B ExpertDairy FreeGluten FreeSesame Seed FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeKiwi FreeLupin FreeNew inFood & DrinkFood & Drink HubImmunityExercise & RecoveryGut HealthEnergyJoints, Aches & PainsWeight ManagementDental HealthFood & Drink Shop AllHoney, Jams & SpreadsShop all Honey, Jams & SpreadsManuka HoneyHoneyNut ButtersJams & ChutneysSpreadsPateSuperfoodsShop all SuperfoodsSuperfood PowdersMaca PowderGoji BerriesBaobabMoringa PowderFlaxseedSpirulinaChia SeedsDried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsShop all Dried Fruit, Nuts & SeedsNutsDried FruitSeedsMixesTeas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesShop all Teas, Coffee & Hot BeveragesCoffee & Coffee SubstitutesMushroom DrinksTeasSuperfood TeasMatcha & Green TeaSleep & RelaxationDairy AlternativesShop all Dairy AlternativesOat, Rice & Hemp DrinksSoya DrinksNut DrinksCoconut DrinksFood CupboardShop all Food CupboardHoney, Jams & SpreadsBreakfast CerealsSuperfoodsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesTinned FoodsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsBreakfast CerealsShop all Breakfast CerealsCereals, Bran & FlakesGranolaMuesliOats & PorridgeBreakfast BarsVegan FoodSnacksShop all SnacksProtein BarsLow Calorie SnacksChocolate, Cakes & BiscuitsCrisps & ChipsSavoury SnacksSweet SnacksSnack BarsFlapjacksPopcornDrinks & JuicesShop all Drinks & JuicesNatural Energy DrinksKombuchaJuicesSoft DrinksWaterProtein ShakesAlcohol Free DrinksCookingShop all CookingCooking IngredientsApple Cider VinegarCondiments & SaucesSoya & Meat AlternativeSoup & Ready MealsRice, Pasta, Pulses & GrainsHerbs, Spices & SeasoningGravy & StockHome BakingShop all Home BakingBaking MixesBreadFlourSweeteners & Sugar AlternativesEgg SubstitutesNutritionally Complete FoodBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 Price25% off Online Only OfferHolland & BarrettNaturyaGrenadeHeath & HeatherPukkaMeridianNakdTwiningsBionaHuelGluten FreeDairy FreeWheat FreeEgg FreeMilk FreeSugar FreeSoya FreeMustard FreeCelery FreeFish FreeNew inSports NutritionSports Nutrition HubExercise & RecoveryEnergyWeight ManagementLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietySports Nutrition Shop AllProteinShop all ProteinWhey ProteinClear ProteinMass GainersVegan ProteinDiet ProteinCaseinSports SupplementsShop all Sports SupplementsTestosteroneElectrolytesEnergy GelsSports CollagenPre Workout & EnergyShop all Pre Workout & EnergyPre WorkoutCaffeine-free-pre-workoutAmino Energy PowdersBars, Drinks & SnacksShop all Bars, Drinks & SnacksEnergy BarsProtein BarsProtein ShakesProtein SnacksNutritionally Complete FoodMeal Replacement ShakesIntra WorkoutKetoPost WorkoutAmino AcidsShop all Amino AcidsAmino Energy PowdersBCAAL-LysineGlutamineCarnitineArginineCreatineShop all CreatineCreatine PowderCreatine CapsulesVegan Sports NutritionShop all Vegan Sports NutritionVegan ProteinVegan Protein BarsVegan Pre Workout & EnergyVegan Amino AcidsVegan CreatineSports AccessoriesShop all Sports AccessoriesBottles & ShakersFitness EquipmentFitness GoalShop all Fitness GoalRecoveryMuscle & StrengthLean MuscleEnergy & EnduranceDiet & Weight LossSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50Optimum NutritionPE NutritionUSNGrenadeApplied NutritionPhDSiSHuelFoodspringYfoodDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeSoya FreePalm Oil FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeFish FreeNew inBeautyBeauty HubSkin Health - by skin concernDental HealthWomen's Health - Cycles & MenstruationSexual HealthWomen's Health - PregnancyJoints, Aches & PainsChildren's HealthExercise & RecoveryLow Mood & DepressionStress & AnxietyNatural Beauty Shop AllAromatherapy & HomeShop all Aromatherapy & HomePure Essential OilsBlended Essential OilsBase & Carrier OilsHolisticSkincareShop all SkincarePremium SkincareFace CareBody CareSun CareTanning & BronzingEye CareLip CareFoot CareHand & Nail CareSkin AilmentsSkin OilsCBD BeautySun CareShop all Sun CareMineral Sun CareSun Lotion SPFAfter SunHair Skin & NailsWashing & BathingShop all Washing & BathingShampoo & ConditionerBathing AccessoriesShower Gel & Body WashDeodorantDentalHand WashSoapBath Soak & OilBody ScrubBath Bombs & SaltsFeminine CareIncontinence SupportHair CareShop all Hair CareShampoo & ConditionerHair ColouringHair MasksHair Oil & SerumHair Spray, Gel & MousseHair AccessoriesMother & BabyShop all Mother & BabyBaby Skincare & ToiletriesElectrical WellnessSexual WellnessSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeBuy one get one 1/2 priceDr OrganicFaith in NatureWeledaNaturtintTisserandMiaromaSukinQ+AEthiqueSo EcoAlcohol FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeParfum FreePalm Oil FreeGluten FreeCelery FreeCereal FreeCrustaceans FreeEgg FreeNew inCBDWeight ManagementWeight Management HubExercise & RecoveryWeight ManagementEnergyHealthy HeartWeight Management Shop AllFat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsShop all Fat Burners, Binders & Appetite SuppressantsFat BurnersFat BindersAppetite SuppressantsSlimming TabletsShakes & Weight Management ShotsShop all Shakes & Weight Management ShotsMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinDiet Food & DrinkShop all Diet Food & DrinkDiet FoodLow Calorie SnacksSlimming TeaExercise SupportShop all Exercise SupportFitness EquipmentMeal Replacement ShakesDiet ProteinProtein BarsSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy one get one 1/2 price2 for £50GrenadeOptimum NutritionHolland & BarrettUSNPulsinPhDEat WaterNew NordicSlimExpertNatures AidDairy FreeGluten FreeSugar FreeWheat FreeNew inVeganHealth & WellnessShop all Health & WellnessGut HealthSkin Health - by skin concernEnergyWomen's Health - Menopause & PerimenopauseExercise & RecoveryJoints, Aches & PainsWomen's Health - Hormonal HealthImmunityLow Mood & DepressionSleep & RelaxationJoints Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair Skin & NailsStress AnxietySleep & RelaxationBuy one get one 1/2 priceSave up to 1/2 PriceBuy 1 Get 1 FreeHolland & BarrettDr OrganicNaturtintVitabioticsSolgarWeledaOptimum NutritionNew NordicEthiqueWildDairy FreeGluten FreeParaben FreeSLS FreeAlcohol FreeSugar FreeParfum FreeWheat FreeSoya FreeSesame Seed FreeNew inShop for your WellnessWomen's HealthMenstrual HealthMenopauseSkincareJoints, Bones & MusclesGut HealthHair, Skin & NailsImmunitySleep & RelaxationFood & DietChildren's HealthStress ReliefHealthy HeartEnergyLow Mood & DepressionConcentration & AlertnessEye HealthSexual HealthLearn about WellnessWomen's HealthPeriods & Cycle HealthMenopauseJoints, Bones & MusclesImmunityGut HealthFood & DietSports & FitnessSleep & RelaxationHair Skin & NailsArticlesAll articlesHealthFood & nutritionGut healthImmunityJoints, bones & musclesWomen's healthWellnessHair & skinMental wellbeingSeasonalSleep & relaxationSports nutritionRecipesAll recipesGluten freeLow sugarVeganDairy freePodcast

The 10 best home remedies to ease a sore throat

sore throat cures
Here are 10 of the best natural and herbal remedies to ease a sore throat and help soothe some of that pain and irritation away.
Sick of the annoying, itchy, burning sore throats that seem to pop up at some point every year? Us too! That’s why we’ve put together a list of the 10 best sore throat remedies you can try at home when that uninvited, yet familiar, pain comes to visit.

What can cause a sore throat?

Sore throats are often caused by cold- or flu-like viruses or from smoking. Sometimes they can also be caused by bacteria.

Why do you get a sore throat in winter?

There are several reasons why you may be more likely to experience a sore throat in winter, including:
  • Indoor heating, which makes the air dry
  • Blocked noses from the common cold cause you to breathe more through your mouth, which can irritate your mucous membranes
  • Cold and flu illnesses are more prevalent as our immune systems can take a hit during the colder months due to less sunlight (which creates vitamin D) and the fact that the cold virus transmits faster in the cold1

What can help a sore throat?

Wondering what the best sore throat remedy is? There are lots of time-tested remedies you can try without immediately booking in for a GP appointment. Here are 10 options you can try at home for a sore throat:

1. Warm drinks with honey + other natural goodies

One of the best and easiest remedies for sore throats may already be in your kitchen cupboard. Honey is a natural wonder – especially when it comes to soothing dry, sore throats. When you combine a teaspoon or two of the sweet stuff with a warm cup of green tea or warm water and lemon it can be even more effective for calming your sore throat. Here’s how they work:
  • Honey: often referred to as the best thing for sore throats, the natural substance honey has been used for centuries to help with various conditions. Using honey for sore throats makes sense because it’s very soothing and full of natural antibacterial properties that can help to send your sore throat packing. If you want an even more powerful kick of goodness, opt for Manuka honey, which is even richer in antibacterial properties - read more about it here
  • Tea / green tea: mixing honey with tea is a great way to stay hydrated, which is essential to recovering from a sore throat.2 Green tea is also a great source of antioxidants
  • Lemon: lemons, like all citrus fruits, are a great source of vitamin C - a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system. It tastes pretty good with honey and tea, too!
  • Ginger: another great-tasting natural remedy for sore throats is ginger, which has been used extensively for centuries by people across the world to soothe sore throats3

2. Gargle with salty water

One treatment that the NHS recommends for soothing adult’s sore throats and shortening their duration is gargling with salty water. Here’s how to do it:4
  1. Stir in half a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water until it’s dissolved.
  2. Gargle with the sea salt and then spit it out – make sure you don’t swallow it.
  3. Repeat as often as you like.

3. Try an air humidifier

Swollen tissue in your throat and nose can be soothed by breathing in moist air, which you can create with a cool mist humidifier. This is one of the most popular sore throat remedies, so you can find them in a lot of department stores and online.

4. No humidifier? Use your shower instead

Moist air is created in your shower too, so shut your windows and bathroom door to let the room get all steamy. Then focus on deep inhales and exhales while you’re enjoying your shower to feel the benefits of all that moist air. A similar steamy bathroom activity you can do to relieve throat pain is to run the hot tap until it is very hot and fill up the sink. Once it is about ¾ full, put a towel over your head and lean over the sink to breathe the steam in. Relax there for a minute or so and repeat as often as you like. Another way to inhale some moist air is to boil some water in a pot over your stove with a few drops of menthol ointment or similar essential oils like peppermint and spearmint. Then take it off the hob when it starts to get all steamy and stand close by (at a safe distance!) to inhale it all in.

5. Try a natural lozenge

Looking for a sore throat pain relief you can take on the go? Traditional throat lozenges may be a good choice for you. You can simply pop a packet of handy lozenges in your coat pocket or bag and take one for sore throat relief on the go. Some of the most popular natural ingredients you can find in lozenges include:
  • Honey and Manuka honey: as we already discussed above, Manuka honey is both antibacterial and soothing for the throat. Taking a lozenge allows you to feel similar benefits to having a warm lemon and honey tea, but you can keep them in your pocket!
  • Menthol and herbal: many herbs and natural oils have soothing properties and can provide temporary relief for that burning feeling in your throat. Menthol also helps to slightly numb the throat to give you a break from a sore throat.

6. Throat sprays

One of the most popular quick remedies for sore throats is a specially-designed throat spray. There are many over-the-counter sprays you can find that coat your throat with a thin protective layer to reduce hoarseness and swallowing pain. The Holland & Barrett Cough & Throat Spray contains honey, glycerin and other throat-soothing ingredients.

7. Avoid smoky places and do no smoke

This may seem obvious but being in smoky environments and smoking can create or further aggravate already-sore throats. Some research into the immediate health effects of occasional smoking among young adults revealed that even smoking casually was linked to an increase in respiratory symptoms like sore throats, coughing and shortness of breath.5 Smoky environments like smoking shelters and walking close to congested road traffic can also irritate your throat, so avoid as much as possible, especially if your throat is already causing you discomfort.

8. Eat soft and cool foods

Whether it’s some yogurt and honey for dessert or a tub of your favourite ice-cream, smooth and chilled foods can give you some relief from sore throats. Some foods best for sore throats include:
  • Cooked pasta with sauce
  • Jelly
  • Yoghurt with pureed fruits
  • Fruit/vegetable smoothies
  • Cooked vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soups
  • Milk/plant milk – warm it up in the microwave
  • Ice lollies
  • Ice cream
  • Hard sweets
  • Ice cubes
It might also be worth avoiding dry and crunchy foods like crisps and crackers until your throat is feeling better. I don’t think we need to tell you twice to eat more jelly and ice cream when you’re a little down in the dumps!

9. Echinacea and sage

The combination of echinacea and sage has been seen to work very well for sore throats, especially when it’s in spray form. One study of 154 people found that a sage and echinacea spray worked well to soothe sore throats.6 Try A. Vogel Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray. It has taken traditional herbal medicine ideas and put them in a handy nozzle and spray pump, formulated to relieve sore throats.

10. Stay hydrated

One of the easiest home remedies for sore throats is making sure you stay hydrated. If you don’t drink enough to stay hydrated, then your body will struggle to produce the adequate mucus and saliva needed to keep your throat naturally lubricated. Try to up your intake of warm soup, teas and warm water with lemon and honey – if they have warming ginger in, even better!  Make sure you don’t heat your soup or drinks up too much though, as burning a throat that’s already feeling delicate will be no fun at all. It’s also worth noting that alcohol and caffeine can contribute to dehydration, so make sure to enjoy in moderation – or avoid completely while you have a sore throat for faster recovery.

What can I take for sore throats as pain relief?

As well as the natural / home remedies suggested above, paracetamol and ibuprofen can help to relieve the discomfort and pain of a sore throat.7

What to do for a sore throat when you’re vegan

Many of the suggestions above are vegan-friendly, but there is a big non-vegan ingredient staring us in the face – honey. So, what helps a sore throat when honey is off the table? Why not try some of the suitable options we’ve discussed in this article. Alternatively, we would encourage you to speak to your pharmacist or GP to find the best option for you. Shop Vitamins & Supplements Last updated: 30 November 2020 Sources https://flucamp.com/why-do-we-catch-colds-winter/ 2 https://uhs.umich.edu/strep 3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21929329/https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sore-throat/ 5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19264863/ 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3351972/ 7 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sore-throat/
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • AmericanExpress
  • ApplePay
  • ClearPay
  • AliPay
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Copyright © Holland & Barrett Retail Limited, 2024. All rights reserved. hollandandbarrett.com is a trading name of Holland & Barrett Retail Limited,. Registered office: Samuel Ryder House, Barling Way, Nuneaton, Warwickshire CV10 7RH. Registered in England: company no. 2758955. Registered VAT no. 211727395.