Which is best for a sore throat: Lemon, honey or alcohol?

Posted at 4:58 PM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-07 11:00:22-05

When you start to get that scratchy irritated feeling in your throat, you know a sore throat is coming on.   

But what’s the best home remedy to ease the pain? Lemon, honey or alcohol?

There is some interesting scientific research supporting the use of honey. 

Honey has been found to help with pain after tonsillectomy, that’s when tonsils at the back of the throat are removed. 

Another clinical trial found honey improved nighttime coughing in children and that it was also effective in providing relief for cold symptoms. 

Lemon contains high levels of vitamin C, but there’s no evidence it’ll help with a sore throat. A few studies reported Vitamin C might reduce the length of a cold. 

But while some people may benefit, generally it’s pretty ineffective for the majority of us. When it comes to alcohol and a sore throat, there is no evidence that it’ll help.

In fact, you should avoid alcohol when you’re sick as it can dehydrate you and lower your immune system. To help ease a sore throat, I’ve got my prescriptions: 

Partha’s RX

1. Try mixing 2 teaspoons of honey into a hot drink or take it alone. Never give honey to a child younger than a year because of the risk for infant botulism. 

2. Drink lots of fluids but skip caffeinated drinks. Just like alcohol, they can leave you dehydrated.

3. Try gargling with salt water. Fill a glass with 4 to 8 ounces of warm water and add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of table salt.  

4. Use a cool-air humidifier in the bedroom.  It’ll keep the air moist and help your throat from getting too dry.

It’s important you see your doctor if your sore throat is severe, lasts longer than a week, if you have blood in your saliva or phlegm, or if you have a fever that’s 101 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. 

Get immediate help if you have trouble breathing or swallowing.