Sore-Throat Soothers
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Sore-Throat Soothers

Like the common cold, there's no way to cure a sore throat. Until it clears up, usually within a week, four simple remedies can ease the pain.

Suck on lemon drops.
Lemon and other sour flavors stimulate saliva flow, which reduces your throat pain better than simply drinking water or other fluids.

Gargle with salt water.
Water moisturizes your throat, while salt clears out mucus. Here's a good formulation: Combine 1/2 teaspoon salt with 8 ounces of warm water.

Turn on the humidifier.
Cold, dry winter air -- exacerbated by central heating -- dries the throat's lining. Add moisture back into the air and you may reduce that scratchy feeling.

Drink tea with honey.
Honey coats your throat and keeps it moist (choose a light one and use lots). Chamomile and marshmallow root teas may be especially soothing.

Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, February 2009.