Sore Throats: What Works Today


Having a sore throat - it’s a nasty annoyance that has probably affected us all, no matter who we are or where we are. It’s a problem which has afflicted humans for as long as we can remember.

Inevitably, treatments for a sore throat have varied throughout history. In this article, treatments from the past and present from around the world will be discussed.


Up to the first part of the 20th century, bloodletting was a common treatment for all kinds of illnesses, including sore throats[1]. This involved draining blood from the patient until they fainted.

The founding father to the United States, George Washington, had bloodletting performed on him when he had a sore throat one winter’s night in 1799. He had 40 % of his total blood volume taken from him over a 12 hour period. Washington’s doctors justified this by saying that it reduced the inflammation of his windpipe.[2]

Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn’t do the trick. Washington passed away hours after his fourth bloodletting. In these days of modern medicine, it seems obvious that such massive blood loss would have an adverse effect but not at that time.

Honey and Salt Water

An age old remedy for helping a sore throat is honey. It can be put in a drink or taken directly and is, to this day, said to reduce discomfort[3]All that’s needed is to add two to three teaspoons to a cup of warm water or tea.

Gargling with salt water may sound like just another old wives tale but there is evidence to suggest that it may be effective for soothing a sore throat.

An effective medicine

Having a sore throat can come with a variety of other symptoms, from a slight burning in the back of the throat to pain when you speak or swallow. However, relief could be available if you give Strepsils Honey & Lemon Lozenges a try. These lozenges contain two effective antiseptics which help fight the bacterial throat infections that can cause sore throats.

There are many remedies out there which may or may not help your sore throat, but it also goes without saying, no matter what remedy you may choose, you could also consider getting some good rest to help you feel better!



Always read the label and do not exceed the recommended dose. If your symptoms persist, or you feel that your sore throat is getting worse, seek medical attention from your pharmacist or visit your GP.