A sore throat can, of course, occur at any age from a variety of causes. There may be acute and chronic and, broadly speaking, sore throats may be internal or external. Most sore throats are caused by bacterial or viral infections affecting the membranes or affecting the tonsils and neck glands .

Trauma, tumours, tonsillitis and diseases of the thyroid gland can all be the cause of a sore throat. Laryngitis and pharyngitis are simply medical terms to isolate the exact whereabouts of inflammation in this area.

In the case of chronic sore throats a cause is usually apparent, such as smoking or the overuse of the vocal cords in singers, but is sometimes overlooked, as is the case of people who have many hot drinks throughout the day. Alcohol and fizzy drinks may also be culprits. Persisting sinusitis may lead to a postnasal drip causing sore throats. This is quite common in smokers. Persisting sore throats that do not have an obvious answer need to be examined by a doctor to rule out less common and more dangerous causes. Remember that the throat contains a lot of organs, not just the food and wind pipes, and there are also residual pouches such as the brachial and pharyngeal pouches that exist as little pockets where infection can sit very tenaciously. These pouches have no apparent use but are present because of our evolutionary development, a bit like the appendix.


Remove any obvious cause of a sore throat, such as smoking, shouting and excessive hot drinks.

Use saltwater gargles if the throat is sore at the back of the mouth. Do not swallow this.

Chop up some fresh root ginger into a hot mug of water and sip at a comfortable temperature. Honey and lemon may be added if the ginger is an unpleasant taste. You may gargle with this solution before swallowing it.

The ginger solution mentioned above, lavender, or a mix of cloves and cinnamon can be placed in steaming water and inhaled in the case of a sore throat secondary to sinusitis. This tip is useful in cases of laryngitis or voice loss.

Both internal but especially external sore throats may be soothed by wrapping around a silk scarf.

Take comfortably warm or iced drinks of chamomile tea as preferred.

A teaspoonful of turmeric powder in half a pint of skimmed milk with a half teaspoonful of butter and a teaspoonful of honey brought to a simmer, then drunk when at a comfortable temperature may be instantly soothing and curative of sore throats.

The following homeopathic remedies may be beneficial: Aconite 6 every 2hr for sudden onset of a sore throat regardless of the symptoms; Spongia 6 for a dry barking cough associated with loss of voice; Aconite, Hepar sulphuris calcarium or Nitric acid, potency 6, every 2hr for splinter-like pains on swallowing; Lachesis for sore throat resulting from overuse of the voice. Splinter-like pains on swallowing;

There are many different homeopathic remedies that may be chosen depending on the specific symptoms, such as if it feels better for hot and cold drinks, feels worse in a draught, or has an associated cough. Please refer to your preferred homeopathic manual.

See coughs and colds if the sore throat is so associated.

For any inflamed membrane use beta-carotene in divided doses throughout the day.

A persistent sore throat or one without obvious cause needs to be reviewed by a physician to rule out more serious underlying reasons.