Baking soda

A sore throat can make everything from swallowing to speaking painful. Conventional throat sprays and lozenges may relieve a sore throat, but sometimes the ingredients are questionable. Quick, inexpensive and effective cures are available straight from the kitchen.

Salt Water

Salt helps remove mucus and other substances from the throat, and it can help stop bleeding, too. Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water, gargle for at least 30 seconds, then spit into the sink. Do not swallow the mixture. Repeat once an hour until bedtime or until soreness is gone.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, also works well. It's an acid neutralizer and creates an environment in the throat that's inhospitable to yeasts and other organisms. Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons baking soda in 1 cup water, gargle for at least 30 seconds, then spit into the sink. Do not swallow this mixture either—too much acid-neutralizing substance in the stomach can sometimes lead to an uncomfortable increase in stomach acid because of the body's attempt to compensate for low acid levels. Repeat once per hour.

Baking Soda and Saltwater Mixture

Mixing both saltwater and baking soda into a glass of water can also have a positive effect on sore throat. But since both of these remedies work in slightly different ways, sticking with one or the other may be best. Try each gargle out individually. If they both seem to help just a little, try combining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup water to see if it brings more relief.