Natural remedies, including licorice root, slippery elm bark, peppermint oil sprays, marshmallow root and gargling water, can soothe a sore throat, according to the Healthline website. WebMD also suggests using non-prescription throat lozenges that have an anesthetic in them to ease pain and keeping hydrated and using a humidifier to prevent irritation in the throat.
Gargling salt water is recommended by both Healthline and WebMD because it helps reduce swelling and irritation while thinning secretions. Healthline adds that salt water may also help kill bacteria in the throat. Slippery elm and marshmallow root both coat the throat with a gel-like substance. Licorice root soothes sore throats when it is mixed with water and gargled. Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products helps as well.
The United Kingdom's National Health Service encourages patients to seek medical help immediately if their sore throat does not improve in three to seven days. Those who experience difficulty swallowing, drooling or a muffled voice should also contact their doctor. MedlinePlus adds that most sore throats are caused by viruses, and the presence of other symptoms, including fever, joint and muscle pain, and skin rashes, could be an indication of more serious conditions, such as strep throat.