Head to your pantry the next time you or loved ones come down with a sore or scratchy throat from colds, flu, or allergies, says Post pharmacist Cara Acklin, Pharm.D. Gargling with warm salt water (¼ to ½ teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water) costs only pennies and is backed by science to reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
When gargling isn’t enough, turn to the cold and flu aisle of your pharmacy for a cough drop or throat lozenge that contains benzocaine to numb the throat or menthol to soothe soreness and suppress cough. Medicated cough drops aren’t candy so read and follow the package directions.
Nonmedicated pectin drops come in favorite flavors and are a good choice for pregnant women and children.