Lemon, honey, and alcohol: Which is best for sore throat? – Medical News Today

As sore throats are making the rounds through the Medical News Today editorial office, the debate is rife: what is the best drink to soothe the pain? More importantly, whether it’s alcohol, spices, or lemon and honey, what is the scientific basis for our home remedy of choice?
Find out which drinks our editorial team use to soothe their sore throats.

A few weeks ago, we found out that both hot and cold drinks or ice pops can help alleviate the pain of a sore throat that most of us will be familiar with during the annual cold and flu season.

Now, the debate has taken another turn: where do alcohol, spices — such as cinnamon and ginger — and lemon and honey fit into the mix?

To find out, I first conducted a scientific survey among the office staff to highlight our drinks-of-choice, followed by a deep dive into the scientific evidence underpinning our beliefs.

Lemon and honey – our ‘go-to’ remedy

Among the MNT editorial office staff, a home-made hot drink with fresh lemon juice and honey was the most popular choice, with a staggering 62 percent citing it as one of their ‘go-to’ drinks, while hot lemon on its own took second place with 31 percent.

Our faith in lemon and honey stems from knowledge passed from generation to generation and reports in the media.

“Hot water with lemon and honey – I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere,” and “This is mostly based on family and friends recommending it, although reinforced by studies and things based on getting vitamin C from lemon, and the antibacterial/antimicrobial elements of honey,” are just two of the examples that my colleagues cited.

Lemon is popular in drinks because of its high levels of vitamin C. Interest in the use of vitamin C

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