Sore throat and flu

A sore throat is often one of the first symptoms of flu

Immune System Expert
Ask Dr. Jen Tan

An introduction to sore throats and flu

A sore throat is not usually a serious sign, and is often less troublesome than other symptoms of the flu, such as fever or aching joints. However, sore throats can make swallowing painful, and can worsen a cough, and it is usually for these reasons that people begin to seek relief.   

Why am I experiencing a sore throat with the flu?

The flu virus enters the body via the delicate tissues of the nose and the back of the throat. This irritates the tissues and causes them to become inflamed. It is this inflammation which causes pain and can make it more difficult to swallow.

However, many flu sufferers struggle to keep hydrated, either because they do not feel like eating and drinking, or because they are also suffering from diarrhoea. This can dry out your mouth and throat, meaning that when we breathe in, the air irritates the lining of the throat, worsening the inflammation.

Additionally, if you have developed a cough with the flu, then you are more prone to developing a sore throat. The coughing action is harsh on the delicate lining of the throat, and so prolonged bouts of coughing are likely to worsen this symptom.

Are there home remedies to help me?

Home remedies for sore throats often focus on making you feel more comfortable, and of course what works for one person, may be less effective for the next. What is important across the board is that you keep hydrated, as this will also help to prevent the throat from becoming too dry, and more painful. If you do not like drinking plain water, then you could also try warm fluids such as tea, or a honey and lemon concoction.

Avoid a dry or smoky atmosphere, and if necessary use a humidifier in your room. This will soothe inflamed airways and reduce hoarseness.

You can also try a gargle of salt water. This has anti-bacterial properties. Although your sore throat has been caused by a virus, the last thing you want is a bacterial infection to set in. A salt water solution should help to prevent this happening.

Want a better night's sleep? Get your FREE 6-day personalised sleep programme now

Simply answer 2 quick questions to receive personalised sleep tips straight to your email inbox.

Join Now

What about herbal remedies?

Many people look for a herbal remedy against flu symptoms as they do not entail many of the side-effects which conventional medicines often do. Strengthening the immune system helps you to fight off the flu infection more quickly.

Echinacea is a plant which has a traditional use in this function. Combined with sage, it can also be effective as a sore throat remedy. This combination is found in licensed herbal remedy Echinaforce® Sore Throat Spray.

Are there conventional medicines to help with a sore throat?

There is a range of sore throat remedies available over-the-counter. These are often lozenges which contain anti-inflammatory or pain-killing properties. A pharmacist will be able to advise you on the best medicine for you, but it is always important to follow the instructions given on the packet.

Unless your sore throat is caused by a bacterial infection, your doctor will not prescribe anti-biotics. This is because the flu is a virus, over which anti-biotics have no effect. Instead, your doctor may suggest anti-viral drugs, Oseltamivir or Zanamivir. You should discuss with him if this treatment is appropriate for you, as it is usually only prescribed for severe cases, and may result in side-effects.

Echinaforce® Echinacea Drops

For relieving the symptoms of colds and flu. Also in 50ml & 100ml drops.
More info

A.Vogel Echinaforce Hot Drink Cold & Flu Echinacea concentrate for oral solution with Elderberry for the relief of cold and flu symptoms, 100ml


£ 11.35

find your local stockist

Echinaforce® Echinacea Hot Drink. Soothing and palatable hot drink.
More info

What's being asked

Can you catch flu from not washing your hands after going to the toilet?

In general, the answer is no. The bacteria and viruses in the digestive tract and faeces will not ...
Read more >

I think I have the flu, but why does the inside of my nose feel like its burning?

This is all to do with the infection causing inflammation and irritating the mucus lining of the ...
Read more >

I have been feeling really unwell with flu symptoms for over a week now and still not showing any signs of recovery. What would you suggest?

I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling unwell with flu symptoms for the past week. Most ...
Read more >

Is it really the flu?

Our quick quiz helps you figure out if you really do have the flu, or just a nasty cold.

Check your symptoms

Here's what I recommend

I’m the Immune System expert here at A.Vogel, and if you’re looking for flu treatment, I recommend Echinaforce® and Echinaforce® Hot Drink.

Learn more

Healthy & nutritious dinner ideas

Get new recipes in your inbox every week. Sign up now

Red, itchy eyes caused by hayfever? Try NEW Pollinosan Hayfever Eye drops

     Receive healthy recipes from A.Vogel      every month.


Receive healthy recipes from A.Vogel every month

Sign up now