The best sore throat remedy is speed.
I’m not talking about an illegal substance. What I mean is, as soon as you get the first little symptoms: that scratchy feeling in your throat, a slight soreness that’s barely noticeable, that is the best time to act.
Most sore throats (80%) are caused by a virus, and there isn’t much a doctor can do for you because antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them may give you diarrhea, and definitely screws up your “good” gut bacteria. This leaves you worse off than before you took the medication for no benefit.
Links for all the remedies mentioned are at the end of this post.
If you spring into action as soon as you realise you’re getting a sore throat, there’s a good chance you can knock it on the head before it really gets a hold. Home remedies for sore throat are definitely helpful, and if you act fast enough you may be able to avoid the pain altogether.
So, whether you’re taking early steps, or even if you have ignored or failed to notice your body warning you that the sore throat is on its way, the best treatment is probably a natural remedy.
Fastest acting: Garlic and honey
The fastest-acting natural remedy for a sore throat is garlic and honey. This may sound disgusting, but it works really fast. Crush a clove of garlic, chop it finely, then let it sit for 20 minutes, (the all-important allicin does not exist until two compounds held in separate cells of the garlic mix together and react), then mix it with an equal quantity of honey (Manuka honey if you’ve got it). Then eat the mixture. The honey takes away a lot of the bite of the garlic, but you can close your eyes if you want, or hold your nose! You can take this 3-4 times a day.
An alternative, if you can’t bear this idea (which after all, is probably no worse than a lot of proprietary medicines and much less likely to do you any harm), you can use my patent chicken soup recipe, which you will find here.
Soothing a sore throat that’s gone nasty
If your sore throat has reached its nasty stage, you may also want to try gargling with one of the following:
salt water (1 tsp salt dissolved in a cup of warm water),
apple cider vinegar and honey (1 tbsp of each stirred into a cup of hot water),
green tea (add honey if you like),
marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) infusion.
You might also like to suck some Manuka honey lozenges, or drink some throat relief tea (a mixture of cinnamon and marsh mallow).
If you’ve got an oil burner or electric diffuser you can use it with an essential oil such as cajuput, clary sage, Eucalyptus citriodora or Eucalyptus radiata to provide a soothing and antiseptic atmosphere.
Keep hydrated, sleep as much as you can and if your sore throat is still bad after 2-3 days, consult your medical practitioner. But in most cases, using a combination of two or three of these remedies will do the trick and save you the visit.