Winter is Coming: Sore Throat Remedy

My family seems to be susceptible to respiratory and sinus issues.  For years my mom got a sinus infection every winter.  My brother had repeated croup as a child and still has to clear a catch in his throat every few minutes.  I had many ear infections as an infant and into adulthood, and my ears still get plugged up a few times a year.  Every time I get a cold, it hangs on as an annoying post-nasal-drip cough for days and days.

But after the birth of my first child, I got a new symptom… a chronic sore throat.  I really hadn’t had a sore throat in years but now it was fluctuating between normal and sore every few days.  And it didn’t go away for about a year.  Fast forward a couple years to my second being born, and the SAME THING happened again!  Was I getting infected with something every time I went to the hospital?  Possibly.  Was I more susceptible after the stress of childbirth? Maybe.  But I was not going another year with this.

I decided to try a mixture of a few things that I knew were supposed to be helpful in fighting off bacteria and viruses:  Raw garlic and manuka honey. Both these ingredients are powerful medicinal substances.


Raw garlic is an overall immune system booster with numerous studied, proven benefits.  More specifically, it has been shown to be an effective anti-viral and anti-bacterial supplement.  This allows it to be used as an effective remedy against the common cold and flu viruses and bacterial infections (even antibiotic-resistant bacteria that were resistant to 10 other antibiotics).  Much of this activity is due to the sulfur-containing compounds, including one called allicin.  It is important to use raw garlic that has been crushed or chopped since allicin is unstable and only present in recently crushed garlic.


Manuka honey has become much more popular and well known for its medicinal properties in recent years.  I will not get into all the details of manuka honey here, but I will summarize it.  Manuka honey comes from New Zealand where the manuka bush is native.  There are two known compounds that exhibit medicinal properties in manuka honey, including hydrogen peroxide and methylglyoxal.  There are many other compounds present in manuka honey that haven’t even been studied yet.  Like garlic, manuka honey has been shown to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  In fact, manuka honey has been shown to be effective against MRSA, Pseudomonas, and strep. There are various systems that have been developed to measure the therapeutic value of manuka honey.  But, I suggest buying your manuka honey from a reputable source since there is some ambiguity within these rating systems.  Here is one that is not too expensive and has a good rating (at least UMF 16), and has been licensed by the UMF organization.  A little jar of manuka honey goes a long way!


It’s pretty straight forward.  You crush up the raw garlic (organic if possible), and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to allow the allicin to be produced.  Then mix it into a paste with your manuka honey.  For my sore throat, I take a dab of this mixture and place it on the back of my tongue and throat.  It’s not super pleasant, but it works.  I store extra paste in the fridge and use for several days, 2-3 times a day.  I don’t make much at one time since I don’t want to let it sit around and decrease in potency.

Also, in the winter it’s a great habit to get into to eat raw garlic every day. We crush up garlic and eat in on buttered toast, and it’s delightful.  Fewer colds is worth the garlic breath.  If you have a sore throat, a toothache, or another way to try this mixture, let me know your ideas!

2 thoughts on “Winter is Coming: Sore Throat Remedy”

    1. Yes I do swallow it. I try to allow it to coat the back of my throat for about 10 minutes before swallowing much or drinking water. Another option is to pair this with chewing on a clove of raw garlic for 15-20 minutes.

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