Honey and garlic oxymel for sore throat

Sore Throat Soother – Honey & Garlic Oxymel

This honey and garlic oxymel is great to have on hand throughout winter. Made with regular household ingredients, it is a simple and easy remedy for a cough or sore throat.

What is an oxymel?

Derived from the Latin word, oxymeli, meaning “acid and honey”, an oxymel is a mix that uses honey and vinegar as its base. Traditionally made with garlic and herbs and used as a remedy to relieve coughs and soothe sore throats.

Oxymels are simple, easy to make remedies that can be given to the whole family (those over the age of 12 months) at the first sign of a sore throat. It can be taken straight or add it to a herbal tea for a delicious warming drink. Having it mixed with a lemon, honey and ginger tea is my favourite.

Don’t waste any left over oxymel, use it as salad dressings. Simply mix some of the oxymel syrup with extra virgin olive oil and your dressing is ready to go!

Honey & Garlic Oxymel Recipe

Note: This is not suitable for children under 12 months of age.

What you’ll need:

  • 8-10 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp honey (Manuka honey if possible)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Add fennel seeds, dried thyme and vinegar to a small saucepan and gently warm for 3-4 minutes. Don’t let it boil.
  2. Strain out the fennel seeds and thyme and return vinegar to the saucepan.
  3. Add the honey and stir to combine. Gently warm the mixture to combine if needed.
  4. Place the crushed garlic into a glass jar and pour the honey mixture over the garlic.
  5. Store in the fridge and take a teaspoon as needed.

There are a few things to note:

The longer you leave the garlic in the mix to steep, the stronger and more potent the garlic taste will be. You can leave the garlic steeping for anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Or, if you are really game, you can leave the garlic in the jar until the mix is gone! If you do that, you might want to add a bit more honey or dilute the mix before consuming it otherwise you will get a good smack in the face with garlic!

The garlic may turn blue-green colour when left in the mix for an extended period of time. This is the garlic pickling in the vinegar and it will return to its normal colour.

Recipe adapted from Adams & Tan, 2012.