I know you said you weren't a fan of meds, but you'd be amazed at the effectiveness of an aspirin - not to swallow whole, mind you, but to allow to dissolve in the back of your throat. It truly is a miracle cure, and even tho' it tastes sour for a minute, it's not nearly as bad as you may think. I have a had a sore throat this spring that has nearly killed me, but w/o any other allergic symptoms. I'm so glad I remembered this from my 1st grade teacher (I'm dating myself by revealing that I was in the 1st grade when they still allowed teachers to dispense OTC meds). Anyway, I wouldn't take more than one every few hours, but the relief is swift and immediate - no need to wait for it to get into your system like other pain relievers.