Last Modified on Jul 02, 2014
Whether you just woke up with it or you’ve felt it coming on for several days, a sore throat is no joke. When we look for and try treatments for sore throats, we want something that’s going to work quickly and completely, which is exactly how apple cider vinegar functions. Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective treatment options for sore throats as it naturally eliminates infection and restores the nutrient balance in the body.
What Is a Sore Throat?
We’ve all had them and know the indicative signs of this common condition. Roughness, pain, and redness in the throat, a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, and coughing – all of these and several others are common signs of a sore throat, but what exactly is a “sore throat”?
A sore throat is irritation and inflammation that is the result of an assortment of different conditions. Viral infections are the most common cause; however, sore throats can also result from bacterial infections, allergic reactions, environmental irritants, and even digestive issues.
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Work for Treating a Sore Throat?
Apple cider vinegar or ACV is one of the single most effective treatments for sore throats. This remedy not only relieves a sore throat but also restores the immune system and supports overall health.
How apple cider vinegar works:
Apple cider vinegar is a product derived from the rendering of apples. As such, the product contains an array of essential vitamins and nutrients carried in a slightly acidic liquid. These nutrients help restore the body’s natural defenses while the acid in the liquid helps equalize the pH in the body, also treating a sore throat and any other existing illnesses. The treatment also naturally eliminates infection.
How to use ACV:
To use apple cider vinegar, mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of ACV into a small glass of warm water and then slowly drink the mixture. Drink the tonic at least once a day until the sore throat subsides. You may also want to add some honey to the mixture for added benefit.
A sore throat can be an annoying and even frustrating condition; however, this remedy will help you get relief in no time. Give it a try and let us know how it worked for you!
Continue reading below for more than 100 user reviews of people who have used apple cider vinegar to cure a sore throat!
[YEA] 11/23/2012: Betty from Broken Arrow, Ok: "Had bad sore throat for several days and got low grade fever last night. Tried gargling with listerine, hydrogen peroxide... Neither worked. Have always loved EC site so decided to see what others used. Last night I made a mixture of 3T of ACV, 1T honey, and 1/4 cup water. Didn't have cayenne on hand. I gargled 3-4 times with mixture and then sipped the little that was left. It took a couple of hours, but the sore throat and fever left me. I slept well and am feeling good this morning. PTL!"
[NAY] 11/18/2012: My2cents from Rock Hill, Sc, USA: "Talk about regrets! I am an ACV fanatic. I believe whole heartedly in the power of ACV. Especially the unfiltered, unpasteurized ACV with "the mother". BUT in this case, I regret it. I started out with a very sore throat. I was unable to swallow food, and swallowing even liquids was uncomfortable, but not unbearable. I mixed the vinegar and honey. Gargled, swallowed. I noticed that WHILE I was gargling I felt great. My throat did not hurt at all. And for maybe ten seconds afterward. THEN, I noticed that gradually, my throat got worse and worse. It now hurts so bad to swallow that I try just spitting unless I am drinking something. I say proceed with caution."Replies
11/19/2012: Bugsy77 from Wichita, Ks, Usa replies: "I used a water, honey, ACV, ginger and cinammon tonic to help with internal yeast I think is causing my perioral dermatitis and it gave me an awful sore throat and terrible indigestion. Didn't work for me either."
11/21/2012: Lee from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur replies: "Did you dilute the mixture?"
02/13/2013: My2cents from Rock Hill, Sc, Usa replies: "Hi, sorry I did not se your comment sooner. I used the acv/honey as it was directed. So here is what I did, I used two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar and two tbs honey and 1/4 cup warm water. I have never had trouble with vinegar irritating my throat. I believe that perhaps this simply irritated my throat more than it already was. I am usually a big believer in ACV. It just did not do the trick this time."
04/30/2013: Nicolette from London, Uk replies: "If you suffer with sensitivity to yeast then I find vinegar of any sort is not advised.
Try plain warm table salted water. Not too salty as this can feel strong on the skin. Gargle and snort through the sinus system till all passages are clear. Do this 3 time a day on the infected areas for 3 days until clear. This is the most natural way I have found that works for me.
You can purchase a saline solution nasal spray from the pharmacy for easier applications through the day. Most effective for kids and if you find you are susceptible to picking up colds after travel on long flights!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 10/03/2012: Alex from Mechanicsville, Va: "I rinsed with apple cider vinegar (that's it. Didn't have the honey as recommended) and wow that did a job on my throat. It feels 80% better after one treatment. Thanks for the post. I was about to try salt water gargling for the umpteenth time even though it never seemed to work before."Replies
11/10/2012: Vgamemaster4 from America, Usa replies: "Thanks for the tip! It really bugged me when I tried to eat something and my throat stopped me from enjoying it. This really works and I suggest it to people who need a quick temporary cure."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 09/03/2012: Annie from New York, Ny: "A few months ago, I had a wisdom tooth coming out, which also came with a sore throat. I drank some Apple Cider Vinegar mixed with raw honey and it helped one side of my throat feel better which is better than nothing. It was a quick effect. The drink also helped my sister with a sore throat as well; didn't cure it but probably might have if she had more than a cup."Replies
09/16/2012: Lana from Des Plaines, Il replies: "Wish I knew this 3 days ago! It works! :O) I gargled shots of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and it alleviated the soreness right away! Took a few swigs too. Brushed my teeth afterwards so acid wd nt build up on my teeth."
11/17/2012: Wm from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada replies: "Consuming low pH liquids like vinegar, pop, and juices cause enamel to soften temporarily. Brushing while the enamel is in this state will cause physical abrasion that can compromise its structure. Best to just rinse immediately with water, and allow the minerals in the saliva to buffer the acidity. Wait at least 1/2 hour before brushing."
[YEA] 12/17/2011: Angle from Lawrenceville, Ga: "I use 2 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp. Honey, lemon juice and a little hot water to dilute. It's still potent but more bearable. The first time I used it years ago, my throat was completely swollen and "closed" up like a strep infection. I used it 3-4 times a day and knocked it out. I only use a little water so that I'm done quicker :) then drink water after to wash it down."Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/24/2012: Happy! from Savannah, Georgia replies: "I have had a horrible sore throat for a couple days. I did this gargle, minus the lemon juice and immediately the stinging in my throat is gone! I can swallow without pain for the first time in several days. The soreness is not completely gone of course, but is much less painful. I will definitely keep this up for the next few days! Thanks :)"
[YEA] 02/01/2012: Cynthia from Greenville, Sc replies: "Third day with strep. Fifth time in 5 months. Waiting on surgery in the next month. This time the worst pain ever. Temps of 102. Fever, chills aching all over. Have been taking antibiotics for 3 days. Using magic moth rinse religiosly. Also taking ibuprofen every 6 hours. 3rd night and the pain so severe up all night researching other remedies. Found this one but did not have Apple Cider Vinegar in the pantry. Used white wine vinegar instead. Have used several times this morning. Feel the best I have in days. Feel as if I can actually get some sleep now. Wish I had known this much sooner. Thought it was a crazy shot in the dark but am thankful I tried it."
02/18/2012: Vj from Plano, Tx replies: "I made my own sore throat spray by putting 100% ACV into a little spray bottle. Because it isn't diluted and you bypass most of your tastebuds, you don't have to chase it with anything. Seems to be helping."
03/07/2012: Yea! Em from Cape Town, South Africa replies: "I could feel my very very sore throat as I was doing this! Wish I discovered it before :) e Town"
[YEA] 03/30/2012: Ryenj from Kendall Park, Nj replies: "It works thanks for sharing. I was to the point were I could not talk, tried sprays, cough and cold meds nothing worked. One night I mixed this without the water and it worked great. Thanks again."
[YEA] 03/31/2012: Mat from Broken Heartsville, Tn replies: "Made a mix with acv, honey, cayenne pepper mix with a little hot water. Like a tea. Girrgled and sip, work pretty good reduce soreness by 50 %"
[YEA] 04/03/2012: Vt from Plano, Tx, United States replies: "ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! My 6 yr old daughter has strep throat, and was experiencing some serious pain! I came to the site out of desperation... As a mother distressed by seeing the most exaggerated displays of pain and anguish from this dreadful bacteria! I mixed about a 1/4 cup of hot water, two full tablespoons of raw honey, and two tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar. After hours of incessant tears, wailing, and spitting up from fear of swallowing, it was all subdued enough for her to go to sleep! Totally awesome... I told her to try this remedy because it couldn't hurt since her throat hurt anyway. She had a numbing mouthwash prescribed to her with a dosage to gargle once every 4 hours. Her strep throat was so severe, she was gargling 3 times an hour with little result, and before long, the pain fully returned. Again, thanks to this simple yet highly effective remedy, which she gargled and sipped, her pain subsided and she was able to get some peace. I'm a HAPPY MAMA!"
[YEA] 04/09/2012: Aalikane from Raleigh, Nc, Usa replies: "I swear by this remedy. Everytime I get a sore throat, I take a shot glass, and fill it with the vinegar. I don't dilute it (however I'm one of the few people who can stomach the taste of pure vinegar so I have no problem gargling it). It takes about 3 tries to gargle all the vinegar in the shot glass, but at the end, my throat feels better, and not as sore as it did.
Immediately rinse your mouth out with water so as to get any residual acid out of your mouth and off your teeth.
Never been able to try this with strep throat (because fortunately for me, I haven't had a confirmed case of Strep Throat since I discovered this remedy), but I believe that it would work."
[NAY] 04/28/2012: Albert from Johnson City, Tennessee Usa replies: "This remedy is not very good. I tried it, drank it, cleared it up with water, and I quickly felt a throw up feeling in my stomach. I was about to throw up when I went on the floor, made myself stop breathing, and that sort of helped me not throw up. The only good thing is that my sore throat barely cleared up. (Btw, I am never trying that again, or anything else that my instincts tell me "That is gross, don't try it", so I am never trying gross stuff). I will never do that again. I use salt water gurgling and its works a lot better than this."
[YEA] 05/02/2012: Kiwi135 from Noneofyourbusiness, Ny, Usa replies: "Yea!!! This worked so well-for those of you that can stand the taste of pure vinegar! I gargled, and then swallowed it and within 1 sip, it cured my sore throat. When I tried this, I was aying to myself, no way these comments are real. WELL THEY ARE!!! And I am amazed how well and fast this works. :-) You better try this!"
[BETTER BUT WITH SIDE EFFECTS] 06/21/2012: Steph from L.a., Ca replies: "Woohoo, thanks, Earthclinic! I used 2 tbs. ACV, a LOT of honey to cover up the taste, and a little lemon juice in a bunch of hot water and my sore throat is almost gone.
My throat was sore all yesterday and I kept waking up in the middle of the night, it was so bad. I finally Googled a cure on Earthclinic and this came up. I did it last night around 3am and today around 7am and feel scores better.
** The only warning I would say is, use a lot of hot water because the vinegar was so acidic, it made a little part of my tongue bleed the second time I did it - just a minor issue, though."
07/05/2012: Laura from Perth, Australia replies: "AMAZING!! I didnt have acv, so someone else on here said they used white wine vinegar!! I did too!! I mixed it with some honey and water and gargled it and drank a tiny bit of it!! There was instant relief from the pain and my throat didnt feel as closed up!!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 07/23/2012: Amy from Saint Louis, Mo replies: "YEA Could hardly swallow. Used hot water, honey and alot of ACV and I felt relief right away. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! Not cured but def so so so much better."
08/16/2012: ._. from San Jose, Ca replies: "Soreness is definitely gone, but now I feel like im about to puke any second."
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 11/25/2011: Jenny from Perth, Western Australia: "A very bad sore throat caught me out the other night and now I can't seem to ditch it. I've tried drinking warm water with ACV and honey (even gargling with it) 3-4 times per day and while it feels a little better, it's still very much there."Replies
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 01/14/2012: Brenda from Surprise, Az replies: "I must agree. I have been suffering from an ear infection, sinusitis, and post nasal drip. I have been on antibiotic but it's actually not helping much. Normally I do not have a sore throat lasting longer than two days max. This is a constant sore throat as long as there is drainage so I was encouraged by all the "Yea" votes that I decided to try the ACV gargle. How much of a "sting" that was present was reduced very slightly. Although helpful, my sore throat is still very much a BIG bother. I was tested for strep and it came back negative, I also was cleared of mono. Maybe I will give the honey a try. Not a honey fan, but maybe this is the key element I am missing. I give the ACV an overall (eh... So so) rating. It was worth a shot though. Good Luck all. It seems to be working for the rest of you. Wish I could say the same."
[YEA] 08/31/2011: Daisy from Portland, Dorset, England: "i have a sore throat and think your cure is actually working well. It still aches and hurts but im feeling better by far."Replies
[YEA] 11/07/2011: Taryn from Aurora, Wisconsin replies: "I had a slight sore throat for the entire day. I went to bed and slept for about 3 hours before waking up with the worst sore throat I have had since I had Strep in High School. Desperate for a remedy I checked earth clinic and was going to try the Cayenne pepper remedy. When I got to the cupboard I found that we were all out of Cayenne pepper. So I settled on the ACV, Honey and warm water.
I had a few sips for good measure and then gargled the rest over a period of probably 7-8 minutes. About 4 minutes in to gargling my sore throat had reduced by at least 50%. After 8 minutes I would say it was only slightly irritated. I went back to bed. Slept like a baby. Woke up the next morning with no throat pain whatsoever.
I seriously doubted that it would work, and then was I felt it working I doubted that the effect would last thought the night but IT DID! I am so amazed by this especially because a lot of other Apple Cider Vinegar remedies on this site have not worked for me.
If you have a sore throat, even if you are skeptical, you should give it a try. You may be pleasantly surprised."
11/30/2011: Desertpunky from Socaldesert, Usa replies: "ACV, salt and water as warm/hot as you can tolerate-gargled and not swallowed will work great on a sore throat."
[YEA] 05/02/2012: Celeste from Santa Monica, Ca replies: "This site is great, thank you to all who have posted! I got the worst sore throat in the middle of the night last night and woke this morning at 6am because it was so painful to swallow. I made my usual remedy of hot ginger, lemon, honey tea but it wasn't doing much. In desperation I googled best sore throat remedy and all of the "yeas" for ACV came up. I used 2 tablespoons of ACV, I tablespoon of honey and a little warm water in a glass to gargle with on and off over the last 15 minutes. My sore throat was reduced by about 70%. I'm amazed. It really breaks up the mucus so you can spit out all that is making your throat hurt. The hot ginger lemon honey tea was nice and soothing afterwords, when it didn't hurt so badly to swallow anymore."
[YEA] 07/04/2011: Meg from Montreal, Quebec: "I put 1 tablespoon of ACV in about 8oz of peppermint tea flavoured water, and after the first gargle, my sore throat started to feel better instantly! I can swallow now without my throat feeling raw.
It tastes like crap, even with the peppermint, but hey - nothing else has ever soothed a sore throat faster! It's worth it :)"Replies
[YEA] 08/23/2011: Mandy from Mandeville, La replies: "I was skeptical at first, but got desparate in the middle of the night after 7 days' duration. I had tried all of the over the counter remedies but nothing helped my dry, painful sore throat caused by post-nasal drip. Since I had ACV on hand, I figured it couldn't hurt. My throat felt better almost immediately. The soreness didn't completely go away, but I would say it was 80% better. It continued to feel better until morning, when I gargled and sipped ACV in water again. I will keep using it throughout the day. The ACV also helped my nasal congestion and thinned the mucous so I could blow my nose. Definitely worth a try in my opinion."
[YEA] 05/24/2011: Luann from Grand Haven, Mi : "I've used apple cider vinegar for years on sore throats. A tablespoon full in a half glass of water if you can handle it works for me as a gargle. The one time I didn't use it on a sore throat I ended up with Strep.
Also to the person that was really tired, I was falling asleep during the day while working and driving. The fatigue would come on really fast and I couldn't keep myself awake no matter what I did. I went for a sleep study and was diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. I didn't fit the profile. I'm a female, under 125lbs and don't snore. I was shocked when they came in and said that I stopped breathing as soon as I fell asleep. Go get tested, your life depends on it."
[YEA] 02/28/2011: Alicia from Chapel Hill, Nc, Usa: "Yea - read the suggestions last night after 3 days of a sore throat that wouldn't quit. Did the 3 TBS of ACV and 8 oz of hot water. I'm on a diet so only did 1 TBS of honey. I sipped and gargled it as slowly as I could although I did feel pretty lousy after (no sugar no carb diet probably didn't help w/ACV in my stomach). BUT, I woke up this AM feeling a little better and now 24 hours later my sore throat is almost completely gone. I'm going to try ACV for seasonal allergies, which are starting here, just will make sure to have something more on my stomach. Thanks Earth Clinic - now off to find cures for wrinkles and gray hair :-)."Replies
02/17/2012: Leena from Bridgetown, Nova Scotia replies: "Actually, the best thing for seasonal allergies is LOCAL RAW honey... If you can find any in your area, try eating a teaspoon of it daily...
It's healthy, natural, won't cause you to gain weight, it actually promotes metabolism and because LOCAL honey is derived from LOCAL plants, it'll create natural anti-histamines in your system... It must be RAW honey as the pasteurization kills off all the good stuff that makes it work."
[NAY] 02/07/2011: Victoria from New York City, Usa: "I tried this. First I did 2 tblsp of this in a glass of water and drank it. That didnt work. Then I mixed the ACV in a mug of tea. That didnt work. Finally I just took the ACV straight to the head. This didnt work either. So now I have a disgusting taste in my mouth and still a sore throat. :/"
01/15/2011: Anna from La Crosse, Wi, Usa: "I'm trying this for the first time right now, and I think it's working. I gargled with straight ACV first, and then made a pretty dilute tea of honey, ACV, lemon juice, and hot water, Because I was a little overwhelmed by the stinging feeling in my throat as the lemon juice and ACV are so acidic! Anyway, great herbal remedy! "
10/18/2010: Klouise from San Carlos, Negros Occidental, Philippines: "Help! My throat became sore and it is painful to swallow. I have been taking Apple Cider Vinegar for almost a year and it helped me much in a lot of ways. However, recently, I took 1/8cup Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water to relieve my rhinitis and it caused a lump in my throat. I tried to gargle baking soda and added 1/4 tsp in my 2tbsp. It relieved my clogged nose and my throat is less painful but the lump is still there. What dosage shall I take? I need Apple Cider Vinegar for my rhinitis."
[YEA] 10/02/2010: Rene from Greatna, Usa: "I just came across this site for sore throat and tried Apple Cider Vinegar with honey and warm water and believe me it worked instantly."Replies
12/23/2010: Audrey from Jacksonville, Florida replies: "I have had a horrible sore throat for the last two days, I've tried so many things to try to get rid of it, Pills, lozenges, hot cloths, about 20 cups of hot tea with honey, and none of it worked, but I just tried one tbp of ACV in a big cup of ice water and I feel so much better. This really works, try it."
[YEA] 03/19/2011: Brenda from Clarendon, Pa replies: "Thank you all who said ACV and honey, it helped me get some much needed sleep last night :) "
[YEA] 05/11/2012: Paddy from Dublin, Ireland replies: "I have suffered with sore throats for years and have tried all kinds of medication, some of which have worked but took at least a week to do so. Last week I discovered your site and boy did it help me. I mixed a pinch of cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of Manuka honey and a half cup of boiling water. I gargled it and then swallowed it and WOW hot feeling at back of throat and then instant relief. After 5 or 6 gargles throat cleared up. Thank you all."
[YEA] 01/10/2010: West from Dunn, Nc: "When ever I start feeling a sore throat coming on I take a teaspoon of ACV and again in about 30 minutes. Soon after my symtoms are gone. Also if you mix a teaspoon of ACV with a teaspoon of honey in a cup of tea, heat and drink, it will not only give you more energy but also help your sore throat feel much better."Replies
[YEA] 05/24/2010: Sandra from Lincoln, Ne replies: "ACV definitely works. My Nana had me drink and gargle with it years ago when I was visiting Florida for my sister's wedding. I had been sick all week and finally it was the night before the wedding, overnight after using ACV I was all better.
Now I have this bothersome post nasal drip that has given me a sore throat 4 times in the past 12 months, everytime I feel the slightly pain in my throat I can nearly guarantee it will turn to strep within 2 days because of the extra irritation in my throat due to allergies.
Basically, when you use ACV it's going to taste 100% worse when you're already sick than it does if you start taking it at the onset of your cold. First sign of any issues and i'm a huge advocate for starting ACV. My tonsils right now are swollen, they have the strep spots but I have zero pain and no fever, I caught it just in time to show signs but feel no pain and it will be gone by tonight. Definitely better than penicilin every 3 - 4 months. I think I just need to get my tonsils removed.
As for the recipe I find there is no right way. They all work but the more diluted the longer it will take. I don't even measure I just pour about a 1/2 shot into a large glass and fill it with warm water. If I don't catch it before my sore throat is full blown then i'll drink 1 tsp straight a couple of times to get it a great jump start."
[YEA] 06/12/2010: David from Apex, Nc, Usa replies: "I've never used a home remedy as effective as this! I've had a sore throat for a couple of days as part of some bug I got. The effect was almost immediate (I used a 50-50 blend of ACV and honey, gargled and swallowed). I fully expected the effects to wear off, but several hours later and after the first real meal I've been able to eat, it still feels great. I've used a lot of over the counter lozenges and sprays over the years, but nothing comes close to this cure!"
[YEA] 07/06/2010: Tg from Philadelphia, Pa replies: "THIS WORKS!! I don't believe much of anything I read on the internet about "magic" cures. My throat was really hurting so I decided I had nothing to loose. 3 tbs asv 3 tbs honey and 4 oz of warm water. All better. No Pain."
[YEA] 02/25/2011: Lige from Jefferson City , Mo Usa replies: "Been battling the flu all week and nothing I've tried has relieved my throat. I went searching for home remedies. Cayenne seemed a bit extreme but I just downed about a tbl. of ACV and what a difference. Granted, it's a bit overwhelming going down, but, man, that feels good!"