Last Modified on Jul 02, 2014
Your throat is so sore you can barely take a drink let alone talk to anyone and you pretty well exhausted all of the common remedies last time you had a sore throat, so what can you do to treat this sore throat and fast? Pickle juice – that’s right, gargle pickle juice for immediate, lasting relief. As unusual as it sounds, pickle juice is an effective remedy for sore throats and can actually help you heal!
What About Over-the-Counter Meds?
While you are likely tempted to run down to the drugstore and grab an over-the-counter treatment, we wouldn’t suggest it. These options often only offer limited relief and do very little to actually treat the underlying condition causing the sore throat. Likewise, these medications often dry out your body, leaving you feeling congested and dehydrated.
Does Pickle Juice Actually Treat a Sore Throat?
You may be slightly skeptical about gargling pickle juice to treat your sore throat, but it works. This remedy is one that is often passed down among families, so it has a whole repertoire of anecdotal evidence backing it up. Plus, we know when you try it, you’ll be able to tell the difference too.
How pickle juice works:
Pickle juice contains two main ingredients that make it an effective treatment for sore throats – vinegar and salt. These ingredients function to cleanse the throat, fight infection, and reduce inflammation. Vinegar even helps balance out the body’s pH to establish a more controlled level of health and wellness.
How to use pickle juice:
You can use pickle juice in two different ways as a treatment – drinking or gargling. (Those with slightly weaker stomachs will want to stick with gargling.) Get 2 tablespoons of pickle juice from the pickle jar and either gargle it or drink it up to three times a day.
Even if you are not a pickle-lover, you should give this remedy a try. The combined vinegar and salt in pickle juice make it the perfect treatment for a nasty sore throat. Keep reading below for feedback from over 30 Earth Clinic readers who have tried pickle juice for a sore throat and let us know if it worked for you!
[YEA] 02/19/2014: Marta from Dominican Republic: "I tried pickle juice for my sore throat. It tasted good and made my sore throat feel a lot better! I drank it from the bottle."
[YEA] 07/22/2013: Joan from York , Pa: "I tried pickle brine juice for a sore throat and had instant pain relief thank you so much!"
[YEA] 08/24/2012: Jsut01 from Tville, Sc: "WOW!! Love this web site... Found the pickle juice suggestion a minute ago and tried it. I was amazed to feel it easing the pain as I was gargling!! I did not completely go away, but I no longer want to cry when I swallow. Maybe I didn't drink enough. I gargled then drank about a tbsp. I will try more."
09/29/2010: Ann from Woodstock, Ga: "How much juice and how often are you talking about the salty brine when you make pickles?"
[NAY] 06/27/2010: Kendra from Bozeman, Mt: "Pickle Juice for sore throat
The pickle juice remedy didnt work for me as much as Id hoped...I love pickles...I warmed up 4 TBS of pickle juice and gargled before swallowing. It did reduce the severity but it didnt get rid of it ...The pain came back after 15 minutes..."
[YEA] 04/02/2009: Carolyn from Springfield, Illinois: "I tried the apple cider vinegar, honey and hot water for my sore throat and the pain went away almost immediately after the first sip. I looked in my kitchen cabinets and couldn't find any apple cider vinegar. I wasn't about to go out and buy some either due to the fact that it was pouring down rain. I didn't want to get any sicker from the upper respiratory tract infection than I was already. I used 3 teaspoons of vinegar from a jar of pickles in my refrigerator, 3 teaspoons of honey and 8 ounces of hot tap water. I stirred it together in a coffee mug until it was completely mixed and took a drink of it. After the first sip I noticed improvement in the pain and I realized it did not taste as bad as I thought it would. True, I used vinegar from a jar of pickles but it still helped my throat pain."
[YEA] 02/26/2009: Stephanie from Virginia Beach, VA: "I read a few remedies and cayenne pepper seemed a little drastic (eating crushed red pepper in my food eased it temporarily) but i came across the pickle juice remedy and thought WOW that would be strange if it worked! Well i just gargled 3 minutes ago and swallowed a couple mouthfuls. Already (just a few moments later) my throat doesn't hurt at all! Its still uncomfortable swallowing but breakthing and talking are back to normal! thanks guys! ^.^"
[YEA] 02/07/2009: Greta from Talladega, Alabama: "I had been sick all day. My throat hurt so bad, I didn't even want to swallow. I googled "relief for sore throat" and the pickle juice idea came up! It works! It really honestly works! I'm gonna remember this!"
[YEA] 01/18/2009: Alice from Wokingham, England: "Pickle juice for Sore Throat: I had a sore throat when I woke up this morning, so I decided to try the gargling pickle brine cure, by gargling and drinking a shot glass full of brine. I absolutely can't stand pickles, but it really worked! My throat feels a lot better. Even though it tastes foul, I would recommend this cure for anyone, whether you like pickles or not."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 12/08/2008: Divajinx from Mishawaka, IN/USA: "I tried both the warmed pickle juice and the honey, apple cidar vinegar & hot water drinks. Neither one got totally rid of the sore throat but neither one tasted too bad. The honey & ACV relieved the most pain. The pickle juice just tasted good! I would recommend either one for temporary relief...."
[YEA] 12/07/2008: Ashley from Bakersfield, CA: "I tried the pickle juice remedy just now for this intense sore throat I'm having, and I was very surprised when it actually worked! I heated about 4 tsps of it and drank it."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 11/10/2008: Briana from Houston, Texas: "I Google sore throat remedies and i cam upon this site. I clicked on pickle juice brine (I LOVE PICKLES, VERY MUCH) I heated up 3 tablespoons of pickle juice for 16 secs and it worked. It did not entirely kill my cold or my sore throat, it just soothes it for a while. My throat does feel a little better now!!"
[YEA] 10/10/2008: Bernardo from San Antonio, Texas, USA: "I had been very sick since Wednesday night it is now Friday 10:00 pm.As I do have a gig Saturday afternoon with my band and I couldn't miss the performance and call in sick so I searched for a sore throat remedy and I found this site.I clicked the link to Pickle Juice Brine and I thought hey let me try this.Well now I did now I am cured!! No more throat discomfort! I am glad I came onto this site it really did help alot."
[YEA] 09/23/2008: Madeline Keen from Austin,TX, USA: "I Had been at cheer all day and my throat was killing my from all the yelling plus the cold i was battling.The pickle juice helped tremendisly!!! I used 3 tablespoons of pickle juice ....warmed it ... then drank automaticly it cleared my sinises."
[YEA] 09/19/2008: Tasmein from Chicago, Illinois: "Well I have had flu symptoms for the pass couple of days and my mom doesn't seem to want to give me anything but halls for my sore thoart which we all know doesn't really work! But I figured while I was laying on the couch I would google. So I can across the pickle juice remedy and hot sauce remedy. These were the only two ingrediants I knew we had in the kitchen so I decided to drink some pickle juice I didn't really drink a certain amount just enough so that my stomach wouldn't ache afterwards then I walked over and dipped my finger in a cup of hot sauce and sucked it from my finger, not in any specific measurements. My throat immediately felt relief! So now its only been about five mins but I can feel it working already! Who would have known!!! THANKS!!!"
[YEA] 06/24/2008: CC Ogasa from Tacoma, Washington: "Hey, I have been up all night, as it is now 3 am, and tomorrow I am going camping with some friends. Well I'd rather go with a horridly sore throat than miss it but thought hey why not give it a shot? So I google Cures For Sore Throats, and I see a cure with pickles. I love pickles. Well I have heated up some pickle juice and have had a few sips. It's amazing. My stuffy nose is clearing and I can swallow again. Thank the Lord for pickles! It's really easy in case you haven't figured it out, heat up some pickle juice and wait for it to cool until you can drink it. Yummy too."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 06/24/2008: Merissa from Federal Way, WA: "Hey I've recently tried this "cure" with my friend, and for the first few sips it helped, really it did, until the heat from the "tea" itself faded. My stomach is now cramping. Warning: DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS PICKLE JUICE REMEDY WITHOUT FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH! It does NOT feel good. Although, I hardly notice my throat."
[YEA] 09/07/2007: Joe from Brownsville, Texas: "yes i can believe it the remedy worked! man my throat was killing me so i googled remedies for sore throat and i came across this website and found the "pickle brine" or "pickle juice" remedy. so all you do is drink the "brine" and thats it. it works great!"
[YEA] 05/01/2007: Salima from Madison, Wisconsin: "I am 19 weeks pregnant and got sick a few days ago. I didn't want to take any medicines so I've been downing cough drops for the past three days which has done absolutely nothing! I logged on to find a home remedy, and of course being pregnant I have a jar of pickles in my fridge! After drinking in the hot pickles juice I already felt better!! Apparently, the heated vapors of vinger helped my congestion and soothed my sore throat instantly. My coughing subsided dramatically and my throat didn't hurt as much. Thanks!!!!"
[YEA] 04/21/2007: Kasey from Goshen, Utah: "I know I am in desperate pain, when I'm sitting in front of the computer at three a.m. looking for home remedies for a super sore throat. I saw the doctor, well the nurse, today and was told after a sharp poke, instead of a swab of the throat that I do Not have strep. I almost wish I had it because two years ago, an anti-biotic took about two hours to kick in and End my suffering. So, the pick juice is really helping. I heated it, though I'm not sure that part is nessessary. I like pickle juice as is, but I've noticed relief just in breathing the vapors before it was cool enough to drink. I'll keep trying this and see if it "Cures" my sore throat. So far, it's absolutely helping the pain. So, thanks for the web site, and who ever listed this pickle idea. KJP Goshen Utah"
[YEA] 04/17/2007: Sister from Tucson, Arizona: "I was suffering from discomfort in my throat all day and it worsened through tonight. I checked online for natural remedies (tried cinnamon on toast and it did not work) and came upon this site. I read about the dill pickle juice and, although unlike many of the others who seem to love pickles, I felt sick at the thought of trying this remedy. Even in the aisle at the store I felt disgusted. I opted for the kosher dill slices for the thinness (I probably should have selected the petite baby dills) and drank about an ounce of the juice followed by a sliced dill. My throat burned for some seconds after drinking the juice and eating the dill slice, but I am happy to say that the remedy worked and it worked FAST!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 04/16/2007: Lola from Bronx, New Jersey: "Pickle Juice helped my sore throat. I would not say this is a "cure", but it is a soother. It did make my throat feel slightly better, but not entirely. At this point even though I hate pickles, I was willing to try anything."
[YEA] 03/23/2007: Eugene from Tucson, AZ: "The best way to use pickle juice ( dill is the best) is to heat it up like you would hot tea. The heat activates the dill and vinager in a way that it helps even more. This not only helps with sore throats, but for stuffy heads and chest as well. I have used it several times and has not let me down."
[YEA] 03/13/2007: Shannon from Wasilla, Alaska: "Alright so i woke up with a sore throat that was bothering me like no other and i couldn't find ANY medicine to cure it. I figured, hey why not google a remedy? So this site popped up and i didn't have half the stuff on here but BAM there's pickle juice. I totally love that. So i tried it and it worked!!!! i was SOOO Excited! i recommend this to anyone. THANKS ALOT"
[YEA] 03/07/2007: Rachel from UK: "I was amazed at the immediate soothing element that the pickle juice had."
[YEA] 02/04/2007: Emonni from Memphis, TN: "THANK YOU! My sore throat horrible and it made me so sick i couldn't tell the difference from hungry and full anymore so yesterday I passed out in the Hair Salon from starvation. Today I was still feeling horrible and I could barely talk so I started looking for remedies and after my google search this was the first page I clicked on and when I saw pickle brine as a remedy i was amazed because I LOVE pickles so I drank some and TA-DAH! I am feeling great! But now I need to eat before I blackout again."
[YEA] 01/04/2007: Heidi : "I've drunk pickle juice for hiccups so i was a bit skeptic about it being a cure for something else but wow! while the pickle juice did not cure my sore throat, it did alleviate almost all the pain. its been like 10 minutes since i drank it and i still feel great! who woulda thought huh?"
[YEA] 12/28/2006: Justin from Springfield, Missouri: "pickle juice worked great i had a sore throat and looked up home remedies for sore throat and saw this and tried it.. it definitely relieved the pain after about five minutes.. thanks alot."
[YEA] 11/15/2006: Matthew from Southampton, Hampshire: "I tried 2 teaspoons of Brine and helped ease sore throat pain after about 30 minutes. Didn't have any pickle brine but had some Thai green vegetable brine. I think any brine would work."
[YEA] 06/29/2006: Bryon from Cedar Falls, IA: "While it didn't necessarily CURE my sore throat, it definitely alleviated the pain a lot! Highly recommended. I hadn't eaten straight pickles in over 4 years, I forgot how delicious they were."
[YEA] 04/02/2006: Kim from Tallahassee, FL: "i was very skeptical when i saw this as a remedy for a sore throat but, it really worked! i did not however feel it instantly, but i drank it and over night it got better. thank you for the new tip!"
[YEA] 03/30/2006: Jennifer from Phoenix, AZ: "I love pickle juice I never thought it would work but it did thank you. Now I will know what to use next time."
[YEA] 03/16/2006: Angel from South Carolina: "I've had the worst sore throat for last five days following a sinus infection and a cold. After the cold had ran it's course I was still left with the lingering cough and irritating sore throat. Not to mention losing my voice on and off all week. I tried cough medicine from Robitussin to tylenol cough and cough (although the tylenol provided temporary pain relief; as soon it wore off the back came back)I also tried zytrec and sudafed (because i was told it might be allergies.) To my dismay nothing worked out. I got desperate and begun searching the web for a home remedy. And alas....(harps play here...) I found this site. When i saw pickle juice I figured this is a win-win situation. I love pickles... and i found it quite delightful to swig the juice. And i can say i'm never been more pleasantly surprised that it actually seems to work!! It was only about a hour ago that i drank it so i don't know if it's effects are going to last; but i've got my fingers crossed. Thank you so much for publishing this cure."
[YEA] 03/01/2006: Rod from Alpharetta, GA: "I had a very bad sore throat the other night. I tried drinking hot tea w/honey and gargled salt water. Neither of them worked very well. I ran a search on Yahoo for "Home Remedies for Sore Throat" and came across your website. I tried the Pickle juice and amazingly enough it relieved my sore throat almost instantly. Thank you very much. I will be passing along this home remedy for many years to follow."
[YEA] 02/28/2006: Jenny from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire (UK): "I developed a sore throat, but did not think that it was anything to worry about... Then the next day, it got worse, swallowing and talking being very painful at times... I searched for sore throat cures in google, found Earth Clinic, and looked through the remedies listed... I was quite surprised to see Pickle Juice as one of the cures - but then remembered learning of vinegar's bacteria fighting properties... So, I gave the cure a try and lo and behold - my sore throat felt better within the first few sips... I like Earth Clinic"