Last Modified on May 30, 2016
A sore throat is one of the most common and most frustrating health conditions. While most forms of a sore throat don’t pose a serious health threat, the issue is often relatively uncomfortable and even more difficult to treat. We aim to help you cure even the most stubborn health issues, however, so we’ve created a volume of effective natural sore throat remedies. We’d also like to share specifics about the three most effective treatment options including cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and pickle juice brine.
What Causes a Sore Throat?
Sore throats result from a number of different conditions. Allergies, dry air, pollution, the common cold, flu, mono, and a variety of other environmental factors and illnesses lead to soreness in your throat. The actual ache or pain associated with the condition comes from the irritation of the throat tissue that is caused by these issues.
Why Not Antibiotics?
While antibiotics may have once been an effective treatment option, two factors make present antibiotics ineffective at best and extremely harmful at worst. First off, the majority of sore throat causes are viral infections, so they simply don’t respond to antibiotic treatment. Second, antibiotics are so historically overused that many of the bacterial infections seen today are actually resistant to antibiotics, so they do nothing to treat the infections.
What Natural Cures Should I Use to Treat My Sore Throat?
Natural remedies are a much better option. Treatments like cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and pickle juice function to relieve the pain of a sore throat and to naturally heal the issue. As such, you can receive dual relief with a single treatment, and you won’t harm your body using them.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne is a powerful spice that contains a potent amount of capsaicin. This compound is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. So, when you take cayenne as a sore throat treatment, it reduces the swelling in your throat tissues and treats the underlying infection.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a treatment that helps heal and relieve. ACV is a naturally acidic agent that helps balance the pH in the body, reducing inflammation and eliminating infection. It also delivers a variety of other vitamins and minerals to your body, so it’s a great daily supplement as well.
3. Pickle Juice Brine
Pickle juice contains a unique combination of salt and vinegar. As such, it helps to fight infection and relieve inflammation as well.
Treating a sore throat can be difficult depending on the cause. If one of these options doesn’t work for you, try one of the many other reader contributed suggestions we have been sent to us starting in 1999!
Remedies for Sore Throat
The Popularity of Sore Throat Remedies - Full List
sore throats and acid reflux!
Here's a tip I'd love to share. Last year I dealt with a sore throat for over 3 months! Finally went to an ENT who put the camera up my nose and down my throat and saw that there was no infection. As it turns out he diagnosed it as acid reflux! So he put me on a reflux regimen and started me on AcipHex which I tried for a week to no avail. Then I tried Nexium out of pocket since it was not covered in my insurance formulary, and in about a day and a half, it was gone! Hope this helps someone!
Replied by Sheri
Replied by Bonny
Replied by Mike O
Blackwood, Nj Usa
Replied by Lou
Posted by Brice (Sringfield, USA) on 05/16/2007
I've had my fare share of sore throats, and I find that taking one capsule (1 billion count of organisms) of Acidophilus plus one 200mg of Ibuprofen every 4 hours helps with the pain.THIS IS JUST A SUGGESTION. This works for me, but may cause further health problems in others. Acidophilus is a probiotic, which means you shouldn't take it with antibiotics. Acidolphilus contains the same Lactobacillus (rod-shaped bacteria) found in milk or cheese. The breakdown of nutrients by Lactobacillus Acidophilus produces lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other byproducts that make the environment hostile for undesired organisms. Acidolphilus is not recognized by the FDA to cure any disease. Ibuprofen helps in reducing the swelling. Ibuprofen is a blood thinner and shouldn't be used with other blood thinners. Ibuprofen has also been known to cause stomach pains and stomach bleeding. If stomach pains occur, drinking milk may help. READ THE DRUG FACTS LABEL.
Replied by Tamara
Replied by Ellen
Sore throats can be really stubborn; it is often difficult to find an effective treatment for this common problem. We looked at many natural remedies, searching for the best one. Finally, we decided that the best natural cure for a sore throat was the "dynamic duo" of organic apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper. Used together, apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper is one of the most effective home cures for a sore throat that we have seen.
Posted by Lynn (Waterville, Maine) on 08/15/2007
I learned about raspberry tea and started using a cup of warm raspberry tea with 1/2tsp of apple cider vinegar to gargle with and spit back out. I freaked when I saw the gunk it was nasty. If caught in time it gives a nice relief of a sore throat. From time to time I just gargle to keep from getting a build up of gunk. Especially during allergy seasons. I hope this helps as it did for me.
Posted by Paul (Melbourne, Australia) on 07/11/2009
Yes the cayenne pepper works wonders. so does baking soda because of its alkalinity. (bacteria love an acidic environment) But I highly recommend putting a roll of toilet paper in the freezer for when you need it, and boy will you need it. I felt like i was giving birth to a marine distress flare on the toilet.
Also something that is of "enormous" help. WARMTH. keep the neck area warm as possible with a large towel. and sleep with it on all night. you'll be amazed at what a difference it makes. White blood cells in your saliva love love loves warmth, and they are more active in a warm environment.
SO WHAT WORKS FOR ME. First gargle apple cider to quickly remove the flem to expose the bacteria or virus, then hit it with baking soda. the baking soda makes the infected area alkaline. then hit it with the cayenne pepper. then wrap up the neck area with a towel and sleep with it on. If that doesn't work, I'll be dammed !Replied by Sundrop881
Posted by Jane (Grove City, OH, USA) on 10/14/2008
Listerine. It cures your throat sores immediately, doesn't taste gross, and it makes your breath smell better. Use the amount you usually do for mouthwash rinsing, or if you haven't used it before use about one tablespoon. Gargle it as far back as you can without swallowing it. It really takes away the burn!Replied by Joey
11/26/2008Replied by Jennifer
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
02/04/2009Replied by Matthew
02/18/2009Replied by Andrew
04/18/2009Replied by Lea
12/16/2009Replied by Emily
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
07/16/2010Replied by Gerald
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.
Posted by Ssaunders95 (Baytown) on 03/03/2016
I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar with honey and water. I gargled it twice and rinsed with water. It was all I could stand, but I believe it did help. I almost certain I have strep throat. My ears have bothered me more than anything. My throat is red, grey and white. Afterward, it wasn't grey. I am about to do the same with pure lemon juice. I know it is effect in cleansing the body of in bacteria.
Posted by Joe (Toledo, Oh) on 11/29/2009
Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide cure for Sore Throat
The last two times I woke up and had a sore throat coming on strong, I used the following method to relieve it overnight. Do this once in the morning, once in the mid-day, and once before bead. And repeat the following day after throat is feeling better.
1. Use Hydrogen Peroxide 3% (any generic brand) as a gargle, make use to gargle enough to get both sides of the tonsils! You can dillute with equal parts water, just make sure to gargle about a half cup if you do (ex: gargle a little, spit, and repeat until gone)
2. Use Hydrogen Peroxide 3% to clean/disinfect ears. (I read somewhere that most viral/bacterial illnesses start in the ears and that if not treated there will persist for days) Clean ears out as good as possible with cotton swab/q-tip. Take a dropper or use the cap and put a good splash (3 drops or so)of Hydrogen Peroxide in each ear, tilting your head and letting it fizz in your ear for about 2 or 3 minutes (on each side). I read that you should not do this if you have tubes in your ear! You can also use a cotton swab/q-tip soaked in peroxide to clean ears if uncomfortable with the first method (which is preferred).
At this point I like to repeat the gargle just to make sure I got it all.
Lastly, Take 2-3 TBL ACV (preferrably organic but it doesn't matter) and 1 TBL Honey (preferrably raw and unfiltered but it doesn't matter) and add to about 1/4 to 1/3rd cup of water (preferrably warm). Take a few big gulps, and some little ones and get it on tonsils. With last swallow gargle it before swallowing.
This covers and eliminates the infection in the throat, the mouth, and the ears.
I have tested this method twice with success. It is rather inexpensive and works great! And it takes about 5 to 10 minutes 3 times a day. The only nagging problem is the congestion which I just use some vapor rub on my chest, throat, and under my nose to get some relief.
Replied by Keshia
Jersey City, NJ
Posted by Jennifer (Fontana, Ca) on 11/27/2009
tea remedy for sore throat
My husband did this for me and I was amazed. I have had a sore throat for 3 days. He took a green tea bag, water, a half lemon, 1-2 tbs honey(taste) and 2 aspirin and put in in the microwave for 2 min... when it cooled enough i drank it and Im telling you my sore throat was gone within 20 min.. this is not a cure it will come back but do it every 6-8 hours or so and you will be able to swallow food! its thanksgiving and i spent it bed but at least i was able to eat what they brought home! This also works for cough and fever!! GOOD LUCK!Replied by Pchandra
Posted by Freshcougarbabe (St Louis, MO) on 07/14/2009
2 asprins disolved with 1 tablespoon of salt and baking soda in warm water. I get sore throats all the time and I gargle with this mixture and in a day or two my sore throat is gone. Also I tried the apple cider vinegar, then garggling with the salt baking soda and asprin mixture, then garrgled with 1/2 teaspoon of cayeene pepper in warm water and then laid with a warm towel around my next and this really helped me out the last time because my throat was a little more severe than other times. So i suggest that you just play around with combinations until you find the right one for you.
Posted by Tara McDonald (Perth, ON, Canada)
This recipe was given to my grandparents by a spunky 90 year old (or should I say young) opera singer one day while he was digging in his garden. He valued his voice greatly and refused to take any "modern medications" that might numb his throat instead of heal it.
Recipe: 1 Lemon, Good Cold Pressed Olive Oil, Honey (optional). Go around the lemon - poking it with a fork and then put it in the oven (350') until juice bubbles out the holes. Cool. Squeeze the lemon and put the juice in a jar. Add an equal amount of olive oil. Add some honey if you like. SHAKE! Take a small spoonful now and again - like a lozenge.
Posted by Linda (Lincoln City, Oregon) on 08/10/2009
I have been dealing with candida mostly in my digestive track for 9-10 years now.In November of 2008 I had to take an antibotic for a surgery procedure at the time which I had an allergec reaction to.Well ever sense then I have had on and off a presistant extremely sore throat. I follow a fairly strict candiad diet outlined in Dr Crooks book. I had a white pustule in the upper left side of the throat.I knew it was due to the fungi in my system so I began a more aggressive program to treet it.I purchased Candida ___ from ___ ____.After taking this for 4-5 days I woke up with a crick in the upper right side of my neck (extremely painful) After a week and still taking it I became much worse (I had to sleep in my husbands recliner for probably 1 1/2 months)I went to see my ND Susan ___ who after looking me over said that the pain center manifesting in my upper right shoulder/neck was my gall bladder maridean. Susan asked what I had been taking lately. I happened to have some Candida ___ with me, she went over the ingredents and with some testing discovered I'd had an allergic reaction to the oregano in the Candida ___.
Needless to say I quit taking that but it took about another month before my system completly cleared and I could sleep in bed again.Ykes!! What do I do now? Finally able to get back on the computer I have sense started taking, Caprylic acid, Olive Leaf extract and Trifala all 3 times a day with other supplements.Took these for 2 months still not much relief. Went on the cave man diet (which constipated me but helped some)At the same time though I was using 1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate in 1/2 glass water 3 times a day. The sore throat left WOOHOO. I stopped the soda and the sore throat came back in 3 days with a vengence in spite of taking the my supplements. I made up a Turmeric paste used it like a losenge (some relief).
Back to the computer I came across Dr.Simonsini (cancer is a fungus) again. In one of his statements he said he administered sodium bicarbonate by injeation or aresol. HUMMM I have a nebulizer so this is what I did. Mixed 1/4 cup boiled then cooled water to 1 tsp.sodium bicarbonate mix well.I filled up my nebulizer cup with the mixture, turned it on, started breathing the mixture and simply could hardly believe the YUCK THAT CAME OUT OF ME. I usually use collodial silver in the nebulizer but I tell ya the soda mixture worked 100 times better than silver did!!! The first go round I filled the nebulizer cup up twice and just kept getting rid of YUCK. I did this twice yesterday and two times today and doing much better. (I had no idea I had so much infection) I thought it was just a sore throat. I will only use it again tommorrow if the throat flares up. I am also drinking 1/2 tsp soda with some lime now that I found this wonderful site.THIS WAS THE MOST INCREDABLE EXPECTORANT I HAVE EVER USED!!!!!!!!Replied by Tina
Bowling Green, Ohio, Usa
Posted by Christine (London) on 03/18/2005
The Lemon and Honey tea worked but only for around half an hour. I have a cure which lasts longer: Crush black currants to get the juice out but try not to get any of the skin in with the juice. Put it in a mug and heat it until it is is hot, but not so hot you cannot drink it. Then just drink your sore throat away! If you are rushed for time then you could use a store bought blackcurrant juice drink such as Ribeana, which works just as well. The soothing is quite long lasting but depending on how bad your sore throat/laryngitis is you may need to have more than one mug. (YOU CAN HAVE AS MANY AS YOU NEED AS IT IS NOT MEDICINE BASED).
Posted by Mary (Toronto, Canada) on 07/10/2012
I read a lot of feedback about the benefits of cayenne pepper for sore throat on this website and I'm happy to say I tried gargle couple of times a day with black pepper instead, and for my surprise it works as well. It took me about one day for sore throat and 3 for tonsils, no need for antibiotics or other medication.
Posted by Cheska (Dahab, Egypt) on 08/21/2007
This is the most amazing cure! when i got throat infections they would then travel into my lungs and then only antibiotics would cure it, but recently my homeopath told me to make a cup of very strong black tea (2 teaspoons of tea in 2/3 cup of boiling water) then add 1/3 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice, when it has cooled a little gargle half the cup, try keep gargling each mouthful for a long time and as deep in your throat as possible then spit all of it out down sink. repeat with other half of cup a few hours later and then again with a fresh cup a few hours after that, you will see the sore throat disappear!