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Sore Throat Cures

Last Modified on May 11, 2015

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?

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Most Popular Sore Throat Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar139
ACV and Cayenne58
Pickle Juice Brine35
Salt Water Gargle25
Tabasco Sauce23
Cayenne Pepper Recipes23
Hydrogen Peroxide22
Iodine Painting14
Hot Sauce14
Hot Tea8
Vicks Vapor Rub6
Hand Therapy6
Oregano Oil6
Tea Tree Oil4
Coconut Oil3
Pineapple Juice3
Cayenne Tips3

User Reviews

Sore Throat
Table of Contents

Acid Reflux Connection   1  0   

Posted by Rob (Mount Vernon, NY) on 01/15/2009

[YEA]  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
Winston-Salem, NC

I am a singer, and had lost my singing voice for about 3 months--no pain--just couldnt' sing. Dr. diagnosed me with acid reflux, and put me on Prilosec OTC. I recovered in a short amount of time. Evidently, when we sleep some of the acid comes up in our throats and harms the vocal cords. Interesting stuff--I didn't even know I had acid reflux. hope this helps!
Replied by Bonny
Nassau, Bahamas

Vocal help suggestions anyone?

3 months ago what I thought was a discomfort in throat & neck from maybe too much singing is still with me after 4 different antibiotics, numerous tests & 2 scopes from ENT doctors. One thought it was acid reflux due to the inflammed appearance where the oesophagus meets the voice box....10 days on omeprazole made me feel worse . The next gave me anti-inflammatories which seemed to help but once stopped, the raw feeling & sensitivity on right side of throat returned. I cannot even speak for long without a strained feeling, nevermind sing.......any suggestions, this is so depressing.......

Replied by Mike O
Blackwood, Nj Usa

Orange Peel Extract is the answer. It is all natural not a prescribed pill... D-Lymonene is what I use take it once in the morning and works like a charm! First few times you will burp up oranges but that means it's working. Good Luck
Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

I had horrible pain seemingly in the thyroid and hoarse voice today and the last few days. Hard to breathe and swallow. I used one of Ted's suggestions. I put 5 drops of hydrogen peroxide (3%) in a bottle of water 16.5 oz. (approx. 1/2 liter) and a little bit of borax (1/8 tsp. ) I feel 100% better now. Drink this slowly over 1/2 of the day.

Acidophilus   1  0   

Posted by Brice (Sringfield, USA) on 05/16/2007

[YEA]  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
Yukon, OK

Acidophilus can actually be taken with an antibiotic and should be taken with an antibiotic. This is why.... antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria. When the good bacteria is killed, it can cause diarrhea or a yeast infection. The probiotic, acidophilus, will help keep the normal flora, or good bacteria intact and help prevent antibiotic associated diarrhea or yeast infections.
Replied by Ellen
Chicago, IL

Yes I agree, it is a must to take the acidophilus when you are on antibiotic treatment, the key however, is to take it between doses of the antibiotic, for at least as long as you are on the treatment and longer if you desire. If you have been on previous/numerous antibiotics you could take the acidophilus as a daily supplement.

ACV and Cayenne   53  3   

Posted by Voni (Portland, Oregon) on 02/04/2014

[YEA]  I used I/4 teaspoon of Cayenne, 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of Salt (I used Sea Salt) in a about 2 ounces of warm water, as warm as you can stand. I gave this to my son to gargle with and to take small swallows in between gargles. He felt instant relief! Also note I used organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar that has the "mother" in it and water that has NO fluoride in it.

Replied by Nathan John
Troy, Michigan

I have a bad case of sore throat since yesterday. I took ginger tea hoping to relieve the pain but it only lessens the pain a bit while I was drinking it. The pain returned full force after 5 minutes. I also tried lozenges as I am beginning to lose my voice but the pain remains. I'll this ACV, cayenne, sea salt, and warm water concoction later. Hope it will finally relieve the pain.

Posted by Caitlin (Austin, Tx) on 10/13/2013

[YEA]  Ate horribly out at two restaurants yesterday; end result, I got a terrible sore throat! Don't know if I picked up someone's virus, strep, or just having an immune response to my "allergic foods. " Woke up hoarse, with a sore throat getting worse by the minute. It is 4:00pm and I'm thinking, 'No way am I going to suffer with this throat all night! ' So, I make a quick trip to the "Earth Clinc. " Came away with this:

1/2 cup of heated water, 3 Tab. ACV with a pinch of Baking Soda (because that much ACV in a short time feels terrible on my stomach), 1 TAB honey, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. I sipped first -- throat only slightly better. I gargled -- way better, plus spitting up mucus. 15 minutes of gargling and swallowing and spitting and..... (drum roll) -- NO SORE THROAT! I am totally amazed and grateful. Now I shall go rinse my mounth. Thanks guys! :)

Posted by Sorethroatgone (Denver, Co) on 06/18/2013

[YEA]  ACV and Cayenne: DUDE!!! This works quickly! ... I woke up this morning at 6 AM with a sore throat, sneezing, and a runny nose... Like the river Euphrates (seriously)... And I just felt "sick"... Like a cold, I guess. I had to blow my nose about 1, 000 times, non-stop. So I did a couple shots (cap-fulls) of Apple Cider Vinegar and then immediately took some pictures of my face to commemorate the event. Then I mixed a quarter (1/4) teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper into a quarter (1/4) cup of water and gargled it in small doses (and spit it out) several times and also drank some (and I took some more pictures of my face). Then I blew my nose another thousand times, non-stop. That was 2 hours ago and my nose stopped running and now it is 95% clear, and my sore throat is 95% gone. And I don't feel sick anymore. Sweet! Now I can go to work! Word of caution: these things are not fun to drink, but it only feels annoying for a few minutes... And well worth it! Don't be a sissy, do it! (Nothing personal against sissies)

Posted by Egf (Guadalajar, Jalisco) on 09/20/2012

[YEA]  I gargled with c. Pepper, cider vinegar and wrm water. It tickled my tongue and scalded my throat but it stopped hurting and feel better immediately. Big Yea

Posted by Suzanne (Norman, Ok) on 06/01/2012

[YEA]  After two days of an extremely painful sore throat I was desperate for relief. After reading the posts I tried many combinations but this is what worked for me: 1 cup ACV undiluted, 2 tbs raw honey and 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper. I gargled with this mixture and felt immediate improvement. I contined to gargle (not drink) this about every two hours, rinsing my mouth with plenty of plain water after each use. Within less than 24 hours my sore throat had vanished, my voice came back and I was able to swallow without pain. Many thanks to all who posted.

Replied by Rebeccarhae
Los Angeles, California

[YEA]   Last night I sipped 1/2 c. ACV, 1/2 tsp. And 3 T. Honey mixed with warm water until I couldn't drink anymore, then gargled with the rest. When I woke up the pain was nearly gone. Amazing results! Which saved my skin because I started a new job today.

I agree with whoever suggested it tastes like wing sauce. Having that in my head made it more palatable somehow, even though I don't usually seek out spicy food.

I feel sorry for the girl who tried to temper the ACV with apple juice- seems like a mistake to me, like putting blue cheese in milk or RW vinegar in wine. But yes. This totally worked and I will do it again- earlier next time!

Oh, and PS. I bought all the necessary ingredients for around ten bucks, too. Most otc medicines are more expensive than that...

Replied by Jill
Chicago, IL

I tried the Apple Cider Vinegar with honey and cayenne. I had to dilute it with water. It was way too strong undiluted. Ugh.
Replied by Cj
Nz, Ny

Did 1 Cup ACV, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper.2 Tsp honey gargled some couple good sips and Mmmmm, moma' throat lite up like a candle don't feel it and when I swallow barely feel it in throat! Going to give it a couple Min. & going to do it again!!

Will let you know outcome but I think we all know what it's gonna be!

I been dealin with this for 3 days at time could barely swallow. Yeah as far as DR's go, $80.00 to see Dr. & another $4.00 for tongue depresser maybe 4.00 for the gloves, 35.00 for the shot you didn't need & $40 to $65.00 for meds which take almost all winter to get rid of soreness. & you just may run out & have to get a refill!!

cha-ching$$$$100.00> $150.00

Honey $6.00

Cayenne pepper.$4.00

ACV> $1.25

$11.50 Hmmmmmmmmm??

What am I going to do with the $139.00 I just saved/ LOL

Thanks folks!!!!!!

Posted by Geminiwww (Atlanta, Ga) on 12/03/2011

I was without cayenne in the house, but happened to have Jolokia pepper powder and used this with the ACV mixture. It helped tremendously with just the first dose. So much so that I was too ambitious with the second dose which made me very nauseous. Be sure to follow the correct quantities and it will work. Get greedy and it will backfire. I'm sticking with the dropper method for the rest of my treatment!

Posted by Ashley (Detroit, Mi) on 01/12/2011

[YEA]  I came down with a very bad sore throat about 3 days ago.. I just started a new job and knew I couldn't miss any work so I hunted online for good, quick home remedies to make me feel better!

I was already taking dayquil & nyquil, using these Zicam gel swabs and these Zicam vitamin c tablet thingys.. But nothing was helping. I tried the cayenne pepper a time before, but it just didn't do the trick like I thought it would. So I ran up to the store and got some apple cider vinegar and some honey & lemon lipton tea bags.. (not as good as using real lemons or real honey, but better than nothing! ) and I started gargling and sipping on some of the ACV & cayenne pepper together in hot water.. My throat ALMOST INSTANTLY felt better!! So thanks guys :] My nose is still very runny, and I'm still very tired and am not 100% better.. But at least I can talk :D

Replied by Sushilvr
Gainesville, Fl

Vitamin C and Vitamin E

You might want to try this remedy; take 3000 mg of Vitamin C along with one 400 I. U. softgel of Vitamin E.

I'm an R.N. And had not heard of this before until a friend of mine in healthcare mentioned a couple of years ago. Apparently Vitamin E has a synergistic effect on Vitamin C. 3000 mg of Vitamin might sound like a lot; but remember C is water soluble, so what your body doesn't use, you'll pee the rest out. Granted Vitamin E is not water soluble, but I only take this concoction when I begin to feel sick. I'll take it as soon as the symptoms begin, then when I go to bed, when I wake up the next morning, and usually one more dose several hours later. I typically don't need to take it more than that as my symptoms disappear and whatever it was that was starting never culminated into a cold or anything else. You can buy Vitamin C where each tablet is 1000 mg; so you only need to take three of them. They're large and granted Vitamin C is kind of bitter, even if they're flavored tablets and the larger ones tend to be more expensive; but I prefer to do that as opposed to taking several of the smaller ones that are a smaller dose per tablet.

Anyone I've mentioned this to by the way, has eventually gotten back with me telling me that this worked for them.

I've only recently returned to nursing full-time as I had been a FT CSI while working PT as an R.N. For 13 years... So I'm still in the process of building up my immunity level. Most people in healthcare, after working full-time for 6 months, will have never been sicker those first 6 months, and then suddenly, it seems you just don't get anything. In the meantime, I'll stick with C & E regimen. It's worked every time without fail so there has to be something to it. I've been using it for about two years now since my friend told me about it.

Thanks for reading, and I hope this works for anyone else who may try it.

EC: Thanks, Sushlivr! Your feedback has been cross-posted to the flu remedies page.

Replied by Charlie
Jacksonville, Fl

Turmeric powder! Its a miracle worker! Gargle some of this in warm water a couple times and bam! Your sore throat is gone! I swear! Old Indian secret taught to me by a friend.

Posted by Judy (Houston, Tx) on 03/11/2009

[WORKED TEMPORARILY]  I love this site and try everything it tells me however, ACV has only added weight on me, has not shown any long term healing of sore throat when mixed with cayenne, and I have been using it for months. My sore throat is temporarily numbed for a while so I did use it regularly when I was coming down with something, but I don't know what is so wonderful about it. I use the organic.

Posted by Mike (Queesbury, New York) on 06/27/2008

[YEA]  When i woke up this morn i had the worst sore thoat ever... it was so bad i had to spit out the saliva i had in my mouth because it was hurting so bad to swallow... so i tried to boil up some ACV with cayenne pepper and salt and it helped my throat out 75% better.. try it it will help you. Don't use sugar products.

Posted by Jerry (Clayton, North Carolina) on 06/24/2008

[YEA]  This works good and tastes good. One bag of Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice, 3 table spoons ACV, 1/8 measure of cayenne pepper with hot water {from tea pot heated on stove}8 or 10 oz cup. I don't believe anything should come out of a micro wave. It worked almost instantly and is loosening the mucus. EARTH CLINIC RULES... LOVE THIS WEBSITE, NEVER GIVE UP. THANKS.

Replied by Lou
Tyler, Tx

I used to make a similar recipe with Constant Comment orange rind and spices tea and 1 T. ACV with an orange slice and a lemon slice. The bioflavenoids from the white of the rind are what heals you. I don't think adding cayenne would hurt!

Posted by Drew (Salina, Kansas) on 03/27/2008

[YEA]  I have had a sore throat for a couple days now. Probably worsened by the fact that outside of death I won't go to the doctor. Put 8 oz. water, 1/4 tsp. of cayenne, splash of ACV and some honey in a cup and then in the microwave for a minute. Sipped/gargled this for half an hour. Amazing!!! I can actually swallow not with no pain! Thank you so much!!

Posted by Eloise (New York, NY) on 03/18/2008

[YEA]  I tried the ACV/Cayenne Pepper remedy as suggested by Laura for the severe sore throat that I was having thanks to all my allergies and post nasal drip. I put two tablespoons of ACV, two tablespoons of honey, and 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper in a cup of boiled hot water. I drank it and then it worked a bit but I could still feel the daggers in my throat everytime I cleared my throat, so I just went to bed. Today, my sore throat is GONE, and my runny nose has changed to a congested nose which isn't ideal, but baby steps! Also, for some reason, I noticed that after I drank the cayenne pepper, my saliva started becoming really thick so I would constantly spit it out. Whats that about?

Replied by Bambam775
Puyallup, WA

[YEA]   So after suffering for most of the day with an excrutiating sore throat, I came to Why it took me so long I don't know. Anyway, I put 2 T raw honey, 2T ACV and a couple dashes Cayenne in hot water. I have a hard time with ACV because I took it for so long it now makes me gag. But I am suffering through and it seems to be easing the sore throat. Nature knows how to help us after all! I'll keep using it as long as I can to make sure the YUCK is gone. Thanks for all the great ideas from everyone.
Replied by Sorethroatcomplainer
Atlanta, Pa

So, I found that Cayenne pepper doesn't dissolve. I didn't realize this until AFTER I made my magical sore throat remedy: Chicken broth, tsp. of Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. of garlic and ginger. But anyhow, if you take a very small strainer and place it over your tea cup/bowl, you will avoid drinking the nasty little gritty pieces at the top.
Replied by Vivek
Gurgaon, India

I was suffering from sore throat. And It was not the first time this happened to me. And everytime it had happened, I had to take steroids to get rid of this. But this time I visited this site and then I decided not to take any medicines. Very first day I started gargling with cayenne pepper. It helped but another day my throat has more pain. I decided to continue and doing that again and again. I bought ACV also. Gargled with the mixture. And then I took raw Tulsi and Garlic. I took one tablespoon of coconut thrice each day. And now after 4 days, I have finally cured by sore throat.... I would say keep faith on this and keep doing. It will surely help.
Replied by David
Tacoma, Wa

[YEA]   This definitely works! Although I did tweak mine considerably. I took about 12 oz of hot water and added approx. 2 tsp. of cayenne, 1 heaping tbs. of salt, a generous amount of agave syrup, and a bit of rum. I mixed well and heated again. At first the cayenne was a bit hot, and this is coming from someone who likes kimchee, but I quickly adjusted to it. I gargled for maybe two minutes the first time, after which I felt an immediate relief... After I got over the slight burning. I repeated twice more throughout the day with similar results, and the next day my throat was just fine. Thanks for the advice!

Posted by Annette (Coolah, Australia) on 03/15/2008

[YEA]  James' recipe & cayenne pepper cured my sore throat. Brilliant information - thanks! I was quite desperate yesterday morning with a throat that was severely swollen and each swallow felt as though it was against razor blades. I had been gargling with apple cider vinegar for a day already but although it relieved it slightly immediately it definitely wasn't improving. I read the most popular cure (Penny's) of cayenne pepper in water and used a spare eyedropper to squirt small amounts of this down to the back of my throat - ooooh, hot, nasty taste, but it relieved it slightly. I repeated every 15-20 minutes for a couple of hours and it felt slightly better. I continued regularly doing this and about 4 hours after beginning tried James' recipe - 12oz water, 4oz apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tspn cayenne and some honey (I used 2 heaped teaspoons), heated and sipped. It tasted foul and made me feel quite ill, so I stopped sipping and used it as a gargle instead. I gargled every hour or so with this mixture and in between used the cayenne/water mixture squirted to the back of the throat. Within about 8 hours of starting the remedy it was feeling substantially better and now 24 hours later has almost completely gone. Thanks!!!

Replied by Ninae
Queens, Ny

[YEA]   Hi,

Everyone is different. I tried the Cayenne pepper, ACV and the turmeric gargles all at the same day. I gargled with Cayenne 3 times and once with Apple Cider Vinegar once with turmeric in a period of 2 hours. I also filled a glass with salt and warm water and I gargled with that as well.

In between I took throat lozenges and I steamed some wated dropped some Eucalyptus drops about 10 and inhaled to open up my sinuses.

My throat dosent hurt anymore. My ear pain diminished... I dont know which one did the trick but my sore throat is gone and its only been an hour! I know its alat of work but I was determined to try it and it worked for me...

Replied by Poppy111
Egremont, Cumbria, England

[YEA]   My 20 year old son has had a very severe sore throat for over a week. Whenever we ring for a doctor's appointment it is always about a week's wait and he is going on holiday in two days so was not going to be able to get an appointment. He is rarely ill but this hit him really hard. Anyway he hadnt eaten for four days and we were starting to think he wasn't going to get to go on his holidays as even drinking juice was hurting. So at 3. 30pm this afternoon I gave him a water and cayenne solution to gargle with, followed by a spoonful of manuka honey, vitamin supplements, berocca and an anti-inflamatory. We repeated the cayenne gargle and honey every hour. By 5.30 pm he had eaten a burger and said he could barely feel the sore throat. We are going to continue this tomorrow and hopefully he will get his first good night's sleep for a week and feel all ready for his hols in the morning. Cayenne is definitely the way forward! L
Replied by Melanie
Tampa, Fl

[YEA]   Pure honey works better than anything. Honey coats the throat and instantly takes away the pain. 2 or 3 spoonsful, or just hold the bottle over your mouth and squeeze the bottle until your mouth is full of honey.
Replied by Veronica
Norwalk, Ct Usa

Honey alone DIDN'T work for me. It did absolutely nothing. I tried salt, honey and ACV and those only worked temporarily. The cayenne with a little bit of honey is doing the best job. I'm going to add ACV and gargle for a while.

I've had this sore throat for 3 days now, so I know it won't be cured immediately, but it's doing a great job of making me feel a little better, and not just temporarily.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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