Apple Cider Vinegar and Cayenne Pepper for Strep Throat

| Modified on Dec 24, 2023

Apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper each are excellent natural remedies for strep throat. When combined, they are a powerhouse of healing.

Apple cider vinegar can be made into a tea or gargle.

Cayenne pepper can be swabbed onto the back of the throat, added to the apple cider vinegar in tea form, or taken in a capsule. Ideally, however, the cayenne pepper will touch the throat. It helps to decrease the pain upon contact.

Have you used this combination of remedies for strep throat? Please send us some feedback!

15 User Reviews

Posted by Danielle (Wisconsin) on 11/16/2016

I'm 29 years old and have gotten strep throat at least twice a year throughout my life. 100% of those times I've gone to the doctor and was administered antibiotics like clock work thinking it was the only thing that could resolve the infection. Just a few days ago lo and behold it hit me fast, the left tonsil first inflamed like an angry throbbing red balloon quickly covering in dark purple, red and white patches and swelling so large I couldn't swallow anything. Within 24 hours the other tonsil had followed suit. I immediately decided this time I wanted to try a more holistic approach and began researching my options. Finding that the remedies were all things I already had at home I began concocting my tea!

I simmered slices of ginger and then added lemon, apple cider vinegar as well as raw honey. Throughout the day I would gargle cayenne pepper with warm water and apple cider vinegar as well. I even dabbed cayenne pepper directly on the white patches before bed.. I'm not sure if it would've made a difference had I not but I was willing to try anything at this point to relieve the pain.

Within 36 hours the pain had gone away, and 48 the infection gone! All that remains is a slight headache and inevitable tiredness. I'm aware I'm more than likely still contagious so I'm keeping my distance as well as going to continue drinking the ginger/lemon tea for a few days to come to make sure all the infection has been destroyed. Needless to say I'm amazed at how well and how quickly this worked and unless I'm in bed with a dangerous fever or violently ill I'm going to stick to trying to cure my ailments as naturally as possible to strengthen my immune system. Thank you for the tips and tricks!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Doirin (Kerry, Ireland) on 04/13/2013

Hi, I have a raging throat infections, no tonsils so can't see the white spots but couldn't eat, swallow saliva either, was like razors cutting in (not that I have swallowed them but I imagine)

Read about Apple cider and cayenne and after waking at 4:30am and not sleeping since went out to get some. I gargled a mixture and didn't feel immediate relief but felt it was worth a try to keep going. An hour later I used the Q tip trick with honey and cayenne pepper and tried to direct it to the right place, painful still but a little better. I finally gave into hunger in the afternoon and decided to make a creamy porridge. Once I started eating it I felt like something shifted and all of a sudden I could swallow and finished my food with no problems. Now although porrige is great I am not saying it was the cure but rather eating it just kicked the remedies in. I have gargled since and will continue to do so as I believe it has helped so much and I have never had relief this early on (taking antibiotics for less than a day).

Thanks to Earth Clinic and all who have submitted their recipes.


Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Mia (Lyons, Ny) on 11/30/2010

I don't take any man-made medicines unless it is absolutely unavoidable. For a couple of days I had been sick with the sniffles, sore sinuses, a little cough. So I took two 1,000 milligram doses of vitamin c and as a result I felt like I was getting better the next day, which was Thanksgiving. I was able to cook dinner for 20 without feeling bad one bit. I felt so good that I had forgotten to take any more Vitamin C. The day after Thanksgiving it appeared that forgetting to take the Vitamin C had caught up with me. I went from sniffles and sinus pressure to the worst sore throat I've had in twenty years. And I don't remember ever having painful glands on the side of my throat but I had them now. I couldn't stand the pain in my glands so I came straight to Earthclinic (whose advice has practically saved my life in the past) and looked for a cure.

I did the cayenne remedy. I gargled with 1/4 tsp. Cayenne is a 1/4 cup of water. My tongue was on fire but amazingly I could swallow and in less than 15 minutes the unbearable gland pain in my neck was bearable and I would watch a movie in peace. I had sore throat for a couple more days but I didn't take anymore cayenne because it wasn't unbearable.

But yesterday I woke up feeling achy and just plain awful. I wanted to just lay on the coach and make pitiful noises but instead I looked at my tonsils. They were red, and swollen, and covered with white polka dots. I was afraid that I was feeling so horrible because my tonsils were infected but I was determined that I wasn't going to be taking antibiotics so I came back to Earthclinic and decided to do a more thorough job with the cayenne and to do a nice shot of ACV. I did the ACV first in a glass of what. Then, I took 1500 mgs. Vitamin C. Then, I poured a glass of tomato juice and added 1/2 tsp of cayenne and 1/2 tsp of salt and sipped that all day. By evening the achy feeling was gone.

Today I woke up with a slightly sore throat and no achy feeling. When I checked my tonsils they were almost a normal pink color and had only a few white spots remaining. I am continuing the tomato cayenne remedy with 1,000 mgs of Vitamin C three times a day.

Replied by Mia
(Lyons, Ny)

I just wanted to report back that after sticking with my regimen for two days (tomato juice, cayenne and salt, with 1000 mg a day of Vitamin C) I was completely cured after 48 hours and I felt immediate relief after the first dose.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Randy (Mercer, Pa.) on 01/04/2010

sore throat ..strep swollen with cough

cayenne pepper 1/2 tablespoon..
raw apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon...
maple syrup 1 tablespoon ...
water 2 tablespoon ...

mix and sip as will see imediate results ...that gargling stuff doesnt get deep enough ...i found sipping and swallowing this is tastes good too...burns just right ...i like the straight up 1/2 tablespoon with 2 tablespoon water too burns so good ..and makes you swallow and relax ..try it

Replied by Justin
(Marina Del Rey, Ca)

I've only got one word you...


That is cruel and unusual punishment for bad strep, but it got more bearable after each sip. I could feel some tingling in my face and my hands. I didn't want to wash it down because I thought the burn might actually be doing some good, ya know? I was much better after two to three sips.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for that little remedy. It helped me avoid the death trap of the emergency room once more. I mean SERIOUSLY, thank you.

Replied by Chris

Mahalo for posting this info. I was up at 3am last night with my throat closed off and desperately googling to find a remedy. I would say it was a 9 in pain. It is now three and half hours later and my throat pain is much better. I would say about a 2-3-mostly just discomfort now. I poured liberally the apple cider vinegar to about a thimble high in the cup and warmed it and sipped it. I hope it continues to work and knocks this stuff out completely. I was actually pretty surprised how well it worked since I had never heard of it before.

Replied by Ellie
(Ny, US)

I am so happy I found this remedy for strep throat. It has done a wonder to my 4-yr. old. She would sip the remedy throughout the day and I saw improvements in the morning of every day of sipping, great improvements. It also worked for my 1-yr. old. I am overwhelmed!!! Thank you so much for posting the remedy!

Replied by Alexis
(Myrtle Beach, Sc)

Last year I was desperate to find something for strep without paying for a doctor. Everything that could have gone wrong that month did- and then I developed strep for the cherry on top. I was crying from the pain of trying to swallow and after searching for about an hour I stumbled upon this link. I scrolled down to the first clear set of instructions I saw with ingredients that I knew was in my cabinet. It was this one at the time. Sir, you saved me. I had a bad case of it and after about 4 days it was over. All thanks to you and this recipe. Absolute genius. I've been sharing it with everyone I know since then. I should have written this then.. but after everyone around me has fallen sick this week I remembered to try to find your post again. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Jennie (Ashville, AL) on 02/27/2009

I've had strep throat twice in the last year. I'm convinced the first time I got it from being exposed to it in the doctor's office. After a round of antibiotics, I went six months before the next strep attack. Once again, I went on antibiotics. When I felt strep coming on for the third time six months later, I did not want to go the antibiotic route yet again. I've never been an antibiotic fan, as I do not like to weaken my own immune system, and I also believe we are creating "super bugs" by killing off the weakest strains of infections with antibiotics, leaving only the strong to prey on us. After a day of agony (tight throat, swollen tonsils, difficulty swallowing), I started Googling and found Earth Clinic. I'd heard about cayenne pepper for other ailments, but I'd never tried it for sore throat (let alone strep). I figured it couldn't hurt to try, so I began gargling 1/8 tsp of cayenne powder in half a glass of warm water. The immediate effects astonished me. The pain was cut in half right away. I could swallow almost normally, and the tightness subsided. I continued to gargle every two hours until bedtime. At bedtime, I mixed 1/8 tsp cayenne into a shot glass of lemon juice and knocked it back. It was a bit hot and sour, but not enough to bother me. When I got up the next morning, my throat was a bit on the dry side, but the swelling had subsided significantly. I again gargled with warm water and 1/8 tsp of cayenne, drinking the last little sip so it would go down my throat. Felt GREAT. That day marked the turning point in my illness.

I then read about apple cider vinegar here and decided to try putting 3 tbsp in a glass of water to sip throughout the morning. While sour, the comfort it provided was amazing, so I continued throughout the day and into the next day. By the end of day three, I had only a faint scratchiness in the back of my throat. No more swelling, no more pain, no cough. It is now six days later, and, aside from slight sniffles, I am symptom-free. I am so thankful I found Earth Clinic and tried these remedies instead of going for another round of antibiotics. Obviously, medicine has its place, but I really think we've got to build our body's natural immune system to fight off the vast majority of viral and bacterial infections.

Thanks, Earth Clinic!

Replied by Candice
(Chicago, IL)

I did everything everyone recommended and had absolutely no relief! It's so painful, I feel my ears will pop!

Pam E.
(Southern California)
139 posts

You say you feel your ears will pop.... It sounds like you were suffering from an EAR infection, rather than Strep Throat. I hope you got over it! Here's an article that answers the question:

"Why Does My Ear Hurt When I Swallow?"

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Kristie (Las Vegas, NV) on 01/19/2009

Strep Throat Tonsilitits cure...a lifesaver!

I am home sick today and my thoughts were to go see the doctor about my inflamed and white tonsils. Just the thought of getting the energy to get dressed has me exausted. Waiting in the emergecy room just be told to wait forever and be sent home for a prescription of antibiotics with a total cost of 100 bucks or more has me feeling sicker.

My throat is sore, raw, and I can't eat a thing without screaming in pain. I came across your website with all the postings about cayanne pepper and acv. I am a firm believer in home remedies so I concocted a mixture of acv, cayanne pepper, sea salt and hot water. I gargled with this for 1 min and to my amazement I was able to swallow some of the mixture to help with the inflamed tissues gargling could not reach. Acv works miricles and now I feel almost human again. Thanks for your website. Your a lifesaver!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Gabe (Bonita Springs, Florida) on 10/20/2007

Ok....So I could hardly swallow, looked in the back of my throat and it was littered with white patches, a sure sign of Strep Throat. It progressively got worse, that's when I stumbled onto this site! Thank You!!!! I swear to you, this works, and it worked quickly!!! A couple of things. I recommed the following: Drink 1 whole lemon fresh squeezed juice, some pure honey for sweetness, a few dashes of Apple Cider Vinegar (the taste was quite strong for I didn't do a whole lot). A couple ounces of water, and a bunch of dashes of cayenne pepper (until the mix turned red). I took this as a shot!!! Bottoms up.. a couple times a day. In between those shots, I gargaled with cayenne pepper water mix (about 6 mouth fulls each time) again, water and cayenne unitl it turned good and red. In addition to that I sucked on Garlic gloves, raw garlic cloves. A couple of times a day. They weren't that bad. I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS SITE!!! My throat looked awful, I couldn't hardly swallow, and just feel plain terrible! My energy is through the roof and throat is 100% better!!! In less than 3 days.....THANK YOU....THIS WORKS!!!!!!!!!!!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Michelle Snuggs (Houston, TX) on 06/20/2007

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne Pepper and Honey. Once a year I would get strep throat, tonsilitis, all kinds of infection in the ear, nose and throat area. Well I can truly say. . . I looked on your site after being in pain for a day and gargling with applecider vinegar and decided to try the other ingredients. After on sip my throat seemed to be opening up. My tonsils are truly swollen and it makes me want to cry when I have to swallow, thanks alot for this cool remedy. My glands are swollen also and I can't stand the copay for doctors so I look for remedies always.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Nafa (Tampa, FL) on 12/26/2006

I've been bugged with a sore throat/strep for a little while now and being that it was Christmas holiday all the doctors were closed. I came across your website and the this idea and ran out to the only open market to get some ACV and Cayenne and then rushed home to try it immediately. So far so good--it definitely has killed some of the pain after one treatment. I made a tea of it with hot water, pepper, and ACV (though I upped it to 10 dashes of pepper as I'm a little too used to spicy food). I also bought some fresh garlic to try that route at the same time. Can't hurt to try both! :) Fingers crossed that continues to kill whatever is in there. Thanks so much for the tips!

Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne
Posted by Shay (Jupiter, FL) on 04/11/2006

I went online and searched everywhere for remedies for a sore throat. At the time I was unaware it was strep throat. I stumbled upon this web site and started to read about the "miracles" of ACV. At first I thought, what kind of cult followers are these? In the end I was desperate and needed some relief now since my doctor appt. wasn't till the next day at noon. I made a few cups of ACV and Cayenne pepper with honey that afternoon and evening. Less than 24 hrs later my throat pain was gone and the antibiotic the Doctor prescribed wasn't even in my system long enough to work that fast. Within 2 days of the initial symptoms of strep, I felt like I had nothing wrong with me. I am a believer of AVC and Cayenne pepper and have decided to add it to my life on an everyday basis. Anything that gave me that much relief and energy so fast and had no long ugly pharmaceutical name behind it, must be good for me. Now the only problem I have is trying to get my 4yr old to take it. Any suggestions? Thank you Earth Clinic for life long advice!