Sore Throat
Natural Remedies

10 Top Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

| Modified on Apr 27, 2023
Add New Post Comments
Effective sore throat remedies

A sore throat is not only painful, but it also makes important tasks like eating and talking very unpleasant.

Natural remedies for a sore throat can bring immediate relief and healing. Excellent treatments for a sore throat include cayenne pepper, salt water, hydrogen peroxide, garlic, and vitamin C. Likely you have several options at your fingertips, so you can get started as soon as you decide which remedy suits your situation the best.

Sore throats can be acute or chronic. The sudden onset of a sore throat is commonly the result of a virus or bacterial infection. It can be a symptom of various conditions, including the flu, mono, strep throat, or a cold. Poor-quality air, environmental allergens, or an ongoing health issue can cause chronic sore throats.

10 Top Home Remedies for a Sore Throat

Sore throat remedies focus on one or more of the following:

  • Gargling to reduce pain and fighting infection.
  • Using natural remedies to fight infection and support the immune system.
  • Eliminating factors that aggravate the throat.

Cayenne Pepper

The most popular remedy on Earth Clinic for a sore throat, cayenne, is a powerful spice that contains a potent amount of capsaicin. This compound is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Taking cayenne as a sore throat treatment reduces the swelling in your throat tissues and treats the underlying infection. Click here for instructions.

Watch our instructional (and fun) video below on cayenne for your sore throat.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be diluted as a gargle, added to hot tea, or taken in a glass of water to fight infection and alkalize the body. This simple "go-to" remedy helps with allergy-related sore throats and infection-related sore throats.

Salt Water

There is a reason that your great-grandmother used warm salt water for a sore throat – it works! The salt kills the infection. The warm salty water is soothing to a sore throat.

Pickle Juice

It could hardly be easier to pour an ounce of pickle juice into a cup and gargle it. Pickle juice combines the vinegar mentioned above and salt into a straightforward treatment.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Gargling hydrogen peroxide (diluted with water if you like) immediately starts the infection-fighting process in your throat.

Colloidal Silver

If the taste of other gargle remedies is unappealing to you, colloidal silver, which is nearly tasteless, might suit you. Colloidal silver is an excellent weapon against viruses and bacteria.

Hot Tea

A mug of hot tea works to soothe the throat and keep the body hydrated. Many hot teas also provide healing, including black tea, herbal tea, and vinegar tea. Sweeten your tea with honey, stevia, or organic sugar. Artificial sweetener is not recommended.


Honey has excellent antiviral and antibacterial properties. It can be added to tea, spread on toast, or enjoyed right from the spoon. Allow the honey to go down your throat and coat it slowly. Raw and local honey is ideal for healing all sore throats, including those caused by allergies.


Raw garlic is a valiant infection fighter that even works for strep throat!

Mince one clove of garlic and allow it to sit for 15 minutes to allow the allicin to develop. Take this with honey, tea, soup, or toast. Ideally, a clove of garlic is taken 3-4 times daily. Garlic also strengthens the immune system.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C brings support to your immune system and helps to get rid of infections and allergies. When you are sick, your body needs more vitamin C than usual. It is not uncommon for people to take 5,000 – 10,000 mg of vitamin C daily when fighting infection. Your body will let you know when you have reached your maximum dose as you will begin to have loose stools. At this point, cut back your amount a bit.

In addition to gargles, natural anti-biotics, and immune support remedies, try to rest and allow your body to heal. Eat light but nourishing meals. Avoid dairy products which can increase mucous production. Consider using a vaporizer to keep the throat moist during the night. Take a bath to deliver healing through the skin and relax your body.

Continue reading below for remedies from Earth Clinic readers for a sore throat. Have you tried one of these listed? We would love to hear about your treatment!

Acid Reflux Connection

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rob (Mount Vernon, NY) on 01/15/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Brice (Sringfield, USA) on 05/16/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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 Oregano Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Teena (Victoria) on 07/05/2017 235 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I can highly recommend ACV 1tbs and oregano oil 1 drop for a sore throat remedy. I put this in the back of my throat and lay back to coat the throat way back. I felt relief immediately. The problem came when I swallowed the mixture, as I had nothing in my stomach. So from my mistake I would recommend eating something first, or at least have some baking soda in water first so it can reason with the Apple Cider Vinegar when it hits. As it was my stomach was nauseous for the whole day, but my sore throat was gone! So the stomach nausea sent me back to earth clinic, which I love, to find another remedy (mint tea).

FYI my oregano oil is already diluted from manufacturer, I would be really careful if you had any full strength.

ACV and Raspberry Tea

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Lynn (Waterville, Maine) on 08/15/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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.

ACV, Baking Soda, Cayenne

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Paul (Melbourne, Australia) on 07/11/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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
(Rockford, Illinois)

I would be careful about using the baking soda as a great uncle of mine used it almost daily as an anti-acid and eventually it burned holes in his stomach.

I had a sore throat. I just took my tonic (composed of lemon juice, tomato juice, grated garlic and some hot sauce) with 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and swallowed when I was on my back. I took about 3-4 sips and now my sore throat is gone and I feel like a human being. Other than my stomach is a little jittery, I feel Okay. My nose is still plugged, but I am working on it with a saline nose spray. Thanks, I can finally do some work now.

Antiseptic Mouthwash

7 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
4 star (3) 
1 star (2) 

Posted by Jane (Grove City, OH, USA) on 10/14/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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
(Toronto, Ontario)
1 out of 5 stars

This stuff is a lie, it makes you foam haha, I tried it, don't try it, it doesn't even work either.

Replied by Jennifer
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
4 out of 5 stars

I used anticeptic mouthwash during the first day I noticed an irrated throat. I used the normal amount stated on the bottle for mouthwash but I made sure to allow it to reach the far back of my throat. It does help it to immediately feel better, but I wouldn't say that it cured my ailment. I have had a sore throat for several days and today I tried both Cayenne, and later ACV straight with honey like a shot. Just now I tried the salt water gargle. All have helped but we will see how fast I recover.

Replied by Matthew
(Philladelphia, PA)
4 out of 5 stars

Antiseptic Mouthwash [Listerine] made my sore throat better, but not cured. It took the sharp edge off of my sore throat, but it definitely didn't cure it.

Replied by Andrew
(Lansing, Michigan)
4 out of 5 stars

when i heard that listerine worked, i tried gurgling it in my mouth a couple times. It works but it doesnt cure your sore throat completely. It makes your throat feel alot better. And it gives you a fresh breath.

Replied by Lea
(Wabash, In)
1 out of 5 stars

The Antiseptic mouth wash work slightly for me when I treid this. I think relief in that area the mouthwash was able to reach lasted for a total of 5ish minutes. I have an extreme sore throat which from what I've read sounds like it could be strep or Mono. Though I've had both tests done for it, saddly it isn't either but a bad viral one. Salt Water provided more relief for me than mouthwash.

Replied by Emily
(Cape Coral, Florida, United States)
5 out of 5 stars

I had a really bad sore throat and my friend was supposed to come over later. I read this, ran upstairs, and started to gargle. To be honest I didn't check how much I used, but I would assume it was about two tablespoons. As soon as I started gargling I started to feel better. It definantly worked for me.

Replied by Gerald
(Columbus, Ohio)

Listerine will help with a sore throat, but only a little. The reason for that is the fact that you are not swallowing the listerine. So basically you are only treating the upper part of the throat. The other remedys are having you swallow some of the concoction so the entire throat is being treated.

Basically, for any sore throat remedy to be really effective it needs to be something you swallow, and be something that clings to the surface of the throat tissues after you have swallowed so it continues to work even after you have finished gargling/swallowing. Thats why pepper works well.... the particles cling to the mouth and throat.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Ssaunders95 (Baytown) on 03/03/2016
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Joe (Toledo, Oh) on 11/29/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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 Sindee
5 out of 5 stars

I had persistent sore throat and sure enough after several months found out it was from the ear, especially as we age we begin to have more of these (I was told not that I believe everything I hear) however, treating the ears got rid of the sore throat. Thank you EC friends.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Dallas (Hayesville, NC) on 04/03/2008
5 out of 5 stars

For many years, when I had started to get a soar throat I would take 2 aspirins and let them melt on the back of my throat and let them disolve. This would usually cure the soar throat if I did it early enough.

Replied by Keshia
(Jersey City, NJ)

My throat had been hurting me since last night. I just tried letting the aspirin dissolve some at the back of my throat, and I'm feeling much better already! I hope it lasts! Thanks!

Aspirin Tea

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Jennifer (Fontana, Ca) on 11/27/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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
(Piscataway, Nj)

I think the key ingredient that worked here is the 'husband preparing it with a touch of love' that probably contributed 80% effect to the relief' rest all added to the remaining 20% :)

Aspirin, Salt, Baking Soda

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Freshcougarbabe (St Louis, MO) on 07/14/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Baked Lemon and Olive Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Tara McDonald (Perth, ON, Canada)
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Baking Soda

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Linda (Lincoln City, Oregon) on 08/10/2009
4 out of 5 stars

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)

Are you sure you used that much baking soda and water? My nebulizer only holds maybe a table spoon or so of liquid and takes a long time to nebulize what I put in it. It would take a very long time to breath in that much mixture! Please respond soon.Thanks.

Black Currants

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Christine (London) on 03/18/2005
5 out of 5 stars

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).

Black Pepper

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mary (Toronto, Canada) on 07/10/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.