Natural Remedies for Strep Throat Relief

| Modified on Dec 24, 2023
Strep Throat Natural Remedies

Strep throat, a common bacterial infection, causes considerable discomfort and pain. While antibiotics are the standard treatment, many seek natural remedies for additional relief and comfort. This article explores effective natural solutions for soothing strep throat symptoms.

Understanding Strep Throat and Its Distinct Symptoms from a Sore Throat

Strep throat is an infection caused by the bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus. It's important to distinguish it from a common sore throat usually caused by viruses. Understanding the difference is critical to effective treatment and relief.

1. Causes: Bacteria vs. Viruses

  • Strep Throat: Caused exclusively by the Streptococcus bacteria.
  • Sore Throat: Often results from viruses associated with colds, flu, or other respiratory infections.

2. Symptoms: Identifying Strep Throat

  • Painful Throat: Both can cause throat pain, but strep throat pain tends to be more severe and starts suddenly.
  • Swollen Tonsils: With strep throat, the tonsils are often red and swollen, sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus.
  • Fever: Strep throat is frequently accompanied by a high fever, unlike most viral sore throats.
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes: The lymph nodes in the neck are usually swollen and tender in cases of strep throat.
  • Absence of Cough: Unlike a viral sore throat, strep throat usually does not cause a cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.

3. Complications of Strep Throat

If untreated, strep throat can lead to more serious conditions, including rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation. This underscores the importance of distinguishing it from a common sore throat and seeking appropriate medical care.

4. Diagnosis and Treatment

A rapid strep test or a throat culture is typically performed to diagnose strep throat. Antibiotics are the standard treatment to fight the bacteria, reduce symptoms, and prevent complications.

Effective Natural Remedies for Strep Throat

When treating strep throat, the focus is on reducing inflammation and combating the infection. Posts from Earth Clinic readers over the past twenty years suggest that cayenne, apple cider vinegar, and garlic are highly effective for these purposes.


Cayenne is a potent spice known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects. It's rich in capsaicin, which aids in improving circulation and reducing inflammation. Cayenne also works to flush the system of toxins and other infection-causing agents.


  • Gargle: Mix a small amount of cayenne with warm water for a gargling solution. This can significantly reduce throat pain.
  • Dietary Addition: Adding cayenne to soups or teas can provide ongoing relief.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar possesses a variety of healing properties. This substance eliminates infection by flushing the system and filtering toxins. This vinegar also carries several vitamins and minerals that enhance recovery by supporting the immune system.

Gargling with apple cider vinegar and warm water can help reduce swelling and discomfort.


Garlic is also an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent. Garlic contains highly concentrated amounts of sulfur that relieve inflammation and filter the blood to remove infection. Garlic is also a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and selenium, which support recovery and overall health.

Consuming raw garlic or taking garlic supplements can help boost the immune system and fight off the infection.

How to Effectively Alleviate Throat Pain from Strep Throat

One of the most effective, traditional methods for alleviating strep throat pain is gargling. This simple yet powerful remedy works by coating the throat, fighting off bacteria, reducing inflammation, and numbing the painful area. It's particularly helpful in making eating and drinking more comfortable, ensuring you stay hydrated.

Effective Gargle Recipe for Throat Relief

Create a potent gargling solution by combining:

  • Salt: 1 teaspoon (helps kill germs, soothe tissues, and reduce phlegm).
  • Cayenne Pepper Powder: 1 teaspoon (known for its infection-fighting capabilities and pain and inflammation reduction).
  • Clove Powder: 1 teaspoon (effective in fighting infection and numbing the throat area).

To prepare the gargling mixture:

  • Take 1/4 teaspoon of the mixed powders.
  • Add this to 2 tablespoons of warm water.
  • Before gargling, apply lip balm to your lips to protect them from the cayenne pepper's heat.
  • Gargle the mixture thoroughly, then spit it out.
  • Repeat this process every 2-4 hours during waking hours or as needed for relief.

This natural gargling remedy is a practical and efficient way to ease the discomfort of strep throat, facilitating a smoother recovery process.

Vitamin Supplements for Strep Throat

Your body will benefit from extra vitamin support whenever you are sick.

  • Vitamin C: Regularly taking Vitamin C is crucial for strengthening your immune system during illness.
  • Zinc: Adding Zinc supplements can also be advantageous when you're sick.

Additional Tips for Healing From Strep Throat

Strep throat, a severe bacterial infection, can escalate to rheumatic fever if neglected. It's advisable to rest at home, both for your recovery and to prevent the spread of the disease.

  • Rest: Use this time for low-energy activities like reading or watching movies.
  • Hydration: It's essential for healing. If a sore throat makes drinking difficult, use the previously mentioned gargle recipe to ease pain. Hot teas sweetened with honey, along with homemade broths and soups, are excellent for keeping hydrated.
  • Healing Baths: For relaxation and recovery, try a warm bath with 1 cup of Epsom salt or baking soda for 20 minutes. This can help alkalize your body, promoting better healing.


Natural remedies can be a valuable addition to medical treatments for strep throat. They offer symptom relief and can potentially hasten recovery. However, it's important to remember that these remedies are supportive measures, not professional medical advice replacements. If your symptoms continue, consulting a healthcare provider is crucial.

Keep reading to discover which natural remedies have been most effective for Earth Clinic readers in managing strep throat, and please let us know what helped you!

Black Seed Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Suzanne (CA) on 12/20/2023

For the past nine months I have had recurring strep and tonsillar abscesses - landing me in the ER and on antibiotics- 4 times- now with antibiotic resistance- after just two weeks strep returned.

Having lived through strep when I was 14- it turned into scarlet fever, I fasted on water for 3 weeks- it was terrible, but I believe I gained the antibodies to not have strep again for 20 years.

So back up to three days ago- my throat swollen- fever of 103, aches, white spots all over my throat- the Dr confirmed it was strep AGAIN. I was prepared to jump right back on the antibiotics train, but also wanted to give it a couple of days if possible- having learned that if you wait even just a few days before taking antibiotics you build more antibodies.

Well a friend who is a nurse stopped by with soup and said I should gargle black cumin seed oil. The prospect sounded near impossible? Too intense? too viscous? It turned out just a couple of teaspoons actually could be gargled. I did it for only about 5 minutes and then just swallowed the cumin seed oil- knowing its a powerful antibiotic (looking back I probably should have spit that out- oh well). Anyway- my fever spiked a couple hours later and when I woke up I was 50% better. I spent today gargling with black cumin seed oil diluted in coconut oil- about 1 tsp for every 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.

I also gargled with listerine several times, apple cider vinegar once and cleaned my tongue well.

I feel about 80% now- the white spots are nearly gone. I am in DISBELIEF! Whatever it was (I think the black cumin seed oil) has worked nearly as well as the antibiotics! Its unreal. I can not tell you how relieved I am.

Thank you EarthClinic for all the many miracles over the years.

Replied by jake

I have been suffering with a sore throat for approximately 10 days now, and the pain has finally improved enough for me to classify it a 2-to 3 on a 10 point pain scale. Cayenne and ACV were too caustic, but sucking magnesium acetate wafers several times per day helped - Bill M"s HP spray into the back of my throat seems to have helped as well. Your gargled black seed oil technique - tried just now - seems promising too.

I also want to express my appreciate for this site - for other helpful remedies - namely the suggested blood pressure remedy - Carditone, and others.

I assume ET is a "not for profit" that is supported by contributions. Let me know.

Replied by Elena

You should start daily oil pooling with this or any oil, coconut is fine as well. 20 min daily, preferably first thing in the morning. You can do it twice a day. This will work as prevention and will also “pool» bacteria from your teeth. Consistently is the key.

Cayenne, Apple Cider Vinegar

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Rachel (Brisbane) on 02/11/2017

After days of the worst pain in my throat and feeling absolutely awful, not being able to eat or sleep, I tried gargling with 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in 1/4 cup warm water, every 2 hours. This stung mildly for about 30 seconds and then...relief which lasted! I just couldn't believe it!!!! Just be careful not to get it on your lips.

In between gargling I frequently sipped apple cider vinegar and manuka honey mixed into warm water. I added as much as I could tolerate - the recipe I read (I think) said a few tablespoons of each in 1 cup of water but I found this too sharp and also didn't want that much sugar. I basically tried to keep my throat bathed in this drink as much as I could and the relief was amazing. I really started to feel better immediately. So much more relief than medicated lozenges. I was better in a couple of days, which is the length of time antibiotics are supposed to take to work too.

Cayenne, Pickle Juice

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Sheena (Pearlington, Ms) on 10/30/2017

A couple of months ago, I had strep throat really bad. My insurance was crappy so I couldn't go to the doctor. I had to act fast because strep can cause a bevy of other problems if it wasn't treated in time. So what I did was use pickle juice and cayenne pepper. Pickle juice has alot of salt which is antibacterial so I was like couldn't hurt. So I poured up a nice glass of pickle juice and added 2 tsps of cayenne pepper. I slowly sipped the concoction every hour for like 6 hours. Be careful because the cayenne pepper is hot and it burns going down...good thing is that it does get behind your tonsils too which is hard to reach. After that first couple hours, the pain was cut in half. The next day, my tonsils was still red so I kept chugging for maybe 2-3 hours. By the third day, my tonsils were back to normal. It works!

Replied by Mary J.
(Madison, Wi)

Your remedy sounds great but 2 teaspoons of cayenne sounds too much! I believe you could get the same great results with 1 teaspoon or less!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by K (Waukesha, WI) on 05/15/2007

The last time I had strep throat I went online looking for home remedies and came across using echinacea tincture. You squirt it on the affected area once an hour until you see results.

As full blown as my case was I was really surprised that it worked, and fast. A day later I was completely well. I used a child's brand (Well Child) that was echinacea/elderberry and haven't had the same results with any other brand. Also it knocks any cold right out.

I am suffering from strep throat again and was out of this stuff. The difference is a much more painful and longer healing time. So now the strep has been with me a week. I went and bought more tincture and am squirting away!

Garlic + Colloidal Silver

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 07/25/2023

A few weeks ago, my grandkids came down with strep throat. (Confirmed positive test.) A few days later, one of my sons still at home, and myself began with symptoms as well. My son's tonsils became very angry red and swollen. (I was thankful to not have tonsils! ) Because he needed to be better fast and no contagious, I went ahead and got him on antibiotics. I used vitamin C and Cayenne Pepper gargling for myself. We both got better.

Over the weekend, my son's strep returned with a vengeance and his younger brother now had it as well. I certainly did not want to do antibiotics again. I battened down the hatches and began aggressively treating them both.

I have treated strep in the past with cayenne gargling and fresh garlic. However, my younger son was vomiting and those were just not good options. Here is what I did.

  • I made a fresh batch of colloidal silver. I gave each of them about an ounce to gargle and swallow every couple of hours.
  • I gave them 1,000 mg of vitamin C several times a day. I also gave them 10,000 iu of Vitamin D daily, as well as a zinc supplement.
  • I kept them off dairy and sugar (except for yogurt) as they have always seemed to make symptoms worse with other illnesses.
  • I had them use a Nutribiotic throat spray.
  • My older son gargled Listerine every so often. (I highly recommend name brand Listerine to kill germs in the throat - knock offs don't have as high a concentration of thymol, a powerful antimicrobial.)
  • I live pretty far away from a full service health food store. I drove to the nearest town, 30 minutes away, where I got Outshine Popsicles (fruit only) at the Dollar General; which they found to be soothing to their throats. The Walgreens had, "Nature's Bounty Garlic 2000mg (odor free?)" buy one get one free. I figured it beat nothin'. I put both boys on garlic every couple of hours. I am taking it too, as a preventative.

In 24 hours, they were improving, and my son's vomiting stopped.

At 48 hours their throats are no longer red and they are up and about.

I will keep them on these things for several more days.

I am thankful we didn't need to get antibiotics and I was happy that silver and garlic pills worked as well as cayenne and fresh garlic! Much easier for kids (at least, if they can swallow pills! )

~Mama to Many~

Garlic, Oregano Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Gigg (CA) on 08/05/2023

Several years ago, I got strep throat for the first time in my life.

My symptoms were only a slightly sore, red throat & extreme fatigue - NO fever - NO white or red spots.

Me with no energy, (never happens) … I knew there was more to this slightly sore red throat.

The test for strep came back positive and was given antibiotics. I followed the “rules” and took all the pills legalistically and on time as advised. I felt better almost right away but the tired feeling came back and I tested positive again, did a second round of antibiotics after being told that this was a bad strain of strep and many people were having rebound cases. (It was very resistant to antibiotics.) When it came back again after that round, I said, “thanks no thanks” and refused a third round. Instead, I searched quickly for a natural cure. I found 2 things that caught my attention… using garlic or oregano oil. In 2 days, all symptoms were gone and never returned! I will now use these ideas at first sign of throat issues and rarely get sick.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Erin (Pittsburgh, PA) on 02/16/2023

Raw Ginger for Strep Throat

I've been dealing with Strep Throat for a few days. I didn't take a test, but I was around people who got Strep Throat and my only symptoms were an extremely painful throat (almost unable to swallow) and aches. I haven't taken an antibiotic in decades and have no plan to start unless absolutely necessary. I didn't get much relief from ACV, gargling salt water, gargling cayenne. I got desperate and went to the store to get raw ginger. I grated it and gargled ginger water. Also put the rest of the ginger in a smoothie. Within an hour, the pain has subsided to half and I just feel better to the point that I know I'm finally on the mend. I've always known that ginger is an antibacterial, but wow, this stuff is powerful!

Ginger, Lemon, Cayenne

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Kyia (New York) on 03/23/2016

This drink works with colds as well as strep.


  • Water
  • Ginger
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Mint
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon
  • Honey

Boil ginger in water. You want a strong ginger flavor.

Once the flavor is potent, pour into a cup add a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, teaspoon of 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a few mint leaves, squeeze 1/4 lemon and honey to taste.

Let the tea stew for about 5 minutes after mixing. You will have to continue mixing it as you drink but trust me you will feel relief right away. The cinnamon, honey, and mint help with the taste.

Also. If you are lazy, I use Honsei Ginger Tea with Mint. Just boil water add the powder mix to the water and add the other ingredients the same. Same results, better taste. You can also add agave nectar instead of honey.

** I wouldn't try sugar, it seems to have an adverse effect on strep.

Happy recovering!

Ginger, Lemon, Cayenne
Posted by Jorgen (Sacramento, California) on 10/20/2008

Strep/Throat Sickness Remedy

1 ginger root
1 fresh lemon
3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder

(the above ingredients should be available at your local grocery store for less than $2)

chop the ginger root and lemon into small pieces, boil the ingredients into a pot full of water mixing well.

Gargle some of this mixture every 45 minutes each time swallowing a very small amount. Do this for 1 day, 2 days if problem continues..

I had a bad case of strep throat and no money see a Doctor. So I asked a hippy what to do? Then put his plan into action.. and the strep was gone the next day.

Anti-Biotics are bad for you, always look into natural remedy's first!


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Laura (Northern California) on 05/06/2014

I live in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, and pretty sure I got strep after a very stressful few days, a trip to the big city and the International Airport being around hundreds of people (where presumably I was exposed to strep), and a night of missed sleep which happened all at once. These same conditions happened to me a year and a half ago, and I received antibiotics in the emergency room which REALLY messed up my digestion and mood although definitely cured me of the strep at that point. That time, I was scared into going to the ER because my gums were inflamed and hurting as well and I was frightened by the possibility of secondary illnesses (and as we know, dental diseases can affect the heart, and strep can have secondary effects on the heart).

Being in the middle of nowhere now, with no way to get to town very soon, this is what I have: paprika (related to cayenne), spicy chili sauce (doesn't say what kind of hot pepper is used), apple cider vinegar, two heads of garlic, and luckily, a pound of goldenseal powder. I took a large dose of goldenseal yesterday and throughout the day today, and am feeling a great deal better. I plan on continuing with the high-dose goldenseal for another week. I encapsulate it and swallow it with an awesome homemade chai with lots of soothing, moistening cinnamon, and lots of pain-relieving clove, which is the only thing I feel like drinking right now. I feel confident that I can properly treat my case of strep with herbs this time. No need for me to be scared. I am about to go try gargling with the paprika and maaaaybe the spicy chili sauce diluted with warm water... Oh, and the first thing I did was gargle with hydrogen peroxide and that took the pain down to 50% for maybe an hour. Thanks everybody for sharing your experiences.


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by New Generation Hippy (London, Ontario, Canada) on 03/21/2012

I used to suffer from strep throat quite frequently before I switched from antibiotics to home remedies, but since I have severe tonsil problems, even going natural hasn't saved me completely. I still get strep once a year or so. (as opposed to about 5 times a year before).

I have used goldenseal many times to cure my strep throat, it is a wonderful natural antibiotic that can be taken orally or applied topically to the tonsils, as well as gargled. It can be used straight or watered down a bit if the taste is too strong for you. The dosage will vary depending on the strength of the tincture you buy (mine has 800mg in one 0.8 ml dropperful), but a dose of 2-5 dropperfuls 2-3 times a day is usually adequate. It has always worked wonders for me.

It's one downfall is that constant use creates resistance, so it's best not to use it as your go-to antibiotic for everything(it has many uses). Try to cycle through other natural antibiotics to avoid immunity to it. (oil of oregano is a good one for strep as well) As well as temporarily decreasing your body's ability to absorb B vitamins. It's said you should avoid taking supplemental vitamin B at the same time as it will decrease its effectiveness

Ted's Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Anonymous (USA) on 05/31/2007

Dear Ted, You seem quite knowledgeable on the topic of strep throat, I'm hoping you can help. My son 8yrs old is experiencing reoccurring strep throat and has had three rounds of antibiotics in the last two years. He has it again, today, and I've begun the cayenne pepper rinse, in addition to essential oil steams. He has red splotches on the back of his throat and only minor pain but he looks quite sick. I know the long-term risks of antibiotics and am determined to beat this. I came across a comment you made regarding alkalinity for strep (baking soda?). Should I just rinse his mouth/gargle a few times a day? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. I am considering a constitutional remedy (homeopath consultation) since I heard it is possible he could be a carrier and when he gets run down will get it over and over. Thank you for any time you can give to this."

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "You can do as many baking soda mouthwash rinse as you wish. When making a mixture, 1 tablespoon in 1/2 glass of water, should be a saturated solution enough, then add 3-6 drops of hydrogen peroxide 3% if possible. Do the mouthwash or sip very small amount so it FLOWS slowly down the throat (in amount of say 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon every 5 minutes - but try the 1/4 for a child. For an adult it is closer to like 1/2 to 1 teaspoon. If done for about 20 times, most of the pain should go away. Actually it is more like 10-15 times for me. The key is frequency of mouthwash rinse, and sipping that helps a lot.

Generally in a severe strep throat problem, I won't consider cayenne peppers. If you want to make a specialized mixture JUST only the mouthwash and no sipping, then add 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, plus 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 3-6 drops of H2O2 3%. If accidental swallowing, will cause loose stools, but sometimes the body needs to clear of itself of toxic buildup in the stomach.

There are many formulas I have against the strep throat, but much of the problem is actually obtaining the needed materials. Baking soda is perhaps the easiest to find. To increase the body's resistance, and in event of such sickness, usually 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with a small squeeze of lime (such as 4 teaspoon) and some 1/4 glass of water and let the child drink that. Wait for the fizz to finish reacting for about 5 minutes. This will alkalize the blood to prevent the strep or virus from entering the bloodstream. Usually a biofilm is formed before a major cold is underway and sometimes adding 1-2 drops of iodine tincture helps breaks down the biofilm in a mouthwash situation, if that were the case, but yours may not be necessary. Drink plenty of warm green tea, WITHOUT SUGAR AND WITHOUT MILK is necessary. You can do a swishing of green tea, in the mouth with a slow sip every minutes a much as you wish for this. The green tea will kill some strep, and break up the biofilm too. However, I will keep this green tea after the maximum mouthwash and sipping has been reached. Adding a pinch of sea salt in the green tea may further help kill, but this is usually not necessary unless the strep is aggressive and this kills the strep by hyperosmolarity.

I am not against homeopathy, but sometimes they put the homeopathic remedies in sugar cubes. Those are not recommended since the sugar fuels the strep throat. Avoid homeopathy that uses sugar. Keep homeopathic medicines away from mobile phones, t.v., radiator and microwave, they tend to get destroyed."

Replied by Erin
(Evansville, In)

I started feeling achy last Wednesday night, it is 6 days later. I experienced 2 days of extreme achiness and then a sore throat and cloudy head. I thought maybe it was just a severe sinus infection, until I woke up this morning and my throat was SO sore I could barely swallow. I looked in the mirror with a flashlight and it looked exactly like strep throat. I am positive that is what it is. So, I began my natural regimines, most of them gathered from this site, (except one). This first one, my Aunt told me about, I mixed less than an 8th of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with distilled water and poured it into a nasal mister. I then sprayed it into both sides of my nose, sucking it far up into my nasal cavities. It burned a little but was totally worth the relief that came soon after, as my nose was pretty runny and just plain gross, getting very little success from blowing it. I then mixed cayenne pepper, with raw apple cider vinegar (the kind with the mother), and sea salt into a very warm water and gargled at least 10 times. I also mixed 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract into warm water and gargled that also.

I am not kidding when I say that 90% of the pain from my throat is gone, and was almost immediately! I am going to do these regimens again tonight before bed and see how I feel in the morning. I am so relieved and amazed at how much better I am feeling!! I must also add that I think the grapefruit seed extract was a really powerful agent in taking away the pain, swelling and the yucky taste in my mouth that comes from that wretched drainage. I was going to go to the local clinic tomorrow but I am going to wait and see how I am doing tomorrow. I will post an update.