Apple Cider Vinegar For Sore Throat: Does It Work 2024?

mitchelle morgan

Reviewed by Maya Frankfurt, PhD
apple cider vinegar for sore throat
Learn how to use apple cider vinegar for sore throat. Photo: Freepik

Each article is created without any external influence. When you use our provided links to buy products, we receive a commission as an affiliate. To understand how we generate revenue, please read our advertising disclaimer.

A sore throat is an unpleasant accompaniment to the common cold. Allergies, bacteria, and viruses in the environment can cause a sore throat, leading to pain and high fever. Some claim apple cider vinegar for sore throat can help since it has numerous health benefits.

While a sore throat can resolve itself, or you can take medication, a home remedy is another solution. Among the top benefits of apple cider vinegar or ACV are its antimicrobial properties. Therefore, ACV  can help resolve bacterial infections leading to sore throat and discomfort. There’s minimal scientific evidence to back apple cider vinegar for sore throat. However, some anecdotal evidence exists for ACV for strep throat.

Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help A Sore Throat?

Yes, taking apple cider for a sore throat can work. It contains antimicrobial properties that can help treat bacterial infections. ACV also promotes the formation of thin mucus, making it easier to expel when suffering from common colds.

Apple cider vinegar also helps ease inflammation that can lead to throat pain. Lastly, ACV  promotes the presence of good bacteria that are good for gut health.

Apple Cider Vinegar For Sore Throat: Does It Work?

Apple Cider Vinegar For Sore Throat: Does It Work
ACV may help soothe sore throat symptoms. Photo: ThamKC/Shutterstock

It’s common to want to know if using apple cider vinegar and honey can help with a sore throat. There’s little direct scientific evidence to back using apple cider vinegar for a sore throat. However, anecdotal evidence suggests you can use ACV to soothe sore throat symptoms.[1] 

Laboratory tests have shown that the antimicrobial properties of apple cider vinegar can tackle yeast and bacteria. Unfortunately, human trials to back the findings of apple vinegar for throat pain are lacking.

Benefits Of Apple Cider Vinegar For Sore Throat

While there’s insufficient scientific evidence backing apple cider and honey for sore throat, ignoring the different benefits of cold-pressed ACV is hard. Apple cider vinegar home remedies claim the following benefits.

Soothe Sore Throat Symptoms

A sore throat leaves you with pain and inflammation that leads to discomfort. You end up with sore and swollen glands on your neck, causing difficulty swallowing.

One benefit of ACV is its anti-inflammatory properties[2] that can reduce inflammation associated with throat pain.

Healthy Gut

Cold-pressed ACV contains the mother. This is a cloudy substance at the bottom of a bottle of organic ACV. The mother is important because it contains probiotics[3] that are beneficial to gut health. Drinking ACV mixed with warm water helps increase good bacteria in your gut.

Thinning Mucus

Respiratory infections and congestion can lead to lots of mucus that’s clumpy and hard to expel. You can gargle with apple cider vinegar for a sore throat or drink it since it contains potassium that helps thin mucus.[4] That makes it easier to expel, leaving you feeling better.

Provides Beneficial Nutrients

Drinking ACV is good for your health and well-being. It can benefit your immune system since the tart liquid contains different nutrients.

For example, organic ACV contains vitamins B and C.[5] It also contains trace amounts of magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and iron.

May Contribute To An Alkaline Environment

Drinking ACV can help create an alkaline environment[1] in the body. ACV plays an instrumental role in regulating body pH while promoting detoxification.

Such an environment is unfavorable to bacteria, so it can help tackle mild bacterial infections.[6] ACV is handy since it helps inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. 

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Remedies

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Remedies
Learn how to use ACV home remedies. Photo: MK-studio/Freepik

Here are some home remedies for sore throat when considering how to use ACV. Always remember to seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

Apple Cider Vinegar And Warm Water

Add one or two teaspoons of ACV to a glass of warm water. Adding it to water dilutes the tart liquid, making it safe for sore throats.

Lemon juice

Enjoy more vitamin C for sore throat when you mix lemon juice and dilute ACV. Although, both liquids are tart, mixing lemon juice with dilute ACV with a lower acid content lowers the acidity to a safer level. Lemon juice is also rich in vitamin C,[7] a beneficial antioxidant.

Coconut Oil

Drink ACV mixed with coconut oil to soothe sore throat pain. Mix one teaspoon of diluted ACV with two teaspoons of coconut oil for the home remedy.

Licorice Root Tea

Drinking licorice root[8] tea has numerous health benefits, including improving skin health and fighting inflammation in the body. It contains flavonoids such as glabrene and glabridin that can help with an upset stomach.

The good news is that you can brew licorice root tea and mix it with a teaspoon of ACV. You can also take a licorice tea supplement for the best results.

Cayenne Pepper

Another way to tackle a sore throat at home is to make a solution using ACV and cayenne pepper. Mix one teaspoon of ACV, honey, and a little cayenne pepper. Spicy cayenne pepper is good for throat inflammation. Be careful not to use too much ACV or cayenne pepper to avoid irritation to your throat.


One teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of ACV work well for treating sore throats. Mix the two with warm water. The honey has antimicrobial, anti-inflammation, and antioxidant properties.[9] 

Side Effects And Safety Tips

There are some benefits of using ACV for sore throat. But when you drink ACV, there are side effects that you must keep in mind.

Stomach Pain

You can use ACV for home remedies when you have a sore throat. It helps with mucus thinning, so you can expel it easily. However, in some cases, stomach pain[10] from excess ACV for sore throat can occur.

Tooth Enamel Erosion

ACV contains acetic acid. Drinking undiluted ACV is too acidic and can lead to dental erosion.[11] So, mix ACV with water before consuming it at home.

Throat Burns

Another side effect of undiluted ACV is throat and esophagus burns.[12] If you swallow concentrated ACV, acetic acid can burn your throat and esophagus. So, always dilute apple cider vinegar for gargling when treating sore throat. 

When To See A Doctor

ACV and sore throat are two concepts that seem to work. You can thin mucus secretions and treat mild bacterial infections using ACV. However, if you notice symptoms of sore throat worsening, it’s time to see a doctor.

Apple cider vinegar drink for sore throat is a home remedy, but serious infections can require medication. Always pay attention to worsening throat pain and high fever. 


In conclusion, ACV for sore throat ranks among the best home remedies, giving you that soothing effect. Anecdotal evidence exists showing ACV can help with sore throat symptoms such as throat pain.

Try making a homemade apple cider mixture to ease discomfort. But ensure you use dilute ACV to avoid side effects such as stomach pain, throat burn, and dental erosion. If sore throat symptoms worsen, see a doctor for other treatment options.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does apple cider vinegar help with strep throat?

While ACV isn’t a strep throat treatment, it can help with symptoms. ACV contains antibacterial, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe sore throat. Use ACV to gargle when you have strep throat.

Is gargling apple cider vinegar safe?

Gargling apple cider vinegar is a safe way to soothe a sore throat. However, ensure you use dilute ACV. Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and a little salt.

Can you gargle with apple cider vinegar for a cough?

Yes, you can gargle ACV for a cough. Ensure it’s dilute apple cider vinegar to avoid throat and esophagus burns. Mix ACV with water for the best results.

Does apple cider vinegar break up mucus?

When you suffer from a common cold, mucus membranes secrete lots of mucus. ACV has potassium that helps thin the mucus, making it easier to expel. That’s a relief, especially when you feel congested.

Does apple cider vinegar kill viruses in the throat?

ACV has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. It can help fight bacteria that cause infection, giving you relief.

+ 12 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  2. Driss Ousaaid, Meryem Bakour, Laaroussi, H. and Ilham Elarabi (2023). Fruit vinegar as a promising source of natural anti-inflammatory agents: an up-to-date review. [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  3. Babak Haghshenas, Nami, Y., Abdullah, N. and Yari, A. (2014). Potentially probiotic acetic acid bacteria isolation and identification from traditional dairies microbiota. [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  4. Salama, A., Fayed, H.M. and Rania Elgohary (2021). L-carnitine alleviated acute lung injuries induced by potassium dichromate in rats: involvement of Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway. Heliyon, [online] 7(6), pp.e07207–e07207. doi:
  5. Singh Akanksha and Mishra, S. (2017). STUDY ABOUT THE NUTRITIONAL AND MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR ARTICLE INFO ABSTRACT. [online] ResearchGate. Available at:,pantothenic%20acid%20and%20vitamin%20c.
  6. Youness El Abdali, Hamza Saghrouchni, Kara, M., Ibrahim Mssillou, Aimad Allali, Yousef, Nesibe Ebru Kafkas, El-Mehdi El-Assri, Hiba-Allah Nafidi, Bourhia, M., Almaary, K.S., Noureddine Eloutassi and Abdelhak Bouia (2023). Exploring the Bioactive Compounds in Some Apple Vinegar Samples and Their Biological Activities. Plants, [online] 12(22), pp.3850–3850. doi:
  7. Babashahi-Kouhanestani, M., Salehi, M., Seyed Mohammad Mazloomi and Amir Almasi-Hashiani (2014). Quantitative Evaluation of Vitamin C in industrial Lemon Juice by titration method. [online] ResearchGate. Available at:
  8. Hebah AlDehlawi and Ahoud Jazzar (2023). The Power of Licorice (Radix glycyrrhizae) to Improve Oral Health: A Comprehensive Review of Its Pharmacological Properties and Clinical Implications. Healthcare, [online] 11(21), pp.2887–2887. doi:
  9. Saad Almasaudi (2021). The antibacterial activities of honey. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, [online] 28(4), pp.2188–2196. doi:
  10. Bo, S., Maurizio Fadda, Fedele, D., Pellegrini, M., Ezio Ghigo and Pellegrini, N. (2020). A Critical Review on the Role of Food and Nutrition in the Energy Balance. Nutrients, [online] 12(4), pp.1161–1161. doi:
  11. Anderson, S., Gonzalez, L.A., Paniz Jasbi and Johnston, C.S. (2021). Evidence That Daily Vinegar Ingestion May Contribute to Erosive Tooth Wear in Adults. Journal of Medicinal Food, [online] 24(8), pp.894–896. doi:
  12. Chang, J., Sang Eun Han, Seung Sam Paik and Yong Joo Kim (2020). Corrosive Esophageal Injury due to a Commercial Vinegar Beverage in an Adolescent. Clinical Endoscopy, [online] 53(3), pp.366–369. doi: 


Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All… See More