Apple Cider Vinegar for Sore Throat: Benefits and Home Remedies

A sore throat can range from mildly irritating to thoroughly debilitating, and sitting around waiting for it to sort itself out is not always a welcome option. When your saliva feels like sandpaper, every cough is a torment, or you're all clogged up with mucus and phlegm, all you want to do is put your plans on hold. Luckily, there's a range of home remedies you can turn to in order to speed up the recovery process, and they require nothing more than some trusty pantry staples. 

What's Causing your Sore Throat?

Sore throats can have a variety of causes which call for different treatment strategies. How you choose to address your sore throat depends on what exactly lies behind it. 

Viral Infection

Sore throats caused by a virus tend to be accompanied by other unpleasant symptoms like achy muscles and fatigue. While home remedies won't be able to fight the virus, they can soothe the severity of your symptoms.

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infections tend to feel much more localised and severe. The pain will be concentrated in your throat, and you might have difficulty swallowing. This type of infection can also lead to a fever as your body fights off the infection.

Acid Reflux and Environmental Factors

A sore throat caused by acid reflux, dry air, smoky air, allergies or other factors, tends to feel very different from bacterial or viral infections. The pain is less severe and acute, and there usually aren't accompanying symptoms like achiness, fatigue or fevers. 

How Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help?

Apple Cider Vinegar has a range of benefits which can soothe or help heal sore throats. It's not a miracle cure, but it can definitely help you get back on the right track!

Anti-Bacterial Action

Thanks to the inherent anti-bacterial properties of its component acids, as well as its alkalising qualities, ACV prevents the spread and growth of bacteria. This means it can be effective in the treatment of bacterial infections causing sore throats. However, it also promotes proper immune function, meaning that it helps protect your throat when viral and environmental factors are keeping you down.

Immunity Boost

Apple Cider Vinegar works wonders for your gut, which is the control centre of your immune system. With its army of probiotics and prebiotics, ACV helps keep your white blood cells and T-cells pumping, your natural barriers intact and your health strong. It's a great ally when fighting any infection or invasion.

Decongest Congestion

While not necessarily painful, a throatful of mucus and phlegm is in no way a pleasant experience. ACV is what's known as an expectorant: it breaks up phlegm and mucus, thus reducing congestion and easing your breathing. This helps to boost recovery and makes the whole process slightly less disagreeable. 

Using ACV for a Sore Throat

There are two main ways you can use ACV to soothe or heal your sore throat: a gargle, or a tea. 

Gargling with ACV

The basic solution requires only 1 tbsp ACV in a glass of saltwater, which you gargle several times a day. For a little more TLC, you could add some cayenne pepper, cinnamon or lemon juice. Baking soda is also very effective against congestion and bacteria. 

ACV Tea

These concoctions are designed to be sipped slowly and enjoyed around twice a day. 

  • 2 tbsp ACV, 2 tbsp honey in a glass of warm water
  • 1 tsp ACV, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 3 tsp honey in a glass of warm water
  • 1 tsp ACV, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 tsp honey in a glass of warm water
  • 1 tsp ACV in a glass of warm green tea

Precautions

ACV remains highly acidic and can be abrasive for your tooth enamel, throat and oesophagus. Make sure it's always diluted, and refrain from using these home remedies too many days in a row.