The Ultimate Strep Throat Remedy (If You’re Brave Enough…)

This strep throat remedy sounds crazy, but the author actually used it to cure (diagnosed!) strep throat while pregnant and wanting to avoid antibiotics. It worked incredibly well!!

(photo credit)

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I got strep throat.

It was awful. If you’ve ever had strep, you know the horrid knives-in-your-throat feeling I’m referring to. Ugh. I shudder just to think about it again.

I do my best to avoid antibiotics quite stringently. Being pregnant, that desire was especially strong. However, strep is a bacterial infection. Many people believe that bacterial infections will only respond to pharmaceutical antibiotics. From personal experience, I’m gonna have to disagree. Here’s how it went down…

It was a holiday weekend. In Tiny Town. The doctor saw me late Friday afternoon and took a swab to send to the lab for testing. He gave me a prescription just in case, though, because I wouldn’t be able to get the results until Tuesday, when they opened again.

I went home without filling the prescription. I told myself I would get it if I was feeling desperate, but I’d try googling for ideas first. I found tons of sore throat remedy ideas online. Most involved things like lemon and honey, etc.

One of the suggestions involved a crazy ingredient: cayenne pepper. I decided to make my own concoction, and give it a whirl. I developed this recipe that day, and have tweaked and perfected it in the couple of sore throats I’ve had since that time.

So, does it work?

Well, I gargled every 15 minutes for about 2 hours that evening. There was noticeable improvement after the first couple of times. I could swallow without tears coming to my eyes. Then, I felt about 75% healed by the next morning, and I felt no more pain at all 24 hours later. By the end of the weekend, I was back to normal, and just taking it a bit easy to allow my body to catch up.

The throat swab came back from the lab on Tuesday. It was a confirmed case of strep throat. And I healed it using the craziest cayenne pepper concoction ever! Natural remedies for the win!

(By the way, if you have a more minor sore throat – i.e. not strep – I’d advise trying gargling with good ol’ salt and water. Sometimes that does the trick just fine!)

The Ultimate Sore Throat Remedy
Ultimate Sore Throat Remedy, DIY
  • 1 cup Strongly brewed lemon herbal tea (Other types of herbal teas may work too)
  • 1 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's raw apple cider)
  • 1 tablespoon Raw honey
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper (Add more if you can - as much as you can stand)
  1. Brew tea, then mix everything else in. Stir well.
  2. Gargle with small sips of the tea. Get it as far back in your throat as you can and keep gargling as long as you can stand it. Spit it out, and repeat every 15-30 minutes for several hours. You should feel the burn of the cayenne (within reason!).

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Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or medical professional, and this post should not be taken as medical advice. Please do your own research. Material on this blog is provided for informational purposes only. It is general information that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own doctor’s medical care or advice.

I'm Beth. I created Red & Honey because I'm obsessed with the wild art of wellness.

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  1. Sandy says

    Beth, I really enjoyed your site and find that you have many interesting and useful stories. I myself and family do not use antibiotics much at all, we use alternate healing for the most part. As a nurse I do believe there is a time for modern medicine also, that being said….A few yrs ago the Dr I worked for and I went to a class for practices caring to pregnant mothers, infants and toddlers. They spoke on the dangers of honey in any form during pregnancy and up to the first three years of life. There seems to be some coalition between homey and homey products and sudden infant death syndrome( even when consumed by mother while caring her unborn child. Otherwise your remedy is pretty dead on to what we use at our house but we add tumeric and anise also to our hot tea. I just wanted to share this info with you as it is hard to see a sids baby brought into my ER.

    • says

      Sandy, thanks for your comment. I’ve never heard this anywhere before, and a quick google search didn’t bring up any medical studies on the topic. I’ve heard of honey not being recommended before age 1 due to a slight risk of botulism, but I’ve never heard of an alleged link to SIDS. If you have any documentation or links, I’d love to read them.

  2. Ron says

    I was skeptical, but this works amazingly. If you are a doctor reading this and shaking your head thinking this is nonsense like my wife’s doctor did today, you either:
    1. Have never tried this
    2. Are brainwashed by your medical school.
    3. Have an ego larger than your brain.
    4. All of the above


  3. Carly Howard says

    This is a miracle. It really works – I use sage tea for mine and it really only takes 24 hours for the throat pain to disappear gargling quite often. I have had strep so many times and I never ask for antibiotics anymore because of this concoction.

  4. Holly says

    I just got diagnosed with strep yesterday and started with this remedy today. I feel so much better already. The feeling of razor blades in my throat has diminished greatly. Usually I use whiskey to kill whatever has me down but I’m out. I HATE taking antibiotics. So thankful I found this site!

    • Holly says

      I forgot to say that I added ginger, coconut oil and turmeric to mine. Then blended it all in my nutribullet. It’s fantastic!

  5. Melissa says

    I realize this article is old. But here I am again with strep throat. I have suffered from strep my entire life- multiple times a year I get it. And multiple times a year I get put on an antibiotic- sure the strep goes away, but usually 4 months later it comes back for me. Plus antibiotics weaken our immune systems. Almost every time I am on antibiotic- I get a yeast infection- no fun! Anyway, I just had a terrier case of strep not even a month ago, I was in so much pain and so terribly sick w a fever (I’ve had a lot of strep, this time seemed worse then all of them). I have 2 small children to take care of, so wanting to feel better- I ran to the doc and got on an antibiotic. The strep went away of course, however not even 3 weeks later, here I am sick again with strep. This time it’s mild. If antibiotics work then why would I be sick already again? So here I am trying this recipe because I want to be done with the strep saga in my life. Right now I have no herbal tea or cayenne so for now I’m just gargling with ACV and noticing a difference! Can’t wait to try the full recipe.

    • christal says

      Good evening , was browsing for natural way to get rid of strep, as i am now dealing with it myself. My son had it twice last month. His doctor told me that some people who get strep are “carriers” of the bacteria, while some people get it and are not carriers. there is a test your doctor can do to find out if you are a carrier. If anything I would say look in to more permanent treatment like tonsillectomy to remove the “breeding ground” for the bacteria. Also, was told to replace my families tooth brushes EVERY time someone gets strep because it can lay dormant on the tooth brush. Hope this helps! God Bless

  6. Sarah says

    I’m going to try this tonight. I’m hopeful; I’ve used similar gargles before with good success. My throat begs, and so I will try.

    • Suzanna says

      Ginger, lemon, citrus of all kinds, even tumeric tea, boost immunity and antibiotic effects your body probably needs if you are getting sore throats. Yes as said above coconut oil!

  7. Ann Marie says

    The sore throat caused by Strep will go away on its without any treatment. The reason antibiotics are used to treat strep is to prevent strep-related complications with the heart (endocarditis) or kidneys (glomerulonephritis) so although I can see this treatment making you feel better, the question is if it actually kills the bacteria and prevents those complications. That would be an interesting study to do.

  8. says

    I soaked a q-tip in this mixture for a couple seconds and swabbed the white spots in the back of my throat every 15 min-1/2 hour and got GREAT results!

  9. Judy says

    That is great! I came across cayenne for sore throats/strep on earth about 4 years ago. I never thought to mix it with anything, just straight up cayenne and water. It used to burn at first but now I am used to it. I have not had a sore throat last more than 5 min after gargling with the cayenne! Best remedy ever. Wish more people knew about it. I tell everyone but they usually think I am crazy, lol.

  10. says

    Cayenne was one of traditional herbalists’ most fundamental “go-to” herbs. It increases circulation, which helps the body to clear stagnated lymph, etc. more effectively. Like any other herbal remedy, it doesn’t “cure”; it boosts the body so it can take care of illness more effectively itself.

  11. Rachel says

    Thank you so much for posting this remedy! I was in a LOT of pain and was almost in tears due to my sore throat. It wasn’t strep, but it was very red and swollen. I sipped the tea every 15 minutes over a 3 hour span twice the first day (the second time I used a sleepy time tea) and also drank it slowly in between. At night I used a humidifier and wrapped a scarf around my throat and then next morning I woke up and was not in any pain! I was so happy that I almost cried except this time it was happy tears! I drank the concoction the next day also and I had no more throat pain. I am so grateful to have found this! All my life my sore throats were killer. This remedy also helped my sister. Thank you so much, Beth!

  12. toni says

    I have been using my own version of this concept for over 10 years.. and it works every time. I use it for all colds sore throat ear aches. I put a bunch of hot peppers from my garden;Habenero; jalapeño, cayenne, thai peppers into a jar and fill it half full with the peppers then fill the jar with Braggs apple cider vinegar. I put it in the blender for a minute then pour back in the jar. It’s ready instantly this way and gets hotter..I gargle with a small amount then spit it out and swallow a few fresh drops every few hours. For earache I apply in my ear with a q tip. It is amazing! It is super duper hot! You can also add a teaspoon or two to foods to spice them up! It also will last forever in the refrigerator. If you want once it’s hot enough you can strain it but it’s not necessary

  13. Joël says

    Wow, simply amazing no joking. Im so glad i stumbled upon this article, i was about to give up and get antibiotics which for me is a complete last resort. Immediately i felt the difference, it started killing the bad stuff right away :)

    • Toni says

      I read about red pepper and used it on a sore throat before. I started having a sore throat and then chills, headache, and flush face. I noticed I had white puss on my right tonsil, and though, oh crap. Last night I was cold and then hot and very sweaty, I took Nyquill which helped me slep. This morning I took two Ibuprofen and that was all I have needed all day. However, last night I had remembered the ground red pepper idea and put it into my herbal tea. I cant seem to get gargling down, but I drink and then hold some in the back of my throat before swollowing. This morning some of the white stuff sloughed off and there is considerably less. Not sure if it was the red pepper, but I have definitely felt better today, all day. Not 100%, but better.

  14. Caroline says

    Love this remedy! I had an unbearably painful sore throat and decided to try this recipe one night. I started doing it every 15 minutes for 2 hours before bed and continued the next day doing it every 30 minutes for several hours. I couldn’t believe it! My throat was almost completely healed less than 24 hours after I started! It doesn’t taste horrible and it isn’t too spicy, which was a nice surprise. Thank you for sharing, this is one of the only home remedies I’ve tried that actually works!

  15. Sandy says

    I have to say how totally grateful I am to find this recipe! I will be keeping this in my natural remedy awesome cure list for sure! This past Sunday I had reached my threshold of discomfort that had plagued me all week, it felt like it could be strep but with no health care and no funds on hand there was no option to go to a clinic to find out. I understand the amazing healing abilities of our boides and actually prefer natural remedies as my go to, along with rest, water and meditation. I had searched out several remedies and was trying a few things to see what would support my body in it’s healing process but was receiving little relief and definitely not getting better. On Sunday I found your article and decided to give it a try, I had all of the ingredients (the herbal tea I used was different – peach ginger – which was perfect as I know ginger is also a great healer).

    Mid-afternoon Sunday I began the 2 hour every 15 minute gargling process as I researched the benefits of the different ingredients online. I also read much of the concerns about simply treating the throat symptoms and not treating the underlying strep that could attack major organs in the body. I was already familiar with the benefits of the raw honey and ACV but hadn’t researcned much about Cayenne which I was quite impressed with. Several hours later I was already feeling a huge amount of releif! The place in my throat that had been on fire all week was feeling so much better, however I could feel that there was a strong sensation much lower in my throat, deeper, far beyond any place that I could really gargle for relief. The best way to describe it would be as if the little bugs were runnig for cover, running deeper into my throat to get away from this remedy that was stopping them in their tracks.

    I decided that there was absolutely nothing in this concoction that would be bad for me in fact it was FULL of great things for my body so I decided to make another full cup and drink it while it was still quite warm and went off to bed. I felt that since I was just drinking it directly it could reach these unreachable places and would have the strength to take out the bacteria in its path AND fill my body with these great ingredients with so many healing properties.

    I awoke the next morning already feeling so much better it made me smile! I still could feel a lingering of the symptoms so decided to complete another complete course of gargling followed by drinking a full cup of the recipe. By Monday night I was able to Host an event and sing back up with no problems and after another good night sleep was off having coffee with friends Tuesday mornijng feeling completely well and fabulous!!!!!

    I am so grateful for you sharing this recipe AND that I was able to find it.
    If I feel any twinge in my body I am confident that this remedy will be there to help.

    Thank you!

    • says

      Wow, what an amazing testimonial! I’m so glad that it worked so well for you. Great insight about drinking it. I think some people might get upset stomachs from drinking too much cayenne or ACV, but taking small amounts slowly is probably fine for most people.

  16. Mojca says

    I have tried this. Yestreday I had gargled about three cups – today when I woke up I feel like it’s worse. Swallowing causes me even more pain.
    Maybe I added to much of cayenne? I really have no idea.
    And very sad, really believed in this :/

    • says

      Sorry this didn’t work out for you! It’s certainly not a guarantee. Perhaps your infection was too strong for it to be effective. I do hope you are feeling better by now!

      • Mojca says

        Well I found out that I have mononucleosis so that may be the reason!
        But I will be tryin recipe next time I have strep! :)

  17. al says

    Hey I tried your recipe I already see it being more effective than those nasty antobiotics, my question is after you wait the 15-30 minutes do you heat the left over up, take it cold or just make a brand new batch again?

  18. Isaac says

    THANK YOU for this blog post!!

    Tuesday the doc said I had strep throat. My throat was very sore and by evening I had miserable pain, loss of voice, fever and chills, the whole nine. By Friday evening it was no better- horrible pain, steroids and prescribed antibiotics giving no noticeable aid or relief.

    I followed your given recipe, adding cider and cayenne pepper til it was as strong a mix as I could tolerate. Gargled and drank it every 15 minutes for 4 hours. Washed it down with water all the while.

    It’s Saturday morning and I feel INCREDIBLE. Pain is GONE, people. You can actually feel it cleaning out your system, I haven’t breathed or felt like this in a long time. I’m stunned, and completely won over. Can’t believe I never heard of this before.

    (Why didn’t the doctor mention this treatment??)

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  19. tiffany says

    I had a severe sore throat, most likely strep, and I was desperate to find relief.
    I found this post and tried this gargle immediately.
    after 24 hours of gargling quite a bit, more the first few hours, I have NO sore throat.
    I am amazed and so very thankful.

  20. Sierra Burris says

    I’m really disheartened by the naysayers commenting! I’m a freshman in college and have been known to get severe strep throat (which also causes double ear infections for me). Home for Thanksgiving break, lo and behold, I had strep so bad I could see the sacks of puss in my throat (sorry for the mental image). The doctors bill was not worth the antibiotics that take forever and do not consistently help. My mom found this recipe and the very next day, I felt so much better. I continued gargling every couple of hours for two days and my strep was completely gone. This stuff is so effective, it loosened up the puss to where I was able to spit it out with the remedy and wasn’t swallowed back into my system.

  21. Thema says

    This is a common Jamaican remedy for being sick! So if anyone still thinks this is crazy, I would think twice and try it.

      • Alba says

        Hello, I find that even just gurgling it 3-6 times a day on the onset of any symptoms will virtually get rid of 80% by the next morning. I feel like it’s basically gone! I then continue for 3 times a day till all symptoms disappear. It’s as simple as that! I have stopped making mountains out of mole hills. Strep does no longer freak me out thanks to ACV and I never need antacids EVER! again ACV took care of that permanently! Hope this helps. (:

  22. Lizz says

    Hello Beth!
    I just wanted to pop in and say thank you for helping me. I didn’t realize until tonight that I had strep (not a doctor-confirmed case, but all of the telltale signs are present) and I was freaking out a bit. I do not have medical insurance, so I am unable to visit a doctor. I was very worried that I would not be able to cure it without receiving a ridiculous hospital bill. That is, until I found your article. I will be picking up all of your listed ingredients in the morning, but until then, I have made do with warm water, honey, ginger and cinnamon. It obviously isn’t curing anything, but sipping and gargling this concoction is already greatly helping to reduce the pain and discomfort. After a bit of supplementary research, I have no doubt that your mixture will do the trick. I have pretty bad anxiety problems, and reading this and a few other articles have greatly calmed me down. Thank you for posting this for everyone to see. You are truly too kind. <3

  23. Kate says

    Echinacea Tincture sprayed directly on the back of the throat also eases sore throats of all kinds and especially known to help heal strep throat. Stephen Harrod Buhner specifically mentions is in his Natural remedies for Resistent Viruses. Besides being a known immune booster it also actively fights specific virus strains one of which is strep throat. I highly recommend his two books on resistant bacteria and resistant virus as it well researched and documented. I also found the honey, lemon and ginger are great for general sore throats. Slippery elm lozenges (although bland tasting and takes a little getting use to) also are terrific for general sore throats

  24. Heather says

    Just curious, did you have a follow-up with a doctor to confirm that all the strep infection had cleared or did you just feel better?

    • says

      I followed the exact same protocol as I would have if I had been on antibiotics. Wait and see how I feel, and how my body responds. Am I feeling better or worse? If I get better with no re-occurrence and no further symptoms, I think it is pretty safe to say that the strep is gone. This was four years ago, so I’d say I’m in the clear 😉

  25. mamad says

    I say, if it works don’t knock it…

    I agree that antibiotics can be lifesaving, but I had strep 12 times in 18 months in my early twenties…antibiotics were not curing it. Visiting my GP for the 13th time lead her to ask if I wanted my tonsils out. I had already previously visited a health food store on occasion for herbals teas, etc. but when a pharmacist at a drug store I worked at part-time suggested ACV to me I got very serious about doing some research. I am dating myself but this was much before the Internet, so back to the health food store I went, bought some books and ACV. It was a nasty and persistent bacteria, but day by day I was felling better and better and within about 5 days I was well. Back to the doc I went and swab came back two days later as negative for strep. Can argue with success. I haven’t, thank goodness, had strep since, and will know my first course of action should it happen again.

  26. Alba Cardoza says

    Here is a little FYI for those like John who think the natural means is just a bunch of quackery.
    I too had a lot of faith in antibiotics until I started to get Strep throat time and time again. I never had it as a child and now at my tender age of 48 I caught it 3 times in the last 6 months.
    I believe my son is a possible carrier he is bringing it from school he is 8 years old. At any rate, here is my situation that made me a ardent advocate for ACV! My first time I got the Strep I ran to the doctors right away to find out what this was, I was “A” symptomatic no symptoms except for a red rash on my face, mistook it for Roseacea got tested and a bit of a scratchy throat nothing big just thought I was coming down with a cold or something. I got tested and yes it was Strep so I got the usual Penicillin VK and I was find by the second day, I took the 7 day course of pills until 3 weeks later and I get it again! I go back to the Doc and puts me on the same thing for a 10 day course. That did it’s job once again then 3 months or so pass and I get it AGAIN! Same symptoms started at one tonsil then moved to the other and stayed there for around 4 weeks or so I just waited to see if it would go away on its own so I go back to an emergency care clinic my Doc was on vacation they prescribe Amoxicilin for 7 days or so and it did nothing for me nothing at all. I go back to my Doc a week later and tell him whats been happening so he then prescribes Pen. VK again and still into my 4th day on it I still have the knot in my throat to the right of my neck my right tonsil so discouraged I call him speak to the nurse there and she recommends me to take the full dosage and if it is still no change to come in as soon as I am done. OK so I do this until the day before my medicine is finished I have one more day left and I happen to have an appointment at my dentist I told her my predicament she suggested I try ACV a couple to times a day just to gargle with it and from time to time drink it also. I happen to know the ACV is nothing short of miraculous but never thought to use it as a gargle. Well let me tell you that very day I left the dentist and did just what she said with in 2 hours I was starting to feel something change in my throat, I could not believe it thought it was my imagination that I had to be all in my head so I waited till the next morning to see if I had been imagining it and I just was shocked
    to see that my throat had cleared up 100% and it was all gone! Now this could not be just a coincidence after all that same morning before going to the dentist I still had my strep and that all too familiar knot in my throat after taking 27 of a 28 pill coarse with virtually a 20% improvement at best. I have to say GOD BLESS THE ACV! Tomorrow morning I will be sending flowers to that dentist for suggesting such an incredible home remedy. I will never use antibiotics again! Unless I am dying or something like MRSA or something that grave!
    Now I am so worried with all these antibiotics I have taken if I ever do need them in a life or death situation will they still not work for me? I have taken home made Kefir, yoghurt, sour kraut, etc. while on these meds but still I am so worried for my resistance level now. I so wish I could have Googled ACV and strep earlier I never would have gotten back on antibiotics :(
    Oh, by the way I was never contagious to my son or otherwise. From now on I will take 1- 2 table spoons with water on an empty stomach every morning just for prevention and detox so if the bacteria decides on rearing its ugly head ever again I will be a step ahead and nip it at the bud! Oh by the way it also does wonders for those suffering from acid reflux! I used to get it months ago and that’s when I started to take it for that never had heart burn again.
    Thank God! I now know it is a miracle for Strep sufferers.

  27. David says

    I’ve been using this same basic recipe, except on steroiids so to speak…In a large mug of herbal tea I add 2-3 tblsp of honey, 2-3 tblsp of Apple Cider Vinegar, the juice of 2 fresh squeezed lemons, 1 tsp of cinnamon and 3 tsp of cayenne…no guts no glory, right?

    I drink half the mug and gargle with the remaining. I go through 3-4 mugs the first day…and have never had to go any further on the second day.

  28. Niccy says

    My daughter and I both woke up this morning with an extremely sore throat; it started yesterday slowly, but today, it’s full blown. I’ve read through these comments. This is my own opinion as I’m not a doctor, but a mother. Our bodies do heal absolutely wonderful: trash in, trash out so, the opposite for the good stuff. I will not say we eat all organic, but about as clean as possible being a single mother of 2 kids, working full time and involved in sports (read: no eating out or boxed meals!). Regardless, I am against antibiotics. Why? Because I have been hospitalized from them! So has my daughter. We cannot take them. My son gets a rash from them, but not as severe as her and I. So, we are stuck with any natural way we can help our body heal. This sounds absolutely amazing to give it a try. Yes, it’s scary to know the other possibilities (*possibilities*) that can occur from it being untreated, but it’s scary as well for me to have a swollen throat, barely able to breathe, rashes, stomach pain, vomiting and passing out uncontrollably when taking an antibiotic. God created the wisdom in doctors and modern medicine – I totally do not deny that. God also created the wisdom within us. Again, I am not a doctor by no means, but after 4 years of using natural remedies on us at home, it’s worked wonders and we rarely get sick. This is just a weird bout we ended up with right now and I’m willing to give this a try along with another I found mixed with honey, garlic and cayenne to take orally and help coat the throat. And, as with any sickness and doctors orders: Drink lots of water and rest. Why? Because it works!

  29. logan says

    While this may make your throat stop hurting it is not safe to do this! Reason being is you NEED antibiotics for strep. Rheumatic fever can occur and you can develop rheumatic heart if untreated. Go to a Dr if you have strep, its a necessity!

    • Adam says

      Logan….I take it you weren’t paying attention earlier. Herbal/natural remedies are antibacterial and antibiotic….just in a naturally occurring way instead of a pharmaceutical product. Nature’s cures are better for you. The scare tactics of things like rheumatic fever, etc without commercial antibiotics is a load of horse manure handed out by the conventional medical community so that they can push more artificial drugs.

  30. David says

    Thanks so much for taking the time to share this. My throat was feeling like I was being stabbed every time I ate, drank, or swallowed spit. I just put together a mix following the instructions, and I am expecting good things (very) soon \(^.^)/

  31. Tiffany says

    I recently went to the doctor and he told me he does not like prescribing. Antibiotics to healthy people (such as I). I coulnt believe that came out of a doctors mouth, I fell in love (lol). I wish he wasn’t an E.R doctor. Anyway, he actually told me to research home remedies, BUT he said my case was very mild. He gave me a prescription just in case… I am a big advocate for natural living but this morning I woke up in a panic so I got the prescription… Took 1 pill and barfed 30 min later -_- nonetheless I will be trying this and throwing out those pills.

    And just a side note… I’ve done a lot of research on the human immune system, all the nasty chemicals you put in your body kills your immune system slowly yet surly (in simple terms).

    • Carie says

      This formula make have worked but there are easier ways to combat strep without going to such uncomfortable lengths. Zinc is a natural bacteria killer. It helps prevent bacteria from adhering to the mucous membranes in our throats. A course of zinc for a few days will kill the strep bacteria and you can take Tylenol to help with the pain. Take it at night with water and make sure you have eaten something without dairy 20 minutes prior. Calcium negates the effects of zinc. Homemade chicken soup loaded with garlic is good. Start with 25 mg and depending on how sick you are you can go up to 100 mg in a day. It will make you throw up if you overload your system. You have to start slow and balance it out. I had strep for 3 months a while ago and I took zinc everyday for a year to rebuild my immune system. If you don’t recover quickly, then get the antibiotics. Strep is nothing to mess around with and we have modern medicine for a reason. You can also use essential oils to help combat infection. Oregano, clove, cinnamon are all good choices. Use with a carrier oil and apply directly to your throat.

  32. Liz says

    I am a big fan of natural remedies, but I agree that some situations require more. The name “strept throat” is misleading because Streptococcus doesn’t just effect your throat. The markers your immune system uses to attack strep also stick to your heart valve! You need to quickly eradicate the bacteria THROUGHOUT your system or risk permanent damage that leads to valve replacement surgery later in life.

    My husband and I were both confirmed to have strep yesterday and immediately started on antibiotics. We have two small children and will be taking them to the pediatrician right away if either start showing any sign of being unwell. Antibiotics are a serious thing, so it is important to use them not just sparingly but also properly. People start to feel better long before their targeted infection is eradicated and will sometimes cut their antibiotic regimen short. This is very dangerous because not only would the strongest versions of that bacteria survive (and proliferate unopposed, creating a drug-resistant strain), but, in the case of strep, those heart-threatening markers will also continue to be produced!

    So yes, my husband and I will take our antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Our kids will too, if they test positive for strep. But as for the SYMPTOMS, I will be treating them as naturally as possible. There’s nothing saying you can’t use them together. In fact, my doctor actually recommended honey over Tylenol or Motrin for throat pain! And once the strep has been purged from our systems, we will use low-sugar yogurts and other such healthful things to bring ourselves back into balance.

    • l says

      this is true… my grandmother had it when she was young and needed valve replacement later in life, her eyesight also was effected by the strep…. but acv is a good healer… as well as…

    • Carole says

      Totally agree. Treating the bacteria in your throat (through gargling) is not the same as treating it system-wide — and the bacteria IS system-wide. Strep can even be present without a sore throat at all!

      And now we have PANDAS/PANS, as well as the heart issues, which is when the strep bacteria crosses the blood-brain barrier and causes seemingly psychiatric symptoms — OCD, anxiety, tics, personality changes, depression, etc. I have a sweet nephew who battles this every day. And PANDAS doesn’t just go away with a round of antibiotics. It’s a long-term fight to get your child back, and can be a lifetime-long issue.

      PLEASE, everyone, PLEASE don’t take strep lightly!! Treat it system-wide, don’t just treat the symptoms. Strep bacteria is a serious thing, and can cause very, very serious problems (even if it seems like it just went away on its own — sometimes it does, but that is a BIG gamble with your health and the health of your children).

      And if you’ve seen an overnight-type change in someone, look into PANDAS/PANS.

      • says

        Thanks for sharing this info, Carole. I definitely agree that taking bacterial infections seriously is of utmost importance. I agree that treating your entire body (not just your throat) for infection is important, whether you choose pharmaceuticals or natural remedies. Thanks for your comment!

  33. Yuko says

    So I’ve been dying of a sore throat and a fever for the past three days now. My son spiked a crazy high fever and a sore throat last week but he bounced back in three days so I figured I would follow the similar path. I have not yet gone to the doctors so I can’t confirm but I see spots on the back of my throat and every time swallow it feels like I am swallowing needles! I honestly can’t remember having such intense sore throat in my life so I am guessing this could be strep.

    After doing some research I came across your blog here. I just followed your recipe exactly and I can’t believe the persistent pain that I wanted to cry every time I swallowed quickly dissipated! I have been living on crushed ice lemonade for the past few days and I am quite miserable. I really didn’t want to drink anything that might upset my stomach when I am already feeling so crappy. Whether this cures Strep or not I don’t know but after the weekend is over I am going to a doctor and get a strep test just to be sure and I’ll post my results again. The complication sounds scary and I don’t want to risk it but for now I am just so grateful for this remedy and hope it’ll continue to work it’s magic! Thank you!!

  34. mickey says

    I just wanted to make a comment on cayenne pepper in general. I drink cayenne pepper daily with just water. I have never ever had it burn on “exit”.

  35. Don says

    You are all crazy!

    Firstly, the enzymes from your body’s natural response to the strep bacteria also attacks the heart. You are literally eating away at your own heart valve.

    Secondly, however much pepper you put into the hole at the top of your neck has to come out the hole at the bottom tomorrow. As my old mining friend would say, “eat yourself a big bowl of ice cream at the end so tomorrow you have something to look forward to.”

    Seriously, get some antibiotics.

    If not for you, then do it for the other poor souls who come in contact with the giant petri dish you still call your mouth.

    Like it or not, you’re aspirating that stuff around the house and it wants to be free, oh yes, it wants to share.

    How do you think you got it?

    • Melissa says

      Don – I need to chuckle at your second point. Nowhere in her instructions does it say ‘swallow’. How can something come out your rear, if it never enters your digestive tract in the first place?

      And for those of you who are on the ‘GET YOUR ANTIBIOTICS AND TAKE THEM ALL!!!!!’ bandwagon – there are plenty of us who are not able to take them and so we need to have alternatives to heal ourselves. The reason these remedies are still ‘antecdotal’ is because there is no money in curing us, only in poisoning us more, so they are not able to get funding for a proper study.

      God created everything on this earth to heal us – everything to be in balance. Are there cures for cancer? You bet! But again, they get squashed because there is no money in healing, but treating.

      • says

        Melissa – I completely agree – thanks for replying with those great points. Unfortunately “Don” probably won’t ever see our replies, as the email address he used is as fake as his crazy assertions.

      • Michelle says

        Just an fyi, I believe in natural remidies, but 15yrs ago both my husband and son got strep, we didn’t know at the time it was strep we thought it was just a sore throat withthe flu, neither had antibotics but they both contracted “Kawaski desease” thats where strep opened them up to a germ that attacked their hearts, my little son was under observation with sick kids hospital with rounds of blood work to keep track of it, and my husband ended up having a heart attack at the age of 32. (my husbands sickness came with a sinus infections that bothered his teeth so he went to the dentest and had a cavity filled. the strep went right through his blood streem to give him the heart attack)
        None the less both ended up with the disease from strep, son not iin all cased does wresteling through it make you come out better in the end. also side note strep isn’t the worst of it, its the 28 other things strep opens you up to thaqt you have to keep in mind.

        This is my true story, & for the record I will take oil of oragano before I take any drug’ but we should keep in mind God didn`t make doctors if we didn`t need them. Balance is where we need to be with things.

        • Ellen says

          Michelle, I take one drop of oil of oregano when I oil pull to kill bacteria in my mouth and also on my toothbrush at night to kills germs and had a fabulous year of good health last year(I work with 1st graders so I was thrilled). I have never been able to find an amount you are supposed to consume to kill something like strep throat. Do you have any links on that?

    • Dominique says

      Don is probably one of those pill poppers who has never tried a natural remedy and just follows the herd. I’m gonna try this tonight. My boyfriend is suffering from strep and I’m pregnant. I can’t catch it!!!

  36. says

    Wow! This really work, I’ve been suffering from soar throat and my meds don’t work that much but this is very effective and instant. Thanks for this post.

  37. fibermcgivver says

    Please, people… do not fool around with strep. Yes, you will most often get “well on your own” however, this organism can create an immune response that can attack you heart, kidneys or brain if untreated. . Please don’t take a chance when you are pregnant. Ask your Dr. or RN for guidance if you test positive for strep and take ALL your meds or you can end up with a drug-resistant organism. Don’t rely on antedotal stories — this is NOT science. She was lucky; don’t rely on luck.

    • j says

      Agreed. 100%. Unfortunately the medical system is not designed to treat patients on an urgent basis. Imagine waiting 4 days for lab results. Even waiting 2 days can be dangerous.

      • Lat says

        Excellent point. I’m pretty sure I have some bacterial ucky in the back of my throat…but it’s Labor Day weekend. That means I wait until after work tomorrow to go to Urgent Care, then wait for culture results…not super helpful just to wait. May as well try this in the meantime!

    • Janna says

      I have to agree here. I have dilated cardiomyopathy because a strep infection attacked my heart muscle when I was young. I have an ICD/pacemaker, and will have to take several meds for the rest of my life. (I was diagnosed at 33!) Please don’t mess with strep. Otherwise, I’m all for natural remedies, but modern medicine is required in some cases.

    • says

      Actually, using natural remedies is *not* getting well “on your own”, nor is it just dumb luck… it’s simply using alternative methods to TREAT the illness. The medicine that comes from the earth can be just as powerful as synthetic pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately there’s a good deal of fear-mongering out there these days that ensures most people remain firmly in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies making billions of dollars every year from the drugs they peddle. It’s quite sad, really, because the side effects of antibiotics are absolutely a significant concern, but the medical community throws them out like candy.

      Everyone needs to go with whichever method of treatment they are most comfortable using. For some of us – the effects of antibiotics can be scarier than the illness itself.

      • Shannon says

        This is very true. Because of strep, I have developed an allergic reaction to penicillin. So the next time I got strep, I got a Z pack which has no penicillin in it. Broke out again. So now am I allergic to Z pack? At this point, I just think my body is very sensitive to antibiotics period. Not only does the antibiotic kill the bad bacteria in your body, it kills the good bacteria. So it’s probably very hard for my body to find a balance after that. It took about 3 months for my skin to finally go back to normal after that Z pack. Now here I am waking up with a sore throat & white stuff in the back of my throat & the last thing I want to do is take more antibiotics to screw up my entire system again. So I am giving this a try. Between natural remedies & the grace of God, I am praying I will be healed permanently!

  38. Tanya says

    This is great! I will have to try this next time I have a sore throat. I have always made a ginger tea from freshly grated ginger with lemon juice and honey and it feels great on the throat and helps clear out sinuses.

  39. somari says


    I would like to know if I must gargle and swallow the remedie, (the cheynne pepper and viniger remedy as posted above).

    This is the first time im going to try this, I have been struggling with a sore throat for over 2 years now and none of the ear, nose and throat specialist could help or give me the right meds.

    Lets see if this can help.

  40. joski says

    I’ve used the cayenne-garlic-honey concoction for tonsillitis and it worked wonders. I ate nothing but that mixture for 3 days straight and I was good as new by the end.

    Considering that was all I ate, I was certain I would get heartburn or the other “burn” when it came out the other end but surprisingly there was none. I’ve noticed that cayenne pepper is the only pepper that has never given me the “burns” when I go to the toilet no matter how much of it I’ve consumed.

  41. Emily J. says

    I have used a product for years called Liqua-Dulce by Bernard Jensen. It is an ingestable iodine made from the seaweed Dulce. I learned this trick from a naturalist about 20 years ago. Place 1 drop of Liqua-Dulce equal to your age up to 15 drops, into water or juice. Drink it! Use this 2-3 times a day just until the sore throat stops. Usually only a few days, but sometimes up to a week if it’s a really bad one. It can also be used as a treatment for Croup. Once the couch begins to break up, I do one more treatment and then let the healthy cough do it’s job of expelling the phlem like it should. This is not a treatment for extended use. I have usually only needed to use it for about 3-4 days. I have been using this treatment for years with my family and we have very healthy children. Isn’t it great to have a plan in the middle of the night on a weekend when a doctor just isn’t available! This has done the trick many times and is my old reliable.

  42. Breanne says

    How about antibiotics AND this gargle? I’m all about natural remedies, but rheumatic fever is a real (and dangerous!) complication of strep throat.

    PS, I have used a recipe very similar to this with viral throat infections with great success. It’s a great “tool” to have in the arsenal! Thanks for sharing.

  43. Sharla Grossman says

    This makes PERFECT sense. Nothing weird about it. There are properties in the “hotter” varieties of peppers that kill bacteria, and with strep throat being a bacterial infection, it is perfectly logical. Additionally, salt draws out infection, which is why hot salt water works, too.
    Nature provides everything we need to live a long, happy, healthy productive life. It is only when we have tried taking either shortcuts or sidesteps (with both growing our food and remedies AND with using synthetic chemistry rather than natural apothecary) that we humans have caused more harm than good. Good article! Thank you for sharing your discovery!

  44. says

    I have used similar remedies with great success. When my children have had strep in the past we use a similar recipe but add crushed garlic to the gargle, also cloves. Garlic is a SUPER antibiotic, cloves are very soothing to irritated mucous membranes. :) I haven’t transferred all my remedies over to my new blog yet, but stop on by and check us out anyway. I will be updating and adding remedies again soon.

  45. Genelle says

    My family has been gargling with cayenne and water since I was a kid. Every time I pass on the tip I get the “you’re a weirdo” stare. Glad to see someone else doing something similar!

  46. says

    Hi, I have something called guttate psoriasis, that only flares when I have strep throat. I have done this same natural remedy upon diagnosis of strep, and it did heal my throat. Unfortunately, when the symptoms of strep disappeared my guttate flared up all over my body. I was told I could not avoid the antibiotics because although the symptoms of strep were gone, the virus was still coursing through my body and that is why I continued to flare up with guttate psoriasis. This last time, I used my natural remedy, similar to yours except with added lemon essential oil, basil essential oil, and rosemary essential oil, and I cured it in time to even treat the guttate naturally…antibiotics are not always necessary! Even when you get a double whammy like I do whenever strep is in the house.

  47. Sarah says

    I usually gargle with ACV, and then follow up by eating a spoonful of honey mixed with some ginger and cayenne pepper. Works for lots of stuff!

  48. says

    Love this! it popped on my facebook page today.. and i woke up feeling like i have strep so Hallelujah! a few weeks ago i had an ear infection and my wonderful husband poured peroxide in my ears to clean it all out. We did it right before bedtime and I was good as new in the morning!

    • Debi says

      Hi Sheila,
      My daughter periodically gets sinus infections, and the only relief she gets is when she uses the Nettie pot….so you might try that.

  49. Elizabeth says

    This is a perfect combination of effective home remedies. Here are few more remedies you can try:

    1. Throat and Tonsil Tincture

    Make one pint of echinacea tea. While the tea is still hot, stir in 1/2 cup fig syrup and 1/4 tsp. cayenne. Add 1/4 tsp. of peppermint oil. Stir well.
    Mix 2 droppers of this tincture with 4 droppers of water. Gargle and swallow every hour.

    2. Throat Gargle

    Mix a solution of 1/4 tsp. salt and a 1/4 cup very hot water. Stir to dissolve the salt and gargle. Spit out the solution after each gargle.
    You can also add 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper to this solution that will also help with pain.
    Source: (
    3. Honey, Garlic and Pepper Chew
     1 tsb of raw honey
     1/2 tsb ground cayenne pepper
     3 cloves garlic, grated on a micro-plane

    4. Mix 7 drops of Oregano oil with extra virgin olive oil in a spoon.

    5. Gargle with Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).

    Source: (

    Hope you will get cured fast like me.

    • says

      I personally think it’s best to spit it out for a couple of reasons. 1) It tastes awful and might give you heartburn from all of the cayenne. 2) When you gargle it around in your throat and loosen up all of those phlegmy germs, you probably don’t want to be swallowing that. I think it would be best to spit it out (kind of like blowing your nose to get rid of the germy snot, you know?)

  50. Kim says

    I’m so late on this, but was just wondering if you only gargle this for those first few hours, or did you continue to use it? My husband was just diagnosed with strep (although no culture was taken) and now I have a sore throat. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Kim! I think I continued to use it a couple of times the next day as well. You’ll start to feel relief within an hour or two, hopefully. I hope you feel better soon!!

    • says

      I personally think it’s best to spit it out for a couple of reasons. 1) It tastes awful and might give you heartburn from all of the cayenne. 2) When you gargle it around in your throat and loosen up all of those phlegmy germs, you probably don’t want to be swallowing that. I think it would be best to spit it out (kind of like blowing your nose to get rid of the germy snot, you know?)

  51. says

    Howdy, I jumped over to your web-site via Pinterest. Not a thing I frequently read through, though I like your perspectives nonetheless. Thanks a lot for putting together something worthy of reading through!

    • Muriel Ponder says

      I gargled peroxide to get rid of strep so bad I spit out my saliva instead of swallowing. It was GONE in twenty four hours.

      1/2 oz. peroxide mixed with 1/2 oz. water, gargle as far back as you can, then spit, using up the entire ounce of mixture. repeat at least hourly mixing the small batches. Peroxide oxidizes so fresh batches guarantee the best effect.

      May be followed with water you swallow.

      I have not had a really sore throat in 40+ years nor many colds since I do this if I even imagine I have one coming on.

  52. Carrie says

    We’ve had a natural remedy win over strep too for our five year old, but with oregano and tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil and applied externally 4x/day for the first few days to the soles of the feet, glands under the chin/neck, and behind the ears. We kept it up for 10 days, but only 1-2x/day just cause that’s what I read. I was so excited! I had no idea there were natural remedies for strep! Thanks for posting another remedy:)

  53. Kristin says

    My husband uses something like this. He is the only one in the family that can stand it! He uses a honey, minced garlic and cayenne. The honey coats the throat all the way down and allows the cayenne to work. Of course, I have to sleep in another room! I will have to share this with him to see if he likes it better. He hasen’t used it for strep though, just those nasty colds.

  54. andrea says

    I am a little confused….are you supposed to gargle one cup every 15 min or one whole cup for the entire couple of hours?

    • says

      You just gargle a small sip at a time. Whatever amount you can comfortable gargle in your throat (for me, it’s a tiny sip). The one cup of tea that you make initially will probably last the whole 2 hours (as you take just a couple sips, every 15 minutes or so). Does that make sense? :)

      • Heather says

        That was my question too, thanks for answering. I’ve been doing it for several hours now today to try to get rid of this sore throat asap. Do you warm it back up every time too?

        • wendy says

          I had strep so bad so many times! I thought antibiotics were the only cure because I tried lots of natural treatments. Soon the antibiotics stopped working. So I did this the next time my tonsils became white and infected. 1500 mg of v-c every 15 min. I couldn’t get up to gargle because I was so I’ll so I put AVC in a spray bottle and would spray my tonsils every 15- 30 min or so. I also fasted and ate garlic cloves like crazy! I did Epsom salt baths and every other natural thing I could find on the internet, finally after 2 days I started feeling more myself! I couldn’t believe it! I was healed. Thanks be to God because our prayer was answered! I no longer rely on antibiotics for strep throat!


  1. […] Now, I didn’t know if it was strep throat, or just a run-of-the-mill bacterial infection (a doctor’s visit and throat swab is needed to determine the exact strain of bacteria), but I decided to go ahead and try my usual remedy for a throat infection. I wrote a post about it here: The Ultimate Strep Throat Remedy (If You’re Brave Enough). […]

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