Did you know that essential oils can actually help make a sore throat go away quicker or avoid one all together? Sore throats can happen anytime of the year for a variety of reasons. A sore throat is an irritation, scratchiness or pain of the throat that often worsens when swallowing.
A common sore throat is caused by a viral infection while a strep throat is a bacterial infection, which can be from a number of different strains of bacteria. Unfortunately, both are quite contagious and can be passed from person to person with close contact.
The most common cause of a sore throat is a cold or the flu. You often first realize a cold or the flu is coming on when you get that first bit of pain and scratchiness in your throat.
Aside from the typically recommended rest, proper nutrition, plenty of liquids, hot teas and gargling, sore throat remedies include tapping into the natural power of essential oils for sore throat pain!
Top Essential Oils for Sore Throat
The uses for essential oils truly are endless and if you have read any of my other essential oil articles, you’re probably not even that surprised that they can be used for sore throats, too.
The following essential oils for sore throat pain will kill germs, ease inflammation and speed healing of this annoying and painful malady:
Peppermint oil is commonly used for treatment of the common cold, cough, sinus infections, respiratory infections, and inflammation of the mouth and throat, including sore throats. It’s also used for digestive problems, including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cramps of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract and bile ducts, upset stomach, diarrhea, bacterial overgrowth of the small intestine, and gas.
Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which provides a cooling sensation and a calming effect to the body. Research indicates that the antioxidant, antimicrobial and decongestant properties of peppermint essential oil can help alleviate your sore throat. Menthol also helps to sooth and calm sore throats as well as thin mucus and break up coughs.
Lemon essential oil is known for its ability to cleanse toxins from any part of the body and is widely used to stimulate lymph drainage, to rejuvenate energy and purify skin.
Lemon oil is derived from the skin of the lemon and is excellent for sore throats since it is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, high in vitamin C, increases salivation and helps keep the throat moist.
Today, oil from the eucalyptus tree appears in many over-the-counter cough and cold products to relieve congestion. The health benefits of eucalyptus oil are due to its ability to stimulate immunity, provide antioxidant protection and improve respiratory circulation.
Originally referred to as “eucalyptol” by the scientific community, the health benefits of eucalyptus oil come from a chemical now known as cineole, which is an organic compound shown to hold astounding, widespread medicinal effects — including everything from reducing inflammation and pain to killing leukemia cells! It’s no wonder it can be one of the steps to beat a cold and sore throat.
This well-known herb in oil form is a smart choice for defense against a sore throat. There is evidence that the essential oil of oregano has antifungal and antiviral properties. One study even showed that treatment with oregano oil may be useful for parasite infections.
If you have any doubts that oregano oil can prevent and treat a sore throat, it has even been shown to kill the superbug MRSA both as a liquid and as a vapor — and its antimicrobial activity is not diminished by heating it in boiling water.
Clove essential oil is useful for boosting the immune system, so it is extremely useful at discouraging and relieving a sore throat. The sore throat benefits of clove oil can be attributed to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and stimulating properties. Chewing on a clove bud can help a sore throat (as well as a toothache).
Hyssop was used in ancient times as a cleansing herb for temples and other sacred places. In ancient Greece, the physicians Galen and Hippocrates valued hyssop for inflammation of the throat and chest, pleurisy and other bronchial complaints.
It’s not surprising that hyssop has a long history of medicinal use. The antiseptic properties of hyssop oil make it a powerful substance for fighting infections and killing bacteria. Whether your sore throat is viral or bacterial, hyssop is an excellent choice for a sore throat as well as lung inflammation.
Thyme oil is one of the strongest antioxidants and antimicrobials known, and it has been used as a medicinal herb since ancient times. Thyme supports the immune, respiratory, digestive, nervous and other body systems.
A 2011 study tested thyme oil’s response to 120 strains of bacteria isolated from patients with infections of oral cavity, respiratory and genitourinary tracts. The results of experiments showed that the oil from the thyme plant exhibited extremely strong activity against all of the clinical strains. Thyme oil even demonstrated a good efficacy against antibiotic-resistant strains. What a sure bet for that scratchy throat!
8. Juniper Berry
With a sweet, woodsy smell, juniper berry essential oil is a popular ingredient in many household cleaning products, aromatherapy blends and fragrance sprays. Today, juniper berry essential oil is also commonly used as one of the best natural remedies for sore throat as well as respiratory infections, fatigue, muscle aches and arthritis.
Recipes Using Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Easy, Anti Sore Throat Steam Inhalation
- 3 drops clove essential oil
- 3 drops juniper berry essential oil
- large bowl of boiling hot water
- Add the clove and juniper berry oils to a large bowl of boiled water.
- Drape a towel over your head to create a tent over and around the bowl.
- Relax and breathe in the fragrant steam for 5 minutes. Of course, be careful not to burn yourself.
You can also add 3 drops of lemon oil and 1 drop of eucalyptus oil to your water, gargle for 10 seconds and then drink.
Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist, and author with a passion to help people get well using food as medicine. He recently authored “Eat Dirt” and “Gut Repair Cookbook,” and he operates one of the world’s largest natural health websites at DrAxe.com