12 Essential Oils for Sore Throat for Immediate Relief

We have all suffer from this now and often.

In fact, sore throat is a common problem that causes pain and discomfort.

Sore throat may seem to be alarming. Yet, it is good to know that it’s a minor ailment that usually goes away on its own. This means that you do not, usually, need medical treatment to get rid of sore throats [1].

Most of the time, it’s a sign of common cold or some other viral infection [1].

However, there are also cases when it is caused by a bacterial infection, such as in strep throat triggered by Streptococcus pyogenes [1].

Even so, it is not bacteria that causes sore throat to occur, even viruses are the reason for sore throats. And, this may not be that essential for you to know but it is really important that you get immediate relief from this illness.

Here are some essential oils that you can use.

1. Peppermint

Peppermint along with many other herbal medicine is a favorite item across ages. In fact, it is one of the oldest medicinal plant on earth. Ancient civilizations like the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians used peppermint to cure many illnesses [2].

Over the years, scientists have explored its oil extract and found it to be useful in treating common ailments including cold and its symptoms [2].

In India, it remains a popular home remedy for sore throat and throat irritation [3].

A 2011 study confirms that it has a broad spectrum of antibacterial effects which includes activity against pathogens that cause strep throat infection [3].

Findings from this study suggest that peppermint’s antimicrobial agents make it a viable treatment for sore throat and other similar conditions such as mouth and throat irritation and typhoid disease [3].

Peppermint oil can be topically applied on the throat area or inhaled as steam.

When you apply it on the skin, it will leave a cooling sensation that can soothe irritated throat.

Just make sure that you dilute it first in carrier oil as it can cause skin irritation when used in pure form.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 bowl of hot water
  • 3 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix five drops of peppermint oil in hot water.
  • Inhale the steam.
  • Do this remedy twice a day for one week.
  • Combine three drops of peppermint oil and almond oil.
  • Apply a few drops of the oil mixture on throat area.
  • Leave it on for a few minutes.
  • Wipe it off with a clean towel.
  • Repeat this technique several times a day for one week.

2. Eucalyptus

Sore throat can also be caused by tonsilitis, a condition characterized by swelling and infection of the tonsils [4].

With its proven analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, eucalyptus can ease the pain and tone down swelling caused by tonsilitis [5].

It doesn’t stop there, it also works to kill the source of the problem.

Multiple studies hypothesized the strong inhibitory effects of eucalyptus. It is because of this, the eucalyptus can inhibit viruses and bacterias that infects the respiratory tract, including the throat [6, 7].

Of the 120 viral and bacterial isolates that were included in the study, eucalyptus was particularly powerful against Parainfluenzae, H. influenzae, S. maltophilia and S. pneumoniae [6].

In fact, it even works on drug-resistant bacteria, a 2010 study explains [8].

Iranian researchers recommend further investigation of this matter to evaluate the potential of eucalyptus as treatment for many respiratory ailments [7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 1 bowl of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Pour eucalyptus oil in hot water.
  • Take in the steam.
  • Repeat two to three times a day for one week.

3. Clove

Clove can be found in many parts of the world including Indonesia, Zanzibar, Pemba, and the Spice Islands [9].

It is primarily used for adding flavor to dishes but eventually, it has also become well-known as an antimicrobial [9].

So it’s no surprise that it’s now commonly used as a remedy for various bacteria-related illnesses like sore throat.

Research published in the Journal of Scientific Research documented clove oil’s ability to suppress the growth of Streptococcus pyogenes, among other strains of bacteria [9].

By inhibiting the activities of this bacterial strain, it can prevent the irritation from worsening and turning into a more serious infection.

Because it’s also a remedy commonly used for painful conditions, clove can also provide relief for the pain and discomfort caused by the swelling of the throat.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of clove oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute clove oil in olive oil.
  • Gargle mixture for one to two minutes.
  • Spit it out.
  • Rinse mouth with water.
  • Do this remedy twice a day for one week.

4. Lemon

Vitamin C has long been established as an efficient way to prevent and treat common cold and its symptoms [10].

This powerful nutrient does not only appear to control viral respiratory infections, it can also help boost the immune system and make the defense against harmful pathogens stronger.

It’s no wonder lemon juice, which is packed with vitamin C, is often used for this illness.

When it comes to essential oils, oil extracted from this citrus fruit can also be a boon for those suffering from sore throat due to colds or other causes.

Lemon oil has been proven to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial for people with throat pain and irritation [11, 12].

Unlike other essential oils that cannot be taken orally, lemon oil is safe to consume.

However, take note that you cannot drink it in undiluted form as it is too strong.

It’s very important to dilute it first in water, tea or fruit juice before drinking.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of lemon oil
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Stir lemon oil in water.
  • Drink concoction once a day for three days.

5. Oregano

Oregano oil has been well established in scientific research as an antioxidant and antimicrobial [13].

Even in low concentrations, oregano can sufficiently inhibit the growth of various bacterial strains, including those that can cause throat infection [14].

Susceptible to its bactericidal actions are bacterial strains such as Klebsiella pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus, among others [14].

It can also inhibit the activities of methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) [14].

Carvacrol is one of oregano oil’s components identified to support its antimicrobial properties [15].

This oil can therefore help alleviate the problem of sore throat by killing the source of infection.

If your throat irritation keeps on coming back even after you’ve used antibiotics, you can try using oregano oil which works on drug-resistant microbes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two ingredients.
  • Gargle the mixture for one minute.
  • Spit it out and gargle warm water.
  • Repeat remedy twice a day for four to five days.

6. Thyme

A staple in many kitchens, thyme is often used to add unique flavor and minty aroma to dishes.

Did you know that it’s also a potent remedy for sore throat?

In 2011, researchers from Poland discovered that thyme inhibited 120 bacterial strains that cause infection in the oral cavity and respiratory tract [16].

In fact, thyme is noted for having the strongest antibacterial activity against all strains, including those that are no longer susceptible to antibiotics [16].

Similar results were obtained from an earlier study published in the Phytotherapy Research Journal [17].

Researchers from Italy discovered that this oil has toxic effects on major respiratory tract pathogens such as Streptococcus pyogenes, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenzae [17].

It appeared that thyme has the ability to suppress the growth and spread of these bacterial strains in the respiratory tract [17].

Like lemon oil, thyme oil can also be ingested orally. But you also have to dilute it first before taking it in.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of thyme oil
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add thyme oil to water.
  • Drink the solution.
  • Do this once a day for three to five days.

7. Juniper

Traditional healers from Turkey relied on juniper for treating diseases related to infection and inflammation such as colds, cough, bronchitis and hemorrhoids [18].

This herb is also widely used in Europe, North America and Asia as a gastroprotective, diuretic and antiseptic agent [19]

Clinical data from a 2003 study shows that it works on various strains of bacteria [20].

To complete this experiment, researchers from Poland isolated microorganisms from the patients confined in the Regional Hospital of Gdańsk [20].

Some of these pathogens were resistant against antibiotics and medications commonly prescribed by doctors [20].

It was noted that the antimicrobial actions of juniper may be due to the high concentrations of alpha-pinene, p-cymene and beta-pinene [20].

All these are reason enough to use juniper oil for treating sore throat and infection.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of juniper oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix juniper and olive oils.
  • Gargle oil mixture for one to two minutes.
  • Spit it out.
  • Gargle warm water.
  • Repeat once a day for one week.

8. Lavender

Many people use lavender to relax and calm their senses.

Did you know lavender has been utilized since the First World War for its antibacterial properties [21]?

Not only has lavender been proven as a strong antibacterial for pathogens affecting the respiratory tract, it’s also highly effective as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic [22, 23].

This means that you can use this oil to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms caused by throat irritation.

Also, whether inhaled or applied topically, lavender has the ability to induce relaxation and calmness.

Since even minor conditions like sore throat can cause anxiety and stress, you can take advantage of lavender’s relaxation effects to make yourself feel better.

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 1 bowl of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  • Pour oil into hot water.
  • Inhale the steam until the water is no longer hot.
  • Repeat daily for one to two weeks.

9. Sage

A group of Jordanian scientists probed the analgesic effects of sage essential oil [24].

Results reveal that sage is an effective way to ease pain and bring comfort [24].

In a 2012 experiment, sage has been proven to be a strong anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive [25].

According to the findings, the ursolic acid, carnosol and oleanolic acid in sage contributed to its therapeutic activities [25].

These properties make sage essential oil a suitable remedy for sore throat and similar respiratory infections.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of sage oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute sage oil in sweet almond oil.
  • Gargle the mixture for one minute.
  • Do not swallow the mixture.
  • Do this treatment once a day for one week.

10. Tea Tree

With more than 100 bioactive components, tea tree oil has strong antimicrobial activities against a broad spectrum of viruses and bacteria [26].

It doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s included in the list of remedies for sore throat, a condition caused by these harmful pathogens.

Tea tree oil has been found to be a powerful bactericidal agent for Streptococcus pyogenes [26].

Apart from this, it’s also an anti-inflammatory that can help in toning down swelling in the throat [26].

When using tea tree oil, you get a two-fold action: destroying the cause of infection and alleviating symptoms such as pain and inflammation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix the two oils in a small cup.
  • Swish oil mixture inside your mouth for one minute.
  • Spit it out.
  • Gargle warm water.
  • Follow this remedy once a day for three days.

11. Hyssop

Highly valued for its medicinal properties, hyssop is widely cultivated in Central Europe, Southern Europe, North Africa and Western Asia [27].

Its oil extract is a popular tool in folk medicine, used to relieve many types of infection including colds, cough, bronchitis, asthma and sore throat [27].

Its antiviral and antibacterial properties can be attributed to the presence of active compounds such as caffeic acid, tannins, pinocamphone, isopinocamphone and beta-pinene [27].

Scientists from Turkey noted that hyssop has the ability to control at least eight strains of infection-causing bacteria and 10 strains of fungi and yeasts [28].

It’s one of the essential oils listed as to having the capability to inhibit plaque formation of pathogens that bring disease [29].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of hyssop oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute hyssop oil in olive oil.
  • Transfer the oil blend in a small cup.
  • Gargle the mixture for one to two minutes.
  • Spit it out.
  • Rinse mouth with warm water.
  • Use this technique once or twice a day for three days.

12. Cinnamon

As stated in a study conducted in France, Streptococcus pyogenes is a major cause of tonsilitis, a condition characterized by throat irritation and inflammation [30].

To see how this bacterial strain responds to essential oils, scientists exposed Streptococcus pyogenes to 18 essential oils using a disc diffusion method [30].

Of all the essential oils tested, cinnamon was among with the strongest inhibitory effects against this bacterial strain [30].

Another study probed the efficacy of various essential oils reported that cinnamon showed the highest bactericidal actions particularly on bacterial strains that have grown resistant to antibiotics [31].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 drops of cinnamon oil
  • 1 teaspoon of almond oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Put the two oils in a small cup.
  • Mix well.
  • Rinse mouth with this mixture.
  • Do this for a minute or two.
  • Repeat remedy three times a day for two to three days.

Although sore throat can go away on its own after a few days or weeks, you don’t have to suffer that long.

You can resolve this issue right away with the help of these essential oils for treatment of sore throats.

If you find this article to be helpful, then do let us know in the comments sections. Also, we have some FAQs for you regarding treatment of sore throat.

Some FAQs about sore throat:

Q. Is there way to stop sore throat spreading in my home?
A. To be honest, there is no way to prevent a sore throat. However, if you do not want it to spread to others members in your home then you can try the following ways:

  • Keeping hands clean and regularly washing it.
  • Maintaining a distance with the person who has a sore throat.
  • Not sharing food or utensils while they are used by someone.
  • Always use an antiseptic cleaner to clean the dishes.
  • Quitting smoking or not smoking at all.
  • Always wearing a mask when going out so that polluted air is not inhaled.

Q. Can my sore throat worsen?
A. Yes, it can worsen. When sore throat condition gets worse it becomes a strep.

Q. If I get a strep from a sore throat, then what should I do?
A. Usually, strep throat is more complex form of a sore throat. It happens when the bacterial infection becomes worse.You can find our list of home remedy for strep throat to relieve it. However, if you find that your throat condition is not improving at all then, consult a physician as soon as possible!

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