Are you suffering from a sore throat right now? Autumn and winter can be difficult seasons on your emotional and physical health. In addition to shorter days, flu and colds are becoming more prevalent. Fortunately, there are many essential oils for sore throat that you can use to get immediate relief.
The body’s respiratory system seems to be the most vulnerable part. A slight sign of cold or flu makes your sinuses congested, your throat starts to hurt, and you always get the urge to cough. A sore throat usually occurs when there is a viral infection. The mucus membranes become inflamed and irritated. With the best essential oils, you can treat and prevent sore throat, congestion, and cold right away.
If you are experiencing joint pain, difficulty swallowing, difficulty breathing, a lump in your neck, hoarseness, fever or other unusual symptom accompanying sore throat, see your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Causes of Sore Throat
- Viral Infection – There is a chance that you have truly caught something from someone who already has any viral infection.
- Bacterial Infection – There is also a possibility that one of the main reasons why you have sore throat also known as strep throat is because of a bacteria. Using antibiotics can help get rid of this but essential oils can be effective as well.
- Cheering – If you have cheered for your favorite team nonstop in any sport that you have chosen, there is a chance that you will get sore throat because of it the next day because your throat has become scratched and raw.
- Allergies – If you have gotten exposed to something that causes you allergies, there is a big chance that you will develop a sore throat because of the nonstop sneezing and other symptoms associated with having an allergic reaction.
- Other diseases – There is a chance that you may also have sore throat because of other diseases that has an effect on your throat.
How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Essential oils can be used in different ways: topical application, inhalation, gargle or internal consumption.
- Topical Application – When essential oils touch the skin, they penetrate quickly. It is important to dilute pure essential oils before application. You can dilute essential oils by mixing it with another carrier oil, such as coconut, olive, sweet almond, or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture on the neck, behind the ears, chest, and bottoms of the feet.
- Inhalation – Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of essential oils. Molecules enter the nasal cavities and regulate the calming responses, such as breathing patterns, blood pressure, hormone production, and heart rate. You can inhale essential oils directly or through a humidifier, vent, fan, warm bath, and diffusers.
- Oral Use – Some essential oils can be ingested, but it is important to ensure the purity and safety of the product. Some oils on the market are blended or diluted with synthetics that are harmful for ingesting. You can add 1 drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of honey or glass of water.
- Gargle – Another method is to add one to two drops of essential oil to a glass of water or carrier oil. Gargle for a few minutes to treat sore throat.
Best Essential Oils for Sore Throat
In addition to proper nutrition, rest, gargling, teas and plenty of water, here are some essential oils that you can use to treat sore throat in no time.
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is one of the best natural treatments for common cold, sinus infections, cough, respiratory infections, and inflammation of the throat and mouth. One of the oldest medicinal herbs in the world, it is also used for morning sickness, irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, heartburn, morning sickness, diarrhea, and bloating.
The menthol content in peppermint oil provides a calming effect and cooling sensation to the body. It helps in breaking up coughs and thinning mucus. This oil also contains antimicrobial, antioxidant and decongestant properties that can assist in treating sore throat.
Peppermint oil can be inhaled as steam or applied on the throat. Just make sure that you dilute it first before applying on the skin as the pure form may cause skin irritation.
2. Oregano Oil
Oregano contains antiviral and antifungal properties, making it one of the most effective essential oils for sore throat. It cuts through thick phlegm and relieves tightness and pressure in the lungs. Even in low concentrations, this herb can stop the growth of bacterial strains, including those microorganisms that cause throat infection.
The best way to use this is to add 1 to 2 drops in a pot of steaming water. Wrap your head with a towel and inhale deeply. This treatment will clear the infection quickly.
3. Eucalyptus Oil
Many over-the-counter cold and cough products contain eucalyptus oil. It helps in enhancing respiratory circulation, provides antioxidant protection, and strengthens the immune system. This oil can accelerate the healing and recovery process and prevents the infection from coming back. Also known as eucalyptol, it has compounds that can reduce pain and inflammation. It may also help in killing leukemia cells.
You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your essential oil diffuser or inhale it as steam. Another way to use it is by sprinkling some on your pillow.
4. Lemon Oil
Numerous studies have proven that lemon can inhibit bacterial growth, making it one of the best essential oils for sore throat. It contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lemon oil is also rich in vitamin C that is vital for strengthening the immune system and prevents your problem from getting worse. It also increases salivation to keep your throat moist.
You can breathe in the aroma of lemon oil to acquire its benefits. You can have a relaxing aromatherapy, steam inhalation, or add this oil to your essential oil diffuser.
5. Clove Oil
Clove can be obtained in many parts of the world, including the Spice Islands, Indonesia, Pemba, and Zanzibar. This essential oil contains antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It has been proven to fight various bacteria strains that cause respiratory diseases. Studies have found that clove oil shows antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus epidermidis. This oil can also assist in strengthening the immune system and purifying blood.
Clove oil is extremely useful when it comes to treating a sore throat. You can also chew a clove bud to get relief. The best way to use this oil is to add three drops of it to a cup of water. Use the solution to gargle with.
6. Thyme Oil
With both antibacterial and antioxidant properties, thyme oil is one of the best essential oils for sore throat. It stimulates faster healing of the damaged tissues in the lungs and throat while neutralizing viral or bacterial infection. Thyme also supports nervous, respiratory, immune, digestive and other systems of the body.
In 2011, it was discovered that thyme was able to inhibit 120 bacterial strains that cause respiratory tract infection and oral infection. Like lemon oil, it can also be ingested orally by diluting it first with a glass of water. You can add five drops of it and drink the solution once a day.
7. Juniper Berry Oil
Juniper berry is often used as an ingredient in fragrance sprays, aromatherapy blends, and cleaning products. Today, it is considered as one of the most effective essential oils for sore throat, arthritis, muscle pain, fatigue, and other respiratory infections. It was found that juniper berry contains more than 87 active constituent compounds, including antifungals, antioxidants, and antibacterial.
You can include this oil in room diffusers or apply the diluted form directly on the throat area. These methods will give you relief from severe coughing. Alternatively, you can mix 5 drops of it with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Gargle the mixture for two minutes, and then gargle with warm water.
8. Lavender Oil
Many people use lavender for relaxing purposes as its aroma calms both mind and body. It has been proven that this herb contains powerful antibacterial, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that this oil can be used for alleviating the annoying symptoms caused by throat infection and irritation. Whether this oil is applied topically or inhaled, it will induce calmness and relaxation.
You can mix a few drops of lavender oil with other essential oils and rub it on your chest gently. This method will let you inhale the aromatic effects of lavender and acquire its health benefits.
9. Hyssop Oil
The potent antibacterial and antiseptic properties of hyssop oil make it an effective defender of your respiratory health. It can combat the infection causing your congestion and cough symptoms. Hyssop also contains anti-inflammatory agents and can help in accelerating the healing process of the irritated tissues in the affected areas. Whether your sore throat is bacterial or viral, this oil is a great choice.
To use, add a few drops of it to a pot of boiling water. Inhale the steam to alleviate the inflammation quickly and strengthen your immune system.
10. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has powerful antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antioxidant properties that can provide relief from bronchial congestion. It has over 100 bioactive components, making it one of the best home remedies for numerous health problems.
You can apply this oil directly to your throat area. Another option is to mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Swish the mixture inside your mouth for 1 minute and spit it out, and then gargle with warm water.
11. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties which alleviate the inflammation, discomfort and pain caused by sore throat. It also contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties which are known to inhibit staphylococcus, candida albicans, and E.coli. Many studies have also reported that cinnamon showed the highest bactericidal actions against bacterial strains. This makes cinnamon oil the best essential oil for sore throat.
You can combine 3 drops of this oil with 1 teaspoon of almond oil or coconut oil. Gargle with this mixture for a minute or two.
Here are other ways by which you can help get rid of sore throat:
There is a chance that you would need to place essential oils for the air that you will diffuse so that you can breathe better and you can get rid of mucus. When you get rid of mucus, there is a chance that your sore throat will be healed faster than what you have previously expected. Make sure that you will do this before you sleep at night because this can definitely help you sleep better.
If you are scared to place the essential oil directly on your skin because you have had a bad experience in the past wherein you developed allergies or you do not want to take a chance, you may place essential oils on your bath water. A great way to do this is by mixing various types of essential oils on your bath water. This will dilute the strength of the essential oil at the soonest possible time.
If you would need immediate relief for sore throat that you will feel directly on your throat, you may choose to inhale the essential oil. Basically, what you have to do is place a few drops of the essential oil of your choice on the palms of your hand. Clasp it over your nose and start breathing.
Topical use and inhalation of essential oils are safer than oral use. Always make sure use therapeutic grade essential oils. Do not apply undiluted essential oils to your skin or ingest any essential oil without medical supervision. Consider consulting your doctor or perform a skin test before you apply, inhale or ingest any essential oil.
Do remember that the effects of essential oils can vary from one person to another. There may be some people who feel immediate relief with some types of essential oils but this will not be the case for other people. There are also some who may be better off with doing other home remedies instead of essential oils. Get to know what works best for you so that you can get rid of sore throat at the soonest possible time.If your sore throat persists for more than a week, seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.