11 Best Essential Oils for Sore Throat or Cold Throat

Essential oils are a natural and effective way to soothe a sore throat or cold throat. With a variety of essential oils available, it can be difficult to know which one is best to use.

From peppermint to tea tree oil, each essential oil has its own unique properties and benefits that can be used to treat a sore or cold throat. Whether you’re looking for something to help soothe the pain or to reduce inflammation, there’s an essential oil for every need.

Read on to learn more about the various essential oils for sore throat or cold throat and how to apply them for maximum effect.

Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Essential Oils for Sore Throat

Causes of Sore Throat

  • Viral Infection – There is a chance that you have caught something from someone who already has a viral infection.
  • Bacterial Infection – There is also a possibility that one of the main reasons why you have a sore throat, also known as strep throat, is because of 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 a sore throat 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 a sore throat because of other conditions that affect your throat.
Essential Oils for Skincare
Essential Oils for Skincare

How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Throat

Essential oils can be used in different ways: topical application, inhalation, gargling, or internal consumption.

  • Topical Application – When essential oils touch the skin, they penetrate quickly. It is crucial to dilute pure essential oils before application. You can dilute essential oils by mixing them 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 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 diffuser.
  • Oral Use – Some essential oils can be ingested, but it is vital to ensure the purity and safety of the product. Some oils on the market are blended or diluted with synthetics that are harmful to ingest. You can add one drop of essential oil to a teaspoon of honey or a 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 you can use to treat sore throat in no time.

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint is one of the best natural treatments for the common cold, sinus infections, cough, respiratory infections, and throat and mouth inflammation. 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 to the throat. Make sure to dilute it first before applying it to 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 infections.

The best way to use this is to add 1 to 2 drops to 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 prevent infection from returning. 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 to 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, which is vital for strengthening the immune system and preventing your problem from worsening. 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 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 beneficial 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 to a cup of water. Use the solution to gargle with.

6. Thyme Oil

With 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 the body’s nervous, respiratory, immune, digestive, and other systems.

In 2011, it was discovered that thyme could inhibit 120 bacterial strains that cause respiratory tract infection and oral infection. Like lemon oil, it can also be ingested orally by diluting it 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 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 to the throat area. These methods will give you relief from severe coughing. Alternatively, mix five drops of it with one 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 oil can alleviate 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 gently rub them on your chest. 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 accelerate the healing process of irritated tissues in the affected areas. This oil is an excellent choice whether your sore throat is bacterial or viral.

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 relieve 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 five drops of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of olive oil. Swish the mixture inside your mouth for 1 minute, 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 a sore throat. It also contains antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties known to inhibit staphylococcus, Candida Albicans, and E.coli.

Many studies have reported that cinnamon showed the highest bactericidal action against bacterial strains. This makes cinnamon oil the best essential oil for sore throat.

You can combine three drops of this oil with one teaspoon of almond or coconut oil. Gargle with this mixture for a minute or two.

Sore Throat
Sore Throat

Here are other ways by which you can help get rid of a sore throat:

  1. Diffusion

You might need to place essential oils for the air that you will diffuse to breathe better and get rid of mucus. When you get rid of mucus, there is a chance that your sore throat will be healed faster than you have previously expected. Ensure that you do this before you sleep at night because this can help you sleep better.

  1. Bath

If you are scared to place the essential oil directly on your skin because you have had a bad experience wherein you developed allergies or do not want to take a chance, you may place crucial oils on your bathwater. Mixing various essential oils into your bathwater is a great way to do this. This will dilute the strength of the essential oil at the soonest possible time.

  1. Inhale

If you need immediate relief from a sore throat that you will feel directly on your throat, you may choose to inhale the essential oil. 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 to 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 performing a skin test before inhaling or consuming any essential oil.

Remember that essential oils’ effects can vary from one person to another. Some people feel immediate relief with some essential oils, but this will not be the case for others.

Some may be better off doing other home remedies instead of essential oils. Get to know what works best for you to get rid of a sore throat as soon as possible. If your sore throat persists for more than a week, seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

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