A sore throat could be a sign of many things. A beacon at the onset of illness, a symptom of irritation due to environmental factors, allergic sensitivity. Whatever the cause, it hurts, and it is no fun.
Most sore throats are caused by viral infections-colds or the flu. Adding insult to injury, conventional medicine has little to offer us in these situations. You are told to “wait it out,” and “let the virus run its course” because nothing else can be done.
While letting a virus run its course is sage advice when paired with a gentle self care regimen, it turns out there is something we can do! Essential oils offer powerful medicine that can both soothe a sore throat and stop viral infections in their tracks. Bacterial sore throats, like strep, can also benefit from the use of essential oils even while conventional antibiotics are being taken.
How Essential Oils Treat Sore Throat
Essential oils have a lot to offer sufferers of sore throat. These plant-based essences are made up of a variety of tiny molecular components. These molecules act in various ways and due to their tiny size are easily absorbed by our body systems. Once employed, they have profound healing powers.
- Many essential oils are analgesic when applied topically, meaning the help to ease pain
- Essential oils are anti-inflammatory-soothing inflamed tissue in our throats
- Essential oils are powerfully anti-viral and anti-bacterial
- Essential oils boost our immune system by strengthening our body’s natural defenses
This article will explore several powerful essential oils that do all this and more for our sore throats. Also covered here will be methods for applying the oils, and suggested blends to soothe and heal sore throat. Let’s dive in!
9 Essential Oils To Treat Sore Throat
The following oils will all help soothe symptoms, fight infection and boost immunity. They are wonderful allies for us in times of viral and bacterial illness.
1. Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)
Eucalyptus essential oil is analgesic (pain reducing), anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibiotic and antiseptic. It will help combat the viral or bacterial organisms that are causing your sore throat all while soothing the pain and inflammation associated with the condition.
Eucalyptus essential oil has several varieties or “chemotypes” (different species of the same plant). The most common, Eucalyptus globulus is an oft cited remedy for sore throat, cough and congestion.
The chemotypes Eucalyptus citrodora -known as lemon eucalyptus and Eucalyptus radiata are just as effective, but a bit gentler. These last two chemotypes are well suited as remedies for children.
One option of using this lovely oil is to mix up a soothing rub. For adults, add 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or other base oil.
Rub the mixture on your throat and beneath your nasal passage and inhale deeply. You may also choose to rub the mixture on the base of your feet or the insides of your wrist
For Children, add 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or other base oil and follow the instructions above. If possible, try out one of the gentler chemotypes listed above for children.
2. Clove Bud Essential Oil (Syzygium aromaticum)
Clove bud essential oil has a high eugenol content which makes it powerfully analgesic. Clove bud oil will help soothe the pain of a sore throat.
Clove bud essential oil is also antibacterial and slightly sedative. It is ideal for soothing the pain of a sore throat, helping to calm your nerves and hopefully drift off into peaceful sleep.
Clove bud essential oil would be excellent in a diffuser.
3. Thyme Essential Oil (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme essential oil really packs a punch against sore throat. This oil is antibiotic, antiseptic, antiviral and anti fungal. Most oils are not all 4! That said, this oil should be used with caution and respect for its powerful nature.
Thyme essential oil has a high carvacrol and thymol content. It’s molecular components make it strongly analgesic-or pain relieving. All these characteristics make this oil an excellent ally for soothing a sore throat
Use thyme for stem inhalation. Due to the powerful nature of this oil, do not add more than two drops! After water has been brought to boil, remove it from the stove element, and add 2 drops of thyme essential oil.
Cover your head with a towel, make sure your eyes are tightly shut, and breathe deeply of the healing vapor from the pot. Be sure to take breaks every minute or so to breathe fresh air, and do not do this for more than 5 minutes total. Do not let the steam get into your eyes.
Repeat this, two to three times a day.
Note: The chemotype Thymus vulgaris is best avoided by children. Instead, try the gentler chemotype of thyme: Thymus Linalool
4. Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
Sweet and fresh smelling lavender essential oil is staple that all families need to have in their medicine cabinet. This oil is indicated in treating a huge variety of human ailments from burns to emotional instability. It is also active for sore throat.
Lavender is immune enhancing, antiseptic and antibacterial. On a molecular level, the occurrence of linalool and borneol help lend this oil its analgesic pain fighting properties.
Lavender essential oil is an excellent, gentle ingredient in a throat rub. Add 3 drops lavender essential oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or other base oil and mix thoroughly
Lavender is one of the gentlest oils, and can be used safely on children.
5. Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon)
Lemon has always been a popular home remedy for colds, cough and sore throat. Lemon essential oil is a powerful adversary to all nasty microbes that make us ill. This oil is particularly well suited for bacterial infection of the throat like strep.
Lemon essential oil is antibiotic, antiseptic and antifungal. As it is citrus, Lemon may irritate tender throat tissue. Lemon is best applied through inhalation rather than topically.
Lemon essential oil is a prime candidate for your diffuser when you have a sore throat. It will help clear the air of any of the microbes that may be making you ill, and help fight infection as you inhale its healing molecules from the air.
6. Oregano Essential Oil (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano essential oil is a powerful ally against infection. The properties of this oil continue to perform amazingly when employed in studies against common bacterial and viral bugs that plague humans.
The high carvacrol content of oregano essential oil makes it strongly analgesic (pain relieving). Oregano essential oil is antibiotic, antiviral, and antiseptic
7. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Like lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil should be one of your staples. This essential oil is useful in so many ways that it is best to always have it on hand.
Tea tree essential oil is antiseptic, antiviral, antibiotic and antifungal. It will capably fight off most microbial infections it encounters, including those that cause sore throat.
As an anti-inflammatory, tea tree will help soothe infected tissue of the throat.Tea tree has high terpineol content, making it analgesic as well.
Tea tree essential is an excellent ingredient in a warm compress for sore throat. Place 3-4 drops of tea tree essential oil into about 1 cup of heated water. The water should be about as hot as you can stand it without burning your skin.
Place a clean wash cloth in the water/oil mixture, ring it out and lay it over your throat and swollen lymph nodes to soothe pain and inflammation there.
8. Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
This lovely aromatic oil packs a punch against infection yet is gentle and soothing on our emotions. It is often cited as an active oil against throat infection.
Geranium essential oil is antiseptic-great at fighting infection. It is also a gentle nervine. It helps us to cope with pain and relax.
This is another great choice for a hot compress over the area of your sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.
9. German Chamomile (Matricaria chamomila)
This dear and special essential oil is truly one of life’s pleasures. German Chamomile essential oil is gentle yet powerful, a wonderful combination.
Due to this oil’s high bisabolol content, it is strongly anti-inflammatory and analgesic. This oil is also antibiotic and antiseptic, making it one of the strongest contenders for combating a sore throat.
German chamomile essential oil is also mildly sedative, and quite gentle. It is one that could be used carefully to treat children. German chamomile will soothe their pain and send them off to sleep.
For a rub, add 3 drops of this oil to 1 tablespoon of coconut or other base oil and rub the mixture all over your neck, chest and below your nostrils. You may also wish to employ the rub on the insides of your wrists or on your feet.
For children, use 1 drop per teaspoon of coconut or other base oil and follow instructions above.
Essential Oil Blends For Sore Throat
Anti-viral Essential Oil Blend For Sore Throat
- 2 drops tea tree
- 2 drops oregano
- 1 drop eucalyptus
- 1 drop lavender
- 3 teaspoons of base oil-like coconut or olive oil)
Blend well and apply topically to the sore lymph nodes.
This specific blend (without the base oil) would be excellent in a diffuser in order to cleanse a sick room and a sick person of nasty microbials.
Immune Boosting Essential Oil Blend
- 1 drop lemon
- 2 drops lavender
- 1 drop clove bud
- 2 drops German chamomile OR 2 drops oregano
This blend would go well in a diffuser. Or for a throat rub, mix with 3 teaspoons of base oil-like coconut or olive oil. It will help give your immune system a needed boost while soothing an inflamed and painful throat.
Essential Oil Soothing And Clearing Rub
- For adults, use the ratio of 3:1. 3 drops of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of base oil
- For children, use the ration of 1:1. 1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of base oil
- Excellent base oils include coconut, olive, jojoba or evening primrose oil to name a few
- For adults, add 6 drops of any of the essential oil blends listed above, or 6 drops of any oils of your choice to 3 teaspoons of base
- For children, add 2-3 drops of any of the essential oil blends listed above, or 2-3 drops of any oils of your choice to 3 teaspoons of base.
Rub this mixture on your neck, under your nostrils, on the insides of your wrists and on your feet several times per day.
- Sore throats can have many causes, and the pain and inflammation can manifest with other symptoms like congestion, fever and headache
- Conventional medicine does not have much to offer for treating sore throats caused by virus
- Essential oils help treat sore throats by being analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and by boosting immunity
- There are at least 9 essential oils commonly used to treat sore throat
- These oils can be applied in various ways including steam inhalation, diffusion, throat & chest rubs, and warm compresses.