“What good is the warm touch of summer without the chill of winter!”
One needs to get handy with Essential Oils for Sore Throat to reduce the effect of throat illness and unwanted pain.
The warmth of the winter sun, enjoying hot coffee or tea while being wrapped in soft blankets, comfort, what else we crave for in winters.
Winters are around the corner, and sometimes winters do more than raising our heating bills and chilling our bones. Winters mean the arrival of some health risks that come and go with the season like cold, flu, sore throats, etc.
In winters, we need to take extra care of our health. When a sore throat strikes, it makes you feel whether the infection will resolve on its own or needs medical attention to prevent the condition.
In this article, we shall discuss the most common health problem in the winter, Sore throat. Along with adults, it is prevalent among kids also.
Let us understand what a sore throat is, how it attacks our throat, what are the signs and how to get rid of a sore throat naturally by using essential oils for sore throats.
What is meant by a Sore Throat?
A sore throat is a condition in which we feel pain, irritation and scratchiness in the throat.
There is a difficulty in talking and swallowing.
What are the Types of a Sore Throat?
Depending upon the area which gets affected by a sore throat, it can be divided into three categories.
- Pharyngitis: It affects the area present right behind the mouth.
- Tonsillitis: It causes swelling and redness in the Tonsils.
- Laryngitis: It causes swelling and redness in the Larynx (voice box).
What causes a Sore Throat?
Generally, It is caused by two types of infections in the throat.
- Viral Infection
- Bacterial Infection.
But mostly it is caused by the viruses.
a) Viral Infection: Viruses are the most common cause of a throat soreness and other respiratory diseases. For example, flu, influenza, mumps, or croup.
b) Bacterial Infection: It is a less common cause of sore throats as compared to viruses. Some of the diseases caused by these infections are Strep Throat, Diphtheria, Tonsillitis, etc.
Apart from these, a sore throat is also caused by various other factors as under:
- Toxins: Toxins or chemicals present in the smoke of the cigarette is a chief cause of sore throats. It may cause throat cancer also.
- Air pollution is another cause of various throat infections. Nitrogen or sulphur oxides present in the polluted air adversely affects the throat.
- Artificial Dyes: Today, synthetic dyes are widely used in the eatables to make them look presentable. Because people don’t buy food which does not sound appealing. But these artificial colours are a significant cause of various common infections like a sore throat. On top of it, they can also cause life-threatening diseases.
For example, Metanil Yellow is widely used for giving colour to laddoos and biryani. It can cause giddiness and food poisoning.
- Excessive Screaming: The throat and larynx can cause a throat soreness due to yelling and screaming in excess.
- Dry Air: Dry air especially in winter, takes away the moisture from the body, leaving the skin, nose and throat dried. It happens because, in winter, the cold air that seeps into our rooms from outside contains less moisture and higher humidity. So it evaporates or absorbs the moisture from the body which also causes a sore throat.
Signs of a Sore Throat
- A Headache or Pain in the Body
- Nasal Congestion
- Pain in the Throat
- A Cough and Runny Nose
- Muffled Voice
- Swollen Lymph Nodes in the Neck
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Irritation in the Throat
- Difficulty and Pain While Talking and Swallowing
- Loss of Appetite too.
Top 12 Essential Oils for Sore Throat
Essential oils are highly beneficial to cure sore throats because they kill germs, heals the irritation, reduce inflammation and throat pain.
Basil Essential Oil
We call Basil, “the queen of herbs”. It has various properties which are useful in indigestion, constipation, cold and cough, throat infection, etc. It is also used in treating skin infections.
How to Use:
Add a drop of Basil Oil to soup or salad.
Take some Coconut Oil and add an equal amount of Basil Oil to it.
Apply this mixture on the chest, neck and temples.
Clove Essential Oil
Clove Bud Oil is used as an antiseptic and a pain reliever. It clears up the mucus in the throat and is anti-microbial. It is one of the best natural remedies to reduce the soreness of the throat and cough.
How to Use:
Inhale the odour of the oil as soon as you find that cold is coming. This is the best method to avoid cold.
Or take a spray bottle. Fill half with hot water. Add a drop of Clove Oil and a half spoon of Honey to it. Shake the bottle well. Spray this mixture in the back of the throat 5-6 times a day.
We can also add other essential oils with Clove Oil to make this mixture.
Add 2-3 drops to a cup of warm water and gargle 3-4 times a day.
Or chewing a Clove Bud also relieves the pain especially toothache.
Coconut Essential Oil
Coconut has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Not only this it also provides many other health benefits.
It is healthy for hair and skin. It improves digestion and gives energy.
It is also beneficial for thyroid glands.
How to Use:
You may find it weird, but Coconut Oil is used for gargles to cure the inflamed tissues of sore throats.
Take a drop of essential oil to add to one spoon of Coconut Oil. Take this mixture in the mouth and allow to melt.
Gargle for 30 seconds or more and spit the oil.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus Oil is another great oil to treat a soreness of throat.
It helps to break the mucus in the throat.
It contains Cineole, which is rich in various medicinal benefits. Its topical application on the affected areas helps to reduce soreness.
How to Use:
We can use this oil in the steam.
Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to the hot water and inhale the steam. Or 2-3 drops in the bath water.
Take a Carrier Oil like Almond Oil, Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.
Add a drop of Eucalyptus Oil. Dilute essential oils and Mix well. And use this mixture to massage in the throat or on the chest.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense Oil is known to relieve stress and pain.
It is also a component of various skin care products.
It is also used to treat multiple throat problems. It cures congestion.
How to Use:
Put 2-3 drops of Frankincense Oil into the diffuser or vaporiser. Inhale the vapours.
It will open the blocked breathing passages.
Hyssop Essential Oil
Hyssop is a herb of the mint family and looks similar to Lavender. It is used to treat various health problems.
Hyssop Oil is used for fragrance in soaps and shampoos.
It contains Pinene which is ideal to clear the lungs and promotes proper breathing.
It relieves muscle pain and boosts the immune system.
It can be used to relieve the signs of asthma, bronchitis, congestion. It clears the respiratory tract and prevents congestion.
How to Use:
Take some hot water in a vessel and add a few drops of a Hyssop Oil to it. Inhale the vapours.
Or we can use it in a diffuser also.
Mix with the Carrier Oil and massage over the chest and throat before going to bed.
We can also add 1-2 drops of essential oil in the bath water for muscular pain.
Juniper Berry Essential Oil
Juniper has a sweet and woody smell.
It is one of the best essential oils for treating sore throat and is considered one of the finest natural remedies.
With its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it cures various respiratory infections and problems.
How to Use:
Take some Juniper Berry Oil and dilute it with a Carrier Oil. Rub it over the throat and chest.
Diffuse 2-3 drops of essential oil in a diffuser for a longer exposure.
Lemon Essential Oil
Vitamin C rich Lemon Oil is an excellent choice to cure a sore throat.
We know that dry air also causes soreness in the throat.
Lemon Essential Oil increases saliva and lubricates the throat.
For this reason, it is adequate to use this oil to avoid a sore throat caused by dry air.
How to Use:
Add 1-2 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to tea or hot water. It does wonders.
You can also inhale the odour of this oil directly from the bottle.
Or apply 1-3 drops of essential oil on the cotton ball and rub it on the throat and chest. You can also apply the oil on the chest with the help of a cotton ball.
Oregano Essential Oil
On hearing “Oregano”, the image of hot and sizzling pizza with topical “Oregano Seasoning” stuck the mind. Well, oregano seasoning on pizza is undoubtedly an icing on the cake, but it is not only for pizzas.
It is a very popular herb. Thanks to its antifungal and antiviral properties. It contains fibre and has no cholesterol.
Besides, it is full of the compounds that help to clean your lungs and airways from mucus.
How to Use:
Take a glass of warm water. Add 1-3 drops of Oregano Oil to it and drink. It is the best therapy for a sore throat.
Use this oil with food 2-3 times daily for 4-5 days.
Dilute essential oils with Coconut Oil. Put this solution in mouth and gargle for a minute or two and spit. It is called oil pulling.
Peppermint Essential Oil
It is a very well oil for treating cold, cough and other problems that can cause a sore throat.
It contains Menthol, which is good at breaking up the mucus. It is antimicrobial.
How to Use:
Apply a little over the chest and throat just before going to bed.
You can also add Peppermint Oil to tea.
Apply a drop of edible Peppermint Essential Oil at the tongue.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
It is a valuable natural remedy for a sore throat. Indian saints used Black Pepper for endurance while travelling and fasting.
It is useful in lung diseases, flu, constipation, hernia, joints pain, sore throats, tooth decay and many more.
How to Use:
Apply 2-3 drops topically on the chest to relieve stuffy or congested airways.
Add 2-3 drops of Black Pepper Oil to your salad or soup.
We can also use 1-2 drops of Black Pepper Oil in our tea for sore throats.
Thyme Essential Oil
Thyme Oil has antibacterial properties.
It is useful to treat immune system disorders, digestion problems and respiratory problems.
It is good for the nervous system also.
How to Use:
Dilute with a Carrier Oil. This mixture can be taken internally for oil pulling and can be applied topically on the skin of chest and throat.
It cures hoarseness of the chest and swollen tonsils.
Boil 2 cups of water. Add some salt.
Add 2-3 drops of Thyme Oil. We can also add other essential oils for sore throats like Peppermint Oil to it.
Use this mixture for gargles.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea Tree Essential Oil is considered to be one of the best natural remedies to reduce the soreness of the throat.
It has powerful effects to reduce the germs and infections due to its antibacterial properties.
It gives protection from oral problems and gum infections.
It is important to note that tea tree oil is not for oral consumption. Use it only after diluting with other oils or water.
How to Use:
You can simply do gargles with Tea Tea Oil and warm water.
Take a glass of hot water and add two to three drops of essential oil.
Let the water gets lukewarm and does gargle to reduce the effect or soreness and throat pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long do the effects of a Sore Throat last?
A sore throat which is caused by viruses goes away after 5-7 days.
In the case of a sore throat which is caused by bacterial infection, it generally goes away within 3-4 days.
But if a sore throat is still there even after 7-8 days, it requires medication.
2. What is the difference between a Sore Throat, Strep Throat and Tonsillitis?
A severe Sore throat is called a Strep throat.
In a Strep throat, small red spots appear on the roof of the mouth.
It also leads to Nausea sometimes.
White patches or thin streaks of pus also appear on the painful tonsils.
If a Sore throat is not treated, it can cause a Strep throat.
Whereas, we can have Tonsillitis without having a Strep throat.
Tonsillitis and a Strep throat may have similar symptoms. So, we can consider Tonsillitis as a type of Strep throat.
But in Strep throat, the body feels a higher fever and swollen red tonsils with red spots.
While in Tonsillitis, there is mild fever, and the tonsils get white or yellow.
3. When to worry about a Sore Throat?
Most of the time it is nothing to worry about. Generally, a Sore throat is a part of a common cold and gets better with home remedies and a little treatment.
Though, it can be a sign of some other problem if:
- The fever is high and does not go down even after taking antibiotics.
- It becomes hard to stay awake, and you feel sleepy.
4. Is there any specific age of getting a Sore Throat?
Even though, children and teenagers are more likely to get a Sore throat and a Strep throat.
Mostly, it occurs in the ages between 5 and 15. But adults can also get it.
Anyone can pick it out because of the changes in weather, infection, etc.
A Sore throat is not something to worry about. It goes away as soon as the infection goes away.
Essential oils are quite useful to get rid of the infections and the pain. If the problem persists, we can take other medications.
It is important to note that one must take advice from a qualified health care professional before using or taking any essential oil.
However, it is worth looking at our daily habits and the changes we can make in our routine to avoid the health problems on our behalf and stay healthy.