OMG! 12 Essential Oils for Sore Throat

Essential Oils for Sore Throat

“What good is the warm touch of summer without the chill of winter!”

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 throat, etc.

In winters, we need to take extra care of our health.

In this article, we shall discuss the most common health problem in the winter, Sore throat. Along with adults, it is very common 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.

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, a sore throat 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 sore throat and other respiratory diseases. For example, flu, influenza, mumps, or croup.

b) Bacterial Infection: It is a less common cause of a sore throat as compared to viruses. Some of the diseases caused by bacterial 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 a sore throat. 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 sore throat 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

  • Fever
  • A Headache or Pain in the Body
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Pain in the Throat
  • Sneezing
  • 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 in Appetite

Top Essential Oils for a Sore Throat

Essential oils are beneficial to cure a sore throat because they kill germs, heals the irritation and pain.

Some of the best essential oils for a sore throat are as under:

  1. Basil Oil
  2. Clove Oil
  3. Coconut Oil
  4. Eucalyptus Oil
  5. Frankincense Oil
  6. Hyssop Oil
  7. Juniper Oil
  8. Lemon Oil
  9. Oregano Oil
  10. Peppermint Oil
  11. Black Pepper Oil
  12. Thyme Oil

1. Basil Oil

Basil Oil

We call Basil, “the queen of herbs”. It has various properties which are useful in indigestion, constipation, common cold and cough, sore throat, 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.

2. Clove Oil

Clove 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.

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 warm 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.

3. Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut has anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties.

It is healthy for hair and skin. It improves digestion, 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 a sore throat.

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.

4. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil is another great oil to treat a sore throat.

It helps to break the mucus in the throat.

It contains Cineole, which is rich in various medicinal benefits.

How to Use:

We can use this oil in the steam.

Add 1-2 drops 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. Mix well. And use this mixture to massage in the throat or on the chest.

5. Frankincense Oil

Frankincense 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.

6. Hyssop Oil

Hyssop 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 in the bath water for muscular pain.

7. Juniper Oil

Juniper Oil

Juniper has a sweet and woody smell.

It is one of the best essential oils for treating sore throat.

With its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it cures various respiratory 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 in a diffuser for a longer exposure.

8. Lemon Oil

Lemon Oil

Vitamin C rich Lemon Oil is an excellent choice to cure a sore throat.

We know that dry air also causes a sore throat.

Lemon 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 Oil to tea or warm water. It does wonders.

You can also inhale the odour of this oil directly from the bottle.

Or apply 1-3 drops on the throat and chest.

9. Oregano Oil

Oregano 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 with Coconut Oil. Put this solution in mouth and gargle for a minute or two and spit. It is called oil pulling.

10. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint 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 Oil at the tongue.

11. Black Pepper Oil

Black Pepper 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 throat, 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 a sore throat.

12. Thyme Oil

Thyme 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 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 a sore throat like Peppermint Oil to it.

Use this mixture for gargles.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long do the effects of a Sore Throat last?
  2. What is the difference between a Sore Throat, Strep Throat and Tonsillitis?
  3. When to worry about a Sore Throat?
  4. Is there any specific age of getting a Sore Throat?

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.

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.


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