The best essential oils for a sore throat and how to use them

Find out how essential oils can help to reduce its recurrence and treat this condition

essential oils for a sore throat

Common colds and a sore throat are conditions which everyone suffers from time to time. They can be extremely annoying as you feel dull, lethargic and fatigued. Medication is the first thing that comes to mind to ease the pain but you can opt for natural solutions too, like using essential oils for a sore throat.

Essential oils work wonders if made use of properly. All you need to do is choosing one or several that aim at soothing the specificities of a sore throat.

Best essential oils for a sore throat

Best essential oils for a sore throat

You can use essential oils for a sore throat and for strep throat. In both cases, the oils will soothe the symptoms and reduce them. However, their efficiency is higher for sore throats as the bacteria from strep throats requires treatment with antibiotics.


Thyme oil

The thyme plant is full of medicinal properties. It takes care of a sore throat and can be especially beneficial for somebody who suffers from a cough as it has the ability to soothe the tense muscles of the throat.

It is also germicidal and this property makes it an excellent constituent of mouth and throat washes. It can be used in combination with other essential oils for enhanced results.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties due to an active ingredient in it called Menthol. This eases and soothes the inflammation and calms the throat, while killing the infection-causing bacteria and breaking and clearing mucus.


It is also perfect for cold sores, coughs and sinus infections since it also has decongestant properties.

Sage oil

sage essential oils for a sore throat

This essential oil is effective when it comes to calming a sore throat but care has to be taken as it can cause seizures, kidney damage and a rapid heart rate.

Its anti-astringent and antiseptic properties make it particularly useful for a severe sore throat and chronic coughs. It should not be used in excessive quantities and anything above twelve drops is considered toxic. Sage oil has to be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Lemon essential oil

Lemons have an exceptionally high content of vitamin C. This vitamin is famous for clearing out all sorts of infections, especially respiratory infections.

Lemon oil is extracted from the zest of the lemon and is instilled with antibacterial properties. It gently soothes a sore throat and clears out all the infection-causing bacteria.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial properties and is known to stop the spread of infection-causing bacteria.


It also eases the pain and causes the body’s immune system to perform better so that microorganisms which are causing infection are rapidly removed from the body. Moreover, it is also a decongestant and clears up built-up phlegm while soothing congestion. It works amazingly for allergies too.

Hyssop oil

Known from the time of the plague, Hyssop is one of the few herbs which have been there since ancient times.

Its antifungal and antibacterial properties are paramount. It also has antiviral properties which make it quite effective for treating viral sore throats. Hyssop oil has natural decongestants called Pinene and Monoterpene which loosen the tenacious mucus and clear the phlegm. It is best used with a vaporizer.


Best essential oils for strep throat

essential oils for a sore throat strep throat

There are different essential oils for a sore throat and for a strep throat because the source of the infection is different. With the latter, antibiotics can be required to fully eliminate the bacteria, but these oils can soothe the symptoms and help reduce its recurrence.

Oregano essential oil

The oil extracted from oregano is practically an antibiotic as it has antiviral and antifungal properties.

It is the all-rounder of essential oils but it can be particularly useful when it comes to a nasty strep throat. It has been shown to be quite beneficial even in treating Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) induced strep throat.


The oil of oregano is very strong and has the potential to cause burns if ingested in its pure form. Dilution with a carrier is necessary to prevent injuries.

Clove oil

Antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties are all present in the versatile clove oil. In addition, it is an analgesic too.

It not only clears the bacteria from a sore throat but also provides gentle relief due to its pain-relieving properties. Clove oil is extremely strong, which makes it perfect to treat strep throat, but also requires dilution to prevent burns.


It is not advisable for women who are pregnant or who are planning to get pregnant to use clove oil as it is dangerous for the uterus.

Lavender essential oil

lavender essential oils for a sore throat

Lavender has a sweet fragrance and marvelous analgesic properties.

To treat a strep throat, however, you should be looking for French lavender oil. There are several types of lavender oils available, but this variety is the one that presents far greater antibacterial properties out of them.


Rosemary essential oil

Rosemary essential oil is also a good option to treat strep throat. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which clear the bacteria while also provide a gentle soothing effect.

It is also beneficial for other respiratory conditions like bronchitis, sinus infections, asthma and whooping cough.

How to use essential oils for a sore throat

There are a variety of ways by which you can use essential oils for a sore throat. However, you need to be careful about quantities, as some oils are quite strong and can be potentially dangerous when consumed in large amounts.


Oral use

Some essential oils are best when consumed orally. However, this method requires carefulness as toxicity can be quite easily induced.

The oils you choose to ingest should be absolutely high quality and brought from a reliable store. You can use them orally in the following ways:

  • Putting it in a gelatin capsule after dilution
  • Adding the essential oil to everyday drinks like tea, coffee or juice
  • Adding the oil to food
  • Placing a drop of essential oil under the tongue for rapid absorption

Gargling essential oils

Gargling essential oils essential oils for asore throat

Gargling causes the essential oil to reach the back of the throat and works wonderfully by hitting all inflamed spots.


All you have to do is mix some drops of the essential oil of your choice with mildly warm water. Once the solution is ready, close your throat and, take a mouthful of it. Gently tilt your head back and start to push air into the solution, finally spitting it out in the washbasin.

Keep repeating this process until the entire solution is finished. This should be done at least thrice each day, especially before bedtime for optimum results.


There is more than one way to use essential oils in aromatherapy. Nevertheless, the most common usage is by smelling the oils’ fragrances and letting their aroma impregnate the senses and enter the body through inhalation.


Here are some examples of how you can do this:

  • Put a few drops of an essential oil of your choice into a diffuser and turn it on. Then sit close to the diffuser and inhale the aroma around three to four times each day
  • Put some essential oil onto a fresh cotton ball or smell the oil directly from the bottle.
  • Put a few drops of the essential oil into a vaporizer and deeply inhale the steam.
  • Take some essential oil and spread it all on your fingers. Then start to rub it on the chest and neck and inhale the fumes simultaneously. The oil should be diluted before use.
  • Put a few drops of essential oil on your palms and rub them together. Then bring your palms close to your nose and take long and deep breaths, to adequately inhale the aroma of the oil.

Topical application

Applying essential oils for a sore throat on your skin doesn’t work because of the absorption but rather because of the aroma that you will carry with you.

For topical application, the essential oils need to be diluted as some are very strong and can cause burns and irritation if used in their pure forms. Dilution should be done with a carrier oil. Some of the best carrier oils are jojoba oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil.


Check out the video below to learn how to dilute and use the essential oils to be applied topically.

Written by Leonardo Oliveira

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