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20 Essential Oils For Sore Throat


If you're looking for an alternative approach to over-the-counter medications for a sore throat, essential oils are worth the try. This article lists 20 essential oils that could be helpful in treating or soothing a sore throat.

Essential Oils For Nasal Congestions

A sore throat is a condition that often makes it hard to swallow and causes mild to extreme discomfort. It's usually caused by a viral infection, like a cold or the flu, or a bacterial infection, such as strep throat. A sore throat will usually go away over time. However, if it is persistent and over-the-counter medication doesn't seem to work, essential oils for sore throats may be worth a try.

Essential oils are made from the leaves, flowers, or roots of specific plants. The "essence" of the plant is captured through steam distillation, making the essential oils potent with many health benefits.

What essential oil is good for sore throat?

There are many to choose from if you’re looking for some relief. For your ease, we’ve compiled a quick list of 20 best essential oils for sore throat.

1. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme oil for strep throat has strong antimicrobial properties which may aid in fighting off harmful pathogens. So thyme essential oil may prove useful in treating sore throats caused by bacterial infections.

2. Lavender Essential Oil

A soothing oil most known for its snoozy, soothing scent, lavender oil also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which are helpful in treating sore throats.

3. Tea Tree Essential Oil

A popular antibacterial, Tea Tree Oil is commonly used in skincare products. However, Tea Tree Oil for sore throat has antimicrobial properties that strengthen the body against harmful pathogens.

4. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Fun fact: the leaves from eucalyptus trees are naturally antibacterial. Therefore, air-cleansing Eucalyptus Oil is a great antibiotic against infections.

5. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil for sore throat has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which may help treat a sore throat and prevent infection.

6. Peppermint Essential Oil

Famously used in treating sore throats, Peppermint Oil for sore throat has antimicrobial properties against pathogens that enter the body through the mouth. It may also help fight off bacteria as it has antibacterial properties. Additionally, Peppermint Oil contains menthol, a base ingredient in many sore throat medications.

7. Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger has been widely used in alternative medicine to treat gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting. However, Ginger Oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties which is helpful in treating sore throats.

8. Garlic Essential Oil

Garlic has antibacterial properties that fight off many types of bacteria. On the other hand, Garlic Oil contains allicin, a compound that possesses antiviral and antifungal properties, proving that garlic is especially helpful in treating sore throats caused by viruses.

9. Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil

When feeling discomfort from a sore throat, Australian Sandalwood Oil is a great soother. Its woody, earthy, and sweet aroma relaxes tense minds, while its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling in the throat.

10. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano Oil for sore throat contains analgesic properties that may help reduce pain and discomfort whenever you’re suffering from a sore, itchy throat.

11. Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Oil may help boost the immune system to fight off bacteria and infection. It may also help to soothe respiratory issues which can cause sore throats.

12. Frankincense Essential Oil

The boswellic acids found in Frankincense for sore throat appear to have strong antibacterial properties, which may help prevent and treat oral infections.

13. Clove Bud Essential Oil

Clove Oil for sore throat is beneficial to the immune system and is extremely useful at preventing and relieving a sore throat as it has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

14. Cypress Essential Oil

Cypress Oil contains camphene, a compound similar to camphor. When breathed in, camphene may have a cooling and refreshing effect, which can soothe an inflamed throat. It also has antioxidant properties, which may help to protect cells from damage and fight off harmful germs.

15. Helichrysum Essential Oil

The anti-inflammatory properties of Helichrysum Oil could reduce symptoms related to an infection, such as swelling, pain, and redness.

16. Camphor Essential Oil

As stated earlier, Camphor Oil possesses a compound called camphor, which has a cooling and refreshing effect when inhaled. It also has antioxidant properties which protect the cells from damage and harmful pathogens.

17. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

Packed with anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties, Cinnamon Bark Oil is a great choice for fighting off infections like a sore throat.

18. Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Oil has antibacterial and pain-relieving properties that may help treat and soothe uncomfortable sore throat symptoms.

19. Sweet Orange Essential Oil

Zesty and citrusy Sweet Orange Oil may have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, which could help to relieve a sore throat.

20. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Last but certainly not least, Clary Sage Oil possesses antibacterial properties that may aid in treating throat infections so you can reclaim all-day comfort.

How To Use Essential Oils For A Sore Throat

Steam Inhalation

In a bowl, add two cups of hot water and up to seven drops of essential oil; cover your head with a towel, and breathe in the steam through your nose. Keep your eyes closed to prevent irritation.

Direct Inhalation

Add two or three drops of essential oil to a cotton ball, hold it up to your nose and breathe deeply. Alternatively, you can also place the cotton ball next to your pillow to breathe in the healing properties as you sleep.

Topical Application

Add up to three drops of essential oil to one tablespoon of carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil and apply it to your neck and chest to relieve sore throat symptoms.

What Does Research Say?

Following are some of the researches conducted on essential oils as natural remedies for sore throat. The research has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions.

In 2011 a study was published in the Pharmaceutical Biology which aimed to evaluate the antibacterial activities of many essential oils belonging to the eucalyptus family of trees. It also investigated how multi-drug resistant bacteria pathogens reacted to these oils and its compounds. The study found that the antibacterial activity of oil from the Eucalyptus globulus was most effective in curbing bacterial growth.

This oil from eucalyptus can be used to overcome common cold symptoms and throat issues. Sore throat is viral or bacterial in nature and the antibacterial and antiviral properties of oils can help in the treatment for a sore throat. In fact, different types of eucalyptus oils are used as home remedy for the treatment of the common cold and sore throat. The antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of the essential oils can be used to treat the condition. (1)

Did you think that gargling with essential oils to treat sore throat and conditions including Halitosis were a placebo therapy? Think again. Holistic Nursing Practice published a research article in 2017 which analyzed the effects of aroma gargling (with essential oils of tea tree, peppermint and lemon oil) against cold water gargling.

The research conducted in the Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea, investigated the effects in 70 patients after their spine surgery. It concluded that aroma gargling could be used to lower thirst and sore throat issues in these patients. Essential oils are an alternative that help alleviate throat issues. (2)

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, conducted a randomized double-blind controlled trial to find the effect of aromatic plant oils or essential oils in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. The upper respiratory tract includes nose, nasal cavity, throat and mouth. The study with 60 patients the improvement in the infections was significant after using plant oils. (3)

Doctors Habib Toukourou, Fernand Gbaguidi, and Joelle Quentin-Leclercq conducted a study to evaluate the phytochemical composition of Cymbopogon citratus essential oil. The study also evaluated the antibacterial activity of essential oils against the pathogens causing a sore throats. (By the way, the Cymbopogon citrates oil is our lemongrass essential oil.) Using the Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) system it was determined that citral was the main compound in the oil. It gives the oil its antiviral properties which treats sore throat pain. The antimicrobial activities with its preservative hamper the pathogens. (4)

Essential Oil Recipes For Sore Throat

Aroma Gargle Recipe

These recipes are quite simple and easy to do. However, ensure that you do not ingest the oil.

Gargle with Tea Tree oil


  • 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
  • Half a cup of warm water

Gargle with Peppermint oil


  • 2 drop of peppermint essential oil
  • Half a cup of warm water

Gargle with Eucalyptus oil


  • 2 drop of eucalyptus essential oil
  • Half a cup of warm water

Essential Oil Recipe For Applying On Throat

Mix the following blend on the throat. Do a small patch test beforehand to find out if you are allergic to the oil


  • 5 drops of any of the above-mentioned essential oil
  • To tablespoons of warm coconut oil (or jojoba oil)

Essential Oil Recipe For Diffusion

Diffusing essential oils in the home and doing aromatherapy is also a renowned way to relieve pain from the throat.

Soothe Your Throat


  • 2 drops of ginger oil
  • 1 drop of tea tree oil
  • 3 drops of sandalwood oil
  • 4 drops of lemon oil

Strong Dose For Throat


  • 3 drops of eucalyptus oil
  • 3 drops of frankincense oil
  • 2 drops of cinnamon bark oil
  • 2 drops of clove oil
  • 1 drop of rosemary oil

Essential Oils Recipe For Steam Inhalation

Add the following mix of essential oil into 2 cups of boiling water and deeply inhale the steam through the mouth.


  • 2 drops of eucalyptus
  • 2 drops of peppermint
  • 2 drops of Clary sage
  • 4 drops of lemon


Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and caution when using them to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe! Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  3. Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  4. Pregnant or breastfeeding women must refrain from using essential oils as a remedy for sore throat. Or, talk to a doctor before use.
  5. Do not consume essential oils, it is not for internal use; use essential oils externally.
  6. Don’t use essential oils on sunburnt or broken skin unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  7. Keep essential oils out of reach from kids and furkids.
  8. If you show signs of irritation, stop using and consult a health professional.
  9. Never ingest or swallow essential oils.
  10. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  11. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
  12. Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
  13. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  14. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  15. If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
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