The Best Essential Oils for a Sore Throat
Author: Reluca Ghura
In this day and age, with so many scientific studies conducted to prove its efficiency, a big part of the world’s population (around 250 million people – and growing) is embracing homeopathic treatments rather than the usual chemical-packed medicine. No doubt the latter heals the body, but it also creates so many more other problems due to the lab-made substances that it contains. Homeopathic treatments, on the other hand, are 100% natural, they don’t tend to do more harm than good, and they are scientifically proven to work – sometimes even better and faster than the traditional approach.
Essential oils have been used since ancient times with remarkable effects in countless conditions. Basically, there is at least one essential oil for every disease. Essential oils come from the leaves, bark, stems, and flowers of plants that help protect that plant from predators, fungi, and bacteria. They contain, as the name implies, the essence of plants which gives them all the subtle but powerful healing properties of that plant.
Essential oils are used to combat anything from stress and anxiety to sleep disorders to serious diseases, but one of their most popular benefits is the ability to treat cold and flu symptoms like soar-throats, headaches, nasal congestion, fever. How? The same as in plants, in humans, essential oils help kill bacteria, viruses, fungi, therefore, reducing inflammation, pain and speeding up healing.
Did you know that essential oils can treat and cure a sore throat faster than traditional medicine and even prevent it from occurring?
A sore throat can occur at any given time, and for several reasons. It appears as irritation, itching, dryness and/or pain when swallowing. These symptoms can be caused by a viral infection (most commonly the cold or the flu), while strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection, which can come from several bacterial strains (Streptococcus). Unfortunately, both conditions are contagious and can be easily transmitted, through direct contact, from one person to another.
Other reasons for a sore throat could be allergies, smoking, gastric reflux or even too much singing.
Besides the usual recommendations like rest, adequate nutrition, plenty of fluids, hot teas, remedies for sore throats also include the natural power of essential oils.
Find out below what essential oils to use in order to prevent and treat sore throats!
Clove oil is made through steam or water distillation of the dried flower buds, stems and leaves that are collected from the clove tree.
Clove essential oil has a strong, spicy aroma and helps stimulate the immunity, being extremely effective at stopping the growth of some types of bacteria and fungi. The benefits of this oil are due to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory properties.
You can chew the dry buds for quick relief, add the clove oil to water-based liquid cultures or use it as vapor for your inhaler.
Juniper essential oil has a sweet, woody scent and is obtained from the powdered fruits of juniper, the needles and the wood itself, through the process of steam distillation.
Juniper essential oil is commonly used as one of the best natural remedies for sore throat, as well as for muscle aches and arthritis, fatigue or respiratory infections like bronchitis or pneumonia. It is a well-known antiseptic, it promotes sweating that helps with detoxification, and it has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
The efficiency of the juniper essential oil in sore throat treatment has been proven by many scientific studies. They showed that it contains over 87 different active ingredients and antioxidants that promote healing.
Lemon essential oil is extracted from the peel of fresh lemons using a “cold-pressing” process that pricks and rotates the peel as the oil is released.
It is well-known for its ability to cleanse the body of toxins and is commonly used to stimulate purification of the blood, to restore energy, to purify the skin and to treat sore throats because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is high in vitamin C, which not only stimulates the immune system and helps prevent getting sick, but also helps in keeping the throat hydrated due to its salivation effects.
Thyme oil is one of the most powerful antioxidants, antimicrobial and antibacterial agents known to the world. It is extracted from the plant via distillation or cold pressing and it has been used as herbal medicine since ancient times.
Thyme supports a healthy respiratory system, kills germs and strengthens the immune system. It also has positive effects on the digestive tract and the nervous system is also proven effective against antibiotic-resistant strains.
One of the main ingredients in thyme essential oil – thymol – is very effective in reducing coughing because of its anti-spasmodic properties.
Rosemary oil is extracted from its young flowers and leaves through steam distillation. Its antiseptic, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties were well-known for thousands of years.
It has been used throughout the civilizations as incense or as massage balms and oils to eliminate harmful bacteria, especially for those suffering from illness. Nowadays, it is best known for its ability to improve memory and relieve aching muscles, as well as for its soothing, stimulating, and pain-relieving properties.
Rosemary essential oil provides many benefits to the respiratory system due to its ability to fight off bacteria and viruses that cause a sore throat, but also for being an effective expectorant, helping the respiratory muscles relax and reducing coughing.
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from the peppermint herb, a species belonging to the mint family and it is one of the most versatile oils in the world. It has a fresh, sharp aroma and it can be used in a variety of products such as cosmetics, aromatherapy or cleaning supplies.
Peppermint essential oil could be the most common ingredient used to treat cold and flu symptoms such as coughing, sinus infections, respiratory infections.
One of the main chemical compounds in peppermint is menthol, which is well-known for the soothing and cooling sensation it provides. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial and decongestant properties that can help relieve sore throats. It also thins mucus and reduces coughing.
The hyssop plant belongs to the same family as peppermint and has a purifying minty-flowery scent.
Made from the flowers and leaves of the plant with the same name, hyssop essential oil is a less-known essential oil, though its sore throat healing properties are amazing! It has been appreciated since the ancient times when Greek doctors used it for its anti-inflammatory qualities of the respiratory tract.
Its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties make it great in fighting against infections and bacteria that cause sore throat.
Although great in treating and preventing a variety of health and well-being related issues, it’s best to use essential oils in moderation as they can have serious side effects.
If they get into your eyes or mouth, they can cause burning, rashes, irritation and sometimes even damage to the mucous membranes, so you should immediately wash them off with water and contact your doctor.
Also, they should never be ingested as they can cause severe gastrointestinal issues and even life-threatening conditions. If you accidentally ingested essential oils you need to call the poison control department.
You should never apply concentrated essential oils directly on skin without diluting them first with carrier oils like coconut, olive or jojoba. When diffusing essential oils into the air, you must read the instructions thoroughly before using as the concentrated oils can cause allergies, headaches or irritations of the upper respiratory tract.
Despite these possible side effects, essential oils are generally safe and beneficial when used correctly. Don’t forget to test them in small quantities at first to see how your body reacts and make sure you do your research to find the best essential oil for you and your condition.