Sore Throat

Essential Oils For Soar Throat And Cough

Struggling with a cold is no one’s idea of a fun time. This means you’re going to spend the next several days sneezing, coughing and struggling to breathe. You’ll annoy everyone around you because you’ll be constantly clearing your throat and snuffling and you’ll struggle to sleep, to relax or to concentrate.

Everything is worse when you have a cold!

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make life a lot easier. One of the best options is to look into using essential oils. While essential oils won’t cure the cold itself, they can be fantastic at making the symptoms that much more bearable. And actually, in doing this they can also speed up your recovery. For instance, essential oils can help you to sleep much better if you are able to clear your sinuses and stop coughing and this means your immune system will have a fighting chance of putting you on the road to recovery.

How Essential Oils Treat Coughs and Sore Throats

In this post, we’ll be looking specifically at how you can use essential oils to treat coughs and sore throats.

While it’s easy to imagine how essential oils can improve muscle aches or congestion, you might find it harder to imagine how they can have an impact on a sore throat!

To understand this, it pays to understand the different types of sore throat and how they act. One common reason we get a sore throat is that we have a viral infection or a bacterial infection. ‘Strep throat’ is a bacterial infection for example. This then cause the throat, or pharynx (the tube which carries food to the esophagus and air to the windpipe), to swell up and become inflamed. This makes it sore and irritable and at the same time can sometimes go as far as to make breathing difficult.

Essential oils then can affect the throat by helping to reduce the inflammation, by numbing the pain and discomfort or by fighting the bacterial infection. Some might also strengthen the immune system and thereby improve the rate at which you can combat and remove the infection.

By using the right combination of analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral/bacterial essential oils, you can thereby soothe your sore throat, reduce the angry inflammation and help yourself to recover more quickly!

How to Use Essential Oils for a Sore Throat

If you intend on using essential oils to treat a sore throat, then there are a number of ways you can go about doing that. The most obvious option is inhalation. Aromatherapy uses plant-derived, aromatic (pleasantly smelly…) essential oils to improve the physical and psychological wellbeing of the individual. Here, the tiny molecules enter the nasal cavities and this results in the firing of several responses in the limbic system, potentially having numerous impacts on the central nervous system. This can affect the production of hormones, the blood pressure, the heartrate and much more. It can also sometimes have a direct impact at the site and cause the breakdown of mucus, or kill bacteria.

You can use essential oils via inhalation by using a vaporizer, a humidifier or an oil burner/essential oil diffuser. Another option is simply to inhale the smell directly from your hands or from a tissue. You can also rub essential oils into your chest which means that they will be underneath your nose throughout the night. This is a great way to keep your sinuses clear while you’re sleeping for example!

But what you might not have realized is that you can also actually consume essential oils orally! This way you can provide direct contact with your throat and this is a more effective way to get analgesic benefits from oils for your sore throat. However, it is very important to make sure that the essential oil you use is one that is safe for consumption. Likewise, it’s important to buy from a reputable source and to do your research – some oils are diluted or blended with synthetic compounds that can be highly toxic. Look for oils that are marked with a ‘GRAS’ designation by the FDA – this means they are fit for human consumption.

Finally, you might be able to apply the oil topically. This can help to ease the muscles too and is particularly relaxing if you are suffering from a flu.

The Best Essential Oils for a Sore Throat

So without further ado, what are the best essential oils for treating a sore throat?

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is particularly useful for treating colds, coughs and other sinus/respiratory infections. That’s because peppermint oil contains menthol, which makes it smell and act like mint. This offers a cooling and tingly sensation which can be very soothing if you have a sore throat. Moreover though, this is a substance that is highly effective for breaking up mucus which can contribute to a cough. There are other great benefits for peppermint oil too as it is an antioxidant and antimicrobial.

One of the best ways to use peppermint oil is apply it to the chest just before you go to bed if you are bunged up. This way, when you breathe in the fumes, they will help to break up mucus and clear your passageways so that you can breathe easily. This will lead to a much better night’s sleep (along with adopting a more upright position using pillows to prop yourself up) and that in turn will mean you’re more likely to recover more quickly.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is one of the most popular oils for making you feel fresh and for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Lemon oil is also very high in vitamin C, which makes it great at boosting your immune system and helping you to combat the cold faster.

Interestingly, lemon oil also increases salivation. This is useful because your saliva includes anti-bacterial properties and can help to keep your throat moist.

Oregano Oil

Oregano is a popular herb but it is also very useful when used as an essential oil. This is great for protecting against a sore throat thanks to its antifungal and antiviral properties. In one study it was found to be effective even in combating parasitic infections! In another piece of research, it was shown to be able to destroy the hospital ‘superbug’ MRSA.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most popular essential oils for a wide range of different effects – and that includes treating coughs and other cold symptoms. In fact, you can buy a lot of over-the-counter products that include eucalyptus oil.

So what’s so good about this one? The benefits largely come from a chemical called cineole. This is an organic compound that has a wide range of medicinal benefits. In particular, it can be very effective at reducing inflammation.

This oil is currently being researched for a whole host of other miraculous benefits too though. For instance, it might just be used in future to treat leukaemia!

Hyssop Oil

Hyssop is another herb that can also be used as an oi. Again, this one is antiseptic and can combat both viral and bacterial infections. It has been used for this purpose dating back to ancient Greece!

Clove Oil

Cove is a powerful essential oil when it comes to boosting the immune system, which makes it effective at both treating a sore throat and preventing it from emerging again. It is particularly useful thanks to its antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects. That’s a lot of ‘anti’.

Adding clove oil to your routine is a good idea when the nights start drawing in. This can keep your body free from infections and help you to avoid a sore throat before it rears its ugly head.


While an essential oil isn’t going to help to immediately banish your sore throat, it’s an excellent choice if you want to reduce the symptoms and help yourself recover that little bit faster. What’s more is that adding some essential oils to your routine can also help to fortify your immune system and protect you against future cases of the cold.

Combine this with the pleasantly relaxing effect of inhaling a nice scent and you have the perfect way to unwind when you’ve been struggling with a cough all day. It sure beats constantly spluttering throughout the night and your family will probably thank you for the peace and quiet as well!