Top 10 Best Essential Oils for Sore Throat

A sore throat refers to the inflammation of the focuses and pharynx. It is a common condition that suggests you have an inflammation between the back of your tongue and your voice box. It is hard to swallow and your throat feels dry and scratchy. You can speed up the healing process by using essential oils for sore throat.

Your tonsils and glands in your neck may swell, making you feel unwell. It is normally the first sign of a bacterial infection, a viral infection, flu or cold. In most cases, the condition may subside on its own in a few days. 

Causes & Symptoms

Irritation and soreness of the throat occur when your throat is infected. Most sore throats are caused by viruses and a few by bacteria. Strep throat is the most popular bacterial infection caused by streptococcus bacteria. Sore throats are spread by touch, sneezing or coughing and some can lead to temporary voice loss. You can wake up with an inflamed throat and your voice may sound funny.

Then you could develop a cold and begin to shiver and sneeze. The cause can be a mild, temporary infection, but occasionally infection is severe or threatening.You may feel a slight tickling sensation in your throat, leading to painful irritation. If the condition worsens, you can experience difficulties when opening your mouth, swallowing or breathing. You can also have joint pains, fever, rash and earache.

Top 10 Young Living Oils for Sore Throat

1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil

This is by far one of the most popular essential oils for a sore throat available, and its benefits are almost endless. It has a strong, sweet, herbal aroma with camphor undertones. It is antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, antispasmodic and analgesic. The oil is suitable for direct inhalation, ingestion, topical application and diffusion. You can use it neat or dilute it with carrier oil. Lavender essential oil treats allergies, combats mild bacterial and fungal infections, including sore throats. You can make a strap throat gargle by adding one drop of lavender oil to a glass of warm water and mix thoroughly. Then gargle the mixture and repeat every two hours.

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint Essential Oil

This is an amazing essential oil with a very strong scent. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, decongestant, antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-parasitic, analgesic, anti-carcinogenic and digestive. It calms respiratory infections, fights viral, bacterial and fungal infections, including cold sores and sore throats. The high level of menthol in peppermint oil provides a wonderful cooling sensation. It is not safe to use this without dilution. You must dilute it with carrier oil prior to application. Blend one part of peppermint oil with one part of carrier oil. Add a few drops of peppermint oil to massage oil and gently rub the mixture into your temples, chest, neck, back and forehead.

3. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil has a fresh, woody, earthly fragrance with a strong medicinal aroma. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiseptic, expectorant, antiviral and decongestant. You can use it in a diffuser as an inhalant. It is recommended for a sore throat, nasal & sinus congestion, poor circulation, flu, fever, cough and cold. Use eucalyptus oil in inhalator to relieve a sore throat or stuffy nose and in a bath to get rid of cold symptoms and in aromatherapy diffuser as a natural disinfectant during the cold season. This oil is not for regular use in a massage or bath, as skin irritation may occur. Avoid it if you are suffering from high blood pressure.

4. Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon oil has crisp, bright, sharp, citrusy aroma. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antibacterial, antispasmodic, astringent, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic and digestive. The oil can treat a sore throat, indigestion, and insect bites. In addition, it improves circulation and gets rid of wrinkles. When used in an aromatherapy diffuser, lemon oil improves concentration and uplifts the mind and body while releasing negativity. The oil is generally regarded as safe. However, use with caution in topical application as it is phototoxic and can cause skin irritation.

5. Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano Essential Oil

This is resourceful natural oil for defense against a sore throat. It is antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and expectorant. This makes oregano oil useful in treating respiratory infections and sore throat. It helps lessen inflammation in the mucous membrane of the bronchial passages. The oil can be taken orally or inhaled through steam distillation. Add 14 drops of oregano oil to 2 ounces of water and drink twice a day. Add 28 drops of oregano oil to 2 ounces of hot water for steam distillation.

6. Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil

This is reddish brown essential oil for sore throat with a warm, herbaceous and slightly bitter odor. The main element of the oil is thymol, which has fungicidal and antiseptic properties. It has potent antibacterial properties for fighting a range of pathogens, including streptococcus bacteria. Use infusions of thyme oil or tincture to gain quick relief. In a clean glass bottle, mix equal parts of thyme oil and carrier oil. Use the mixture to gently massage your neck, allowing the oil to be infused by the skin.

7. Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium oil has a fresh floral aroma with a hint of fruit. It is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, analgesic, and diuretic. Dilute geranium oil with carrier oil before topical application or diffusion. You can inhale or ingest the oil as a dietary supplement. It relieves a sore throat, lymphatic congestion, fluid retention, and circulatory disorders. When used in meditation, geranium oil eases nervous tension and lifts your spirit. Moreover, it gets rid of fear about commitment and promotes self-acceptance. Add 5 drops of geranium oil to ½ ounce of jojoba oil and mix. Massage the mixture over the throat area and repeat as necessary.

8. Helichrysum Essential Oil

Helichrysum Essential Oil

This is light yellow oil for sore throat with a fresh, earthy fragrance. It is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, expectorant, astringent and antispasmodic. You can dilute Helichrysum oil with carrier oil or use neat. It is suitable for topical application, diffusion, direct inhalation and ingestion. It heals a sore throat & a cough, relieves tension, calms nerves and minimizes fever. In meditation, it helps remove emotional block and promote perseverance.The oil is generally considered safe, but research suggests young children should not use the oil. It may be used in remedies for older children only if properly diluted.

9. Clove Essential Oil

Clove Essential Oil

Clove essential oil is a pale yellow liquid that darkens and turns brown with age. The oil is antioxidant, digestive, stimulating, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal and antimicrobial. It is well-known for its immune boosting capabilities. It soothes a sore throat, bacterial infections and viral infections. The oil’s sensitization potential is very high and its use on the skin should be limited. Dilute the oil with carrier oil and conduct a patch test before topical application. You can blend essential oil of clove with other natural oils for effective sore throat treatment.

10. Hyssop Essential Oil

Hyssop Essential Oil

This is a colorless to pale yellow oil with a sweet, herbaceous, camphor aroma. The main uses of hyssop oil are: gargle for a sore throat and loss of voice, treating respiratory problems and raising low blood pressure. As an inhalant, the oil benefits sore throat, flu, cough, cold and bronchitis. The scent can ease nervous tension, anxiety and stress. Combine hyssop oil with any of various aromatic herbs of the genus Marrubium to ease sore throat and treat asthma and bronchitis.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Throat

You can use oils for sore throat through inhalation, internal consumption or topical application. Each of these methods requires proper dilution of the essential oils for safety concerns.

Inhalation: This method involves spritzing essential oils using direct or indirect inhalation. Through direct inhalation, you get beneficial effects immediately. Hold an uncapped bottle of essential oil close to your nose and take a few deep breaths or place a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and inhale 3 to 4 times. Alternatively, you can inhale the oils indirectly using a diffuser, a humidifier, steam distillation and hot bath.

Topical Application: This is an effective mode of administration because aromatic oils influence the body by their absorption through the skin into the bloodstream. Topical application of essential oils can be given in a compress, a bath or a massage. You should never use essential oils neat on the skin. Always dilute two drops of essential oil with 98 drops of carrier oil or 10 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil. Remember to conduct a patch test to avoid skin sensitization and irritation.

Internal Consumption: Most essential oils are not recommended for internal consumption. As such, you are advised to be selective when choosing essential oils. Look for a direct sign on the bottle that the oil you are buying is safe for ingestion.

Essential Oil Recipes for Sore Throat

Recipe #1: Sore Throat Massage Oil


  • 1 drop of thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 3 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 1 ounce of jojoba oil

Directions: In a clean glass bowl, add jojoba oil and essential oils and mix. Gently massage the blend over your neck and throat to lessen a sore throat or swollen glands.

Recipe #2: Sore Throat Gargle


  • 1 drop of clove essential oil
  • 1 drop of cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 ounce of water
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey

Directions: Mix the 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1 ounce of water into a small saucepan and warm over low heat to melt the honey. Pour the mixture into a two-ounce glass and add the essential oils. Pour the mixture into your mouth towards your throat and gargle for two minutes and then spit.

Recipe #3: Throat-Soothing Compress


  • 1 drop of geranium essential oil
  • 2 drops of niaouli essential oil
  • 1 drop of pine essential oil
  • 1 quart of hot water

Directions: Pour the water into a two-quart glass bowl and disperse the essential oils in the water. Soak a clean piece of cloth in the mixture. Apply the compress to your throat and neck as necessary.

Recipe #4: Sore Throat Compress


  • 2 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of bergamot essential oil
  • 1 drop of tea tree essential oil
  • 2 cups of hot water

Directions: Place the hot water into a medium glass bowl. Add lavender, bergamot and tea tree oils to the water. Soak a soft towel in the mixture. Wring out the towel and wrap it around your neck. Remove the wrap when the towel cools to body temperature. Repeat the treatment as necessary until your throat is no longer sore.

Recipe #5: Sore Throat, Respiratory Congestion & Hoarseness Gargle


  • 2 drops of thyme essential oil
  • 2 drops of myrrh essential oil
  • 10 drops of orange essential oil
  • 10 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons of salt
  • 1 drop of cayenne oil

Directions: Heat 2 cups of water, add 2 tablespoons of salt, stir and remove from heat. Add essential oils to the salt mixture. Gargle one cupful of the mixture for 2 minutes and spit. Make sure you do not swallow the mixture.

Recipe #6: Essential Oils Throat Clearing Drink


  • 1 drop of lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • Glass of boiled rose-water

Directions: Heat rose-water in a small saucepan and add honey. Once the honey has melted, add the essential oils. Drink the mixture twice a day.

Recipe #7: Herbal Sore Throat Relief


  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of dried peppermint
  • 2 tablespoons of vodka
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 quart of water

Directions: Add the dried thyme, dried peppermint and water to a small saucepan and boil, turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer. Strain off the herbs and discard the waste, and then allow the mixture to cool. Add two tablespoons of vodka and two tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to the mixture. Use one ounce of the blend to gargle for a sore throat, infected gums and a sore mouth.

Recipe #8: Sore Throat Spray


  • 7 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 20 drops of lemon essential oil
  • ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of distilled water

Directions: Blend all the ingredients together in a spray bottle. Shake well before spritzing the combination into your mouth, toward the rear of your throat. If you have a sore throat, this simple spray will offer quick relief. Peppermint and lemon oils have anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon oil provides a helpful vitamin C boost.

Essential oils for sore throat is a great alternative to medicinal treatment. It is natural and safe. However, if you see that the suggested natural treatment fails to bring any relief, it is recommended that you see a doctor to see what the problem is. 

Sources and References

  1. BetterHealth Streptococcal infection
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention Worried your sore throat may be strep?
  3. NCBI A Randomized Study Using Aromatic Herbs
  4. MedlinePlus Sore Throat

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