Essential Oils for Sore Throats
Strep throat is a condition that occurs when a person becomes infected with the Streptococcus bacteria, often after the onset of a common cold.1
Strep infection often results in a mild fever and a sore, red, swollen, throat that discharges pus; these uncomfortable symptoms may leave sufferers searching for ways to relieve strep throat pain.1
Fortunately for those suffering from strep throat, essential oils may be able to help. Using essential oils for strep throat offers an effective alternative to traditional treatment options.
What’s more, using essential oils for sore throat symptoms may also help in cases unrelated to the Streptococcus bacteria. Sore throats can be caused by multiple factors, including viral infections, which result in the throat becoming red, painful, and developing white or yellow sores.1
Luckily, a painful throat is not normally serious, and by using essential oil remedies to soothe strep throat and sore throats, sufferers may be able to avoid harsh over the counter medications and antibiotics.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat Without Antibiotics
When a person visits the doctor for help to relieve strep throat pain, the first course of action is often to prescribe antibiotics. However, there are other options for healing strep throat without antibiotics; it is possible to learn how to treat strep throat naturally.
Though antibiotics are a good treatment for many illnesses, they are not without negative side effects. Frequent use of antibiotics leads to many infections becoming antibiotic-resistant and more difficult to treat. The growing number of antibiotic-resistant infections led to 50,000 deaths in the United States and Europe during 2015.2
Antibiotics can also negatively affect the healthy microorganisms living in a person’s body, making the body less able to access vitamins and nutrients, and resulting in a weaker immune system.2
Knowing the negative side effects of antibiotics may lead some people to search for a more holistic strep throat treatment. Fortunately, there are many strep throat herbal remedies, which have been observed to help fight Streptococcus.
Some of the best strep-fighting oils are cinnamon, eucalyptus, and clove essential oil—also effective essential oils for swollen tonsils. These and many other essential oils can be used in place of over the counter treatments for strep throat.
What Essential Oils are Good for a Sore Throat?
Using essential oils for sore throat and cough is an excellent alternative to traditional treatments. For those suffering from a sore throat, essential oils offer antimicrobial benefits, meaning they can help fight infection and possibly speed up healing.
For people wondering what essential oil is good for sore throat treatment, the information below explains the benefits of many oils that can be used as therapeutic aids.
Oregano Oil Sore Throat
When searching for what essential oil for sore throat treatment is best, oregano essential oil’s properties make it an excellent choice, as it has been observed to be a powerful antimicrobial agent.
A 2015 study found that oregano essential oil was effective at killing Klebsiella pneumoniae; bacterium that can cause pneumonia and lead to a dry cough that agitates the throat.3
Because of its antibacterial properties, using oil of oregano for sore throat healing is a natural and effective choice. It’s possible to use oregano oil for sore throat symptoms alone or to use oil of oregano for sore throat and cough treatment.
To best utilize oil of oregano for sore throat and cough, put 2-3 drops in a diffuser and inhale the steam, or dilute the oregano essential oil with a carrier oil and apply directly to the skin. Diffuse oregano oil and sore throat symptoms may improve.
For strep throat, oil of oregano may also be a useful remedy. To use oregano oil for strep throat, diffuse a few drops in a bowl of steaming water, or add to a nebulizer. For topical use, the oil can be mixed with a carrier oil and rubbed on the skin.
Thieves for Sore Throat
Another option is to use thieves oil for sore throat relief. Thieves essential oil is a blend of oils, including clove essential oil, cinnamon essential oil, lemon essential oil, rosemary essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil.
All essential oils in the thieves blend have been found to have antimicrobial properties.6,9,10,11,12 More specifically, clove, cinnamon, and eucalyptus essential oils have been reported to fight Streptococcus pyogenes—the bacteria that causes strep throat.9,11,12
By using the potent essential oil blend of thieves, sore throat symptoms can be managed naturally. Using thieves essential oil for sore throat healing is an effective alternative to using antibiotics or other medications.
Peppermint Oil for Sore Throat
Known for its cooling sensation, the beneficial properties of peppermint essential oil make an excellent natural treatment for sore throats and may be an effective essential oil for itchy throat symptoms. Additionally, peppermint essential oil is regularly used for providing relief from heat, for reducing congestion, and is an effective essential oil for colds and cough.
One reason this essential oil is useful for treating scratchy throats, is its natural anti-itch properties. A 2016 study found that peppermint essential oil reduced itchiness significantly in patients who suffered from chronic itching.4
This essential oil’s anti-itch properties make using oil of peppermint for sore throat relief an excellent choice, especially when the throat is scratchy and irritated.
Tea Tree Oil Sore Throat
For those seeking an essential oil to heal their throat ailments, using tea tree for sore throat relief may be an effective choice. While there are several benefits of tea tree essential oil, it has been observed to have potent antibacterial properties and has traditionally been used in medicine as an antiseptic.
A review in the journal of Clinical Microbiology Reviews reported that tea tree essential oil had potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties.5 The presence of antimicrobial properties suggests that by using tea tree oil, strep throat may be managed naturally. Also, through the use of tea tree, sore throat relief may be obtained.
One effective remedy includes using a tea tree oil gargle for sore throats. To use melaleuca oil for sore throat treatment, add 2 drops of oil to a cup of hot water and gargle, focusing on reaching the back of the mouth. Spit the mixture out once gargling is finished.
Tea tree is also one of the most suitable essential oils for scratchy throat relief, and the gargling remedy mentioned above is an excellent option for treatment.
Note: Tea tree essential oil can be dangerous if ingested and should never be taken internally. Consult a healthcare professional before using tea tree essential oil internally or as a gargle.
Clove Oil for Sore Throat
Clove is another excellent essential oil for sore throat healing. A 2006 study found that clove essential oil had antibacterial properties that can help inhibit the growth of different bacteria strains, including S. pyogenes.7 What’s more, clove essential oil also has analgesic (pain-relieving) properties.8
The antibacterial and pain-relieving properties of clove essential oil make it a great choice for treating sore throats.
Lemon Essential Oil for Sore Throat
Lemon is one of the best essential oils good for sore throat relief because of its pain-reducing properties. Lemon essential oil’s pain-managing abilities were observed in a 2011 study, which found that test subjects experienced a reduction in pain and inflammation when treated with lemon essential oil.9
Because sore throats often create significant discomfort, lemon essential oil’s anti-pain properties make it an excellent option for sore throat essential oil treatment.
Eucalyptus Oil for Sore Throat
Eucalyptus essential oil is also a suitable choice for treating sore throat and strep throat symptoms. Eucalyptus essential oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties and has been observed to effectively inhibit many microbes, including Streptococcus pneumoniae—a bacteria that can cause sore throats—and S. pyogenes.11
Based on the antimicrobial properties of eucalyptus oil, sore throat sufferers may benefit greatly from treatment with this oil.
Cinnamon Oil for Sore Throat
Of all the essential oils for throat health, cinnamon essential oil is one of the most powerful antibacterial agents.
A study published in the journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that cinnamon essential oil was extremely effective at killing the S. pyogenes bacteria, which is responsible for strep throat.12
In fact, when tested against 17 other essential oils, cinnamon essential oil was most effective at killing the S. pyogenes bacteria, possibly making it the best essential oil for sore throat treatment.12
How to Treat Strep Throat at Home
Fortunately for those who wish to avoid antibiotics, there are many home remedies for strep throat symptoms using essential oils. One of the most effective and popular ways to relieve strep throat pain is to use aromatherapy for sore throat relief.
To use essential oils for a sore throat, add 2 drops each of cinnamon essential oil and peppermint essential oil in to a diffuser or a bowl of boiling water. Breathe deeply and inhale the aromatic steam to experience the benefit of the essential oils and sore throat relief.
For those interested in additional sore throat remedies, essential oils may also be applied topically.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Pharyngitis. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/science/pharyngitis#ref895020
- Langdon, A., Crook, N., & Dantas, G. (2016). The effects of antibiotics on the microbiome throughout development and alternative approaches for therapeutic modulation. Genome Medicine, 8(1). doi:10.1186/s13073-016-0294-z
- Fournomiti, M., Kimbaris, A., Mantzourani, I., Plessas, S., Theodoridou, I., Papaemmanouil, V., . . . Alexopoulos, A. (2015). Antimicrobial activity of essential oils of cultivated oregano (Origanum vulgare), sage (Salvia officinalis), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris) against clinical isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Microbial Ecology in Health & Disease,26(0). doi:10.3402/mehd.v26.23289
- Elsaie, L., Mohsen, A. E., Ibrahim, I., Mohey-Eddin, M., & Elsaie, M. (2016). Effectiveness of topical peppermint oil on symptomatic treatment of chronic pruritus. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, Volume 9, 333-338. doi:10.2147/ccid.s116995
- Carson, C. F., Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (2006). Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 19(1), 50-62. doi:10.1128/cmr.19.1.50-62.2006
- Oliveira, M. M., Brugnera, D. F., & Piccoli, R. H. (2013). Essential oils of thyme and Rosemary in the control of Listeria monocytogenes in raw beef. Brazilian Journal of Microbiology, 44(4), 1181-1188. doi:10.1590/s1517-83822013000400022
- Nzeako, B., Al-Kharousi, Z. S., & Al-Mahrooqui, Z. (2006). Antimicrobial Activities of Clove and Thyme Extracts. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 6(1), 33-39. Retrieved May 12, 2017, from http://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC3074903/
- Khalilzadeh, E., Hazrati, R., & Saiah, G. (2016). Effects of topical and systemic administration of Eugenia caryophyllata buds essential oil on corneal anesthesia and analgesia. Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences,11(4), 293. doi:10.4103/1735-5362.189297
- Campêlo, L. M., De Almeida, A. A., De Freitas, R. L., Cerqueira, G. S., De Sousa, G. F., Saldanha, G. B., & De Freitas, R. M. (2011). Antioxidant and Antinociceptive Effects of Citrus limon Essential Oil in Mice. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2011. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/678673
- Białoń, M., Krzyśko-Łupicka, T., Koszałkowska, M., & Wieczorek, P. P. (2014). The Influence of Chemical Composition of Commercial Lemon Essential Oils on the Growth of Candida Strains. Mycopathologia,177(1-2), 29-39. doi:10.1007/s11046-013-9723-3
- Elaissi, A., Rouis, Z., Salem, N. A., Mabrouk, S., Salem, Y. B., Salah, K. B., . . . Khouja, M. L. (2012). Chemical composition of 8 eucalyptus species’ essential oils and the evaluation of their antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activities. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 12(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-81
- Sfeir, J., Lefrançois, C., Baudoux, D., Derbré, S., & Licznar, P. (2013). In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils against Streptococcus pyogenes. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. doi:10.1155/2013/269161