Essential Oils For Sore Throat
A sore throat is an uncomfortable feeling that you get in your throat. It can be pain or tingling, but it’s one of the most common signs of a cold that brings millions of patients to the doctor’s office each year.
This condition can be caused by infections or other external factors like long exposure to dry air.
Symptoms of a Sore Throat
The symptoms of a sore throat can vary and depend on the causes. They can be:
- Burning Sensation
- Scratchy feeling
Swallowing and talking may make the symptoms more pronounced. When examined, the throat and tonsils may appear red and swollen.
If there are white patches on the tonsils, this is a sign that the sore throat stems from a virus. Besides the main symptoms, there could be other accompanying signs of a sore throat like:
- Running nose
- Aches in the body
- Loss of appetite
- Sinus congestion
Causes of a Sore Throat
The main causes for a sore throat can be:
- Colds, the flu, or a virus
- Strep throat or a bacterial infection
- Dry air
- Irritants in the air like cigarette smoke
- A gastroesophageal reflux disease
Essential Oils for Alleviating a Sore Throat
Because a sore throat is not usually a serious condition, most people just let it heal on its own. It is usually gone within a few days without treatment.
Although there are over-the-counter medications for a sore throat, you may prefer a more natural and non-invasive approach for this mild condition that is still irritating you.
If so, consider essential oils as a natural cure of a sore throat. Essential oils are distilled from natural plant sources and contain within themselves the highly potent healing properties of the plants.
Here are the essential oils that are best for treating a sore throat.
Essential Oils For Sore Throat
Peppermint is the most used essential oil for any kinds of problems of the respiratory tract including a sore throat. Peppermint oil has potent antimicrobic properties.
The oil of peppermint prevents pathogens from entering the body through the mouth, and that is why it is so commonly used in natural kinds of toothpaste.
According to studies, peppermint is a very strong antibacterial agent. The main compound that acts on the sore throat is menthol — an ingredient that is widely used in most medications for a sore throat.(1)
If you are going to buy an over-the-counter medication that has menthol as the main ingredient, why not invest in the original product?
Eucalyptus is used mainly in cosmetic products, alternative medicine, and cleaning products.
All of these implementations of the oil come as a result of its powerful antibacterial properties.
This oil aids the relief of respiratory conditions, cough, seasonal allergies, and, of course, a sore throat.
The oil of eucalyptus is used to stimulate the immune system, protect the body through the antioxidants found inside, and improve circulation throughout the respiratory system. (2)
Lavender is suggested to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties in conducted studies.
Because of the antioxidants found inside, the lavender oil has been used for therapeutic and cosmetical purposes for centuries.
Unlike many other oils, lavender is more gentle to the skin and can be applied directly on it without being diluted with a carrier oil.
Ginger is a root plant that has a very hot flavor and is often used for preparing food in different culinary recipes.
Ginger is very rich in anti-inflammatory substances. The most potent ingredient in the ginger plant is gingerol which gives the unique healing properties of the plant.
Because essential oils contain the potent qualities of the plant, the ginger essential oil is even stronger than the plant and should only be used together with a carrier oil.
Thyme is a plant that is commonly used in natural-based medication for a sore throat and respiratory problems.
The powerful essential oil of this plant posseses very strong antimicrobic properties and the ability to destroy pathogens.
If your sore throat stems from a bacterial infection, thyme essential oil is one of the best essential oils to choose.
Lemon is a favored plant when it comes to tackling the symptoms of a cold and flu. Just imagine what the more potent essential oil of the plant can do.
According to studies, the antimicrobic and antioxidant properties of lemon are capable of preventing infections and treating an already existing sore throat.
7. Bitter Orange Essential Oil
Bitter orange is a type of orange that is more bitter than the one we are used to. Previously, this plant was used as a supplement for weight loss.
Like all citrus plants, the antioxidant and antimicrobic properties inside this fruit help to relieve and cure a sore throat faster. The bitter taste of this citrus, however, makes it even more potent in fighting infections and pathogens.
8. Sage Essential Oil
Sage is another great herb for a sore throat. The essential oil of sage is a little less concentrated than the others and could be used in milder cases of a sore throat.
It can be used in combination with echinacea essential oil to relieve the pain and discomfort that this condition brings.
9. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is commonly used for its strong antibacterial properties. Besides all other uses, tea tree oil is very helpful when treating a sore throat.
Tea tree can be used as a prevention for pathogens entering the throat and body through the mouth.(3)
Using Essential Oils
Although essential oils are derived from natural plant sources, they are not meant to be ingested. They can be used in the following ways to relieve a sore throat.
Essential oils are most often used for their pleasant smell. Using the oils in aromatherapy allows you to inhale their fumes through the air which will directly have a positive effect on your whole respiratory system. Some ways to use the oils in this way are:
- Using a diffuser
- Put 7 drops inside 2 cups of boiling water in a wide container. Place a towel over your head and inhale the steam coming from the water.
- Add 3 drops of the oil on a cotton ball and inhale the scent from the cotton.
- Add the essential oils when cleaning household furniture, or add a few drops into the laundry machine when washing your clothes.
Essential oils can be used topically over the throat area to directly impact the organs in the neck area. To do this, mix a few drops of the oil of choice into a carrier oil.
Good carrier oils are coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture over your throat, and massage the area to aid absorption.
To make sure there are no reactions to the oil, begin by diluting only 1 to 2 drops of the essential oil and gradually increase the drops each time.
Caution When Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are not monitored and regulated by the FDA. That is why you should be extra careful when buying essential oils and purchase only from reputable sources.
The best way to be on the safe side when using essential oils is to always do a patch test before using them on your whole body.
To do this, massage the diluted essential oil on a small patch of skin on your inner arm. This spot should be no bigger than the size of a dime.
If the oil does not yield a reaction within 24 hours, you can use it on other parts of the body.
Essential oils are very concentrated and should only be used in small quantities and diluted with a carrier oil.
If you have any adverse side effects of the oil like allergic reactions, sun sensitivity, irritation, an increase in heart rate, and shortness of breath, stop using the particular essential oil.
If you are taking medications, consult with your doctor to make sure that the essential oil will not react with any component in your medication.
Essential oils are generally not recommended for pregnant women and children. Essential oils should be used very cautiously when you have pets as some of them are very toxic or even deadly for them. Always check the specific instructions of use for the individual essential oil before using it.
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