If you’re down for the count with cold symptoms and a scratchy throat, you don’t have to reach into your medicine cabinet to get relief. Tea drinkers have many types of tea to turn to during cold and flu season to get relief from throat pain. Here are several effective natural remedies that are a good option for drinking if you have a sore throat.
Whether you are suffering from a bacterial infection like strep throat or the common flu, sore throat symptoms can be a miserable experience.
Below you’ll find a list of nine of the best herbal teas you can drink to soothe a sore throat when you get sick. These herbal remedies can provide relief as well as medicinal effects. Keep reading to learn more about the best teas for an irritated throat and the health benefits associated with them.
Best Teas to Soothe a Sore Throat
Herbal teas make up a large number of the home remedies used to treat a sore throat. Many of these teas also treat related symptoms like body aches, stuffy nose, stomach upset, and fever.
Many herbal teas have been studied and shown to have both antibacterial properties and antimicrobial properties that can help fight infections.
Here are nine of the tea types you can make to soothe your sore throat at home:
- Black tea
- Green tea
- Slippery elm tea
- Licorice tea
- Chamomile tea
- Ginger tea
- Peppermint tea
- Turmeric tea
- Lemon tea
Each of these warm liquids can help to soothe a sore throat and relieve other symptoms of illness related to bacterial infections and viruses.
Black tea is the basis for many tea drinks and has a wide variety of different health benefits. The main ingredient in black tea that helps with sore throat are the tannins it contains.
Tannins are antimicrobial, which means drinking them helps to fight off bacterial infection. Black tea bags can also help reduce sore throat symptoms like inflammation and pain.
Black tea also contains caffeine, which can help reduce body aches and give you a much-needed boost of energy when you’re down with a sore throat.
Green tea is similar to black tea in benefits. Like black tea, green tea contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea is good to soothe symptoms of a sore throat because it contains a high volume of antioxidant properties. It also has a smaller amount of caffeine compared to black tea, so the side effects of green tea are minimal.
These antioxidants can help boost the immune system and allow the body to fight off illness related to a sore throat.
Slippery Elm Tea
Slippery elm bark has been used in traditional medicine for hundreds of years to treat sore throat and respiratory troubles.
When slippery elm bark is combined with warm water, the slippery elm forms a slippery gel known as mucilage. This mucilage can help coat your throat, soothing irritation.
Because of its ability to treat an irritated throat, slippery elm is often included in cough drops.
Licorice root tea contains the following properties:
- Antiviral properties
- Antimicrobial properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Licorice tea reduces inflammation and attacks the illnesses that lead to sore throat, so drinking it is a smart way to help combat bacterial infection. This includes illnesses like strep throat.
Chamomile tea is an herbal tea that is used to address many different minor ailments and health conditions, including sore throat.
These are some of the properties associated with chamomile that can be helpful if you’re feeling under the weather with a sore throat:
- Sleep aid: The pain and coughing associated with a sore throat can prevent good sleep and cause healing to be delayed. Chamomile can help your body relax and rest while you’re ill.
- Calms anxiety: For many people, being sick with a sore throat can cause a low mood due to pain and discomfort. Along with relieving pain, chamomile can relieve this anxiety too.
- Immune system defense: Chamomile helps to boost the immune system and fight off infection so that the illness causing a sore throat doesn’t linger as long.
Chamomile tea does a good job of lubricating a sore throat while generally making you feel better while you’re sick.
Its effects on the immune system can also help prevent a sore throat from getting worse.
Ginger tea is a practical herbal tea if you have a sore throat resulting from an illness like the flu, or your throat is irritated from vomiting.
Along with providing antiviral and antimicrobial properties, ginger root is also useful for treating the upset stomach that sometimes accompanies a sore throat due to nasal drip or flu.
Is Peppermint Tea Good For a Sore Throat?
Like many of the herbal teas used to treat a sore throat, peppermint leaves and peppermint oil contain compounds that are antiviral and antibacterial.
The healing properties of peppermint aren’t limited to fighting illness, however. The main active ingredient in fresh leaves of mint is menthol, which has several medicinal properties:
- Cooling agent: Menthol has a cooling effect, which can be soothing for a sore throat that is swollen and warm with inflammation.
- Analgesic agent: Menthol is an analgesic, which means it acts as a mild painkiller. Menthol can be used as a home remedy to treat pain from menstrual cramps and irritable bowel syndrome as well as the pain of a sore throat.
- Decongestant agent: Menthol is a decongestant, which means that along with soothing a sore throat, it can also help clear your nose, throat, or lungs if they are congested with phlegm.
- Anti-inflammatory effects: Menthol reduces inflammation as well as pain and congestion, keeping it from causing complications when you’re sick with a sore throat
As you can see, many properties of peppermint make it a useful addition to an herbal tea mixture for sore throats.
Peppermint tea also improves the flavor of many other bitter ingredients used in medicinal teas.
Turmeric tea is useful as a decongestant, so this tea should be consumed if your sore throat is the result of a bacterial virus or infection that is causing a clogged feeling in your throat or a stuffy nose.
Along with its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric tea also acts as an expectorant.
Expectorants encourage the body to expel excess phlegm from the lungs and throat, making it easier to breathe when you’re done with a cold or the flu.
Lemon tea is a sore tea remedy that can be made up with lemon juice, water, and a little honey for sweetening.
Lemons and their essential oils are chock full of Vitamin C, a vitamin that helps boost the body’s immune response.
A benefit of adding lemon to a sore throat tea remedy is that lemon flavor pairs well with many kinds of herbal teas.
Using a little salt in your lemon tea can add additional antimicrobial properties to the brew without adding a strong salty flavor to the tea itself.
Herbal Teas Are an Excellent Sore Throat Solution
No matter which hot tea you choose to treat your sore throat, your overall health can be improved by drinking any of the above teas as a home remedy.
This collection of throat-soothing teas comes in many different flavors, so you’re sure to find one that you like!
If you’re sick at home and want to try to make another soothing drink, try this recipe for a copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball drink. It’s delicious and soothes a sore throat!