Essential Oils for Sore Throat - Benefits and Uses - DIY Neck Rub

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Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore Throat

The very common, very unpleasant symptoms of a sore throat hit all of us at some point or another, especially as the weather turns colder. This common viral or bacterial infection, also known as pharyngitis, is not just bad news for the person dealing with it — many times, sore throats can be contagious and spread quickly.

The scratchy, raw feeling inside your throat can cause continuous pain and make swallowing and talking much more difficult than it should be!

Many essential oils, with their ability to boost our immune system, calm inflammation, and soothe discomfort, can provide relief when a sore throat has you feeling down. Check out some of our recommendations if you are experiencing a sore throat:

1. Sandalwood Australian

When a sore throat ails you, Sandalwood is an excellent oil to reach for. Not only does it have a simply heavenly aroma that is both sweet and woody, but it also can help reduce inflammation and discomfort.

To use it topically, begin with a 1% dilution in your favorite carrier oil and apply to the throat. Because skin in this area can be more delicate than other areas of your body, it’s good practice to start at a lower dilution and work your way up from there (no higher than 3%). This depends on your individual reaction to it.  

2. Peppermint

Peppermint is an all-around great essential oil to have in your first-aid kit. One of its primary constituents, menthol, is used commonly in many sore throat remedies.

If applied topically, the high menthol content gives the oil a cooling effect. This in itself would feel great on a sore throat! Recent studies have also found Peppermint to help the body recover when seasonal threats begin to take their toll [1,2].

3. Thyme Linalool

This powerful essential oil has therapeutic properties that make it great for a throat that needs a little help. A 2011 study showed that Thyme protects your body against icky illnesses that go around by boosting the immune system and supporting respiratory health [3].

4. Tea Tree

If your throat is feeling sore, Tea Tree has properties that help support the body’s healing process and help protect against other seasonal threats [4].

This popular, fresh and medicinal smelling essential oil is incredibly versatile. It is another great go-to when you are feeling under the weather.

5. Germ Fighter & KidSafe Germ Destroyer

Both blends are packed with amazing essential oils that can help keep your body on alert when your immune system is under attack. Try the Germ Fighter Pre-Diluted Roll-On or the Germ Destroyer Pre-Diluted Roll-On to apply directly to the hands to keep them clean and help prevent those germs from spreading!

There are also a few ways you can use these essential oils to help encourage respiratory health:

1. Apply Topically

Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore ThroatMix one of these essential oils with your favorite carrier and apply directly to the outside of the throat. Begin at a 1% dilution.

Depending on how your body reacts to it, you may choose to increase the dilution based on our maximum topical recommendation for that specific oil. If you want, you could even cool or warm the carrier oil if that feels good for you.

2. Steam Inhalation

woman in towel adding oil to tubAdd a single drop of essential oil to a bowl filled with very hot (but not quite boiling) water. Drape a towel over your head, close your eyes, and lean in close to the bowl and breathe.

You can also choose to inhale the steam without a towel if that is too intense for you.

3. Diffusion

Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore ThroatUse the intermittent timer on your diffuser and let it run for 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off. Doing this can help clean the air and may prevent the infection from spreading.

4. Gargling 

Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore ThroatDilute your chosen essential oil to 1% in the carrier oil of your choice. Fractionated Coconut Oil is flavorless, odorless, and has a thin consistency, which may make it easy to gargle. Gargle for about 30 seconds and then spit out (in your trash so you don’t clog the sink drain!).

Just a warning: don’t expect this to taste great. But feeling better will be worth it! You can also gargle Pink Himalayan Salt in warm water if you have sensitive taste buds.

5. Hydrosols

Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore ThroatThese gentle products can be very calming and soothing when a sore throat strikes. They do not require any dilution and can be used in a variety of ways. Try Lavender Hydrosol or half Chamomile Hydrosol with half Tea Tree Hydrosol.

Spray directly on the throat as often as needed or use it with along with a warm compress on the outside of the throat. You may also gargle with hydrosols to find some comfort.

Achy Throat Relief

What you’ll need:

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To use, blend the essential oils with the carrier oil and apply to the neck.

achy throat relief DIY


[1] Singh, R., Shushn, M., & Belkheir, A. (2011). Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of Mentha piperita L. Arabian Journal of Chemistry. Volume 8, Issue 3. Pgs. 322-328. Retrieved from

[2 ]Thosar, N., Basak, S., Bahadure, R. N., & Rajurkar, M. (2013). Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study. European Journal of Dentistry, 7(Suppl 1), S71–S77.

[3] Sienkiewicz, M., Lysakowska, M., Ciećwierz, J., Denys, P., & Kowalczyk, E. (2011). Antibacterial activity of thyme and lavender essential oils. Retrieved from

[4] Thosar, N., Basak, S., Bahadure, R. N., & Rajurkar, M. (2013). Antimicrobial efficacy of five essential oils against oral pathogens: An in vitro study. European Journal of Dentistry, 7(Suppl 1), S71–S77.


78 thoughts on “Essential Oils for Soothing a Sore Throat”

  • Thank you so much for writing this articles.This article will cover a number of important points.Therefore,I highly recommend this article to anyone looking for such articles.

  • Didn’t have sandalwood, substituted cedarwood for the Achy Throat Blend. Trying it out! Thanks for the recipe! Glad to finally use my Cajeput!

  • I am prone to throat and chest infections so immune aid and the like have always been on hand. Got respir-aid in my most recent kit and have found that rubbing it onto my chest helps with congestion and move mucus like *snap!*

  • I used to doubt the effectiveness of EOs. I thought yeah, its ok but is it really that much more effective? However, last week, I had flu like illness and beginings of a sore throat and cough. I diffused rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree with lavender 3x /day and my symptoms pretty much improved 90% in 48 hours.

  • I used tea tree and Indian sandalwood, along with coconut oil last night and this morning on my throat and its helping!

  • I ordered the Germ Fighter roll-on when it was offered for $5 during check-out earlier this fall (2018). I’m pretty much a DIY-er so was hesitant to buy a ready-made roll-on but am I glad I did! I really LOVE the metal roller-ball (as opposed to the plastic one in the frosted green roll-ons that I purchased a while back from Plant Therapy) with Germ Fighter. I keep it in my pencil case at work (I am a teacher), which means I see and use it fairly often (a couple of times a day). I am so exposed to germs thanks to my lovely 17-20 year old students! Germ-Fighter is helping to keep me healthy!

  • We have germ destroyer and have found it to be really helpful but hadn’t thought about putting it (diluted of course) onto hands for killing germs there – great idea. Good to know some other oils too to change it up a bit. Thanks for the info.

  • Can Indian Sandalwood be used instead of Australian Sandalwood? I noticed on PT’s product sheets that Indian Sandalwood can be used to help soothe the throat, but no mention of it for Australian Sandalwood so I was a little confused.

  • I’m glad this was here. I’m so new. Had a toddler with a sore throat and fever this weekend. I wasent sure what I could do to try to with him with what I had. I settled on the germ destroyer. Seemed to help. So far none of the other kids have gotten it either a big win in a family with 4 kid’s.

  • OMG, I can’t wait to try these oils and see how my sore throat is treated. I absolutely hate it when my sinuses drain. My poor throat is sore for days!

  • I’ve been on the fence to order sandalwood because of the price, but now I think i’ll but the bullet and order it. I have been seeing to many DIY’S to use it. This one clinches it.

  • Thank you for the sharing. Personally I use FRANKINCENSE + SANDALWOOD + ROMAN CHAMOMILE + COCONUT OIL when I get a nasty throat and have shared with friends this blend, it works well!

    Thank you

    Good to remember, Frankincense helps manage laryngitis and Sandalwood eases throat infections.

  • Thanks for this! I’ve had an extremely painful sore throat this past week, and after reading this I rolling Germ Destroyer on the throat a couple of times a day. After the first day the pain was significantly better!

  • Wow! I am not sure I can gargle with Fractionated Coconut Oil, but I can certainly try the others. Thank you so much.

  • We have some sore throats going on around here, so needed to read this. I’ve used tea tree for sore throats for years but haven’t tried the other oils recommended here.

  • Oh my I might just have to try this I’m fighting off a sinus thing that went into a nose thing and I thought my raspy throat was from yelling during the Red Sox game two nights ago. But it still here. I made an inhaler a bit ago with another oil and hoping that helps plus I have a different one going in the diffuser. I might just have to make a version of the one posted here though I don’t have one of the oil’s I’ll have to substitute. I need to kick this thing to the curb LOL

  • I needed this post! I didn’t even know that Germ Destroyer in the Kids’ line existed. I am adding that to my list right now!

    1. Plant Therapy is working to get trained in the usage of essential oils with animals to better help educate our customers. We also are working on the labeling of our products so it is stated more clearly what essential oils can or cannot be safely used around certain animals. Unfortunately some essential oils cannot be safely used around pets, especially cats and other small animals. In the meantime, You may find this book helpful, “Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals” by Kristen Leigh Bell, in gathering more information on using essential oils with animals. Also the facebook group;

  • I’ll have to try this for my husband. He sleeps with the fan directly on his face and always complains about soar scratchy throat and his voice is always hoarse in the morning

  • This is perfect with the cold season coming up !! And it’s crazy because it really does work I’m always sceptical about this but I’m becoming a believer

  • Looks like I need to order these 2 oils. I have a ton but not these. I do have germ destroyer so I can use that in the meantime, if necessary. Thanks for the info!

  • Great article. I suffer sore throats at least a few times a year. It’s nice to have an arsenal of remedies to try. Gargling looks very interesting.

  • Just got hit with a cold/sore throat, can’t wait to receive my first order! I’m definitely going to look into getting sandalwood next time.

  • Couldn’t have been more timely with this blog. I woke up with a sore throat several days ago and used the Germ Destroyer roll-on through out the day. No more sore throat for me!!!

  • Sandalwood is my absolute favorite for sore throats! Ear Ease also is quite magical, as I found out accidentally when I grabbed the wrong roller in the middle of the night!

  • I might have to try the gargling! Would it be okay to melt regular coconut oil, and then dilute? What about using coconut oil and essential oils during oil pulling?

  • This is a great topic. As someone who uses her singing voice on a daily basis, keeping it healthy is paramount. I appreciate having these ideas at the ready. I do have to say though that since incorporating essential oils into my life a year and a half ago, I haven’t had the bi-yearly voice loss/sore throat issue! Chalking it up to their immune boosting qualities.

  • Doesn’t look like cajeput is on the safe list for pregnant/nursing. Any suggestions for substitutes for this?

  • I watched the live video and totally love that they give us a kids safe version, I run out of Germ Destroyer, but definitely buy more.

    Thank you for this great ideas, keep them coming! lol

  • Hopefully I won’t need this blend this cold and flu season, but in case I do I will look forward to trying it!

  • My family just started to feel the effects of the cold season but I am determined not to let it get a hold of us! So I’ve been diffusing Germ Destroyer and I like the recipe listed above to be used topically on the throat, I will definitely be trying that this week. So far, I have to say, though, that diffusing Germ Destroyer and also having it in our foaming hand wash (using the recipe from PT’s previous blog post on DIY foaming hand wash) has been keeping my family healthy thus far! I’m so thankful for the use of essential oils and even more grateful for PT’s blog postings!!!

    1. It’s that time of year again and Germ Destroyer is always a favorite to help keep those germs away. So happy to hear that it’s been helping to keep you and your family healthy so far!

  • Wonderful information for the upcoming months of cold/flu season ahead. I guess I should add Sandalwood to my oily collection.

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