Best Teas for a Sore Throat
September 12, 2022
There is no mistaking the early signs of an oncoming sore throat: the telltale tickle in the back of your throat, the scratchy feeling when you speak, the discomfort when you swallow. From cold and flu season to allergy season, sore throats are a fact of life that everybody has to face from time to time.
A cup of hot tea is an age–old remedy for scratchy throats, and many people instinctively reach for a steamy cup when they feel a sore throat coming on. Warm liquids of all kinds can feel soothing for an achy throat, and may help to loosen congestion. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps you stay hydrated and can keep your throat moist, reducing discomfort.
Wondering which kind of tea is best to sip when you are suffering from a sore throat? While all warm teas may offer soothing benefits, teas containing certain ingredients can provide even greater relief by quelling inflammation and clearing congestion.* The next time you feel a scratchy throat coming on, try one of these top teas for a sore throat.*
1. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root is a well-known holistic remedy for a sore throat. Research has demonstrated that gargling licorice water may be effective at reducing discomfort in patients suffering from postoperative sore throat and coughing after intubation.*
Licorice contains the compounds liquilitin and liquiritigenin, which act as expectorants and work by loosening phlegm.* It also contains glycyrrhizin, which serves as a demulcent — a compound that eases inflammation by forming a protective film over the irritated mucous membranes of the throat and mouth.
2. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric powder is known around the globe for its vibrant golden color and pungent, earthy flavor. It is made from the dried and ground roots of the turmeric plant, Curcuma longa. Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which has been studied extensively for its anti–inflammatory properties.*
3. Chamomile Tea
A cup of chamomile tea is a time–tested folk remedy for calming frayed nerves. But did you know chamomile may also be effective at soothing sore throats?* This gentle herb has moderate antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, which may aid in reducing discomfort and lubricating the irritated tissues of the throat.*
Some studies have also demonstrated that inhaling chamomile steam may be effective at lessening the severity of common cold symptoms, such as upper respiratory inflammation and congestion.* Breathe in the fragrant steam wafting from your cup as you mindfully sip your chamomile tea.
Try It: Chamomile Lemon Tea
4. Ginger Tea
It is well known that sipping a cup of ginger tea may help to soothe an upset stomach, but as it turns out, ginger may also be effective at easing the severity of a sore throat.* Ginger root contains the functional compounds gingerol and shogaol, which have anti–inflammatory properties and may reduce pain.*
Additionally, research has shown that ginger may offer antimicrobial benefits, and may be effective in fighting bacterial infections.*
Try It: Biodynamic® Ginger Tea Bags
5. Green Tea
While all teas made from the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) contain antioxidants, green tea in particular has a high concentration of polyphenols — specifically the compound EGCG. Not only are antioxidants important for supporting your body’s natural immunity, but they may also alleviate some of the discomfort of a sore throat by reducing inflammation.*
Clinical studies have shown that gargling with green tea may reduce throat pain experienced by patients who have undergone endotracheal intubation.* The next time your throat is feeling sore, you can sip a cup or try gargling it. Be sure to let the steeped green tea cool to a comfortable temperature, then gargle for around thirty seconds before spitting it out. Repeat several times as needed.
Try It: Honey Ginseng Green Tea
*Note: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.