• 03/23/2024

What Are the Best Teas for Sore Throat?

A woman drinking a cup of tea.

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Woke up to an itchy throat? The best natural remedy might just be in your kitchen. Teas are widely known for their healing powers that help fight inflammation. Discover the 10 best teas for sore throat so you can recover quickly.

What Causes Sore Throat?

Many factors can trigger a sore throat. Possible causes include:

  • A strep, a bacteria group that causes strep throat 
  • Allergies
  • Viruses that can cause flu or colds
  • Smoking or exposure to smoke
  • Upper respiratory tract illness

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), viral infection is the most common cause. When you have a sore throat, the most apparent sign is pain when swallowing. Other symptoms include a dry and scratchy feeling at the back of the throat, runny nose, cough and changes in voice.

The discomfort usually lasts five to seven days. A sore throat can often be treated at home without medical treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids will help relieve pain and keep the throat moist, which will help reduce inflammation. Aside from warm water, a popular drink of choice is tea.

Fortunately, plenty of tea options can help treat throat discomfort — most only require accessible ingredients.

10 Best Drinks to Soothe Sore Throat

Get your warm water and cup ready for these easy drink options.

1. Licorice Root Tea

You may know licorice as a sweetener, but this plant extract can do wonders for your aching throat. It contains antimicrobial and antiviral properties that fight off harmful substances that cause inflammation in your throat. It’s the ideal tea if you desire a sweet drink. Other benefits include boosting your immune system and aiding digestion. Avoid drinking in large quantities to prevent adverse side effects.

Licorice Root Tea: $10.19 on Amazon

2. Ginger Tea

Ginger is the perfect remedy for sore throat, fever and stomach ache. It’s a powerful ingredient that can help reduce inflammation in the body, making it one of the best teas for sore throat. Ginger tea is high in antibacterial properties that fight off infection-causing bacteria. It’s best consumed as is, but you can add a teaspoon of honey if you want a hint of sweetness. 

Ginger Tea: $8.99 on Amazon

3. Turmeric Tea

This popular spice is derived from the root of Curcuma longa and contains curcumin, an antioxidant that provides anti-inflammatory properties. Aside from soothing sore throat, this herbal drink can improve mental focus and boost mood. It has a slightly spicy and wooden taste that keeps you mentally awake and protects your throat from bacteria and viruses. Consider adding fresh mango juice if you want to spruce up your drink.

Turmeric Ginger Tea: $14.99 on Amazon

4. Green Tea

Packed with antioxidant properties, green tea is perfect as your everyday pick-me-up and a sore throat remedy. Its nutritional contents help fight off many infections, including the viruses that may be causing your sore throat. Aside from killing harmful substances, it can also soothe pain.

Since it doesn’t contain caffeine, it can aid in relaxing your body before bedtime, helping you recover faster. Remember not to over-steep your tea as it can make your drink taste bitter. Steep your tea bag in boiling water for only three minutes for that perfect flavor.

Green Tea: $14.99 on Amazon

5. Cinnamon Tea

Cinnamon is more than a tasty spice. It’s also a remedy for a sore throat with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help boost brain function and reduce fever and chills. Try a spiced black tea blend with honey or milk for a traditional tea. While generally safe, allergic reactions might happen.

Cinnamon Stick Tea: $9.99 on Amazon

6. Chamomile Tea

This drink is popularly consumed before bed for relaxation, but it’s also known to calm irritation in your throat. It has antispasmodic properties, which help relieve coughing. Like green tea, chamomile contains antioxidants that help fight inflammation. If your itchy throat keeps you awake at night, this can help you enjoy a good night’s rest.

Chamomile Tea: $14.99 on Amazon

7. Thyme Tea

Did you know that your favorite herb can help soothe an irritated throat? Thyme has numerous health benefits, including cough relief and relaxation before bedtime. It can also help alleviate indigestion, support respiratory health and protect cells from free radical damage. You don’t have to buy tea bags from the grocery store — simply use the thyme you have at home. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Heat one cup of water in a saucepan and wait to boil. 
  2. Place fresh or dried thyme leaves into a heatproof cup or teapot.
  3. Pour the boiling water over the leaves and steep for around five to 10 minutes.
  4. Get a tea infuser or a fine-mesh strainer to remove tea leaves from your drink.
  5. Drink as is or add a sweetener of your choice. Some recommendations include a slice of lemon for a citrusy flavor or honey for that soothing effect.

Thyme Tea: $12.99 on Amazon

8. Peppermint Tea

This minty herb can do more than freshen your breath. It can also relieve your throat pain and headaches caused by the flu, making it one of the best teas for sore throat. It provides antimicrobial and antiviral effects in your body, helping kill the virus that may have caused the infection in your throat. Peppermint tea also contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant. This drink is also ideal for reducing dysmenorrhea.

Peppermint Tea: $15.99 on Amazon

9. Elderberry Tea

Elderberry plants come in various colors, such as black, red and blue. It’s best enjoyed cooked, as raw and ripe berries and flowers can have adverse health effects. To cook the berries, boil them in water and remove the solids. The resulting flavor is a sweet taste with earthy undertones.

Aside from bringing temporary sore throat relief, elderberry tea can help treat influenza and boost immunity. You can alter the flavor using natural ingredients like ginger, cinnamon, orange juice or honey.

Elderberry Lemon Tea: $23.88 on Amazon

10. Marshmallow Root Tea

This herb is a natural remedy for respiratory, digestive and skin conditions. The healing properties of marshmallow root are associated with its mucilage content, often found in skin products and cough syrups. It also has the potential to act as a diuretic, aid in digestion and support heart health. Its antioxidant properties also protect your body from harmful toxins.

Marshmallow Leaf Tea: $9.97 on Amazon

Drink These Best Teas for Sore Throat Today

When trying these tea options, it’s essential to remember that they only provide hydration and relief, not permanent relief. Since teas offer many benefits other than fighting inflammation in the throat, it’s a great idea to still enjoy a warm cup when you have an itchy, sore throat.

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