9 Best Teas For Treating Sore Throat (2022)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, we may earn a small commission for qualifying purchases.

Last Updated on October 12, 2022

9 Best Teas For Treating a Sore Throat Naturally

Tea For Treating a Sore Throat Naturally

Do you instinctively reach for a soothing cup of tea when you wake up with a sore throat? Does this actually make a difference or is it all in the mind?

A sore throat could range from just a nagging mild pain to where even swallowing your own saliva is agonizing. Whatever the severity of your pain, it is a sign that the lining of your throat is swollen and inflamed.

Usually this is caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It could, however, also be damage and irritation from dry air, smoke, or even shouting too much while encouraging your sports team the day before.

Sipping a cup of warm tea can actually help to relieve the pain in your throat. The warm liquid is soothing, keeps your throat moist, and helps to thin and clear the mucus from your nasal passages. Furthermore, some herbal teas contain time-tested ingredients with healing properties for a sore throat.

This article looks at the best teas to treat a painful throat with natural herbs, the herbal tea ingredients most likely to be effective, other home remedies for a painful throat, and also what to avoid if your throat is painful.

Tea

Quick Comparison

If you don’t have time to read the complete article, check out our top picks below.

Our Top 9 Recommended Herbal Teas for a Sore Throat

1. Traditional Medicinals OrganicThroat Coat

Traditional Medicinals Organic Throat Coat Seasonal Tea, 16 Count (Pack of 6)
Buy on Amazon

This blend combines the three herbs most commonly used over centuries to treat a sore throat – licorice root, slippery elm bark, and marshmallow root. It also has other ingredients, like cinnamon and orange peel, which contribute to the health benefits and taste. This tea is described as sweet and earthy with a distinct licorice overtone.

The product is manufactured in the US from natural and organically grown ingredients sourced from across the world. The tea is packaged in boxes of 16 tea bags, for which the recommended steeping time is 10-15 minutes.

Pros:

  • Supports throat health
  • Could help with overall gut health
  • Caffeine free
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Climate pledge friendly
  • Certified USDA Organic

Cons:

  • Not suitable for pregnant or lactating mothers

2. Earth Mama Organic Throat Smoothie Tea with Elderflower

Earth Mama Organic Throat Smoothie Tea with Elderflower | Immune Support Formulated without Licorice...
Buy on Amazon

This tea is a blend of herbs traditionally used to soothe a sore throat, but without licorice, making it safe for pregnant women and young children. It contains both slippery elm and marshmallow root and many other healthy ingredients with antioxidant compounds, including immune-boosting elderflower. The taste is described as a delicious lemony-floral flavor.

Earth Mama products are manufactured in the USA with a focus on supporting women, especially during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The tea is packaged in boxes of 16 tea bags and the recommended steeping time is at least 5 minutes.

Pros:

  • Safe during pregnancy and lactation
  • Supports throat and gut health
  • Caffeine free
  • Climate pledge friendly
  • USDA Organic Certified

Cons:

  • Pricier than most other brands
  • Small Business, which might affect availability

3. Tazo Turmeric Bliss

Tazo Turmeric Bliss Tea Bags, Herbal, 20 Count (Pack of 6)
Buy on Amazon

Turmeric is an ancient remedy and its anti-inflammatory benefits are widely supported by research. The product also contains licorice root and a number of other beneficial ingredients, which also enhance the taste.

Tazo aims to create blends with unique and unexpected flavor combinations. The taste of turmeric bliss is described as a natural flavor of turmeric and sweet passion fruit with notes of ginger and licorice.

The product is blended in the US from organically grown ingredients sourced from across the world. The boxes contain 20 tea bags, and the recommended steeping time is 3-5 minutes. The product can be used for both warm and iced tea.

Pros:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Soothing for a sore throat
  • Caffeine free
  • Organic
  • Non-GMO

Cons:

  • No information on organic or sustainability certifications
  • Not recommended for pregnant and lactating mothers

4. Yogi Tea Throat Comfort

Yogi Tea Organic Throat Comfort Tea, 16 ct
Buy on Amazon

A blend of a variety of healthy and aromatic herbs and spices, including licorice root and slippery elm bark which are indicated for treating a sore throat.
Black cherry bark provides a naturally sweet cherry flavor, while you also get a warming sensation from the ginger and white pepper.

The ingredients from across the world are all organically grown. Packaging is in boxes of 16 tea bags, and the steeping time is 7 minutes.

Pros:

  • Supports throat health
  • Caffeine free
  • Kosher
  • Compostable tea bags
  • Climate pledge friendly
  • USDA Organic Certified

Cons:

  • Not suitable for pregnant women
  • Slightly pricier than most other brands

5. Numi Organic Tea Throat Soother, Licorice and Marshmallow Root Tea

Numi Organic Tea Throat Soother, Licorice and Marshmallow Root Tea, 16 Count (Pack of 3)
Buy on Amazon

A blend containing the traditional licorice root and marshmallow root for treating a sore throat, as well as sage, cinnamon, and clove. You can add honey and lemon to further enhance the benefits and flavor of the tea.

The product is blended by a small US-based company from organic ingredients sourced worldwide. The company prides itself on socially responsible business practices with its producers and using sustainable packaging.

The tea is packaged in boxes of 16 units. The tea bags are plant based and individually wrapped to ensure that the tea stays fresh.

Pros:

  • Supports throat and gut health
  • Socially responsible business practices
  • Environmentally friendly packaging
  • Non-GMO project verified
  • USDA Organic certified

Cons:

  • On the high end of the price scale
  • Small business so might have stock shortages
  • Not recommended for pregnant and lactating women

6. Buddha Teas OrganicThroat Bliss Blend

Buddha Teas Organic Throat Bliss Blend - OU Kosher, USDA Organic, CCOF Organic, 18 Bleach-Free Tea...
Buy on Amazon

Throat Bliss Blend contains throat-soothing licorice root and marshmallow leaf, and other herbs and spices to produce an aromatic flavor.

Buddha Teas crafts its teas in the US from organic and wild harvested plant material which is gathered with conscious care in different parts of the world. It also gives back to the planet by supporting tree planting through its partnership with the National Forest Foundation.

The tea bags are made from the fibers of the abaca plant and are 100% bleach fee. Organic throat bliss comes in boxes of 18 tea bags with a recommended steeping time of 3-6 minutes.

Pros:

  • Supports throat and gut health
  • Bleach-free tea bags
  • Kosher
  • Caffeine free
  • Climate pledge friendly
  • USDA Organic certified

Cons:

  • Product is quite pricey
  • Small business which could affect stock availability
  • Not recommended for pregnant and lactating women

7. Celestial Seasonings Herbal Honey Vanilla ChamomileTea

Celestial Seasonings Herbal Tea, Honey Vanilla Chamomile, Caffeine Free, 20 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Buy on Amazon

Chamomile and honey were traditionally used in the West to treat a sore throat. Combined with the vanilla, this blend produces a delicate, smooth, and sweet taste.
The ingredients come from all over the world, but the company both mills and blends the tea locally to ensure quality and freshness.

The product is distributed in boxes of 20 pillow tea bags. These tea bags are environmentally friendly, without tags, strings, or staples.

Pros:

  • Soothing for a sore throat
  • Suitable for pregnant and lactating women
  • Caffeine free
  • Organic
  • More reasonably priced than similar herbal blends

Cons:

  • No information on organic certification
  • Small company which could affect availability

8. Traditional Medicinals Organic Licorice Root Herbal Tea

Traditional Medicinals Organic Licorice Root Herbal Tea, Soothes Digestion, (Pack of 1) - 16 Tea...
Buy on Amazon

The only ingredient in this tea is throat-soothing organic licorice root, giving the tea an earthy licorice flavor. The licorice root used by the company is sustainably collected in the wild in Central Asia.

The product, packaged in the US, comes in boxes of 16 compostable tea bags.

Pros:

  • Supports throat and gut health
  • Kosher
  • Caffeine free
  • Non-GMO verified
  • Climate pledge friendly
  • Certified USDA Organic

Cons:

  • Not suitable for pregnant and lactating women.

9. Celebration Herbals Marshmallow Leaf and Root Tea

CELEBRATION HERBALS Marshmallow Leaf & Root Organic 24 Bag, 0.02 Pound
Buy on Amazon

This tea contains only the traditional marshmallow leaf and root which coats and soothes a sore throat and contributes to gut health in the same way. The tea is light green in color with a mellow earthy taste, described as similar to green tea. Honey can be added to sweeten the taste and increase the benefits of the tea for treating a painful throat.

Celebration Herbals focuses on producing high-quality herbal products packaged in Canada. The tea comes in boxes of 24 tea bags that should be steeped for 7-12 minutes.

Pros:

  • Supports throat and gut health
  • Safe for pregnant and lactating women
  • Organic certified by Pro-Cert
  • Organic audit trail
  • Kosher certified.

Cons:

  • Small business which could affect availability

Does Tea Actually Help For a Sore Throat?

A cup of warm tea does have benefits for a sore throat. The warmth is soothing and it helps to hydrate a scratchy throat, which also prevents coughing from the irritation in the throat.

Furthermore, a painful throat associated with a viral and bacterial infection is often caused by mucus from the nasal passages flowing down the back of the throat, especially in the case of a sinus infection. The steam we breathe in while drinking a cup of tea helps to clear the nasal passages. It moistens the mucus membranes and also helps to thin the mucus.

Besides hydration, tea contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds that can promote healing. Anti-inflammatory ingredients reduce the swelling and pain which cause the painful throat. Antioxidants boost the immune system, thus helping the body to fight the illness.

Even the frequently used 3-ingredient home remedy for a sore throat – ordinary black or green tea, lemon, and honey – has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.

There are, however, also many traditional herbal remedies for a sore throat that contain greater quantities of these ingredients and some of them even have an antimicrobial effect. The health benefits of many of these compounds are also supported by scientific evidence.

What Type Of Tea Is The Best For a Sore Throat?

Scientific studies have not shown a clear preferred natural remedy for a sore throat. The plant compounds which are most commonly recommended for treating a sore throat are listed below. Some are age-old remedies which have not been studied extensively, while others are supported by research findings.

  • Licorice Root

This is an ancient sore throat remedy that is used today not only in teas, but also in many throat lozenges and medicinal syrups for colds and flu. For quick relief of a sore throat, you can also gargle with tea made from Licorice Root.

The benefits of this Licorice Root appear to come mainly from the compound glycyrrhizin which has an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial action. Studies have highlighted its antibacterial and antiviral properties, which could be one of the reasons why it is effective in treating respiratory tract infections. Licorice is also known to improve digestive problems.

However, those with heart, kidney, and liver conditions and pregnant women should avoid consuming licorice, especially regularly or in large quantities, without first consulting their health care provider.

  • Marshmallow Leaf and Root

This herbal compound seems to have been used even by ancient Egyptians to soothe sore throats and coughs. Because of its properties, it was also originally used to make marshmallows – hence the name.

The official name of this plant is Althaea Officinalis. When mixed with water it creates a sticky gel-like substance known as mucilage. When used to treat a sore throat, the mucilage coats the throat, creating a soothing effect.

If you are suffering from SIBO or IBS, a further plus is that the mucilage also coats and soothes the lining of the rest of the digestive tract.
The compound also appears to have a pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory effect and contains high amounts of antioxidants.

  • Slippery Elm

This compound creates the same mucilage coating as Marshmallow Root, reducing inflammation, not in the throat but also in the rest of the digestive tract.
Native Americans in North America have used slippery elm, or Ulmus fulva, as a natural remedy for centuries.

  • Turmeric

Turmeric has a 4000-year history of being used in Eastern traditional medicine. We know turmeric best as the spice which gives curry its yellow color.
The main active ingredient, curcumin, has been widely researched and findings support its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

  • Chamomile

Chamomile is another centuries-old herb and it was originally used in traditional medicine in the Western world, being native to eastern and southern Europe.
Studies support its effectiveness in lubricating the throat, thereby reducing pain. Research also found that Camomile has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.

Besides drinking chamomile tea, you can also steam with this herb.

  • Green Tea

Green tea is known for being one of the best sources of antioxidants. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds. Besides consuming it as a tea, there is evidence that gargling with green tea might also help to relieve a sore throat.

What Is The Fastest Way To Cure a Sore Throat

Young Girl Making Tea

You might have sipped a warm cup of tea, but don’t have any other herbal remedies at hand. Also, anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants do take a while to work. There are a few other home remedies you can try to soothe the agonizing pain in your throat right away.

  • Gargle With Salt Water

A saltwater gargle is a remedy frequently recommended by medical practitioners for a sore throat. Besides lubricating your throat and soothing irritation, the properties of salt draw liquids out from the throat lining and, with it, bacteria and viruses.

Dissolve at least a ¼ teaspoon of salt in a ½ cup of warm water. Take a sip, tip your head back and gargle with the solution for 10-15 seconds, spit out the salt water and repeat once more. Gargle frequently throughout the day for as long as needed.

  • Drink Very Cold Liquids

The sore throat relief provided by drinking very cold liquids, or even sucking on a popsicle, is similar to icing a painful joint. It numbs the pain and reduces swelling and inflammation.

This remedy appears to be more helpful if the pain in your throat is caused by environmental factors like dry air from air conditioning, smoke, and air pollution rather than an infection.

  • Steam or Humidifier

A sore throat can feel worse if the air is dry and so moistening your throat, and the air, could provide some relief.

Steam your airways by holding your head, draped with a towel, over a bowl of boiled water, and breathing in the steam. You could also add herbs like chamomile or peppermint to the water.

If the air is very dry, using a humidifier will help to prevent the mucus in your nasal passages from becoming thick and sticky, especially while you are asleep.

What Should You Not Drink With a Sore Throat?

It is important to keep well hydrated if your throat is sore. Avoid alcohol and drinks with a high caffeine content which both have a diuretic effect, meaning that they can dehydrate you.

While a few drops of lemon in a tea can be soothing, avoid citrus and other acidic drinks which can further irritate a raw throat. This includes juices like orange and tomato, and carbonated sodas. Also, avoid acidic and highly spiced foods.

Cautions

Most of us will experience a sore throat from time to time and usually our body will be able to resolve it within days and without professional medical treatment.

However, you should consult a health care practitioner if:

  • The sore throat lasts for more than a few days
  • The pain is very severe or gets worse
  • There are other symptoms of a serious infection like a high fever, chills, painful cough, nausea, and vomiting.

Furthermore, while herbal remedies are mostly safe, they are still medicinal treatments and could interact with other medicines. You should read all instructions and be careful not to consume them in excess.

Also, consult your healthcare provider about their use if you have a chronic medical condition and are taking other prescribed medicines.

Conclusion

As we have seen, a number of traditional herbal remedies have for centuries been used effectively to treat a sore throat for many centuries. Some of them also help to treat any accompanying respiratory tract infection and may soothe the digestive tract.

You can safely relieve any pain and irritation in your throat with a cup of warm herbal tea or other home remedies. You can do this whether you are treating yourself or even while waiting for prescribed medication to kick in.

Written by Frieda Paton

Frieda is a registered nurse and published author with extensive experience throughout her career in research, scientific writing and journalism. She has now turned to writing full time to share her passion for health and wellness, helping readers to prevent and manage chronic conditions. Frieda lives and works in the small museum town of Pilgrim’s Rest in South Africa.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap