When you wake up with that awful, scratchy feeling in your throat, what do you reach for? Numbing cool ice-cream? Throat lozenges? Or, like us, do you reach for a cup of soothing tea?
We like to think that a good cup of tea can solve most problems, including a sore throat. From traditional teas to herbal tisanes, there are many different teas you can try to soothe the pain in your throat and restore your health!
Benefits of Drinking Tea When Your Throat is Sore
Tea is closely related to the medicinal world, with history showing how many cultures have used tea and herbs infused with water to cure symptoms for centuries. A sore throat is rarely a serious medical problem, but it certainly is annoying. Instead of reaching for alcohol lozenges or painkillers, a natural remedy could do the trick.
While tea can’t perform miracles, there have been many studies into the properties of tea and antioxidants it contains. From reducing inflammation to calming anxiety and stress caused by illness, tea is a very healthy and nutritious drink. Why not give it a go?
Which Teas to Drink for A Sore Throat
There are many teas you can drink to soothe your throat. In general, the hot, soothing effects of traditional teas (black, green, white, etc.) is very good for your throat. A calming cup of tea can be just what you need to rehydrate and restore your throat in the morning.
For a persistent sore throat or a sore throat that’s accompanied by a cold or illness, a more targeted tea is required. Try these herbal tisanes a few times a day to soothe your symptoms. Mix and match your preferred herbs or try them with your normal black or green tea.
Green Tea for Sore Throats
Green tea is an excellent choice for your sore throat, whether you gargle it or enjoy a few cups throughout the day. Furthermore, green tea is relatively low in caffeine so you can comfortably have a cup in the evenings to soothe a sore throat without feeling wide awake.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes your inflamed throat and helps your body fight off any bacteria or viruses causing the symptoms. Green tea also contains l-theanine, an amino acid that helps you feel calm, relaxed and focused – we all need a little stress-relief when we’re feeling under the weather!
- Use 1 teaspoon of green tea or 1 green tea bag per mug.
- Infuse the tea with 80°C water (boil your kettle then leave it to cool for 5 minutes) for 2-3 minutes.
- Adding lemon or honey to green tea will strengthen the sore throat-healing effects. Add these while the green tea is brewing.
Peppermint Tea for Sore Throats
If you like ice-cream and cool foods to soothe your sore throat, peppermint tea is ideal. The menthol cools your throat and clears out congestion so you can breathe a little easier. It numbs your throat, giving you a chance to eat a meal for energy without causing you pain.
Peppermint relieves inflammation and pain while freshening your breath and getting you ready for the day. It’s the perfect tea to combat a morning sore throat. At the end of the day, peppermint can reinvigorate you so it’s not too good to have before bed. If you need a late-night sore throat remedy, try chamomile below.
- Peppermint tea is made from the fresh leaves of the peppermint plant – but you can easily find peppermint tea bags in most stores.
- Brew it with boiling water for up to 5 minutes until it’s strong and minty. Sip slowly.
- You can also try it with a teaspoon of honey or cold brewed for a chilled sore throat remedy.
Chamomile Tea for Sore Throats
Chamomile is the key ingredient in many sleep-time teas. It’s best known for it’s calming, anti-anxiety, sleep-inducing properties. But chamomile tea is also great for a sore throat. It has anti-inflammatory effects that gently soothe your throat. The mild flavour is ideal if your stomach is feeling a little sensitive too. Inhaling the steam from chamomile tea can also dislodge a blocked nose so you can sleep a little easier.
- Chamomile tea is very easy to find online, in supermarkets and in tea stores.If you have a chamomile plant, you can use fresh flowers too.
- You can pour boiling water directly onto 1-2 teaspoons of the dry flowers/1 tea bag, or you can let the water cool to 80°C like a green tea.
- A cooler, slower infusion results in nicer tasting chamomile, but using boiling water creates equally healthy and nutritious chamomile tea for your sore throat.
Honey Tea for Sore Throats
When you’re feeling a bit down and under the weather, something sweet and homey is just what you need to cheer you up. But adding honey to your normal tea, whether it’s black, green or herbal, does more than just appeal to your sweet tooth. Honey is an amazing ingredient to drink when you’ve got a cold or sore throat. Not only does it suppress your cough, but it also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial properties. It soothes swollen throat tissue, gives you a little energy boost, and fights off the virus that’s causing the soreness.
- We love having black tea with a good teaspoon or two of honey. You could also have it with green tea, to boost the health effects, or with any of the herbal teas below. It goes very well with lemon and ginger.
- Adding honey slightly thickens the tea too, helping it coat your throat and ensure the health benefits are really absorbed right where they’re needed.
Lemon Tea for Sore Throats
You might flinch at the thought of bitter, sharp, biting lemon for a sore throat, but bear with us. It’s a great remedy! Lemon tea cuts through the phlegm and congestion that builds up with a sore throat and reduces inflamed tissue in the walls of your throat. Furthermore, the acidity of lemon tea can prevent bacteria from thriving and vitamin C encourages your body to produce more white blood cells to fight infection.
- It will be a little sharp and bitter, but there’s nothing that can be fixed with a drop of honey.
- The classic combination of lemon, ginger and honey tea is excellent for a sore throat, or you can create lemon tea by itself.
- Place 1 slice of lemon in a mug of freshly boiled water or add a few drops of lemon juice to freshly boiled water.
- Don’t add too much lemon juice, especially if it’s concentrated. Using fresh lemon is better. Sweeten to taste and sip slowly.
Turmeric Tea for Sore Throats
Turmeric has been a bit of a super-food for 2019 with health fanatics claiming it can do all sort of wonderful things for your health. We tend to agree! Turmeric, a relative to ginger (another great tea for sore throats), has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It soothes the pain of your sore throat, reduces swelling and inflammation, AND fights off the virus or bacteria that’s causing the sore throat or illness!
- It has an earthy, spicy and slightly bitter flavour with a tang like ginger or mustard. It goes very well with honey.
- To make turmeric tea, you can infuse fresh turmeric with simmering water for 5 minutes then strain it out, or use powdered turmeric directly into the water to create a slightly thicker tea.
- Adding turmeric to matcha (powdered green tea) is another great way to ingest this sore throat soothing ingredient in a thick, creamy drink.
Sage Tea for Sore Throats
Sage tea is an old remedy for a sore throat. You can use fresh sage leaves or dried sage – both should be easy to find at the supermarket. It has an herby flavour with a slight bitterness (simply add honey to soothe away the astringency) and a few floral notes. If you enjoy floral green teas and tisanes, you might enjoy this one.
Sage is particularly effective at reducing the pain from a sore throat. In fact, sage has been used throughout history to effectively combat a whole range of oral problems from bad breath to viral infections. You might also notice that it helps calm and suppress a cough and flu-like symptoms.
- To make sage tea for a sore throat, infuse 1 teaspoon of dried sage or 2 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves per 1 mug of water.
- If using fresh herbs, chop them finely until you have 2 full teaspoons worth.
- Infuse the herbs in simmering water for 10 minutes, then strain out the leaves and add honey to taste.
Ginger Tea for Sore Throats
Ginger tea is made from the root of the ginger plant – it’s a very common cooking ingredient and you can find it easily at the supermarket. It has a zingy taste with a fiery, warming sensation that will really soothe and warm your throat. If your sore throat is irritating you to the point you wish you could scratch it out like an itch, ginger tea is a good option.
It’s best to use fresh ginger rather than dried ginger. It reduces inflammation in your throat, soothes with a warming sensation, and encourages your body to flush out toxins. It’s great for colds and the flu too.
To make ginger tea, follow our Best Ginger Tea Recipe. All you need is a 1cm cube of fresh ginger root and a mug of boiling water, plus honey or lemon to sweeten and add flavour. It’s one of the easiest teas to make.
Liquorice Root Tea for Sore Throats
Liquorice root is a sweet tea ingredient from the liquorice plant. It’s actually used very frequently in many herbal tea blends as it adds a natural sweetness. It also adds a hint of anise, for flavour. You can find it on the ingredients list of many herbal tea blends from popular brands like Pukka.
Liquorice root contains glycyrrhizic acid, which is a known anti-inflammatory substance. Reducing inflammation in your throat can ease away that tight, rough contracting feeling and relax the walls of your throat.
Pregnant women and people with hypertension should avoid liquorice in all forms. Drinking too much can cause high blood pressure and heartbeat irregularity, so be careful with how much you drink.
- To brew liquorice root tea, use 1 teaspoon of dried liquorice per mug.
- Infuse the liquorice root in simmering water for at least 5 minutes then strain out the liquorice and slowly sip the tea.
Soothe Away Your Sore Throat
Tea is an excellent way to cure your sore throat or squash the annoying symptoms of a cold or flu. Whether you like it hot with a generous helping of soothing honey or cool with invigorating peppermint leaves, a cup of tea could be the key to getting you back on your feet.