Best Tea for Sore Throat: 9 Natural Recipes to Try

Updated in October 2022
Scientifically proven

Some teas, like lemon, garlic and ginger tea, star anise tea or pomegranate tea, are rich in anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antimicrobial substances. These help to eliminate viruses and bacteria that can cause throat inflammation. 

These teas help to relieve symptoms of a sore throat, like pain, difficulty swallowing, itchiness or throat irritation. In addition to drinking tea, it is also important to keep your throat hydrated. You are advised to drink small sips of water throughout the day, as this can help with a quicker recovery and treat the sensation of irritation in the throat. 

Although these teas do no substitute medical treatment, they are a good option for relieving symptoms of a sore throat and can be used as prescribed treatment from the doctor. 

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The best teas to relieve a sore throat are: 

1. Lemon tea with garlic and ginger 

Tea made with lemon, garlic and ginger contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Allicin (present in the garlic), phenolic compounds like gingerol, chogaol and zingerone (present in the ginger), and the vitamin C (from the lemon) help to fight throat inflammation caused by the cold or flu. 

In addition, this tea helps to strengthen the immune system and decrease the duration of the virus. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice 
  • 1 cm of ginger root or ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger 
  • 3 cups of water 
  • Honey to sweeten (optional)

How to prepare

Boil the water with the garlic. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, ginger and honey. Strain and serve. 

Ginger should not be consumed by those taking anticoagulants or by those with a history of stomach ulcers. It contains anticoagulant properties that can increase the risk for bleeding and hemorrhage, therefore it should be omitted from the tea. 

2. Star anise tea 

Star anise tea helps to strengthen the immune system and decrease sore throat symptoms caused by the cold and flu. It is rich in phenolic compounds with antioxidant action that neutralize free radicals that interfere with correct immune system functioning.

In addition, star anise contains antiviral activity due to chemical acid, a natural substance that is used to fight the flu. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of star anise
  • 500 mL (about 2 cups) of boiling water
  • Honey to sweeten (optional) 

How to prepare

Pour the boiling water into a cup and add the star anise. Cover, allow to cool, strain and sweeten with honey. You can drink this 3 times per day for as long as you have symptoms. 

3. Pomegranate tea 

Pomegranate tea is rich on polyphenols, flavonoids, alkaloids, and triterpenes, which are substances with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They help to to treat a sore throat and relieve pain and discomfort. 

Ingredients

  • 10 g pomegranate peel
  • 1 cup of water 

How to prepare

Add the pomegranate peel to a pot with the water. When it starts to boil, keep it on heat for another 5 minutes then remove from the stove. Cover the pot, allowing the peels to soak for another 5 minutes. Once cool, you can drink the tea, 2 to 3 times per day. 

Pomegranate tea should not be used by children under 2 years of age, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. It is also not advised for people with a history of gastritis or stomach ulcers, as it can irritate the stomach. 

4. Pineapple tea with honey

Pineapple is very rich in vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and fights off many diseases, particularly viral diseases. It is a great option for treating a sore throat caused by the cold or flu, or to strengthen the voice prior to a presentation, show or class.

Ingredients

  • 2 slice of pineapple (with peel) 
  • ½ liter (about 2 cups) of water
  • Honey to sweeten (optional) 

How to prepare

Pour the water into a pot and add the pineapple slices. Boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cover the pot. Then allow to cool and strain. Once cool. you can strain and drink various times throughout the day. 

To make the tea thicker to lubricate the throat, you can a little bit of honey. However, do not add honey if you have an allergy to honey, propolis or pollen. Check out other home remedies for a sore throat that you can try..

5. Salvia tea with sea salt

Another excellent home remedy for sore throats is to gargle with a warm salvia and sea salt tea. Salvia contains astringent properties that temporarily relieve pain, while the sea salt contains anti-septic properties that help to boost recovery of inflamed tissue.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of dried salvia 
  • ½ teaspoon of sea salt 
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) of boiling water

How to prepare

Place the salvia in a pot or container and pour the boiling water over it. Cover the infusion and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Then strain and add the sea salt. Gargle this tea while warm at least twice a day, making sure to spit it out. 

6. Plantain leaf tea with propolis

Plantain leaves contain antibiotic and anti-inflammatory action that is useful for fighting symptoms of throat inflammation. When taken while warm, its effects are heightened and it soothes irritation. 

Ingredients

  • 30 g of plantain leaves 
  • 1 L (about 34 oz) of water 
  • 10 drops of propolis 

How to prepare

Boil the water, add the plantain leaves and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Once cool, strain and add 10 drops of propolis. This tea can be used to gargle 3 to 5 times per day. Be sure to spit it out. 

Propolis should not be used in people with an allergy to propolis, honey or pollen. In these cases, they should not be added to the tea.

7. Eucalyptus tea

Eucalyptus is a natural antiseptic that helps the body to fight microorganisms that can cause throat inflammation. 

Ingredients

  • 10 eucalyptus leaves
  • 1 liter (about 34 oz) of water 

How to prepare

Boil the water and add the eucalyptus leaves. Then allow to cool and inhale the vapor released from the tea twice per day for 15 minutes. 

8. White willow tea

White willow, scientifically known as Salix alba, contains strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of salicin. This substance, which is the main ingredient of aspirin, can help to relieve symptoms of a sore throat, like pain, irritation and discomfort when swallowing.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons of white willow bark 
  • 2 cups of water 

How to prepare

Boil the water and add the white willow. Allow to boil for 10 minutes, then strain and drink 2 cups per day. 

This tea should not be consumed by children, pregnant women or breastfeeding women. It should also be avoided by those with an aspirin allergy, people who use anticoagulants, or those with a history of gastrointestinal problems, like ulcers, gastritis, GERD, colitis or diverticulitis. 

9. Stryphnodendron tea

Stryphnodendron tea is rich in alkaloids, flavonoids and sterols, which contain antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and analgesic properties. These can all contribute to relieving inflammation and throat pain. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of stryphnodendron bark 
  • 1 L (about 34 oz) of water 

How to prepare

Add the stryphnodendron bark and the water to a pot and boil over low heat for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow to soak for another 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and drink 3 to 4 times per day. 

Stryphnodendron tea should not be consumed by pregnant or breastfeeding women, nor by people with serious stomach problems, like ulcers or stomach cancer. 

Other tips for a sore throat 

Another option to help improve a sore throat is to eat a square of bitter chocolate and a mint leaf at the same time. This combination helps to lubricate the throat and relieve discomfort. The chocolate should be over 70% cacao to ensure a sufficient amount of flavonoids to treat the sore throat.

You can also prepare a fruit smoothie with 1 square of the same 70% chocolate, 1/4 cup of milk and 1 banana. This can also help to relieve throat pain associated with a cold or flu. 

Read more about pharmacy medications and natural options to treat a sore throat at home.