A sore throat is a common illness that can make your life uncomfortable any time. The first household remedy that comes to the mind of most people is a steaming cup of tea.
If you are one of them, we have brought you these 6 best teas for sore throat & cough based on science. Also included are their simple recipes to prepare them easily.
So, try these teas and let their warmth, flavor, and smell ease your throat-discomfort.
Table of Contents
- A. What is a Sore Throat and What Causes It?
- B. How Various Teas Relieve a Sore Throat?
- C. 6 Best Teas for a Sore Throat + Recipes
- D. What Are the Risks of Drinking Tea for a Sore Throat?
A. What is a Sore Throat and What Causes It?
A sore throat is the irritation, scratchiness, or pain of the throat.
It is caused by the inflammation of pharynx (a five-inch-long tube that starts near our nose and ends at our windpipe). This condition is known as Pharyngitis.
The factors causing a sore throat are:
- Food sensitivity
- Environmental allergies
- Bacterial or viral infections
And, the symptoms that appear during a sore throat are:
- Body aches
B. How Various Teas Relieve a Sore Throat?
1. Herbal Teas
- Herbal teas contain a type of mucilage (A thick gluey substance (gum) produced by many plants) that coats mucous membrane and speeds up its healing process.
(FYI, Mucous membrane is the tissue that lines the pharynx and many other tracts and structures).
- Also, these teas are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate the symptoms.
- Even better, herbal teas stimulate the immune system and help body deal with a sore throat.
University of Maryland Medical Center finds teas made from- licorice root, eucalyptus, slippery elm, peppermint and marshmallow root to be effective for sore throat.
2. Spiced Teas
- Spiced teas contain antifungal, antibacterial, and mucus-loosening properties to relieve a sore throat.
Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library recommends teas made from peeled and sliced ginger root, whole cinnamon bark, or crushed garlic and cloves to soothe a sore throat.
3. Traditional Teas
Traditional teas are derived from a single plant, i.e. Camellia sinensis plant. These teas include oolong tea, green tea, black tea, white tea, and pu-erh tea.
- Traditional teas contain powerful antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. With a strong immune system, your body recovers from a sore throat quickly.
4. Fusion Teas
Fusion teas have added health benefits as they are infused with natural sweeteners that contain medicinal properties.
The common ingredients used are-
- Honey– It reduces inflammation
- Citrus fruits such as lemon and orange- They boost immunity with their high vitamin C content.
C. 6 Best Teas for a Sore Throat + Recipes
1. Slippery Elm Tea
Slippery elm tea is the best herbal tea for a sore throat. It contains a thick & gluey substance called mucilage. This mucilage coats the throat, soothes it, and reduces its irritation. As a result, the tea cures a sore throat faster with minimal pain.
- A study examining the bark of slippery elm confirmed the soothing effects of slippery elm tea on a sore throat and inflamed larynx. However, further research is required.
- The same study also found that slippery elm tea is more soothing than decaffeinated orange pekoe tea.
Slippery Elm Tea Recipe
- 1 tablespoon Slippery elm powder
- 1 cup Boiling water
- Pour boiling water in a cup.
- Add 1 tablespoon slippery elm powder. Stir to mix it well.
- Let it sit for 1 min to thicken up
- Drink slippery elm tea 1-2 times a day to soothe your inflamed throat.
2. Licorice Root Tea
According to mayo clinic– Licorice root tea is a commonly used alternative remedy for a sore throat. Enriched with anti-inflammatory properties, the tea soothes inflamed throat in no time.
Also, it increases mucus production and keeps the upper-respiratory system healthy by removing old & sticky mucus.
Licorice root tea Recipe
- 1 teaspoon Dry licorice root (chopped)
- 1 cup Water
- Add 1 cup of water in a saucepan.
- Bring the water to boil.
- Now add 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root to the saucepan.
- Turn off the flame and let the licorice root steep for 5 minutes.
- Pour the tea into a cup through a strainer.
- Note: Do not consume licorice root tea in large doses or for more than 1 week.
3. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is one of the most widely available herbal remedies for a sore throat.
- A Study found that chamomile lubricates throat and wards off pain and hoarseness.
- Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling and redness.
- Besides, the antioxidants in chamomile help repair throat tissue and heal it quicker.
- The tea can even suppress cough with its antispasmodic action.
Chamomile Tea Recipe
- 1 cup Water
- 2-4 gram Chamomile flowers (fresh or dried)
- 1 teaspoon Honey (optional)
- Add water in a saucepan and boil it.
- Add chamomile flowers and turn off the flame.
- Close the lid and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Strain chamomile tea into a cup.
- Add honey to taste.
- Drink this tea 1-2 times a day to soothe your throat.
4. Turmeric Tea
Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from ginger family.
Research suggests that turmeric tea is full of anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and powerful antioxidant properties. These properties turn turmeric tea into an effective pain-reliever.
Moreover, the tea also reduces irritation of the mucosal membrane in the throat, caused due to swallowing.
Turmeric Tea Recipe
- 1½ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric (ground, grated, or powdered)
- Honey, ginger. lemon (Optional)
- Boil 2 cups of water in a saucepan.
- Add 1/2 – 1 tsp of ground, grated, or powdered turmeric.
- Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain the tea in a cup and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Optionally, you can add ginger, honey, or lemon for flavor and antimicrobial properties.
- Drink turmeric tea 1-2 times a day.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is known for its abundance of Green tea catechins, especially the Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These catechins with their anti-inflammatory properties reduce pain and swelling.
- Moreover, its anti-viral properties provide protection against adenovirus, which causes a sore throat.
- According to Iowa State University, catechins encourage your immune system to release proteins that specifically target bacteria and viruses.
- Not only that, even just gargling green tea can soothe sore throat and tonsils.
Go for caffeine-free green tea to get maximum benefits of its health & immune-boosting properties.
Green Tea Recipe
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Green tea leaves (caffeine-free)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon or honey (optional)
- Boil 1 cup of water in a saucepan.
- Add 1 tsp of green tea leaves in the boiling water. Turn off the flame.
- Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the infusion in a cup through a strainer.
- You can also add lemon or honey.
- Drink hot 2-3 times daily to get relief from throat pain and swelling.
6. Lemon Ginger Tea
Lemon ginger tea is another commonly used infusion to treat cold, cough, congestion, and sore throat.
The tea is a combination of lemon and ginger; the two ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
- Ginger with its anti-inflammatory action reduces throat pain and irritation.
- It also acts as an expectorant. This means it loosens the old clogging mucus and clears the upper-respiratory system.
- And, lemon with its abundance of vitamin c stimulates the immune system to speed up sore throat recovery. Moreover, it creates a hostile environment for bacteria and viruses, preventing their growth.
Also adding honey not only sweetens your tea but also soothes your throat and suppresses a cough. Plus, its anti-bacterial action reduces the bacterial growth responsible for a sore throat.
Lemon ginger tea Recipe
- 1½ cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- 1 teaspoon Tea leaves
- Heat 1½ cups of water in a pan.
- Just as the water begins to boil, add ginger.
- After 1 minute, add lemon juice and tea leaves.
- Strain it into a cup.
- Add honey to taste.
- Drink the tea 1-2 times a day to relieve your sore throat.
D. What Are the Risks of Drinking Tea for a Sore Throat?
It is advised to talk to a doctor about your symptoms before trying herbal remedies for your sore throat, especially when you’re on a medication.
This is because it is quite possible that some herbs in these teas can-
- Interact with medications, or
- Pose risk if you have certain health conditions, or
- Be risky with overconsumption, for example- licorice root tea
Besides, also seek medical attention if your sore throat is getting worse or isn’t improving.