It may not be cold and flu season, but it’s always beneficial to know how to get rid of a sore throat. Springtime is a popular time of year to experience allergies or general infections, and there’s nothing fun about either scenario. Both tend to result in that scratchy discomfort that you know will lead to unpleasant, sickly feelings.
Although you may not be able to cure your sore throat overnight, drinking certain herbal teas can accelerate your recovery. Licorice root, slippery elm, peppermint, and more teas may reduce throat swelling and mucus production. Warm teas like these help the throat open and relax, opening the door for healing to begin. While iced beverages may seem better and more refreshing, hot liquids are best for soothing a sore throat. Several studies found that iced beverages can cause throat spasms, which cause more irritation.
There are many warm brews that will support and soothe a sore throat. We don’t have all of them detailed in this article, but we tried to round up the best ones. Keep reading to learn which teas are most effective at soothing a sore throat.
Ginger root is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that can help soothe indigestion and sore throat. The gingerols and shogoals in ginger exhibit pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, which work to reduce irritation. Several scientific studies say that ginger may exhibit antimicrobial properties that fight viral infections that cause sore throats. Many of the studies on ginger, though, use ginger extract, which may have a higher dose of antiviral properties than regular ginger tea. More research is necessary to determine if ginger tea has the same effects.
Licorice Root Tea
There is some research indicating licorice root’s ability to eliminate phlegm and mucus. It may also act as a coating agent, helping to soothe a sore throat. Researchers identified three important substances in licorice root that may relieve sore throat pain: liquilitin, liquiritigenin, and glycyrrhizin. Both liquilitin and liquiritigenin are expectorants, which work to loosen mucus so you can cough it up more easily. Glycyrrhizin acts as a demulcent, which provides the protective coating over the throat, preventing irritation when you swallow.
Dealing with a scratchy throat and a nasty cough? Bust out the peppermint tea because it is one of the best teas for soothing a sore throat. The menthol in peppermint exhibits antiviral and antibacterial properties. One study found that it has an antitussive effect, meaning it may have the ability to relieve a cough. More research on this is necessary, though. Other benefits of drinking peppermint tea include relieving upset stomach and cleaning out sinuses.
Marshmallow Root Tea
No, this tea has nothing to do with s’mores, nor does it taste like roasted marshmallows. Marshmallow root tea is great for loosening mucus in the throat, meaning you can cough it up more easily. That may relieve a dry cough so you experience less pain in the throat. A 2018 study surveyed people who took marshmallow root syrup or lozenges to treat a cough. Within 10 minutes, most of the people reported that their throats felt much better and had a reduced urge to cough.
Although many people drink green tea for the caffeine, it does have powerful antioxidants that help enhance immune function. Many of the anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties come from epigallocatechin-3-gallate. This compound works to reduce inflammatory proteins in the body, accelerating the healing process. Sore throats tend to result from an inflamed pharynx, which can make swallowing a more painful experience. In order to reap the benefits of green tea, you can either drink it or you can gargle with it. If you choose to gargle green tea, please do so for 30 seconds at a time. Make sure the tea is warm, not hot, so that you don’t burn your mouth when you gargle.
Slippery Elm Tea
Just like licorice root, slippery elm has demulcent properties that provide a protective coating on the throat. The plant’s mucilage contains antioxidants that work to provide soothing properties to calm irritation. In addition to relieving sore throat pain, slippery elm may also soothe an upset stomach. If you experience indigestion, upset stomach, or need relief from coughing, brew a cup of slippery elm tea and drink it until symptoms subside.