Tips for oil and tea
A sore throat can strike at any time of the year, for a multitude of reasons. When that happens, it helps to be prepared with a home remedy like mint.
The benefits of this plant are really impressive: it is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antiseptic, and cough suppressant.
Whether you consume the tea or use the essential oil, this is a natural remedy that has stood the test of time.
So, in this article, we will go over how to use peppermint for a sore throat and of course its many benefits.
Let’s dive in!
Note: This post contains some affiliate links and I earn a commission (at no additional cost to you) if you use them to make a purchase.
HOW MINT CAN HELP A SORE AND SORE THROAT
1. Kills Oral Pathogens
A 2013 study showed that peppermint has significant antibacterial properties against oral pathogens, including (source):
- E. coli.
- Candida albicans.
- Staphylococcus aureus.
- E. faecalis
Although there are multiple components in mint that account for these antimicrobial properties, the best known is menthol.
In fact, some research has shown that menthol inhibits the growth of various viruses, bacteria, and fungi (source).
2. It has analgesic properties
Peppermint demonstrates analgesic properties, meaning it relieves pain and discomfort in the body (source).
Research indicates that the pain-relieving properties of peppermint are mainly due to compounds such as (source):
Let’s take a closer look at menthol, because it has been extensively studied.
When it comes to pain relief, menthol seems to have several modes of operation. And one of the most interesting has to do with the fact that it interacts with a specific set of opioid receptors – kappa receptors – resulting in reduced pain.
Also, menthol has a cooling sensation that helps reduce the intensity of pain.
Research indicates that the essential oils of the peppermint plant play an important role in its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Also, mint is a antispasmodic. As such, it reduces spasms or involuntary muscle contractions (which can contribute to a painful cough when you have a sore throat).
In fact, the antispasmodic properties of peppermint oil have been put to the test and shown to be helpful for incredibly painful conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (1, 2).
HOW TO USE MINT LEAVES FOR SORE THROAT
1. Make a mint tea
When you’re feeling down, nothing beats the warm hug that comes from a cup of tea. Here is a quick and easy recipe for peppermint tea.
- 1 cup of water
- 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves or 1 tea bag or about 7 fresh leaves
- Raw honey (optional sweetener)
- Lemon slices (optional)
- Place the mint in a tea infuser.
- Pour very hot (but not boiling) water over the mint.
- Cover and let sit for 15 minutes (covering the mixture prevents those important essential oils from evaporating).
- Remove the leaves.
- For additional calming benefits, add raw honey or lemon wedges to the tea.
- Drink and enjoy!
2. Make an herbal tea mix
You can increase the calming properties of your peppermint tea by adding herbs like thyme and chamomile.
Both are anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, making them incredibly soothing and relaxing for the throat. I have found both to be very helpful for persistent sore throats and/or coughs.
- ½ teaspoon dried mint
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried chamomile
- 1 cup of hot water
- Raw honey (optional sweetener)
- Place the herbs in a tea infuser.
- Pour very hot (but not boiling) water over the herbs.
- Cover and let rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the leaves and pour the tea into a cup.
- Sweeten with raw honey if desired.
HOW TO USE AND APPLY PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL FOR SORE THROAT
Before we get into how to use peppermint oil, please note that it may not be right for everyone. In particular, you should avoid this oil if you experience heart fibrillation or have a G6PD deficiency (source).
1. Do a throat massage
Since a throat massage is applied to the skin, any recipe you make must meet the dermal limit for peppermint oil.
If you are not familiar with the dermal limit, it is the maximum recommended dilution for an essential oil. For mint, that limit is 5.4% (source). The following recipe is made for a 5% dilution.
Do not exceed this dermal limit, as it may increase the risk of skin irritation and other side effects.
- 1 ounce glass bottle
- 45 drops of peppermint oil
- Carrier oil (such as fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil)
- Add the essential oils in the bottle.
- Fill with carrier oil.
- Seal the bottle and roll it between the palms of your hands to mix the ingredients.
- Massage into the neck and throat area several times a day as needed for relief.
2. Steam inhalation
Steam inhalation is a fundamental part of aromatherapy. The steam can help loosen mucus in the nasal passages and throat. When you are unwell, consider steaming twice a day for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Fill a large container with hot water.
- Add 2-3 drops of peppermint oil.
- Lean over the bowl and place a towel over your head.
- Inhale the vapors for 5 to 10 minutes. If the steam feels too intense, remove the towel.
NOTE: Instead of just using peppermint oil, you can add other oils like eucalyptus, lavender, or rosemary. Just make sure not to exceed 2-3 drops. total.
Diffusing essential oils is another natural remedy to soothe a sore throat. Below are 3 essential oil blends to help you soothe a sore throat.
Please note that these measurements are for a small 100ml diffuser. If you have a larger capacity diffuser, adjust the essential oil droplets according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Also, experts recommend short bursts of diffusion. This is because extended diffusion can create unnecessary stress on the body (source). With essential oils, less really is more!
Personally, I like to diffuse for 30 minutes and then take a break of at least an hour.
- 2 drops of mint
- 1 drop of tea tree
- 1 drop of clove
- 2 drops of mint
- 1 drop of cinnamon, cloves and mint
Gargling with essential oils is another way to relieve a sore throat at home. Just make sure you don’t swallow the essential oils!
- Place 2 drops of peppermint oil and 1 drop of lavender oil in 1 tablespoon of warm water.
- Gargle for 30 seconds and spit out.
- Repeat every 4-6 hours as needed.
NOTE: You can also add ½ teaspoon of sea salt to the mix. Gargling with sea salt is a proven remedy for killing germs and even increasing your body’s ability to fight viruses (source).
As we have seen, there are many ways to use peppermint when you feel like your throat is going to hurt.
I hope this article will be useful to you when you need it!
And if you want to learn more, here is a guide on more essential oils for a sore throat.
5 Tips on How to Use Thieves Oil for a Sore Throat
18 Essential Oils For Sore Throats And How To Use Them For Fast Relief
4 Powerful Essential Oils for Pain and Inflammation
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