Suffering from a sore throat is a terrible experience. Each swallow feels like a golf ball pushing down your throat. Just laying on the coach is exhausting because of the nagging scratching burning sensation every present throughout the day.
You feel miserable.
Relief is just around the corner, but not in the form of pills from the pharmacy. For a natural, effective treatment, choose essential oils.
The Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils make a great addition to a prepper’s defense against sore throats. The chemical properties found within the oil can:
- Give relief from the awful symptoms of a sore throat
- Attack the root cause of the sore throat
- Strengthen your body’s ability to fight the sickness
Essential oils are like great warriors aiding you in the battle against your illness. Each essential oil offers slightly different benefits and you can use more than one in your fight for better health. The few drops are a highly powerful natural approach that’s a force to be reckoned with.
Essential Oils vs Prescribed Medications
When you get a sore throat, you want relief fast. Many people’s first instinct is to run to the doctor or pharmacy for a medicine, but essential oils can be a better choice for a few reasons.
- You don’t need a prescription. As a prepper, self-reliance and independence is important. If you don’t need a solution with a prescription, why rely on one?
- Less risk of side effects. Each prescribed medication can interact with your body or with any other medicines you are taking. Adding a new one to the mix may cause a reaction. Essential oils are not side effect free (some people report issues like skin irritation when applied topically), but typically the risks are less common and less severe.
- All natural solution. Some remedies like cough drops can be chock full of artificial dyes, artificial flavors, and added sweeteners. Natural options are better for your body than these additives.
Certain illnesses of course require a prescribed medication, but usually sore throats do not. Try using a natural approach instead.
How Essential Oils Work
Essential oils are simply liquids made from plant extracts. They come from many parts of nature like flowers, trees, grasses, roots, and fruits. Each essential oil brings its own unique smell and benefits.
We can use three ways to get the active chemicals from essential oils into our body in three ways: we can inhale it, we can place it on our skin, or we can ingest it.
Topical application works because our skin is semi-permeable. The fat soluble properties of essential oils allow them to be easily absorbed into the body, usually in about ten minutes.
Aromatic application works because we inhale the molecules, which then interact with our body in different ways. They enter through the respiratory system and interact with the limbic system, which controls things like hormone balance, blood pressure, and heart rate.
Oral application can work, but I’d be cautious about using an oral application (here’s why).
How to Use Essential Oils for Sore Throats
Using essential oils safely is pretty straightforward. Use them as directed and follow the simple steps below.
You can choose to use the essential oils aromatically or topically. Both work great for getting the benefits from the oil. It really comes down to preference and which you feel helps you more.
Inhaling the Oil
Sure you can simply open the bottle, hold it under your nose, and sniff away. But it gets tiring holding the bottle long enough to get the benefits.
Instead, you can use a tool specially made for inhaling essential oils. A great tool to use is a diffuser, which helps get the scent into the air around you. Look for low or no heat options since heat can change the chemical structure of some oils.
If you don’t want to pay money, you can simply place a few drops onto a cotton ball and put it somewhere you can smell it. I typically place my cotton ball in a small glass bowl on my desk while I work and then on my nightstand when I’m ready for bed.
Applying the Oil to Your Skin
For a simple DIY project, make an essential oil rub for your neck.
Before applying essential oils to your skin, you need to be sure of two things:
- The oil is suitable for topical use. Not all oils can or should be placed on your skin. Make sure yours works fine.
- The oil is combined with a carrier. A carrier helps “carry” the oil into your body and helps avoid skin irritation. Two tablespoons of a carrier oil or natural unscented lotion can be combined with five drops of essential oil.
When your mixture is ready, rub it onto your neck for relief. You can massage the area first to increase blood circulation (which helps it absorb better).
Gargling the Oil
A third option is to gargle the oil. This can help your throat feel better since it targets the site of the discomfort. But you need to be careful to ensure safe use.
The essential oil you pick must be able to be taken internally (even though you won’t be eating or swallowing it).
Fill a glass half full of lukewarm water. Water that’s too hot can negatively affect the chemical structure of the oil. Water that’s too cold can irritate your throat. Think Goldilocks and the Three Bears: you want the temperature to be just right.
Place a few drops of your chosen oil into the water. Gargle for a few minutes then spit it out into the sink.
Best Essential Oils for Sore Throats
A number of essential oils work well for sore throats. I’ve rounded up some of my favorites below.
The tasty treat from Christmas time contains menthol, which gives a cooling sensation providing quick relief from any itching or burning. The oil also targets some of the causes of sore throats, like drainage from mucus and scratching from coughs.
The sweet citrusy lemon oil contains antibacterial properties to help fight your sickness. It also increases your salivation, which helps keep your throat wet. Goodbye sore throat made worse by dryness!
Who knew koalas were good at finding health remedies? This ingredient from Australia is commonly used in many cough drops and cough syrups because it works so well with pain relief. Eucalyptus oil gives you a soothing sensation while also providing antibacterial properties.
Eucalyptus oil also contains a chemical known as cineole, which reducts inflammation and gives antioxidant properties. You can feel better and help your body fight the sickness.
Most people only think of oregano as a delicious spice used to add some flavour to their meals. While it is a great spice when you are cooking dinner, it is also a great tool when you are under the weather. Oregano oil is full of antifungal and antiviral elements, which can help fight your ailment.
Oregano oil also gives a soothing feeling to help you feel some relief from your aching throat.
Clove oil is full of a number of great body boosting properties, like antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, and antiinflammatory (just to name a few!)
Clove oil helps strengthen and build up your immune system, making it stronger at fighting your sickness. This can help reduce the time of your illness and, in turn, reduce the time of your sore throat.
It’s about time people used more thyme! Thyme oil is very potent with antioxidants and antimicrobial properties. It builds up your immune system helping make you a formidable warrior against the illness.
Thyme oil is powerful enough it can even help attack antibiotic resistant strains of infections!
Finding Essential Oils
Essential oils can be purchased at certain pharmacies, grocery stores, and all natural shops. You can also order bottles and sets online.
If you are looking to build up you essential oils collection, we recommend purchasing the Health and Wellness Kit. It includes great sore throat oils (like lemon, oregano, and peppermint) as well as some others.
For a smaller pack, we recommend the Essential 4 Pack. This includes the sore throat oils of lemon and peppermint.
If you buy either kit, make sure to use the discount code “BACKDOORSURVIVAL” for a 10% discount!
Discovering More Uses for Essential Oils
Curing sore throats is just the tip of the iceberg for what essential oils can do for you! Their possibilities are almost endless, from all natural health benefits to all natural cleaning options. For more ideas on implementing essential oils into your prepping lifestyle, check out our Pinterest board.
Essential oils are a great part of a preppers toolkit, but there is so much more to prepping than essential oils. If you’re ready for more tips and strategies for prepping with optimism, subscribe to our site’s email updates. You’ll also receive a free, downloadable copy of Gaye’s e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.
Thanks for reading! Enjoy your journey prepping with optimism.