Essential oils, herbs, and wild plants for wellness.

10 Herbs for a Sore Throat or Cough

Before you reach for the cough medicine this winter, here are a ten herbs for a sore throat. We’ve had a warmer than usual autumn, but winter is coming, and with that usually comes coughs, colds, and sore throats. I’ve put together a quick list of herbs that you may or may not know can help with a sore throat or cough. Hopefully you have a few of these at home!

10 Herbs for a Sore Throat or Cough


I’ve blogged about the uses of mullein before, and it is definitely one you can use for a sore throat. Good thing that I harvested a ton of mullein before the season was over. You can even make your own mullein tea blend with this post. You can also find mullein tea with a quick search on the internet.


Goldenrod is another plant that is good for a sore throat. You can learn to infuse honey with goldenrod here, and I have a giant jar of it sitting upstairs in my bedroom window right now…plus a giant bundle of goldenrod hanging on my wall “just in case” I need to make more. Besides, it’s so cheery when everything else is dead. Anyway, goldenrod can help reduce inflammation in the throat.


Echinacea is a versatile plant, and a lot of people grow it without knowing the medicinal benefits. You can read more about the medicinal uses of echinacea here, but it is one of the plants that is good for a sore throat (and toothaches and sore gums!). A tea is normally used to treat a sore throat or cold.


I love to infuse honey, and I always have some garlic infused honey on hand. It’s great for when you have a cold, cough, or sore throat…and it’s not as gross as it sounds, especially if you have a cold because then you can’t taste it anyway. I used my garlic infused honey on my toddler when he had a terrible cough (garlic has been used to treat whooping cough), and after a couple of days his cough was gone. It’s great. So if you don’t know how to infuse honey you can learn in my folk remedies guide here.


Ginger is used for a bunch of other things besides soothing a sore throat, like to treat indigestion and cramping. Not only does it soothe a sore throat it can also help to ease a cough and relieve nausea. I also try to infuse ginger and honey to have some on hand.

Oak Bark

I haven’t tried this myself, but turns out that you can use 2 tablespoons of oak bark for every two cups of water to make a mouth rinse to gargle with.

Slippery Elm Bark

The inner bark of the slippery elm tree can be used as medicine for soothing sore throats and coughs. Totally tried this once (just went outside and cut into one of our five elm trees), and it wasn’t even gross.


Clove has numbing properties which helps when soothing a cough or sore throat (also for toothaches!) and is usually used in the form of tea.


Peppermint is easy to grow and great for congestion, colds, and sore throats. You can brew a tea, or use an oil externally.


A gargle or rinse is generally used to treat sore throats. A tea made from calendula is also used.


Do you have a favorite way to use any of these plants?


Bonus: learn how cabbage can help your sore throat by downloading my free folk remedies guide using the sign up below:






























Andrea Peirce. The American Pharmaceutical Association: Practical Guide to Natural Medicnes.

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