Jeannie Bianchi, LAc

One Good Thing:

Sore Throat Tea


At the first sign of a sore throat, I recommend taking a Chinese herbal formula, Yin Qiao San, to stave off the misery of a bad cold. You can find it at Whole Foods or most health food stores–for the correct dose, follow the directions on the bottle.

You can also soothe your sore throat and ease cold symptoms with this delicious homemade tea. Here’s how it works: The peppermint, ginger, and garlic have anti-microbial properties, meaning they are thought to inhibit or help kill off bacteria and/or viruses. The menthol in the peppermint also cools inflamed throat tissue and may have anti-inflammatory effects to reduce the swelling in your sinuses. Honey coats mucous membranes, which will help soothe your sore throat. It also boasts anti-bacterial and tissue healing properties. And the lemon adds vitamin C, which helps your immune system recover more quickly.

It’s best to start drinking the tea as soon as you start to feel symptoms–it increases the likelihood that you’ll shorten the duration or severity of your cold. Two to three cups per day is appropriate. I recommend putting it in a thermos and sipping it throughout the day.

Soothing Sore Throat Tea

Peppermint (teabags or fresh)
8 slices fresh ginger
4 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon

Peel the garlic cloves, then whack them with the side of a knife to release the essential oils. Boil the sliced ginger and the crushed garlic in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes.

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  1. ben says:

    Peppermint tea is a very nice remedy for sore throat as are so many other teas.

    Thanks for the informative post

    Ben Sanami
    FB Liangcha – The Herbal Cooling Teas

  2. A. Marina Fournier says:

    As always, I have to leave out the peppermint, due to the reaction I have. But ginger-garlic sauce is very tasty, and you could add that to your soup, as well as having a ginger/garlic/lemon/honey tisane. I might use green tea, or Moroccan tea (has spearmint, which I can have) as a base.

  3. Roi says:

    I must try this it sounds very good too.

  4. laura says:

    would spearmint and peppermint do the same thing?

    • Thanks for your question, Laura. Peppermint has somewhat unique in its anti-inflammatory activities compared to spearmint, so I would stick with peppermint in the tea recipe.

      Malcolm Thaler, MD
      Clinical Editor
      One Medical Group

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