When you feel a sore throat or a cold coming on, your first reaction might be a trip to the drugstore for some over-the-counter meds. A sore throat can be cause be a viral infection or a bacterial infection. Both are uncomfortable, painful and contagious.

The next time a sore throat arises, consider trying a natural remedy before heading to the drugstore. There are several essential oils that have the power to kill germs, reduce inflammation, soothe your sore throat and fight the infection to get you back on your feet in no time.

Here are seven essential oils for sore throat pain:

1. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil can be found in many over-the-counter cold medicines to help relieve congestion. The antioxidants it contains help improve respiratory circulation and stimulate the immune system to promote healing. Eucalyptus oil contains cineole, an organic compound with many medicinal benefits, including the ability to reduce painful inflammation due to a sore throat.

2. Clove

Clove essential oil can help get rid of a sore throat by boosting the immune system. It has antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties that fight infection and promote health. Clove oil is also a natural anti-inflammatory!

3. Peppermint

Peppermint oil can be used to treat symptoms of the common cold, including cough, sinus infection, throat inflammation and a sore throat. The minty oil contains menthol, which provides a cooling sensation to help soothe a sore throat. Menthol also has calming effects on the body. The antioxidant, antimicrobial and decongestant properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent remedy for a sore throat.

4. Thyme

Thyme oil contains powerful antioxidants and antimicrobials that can help remedy a sore throat in no time. In a 2011 study, thyme oil showed extremely strong activity against 120 different strains of bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant strains.

5. Juniper Berry

Juniper berry essential oil is one of the best natural remedies for a sore throat. It can also help heal respiratory infections, muscle aches and even arthritis. Juniper berry essential oil contains over 87 different active compounds including antioxidants, anti-fungals and antibacterials.

6. Hyssop

Hyssop oil contains powerful antiseptic properties that make it an ideal natural remedy for fighting infections and killing harmful bacteria. Whether your sore throat is due to a viral infection or a bacterial infection, hyssop will do the trick. It can help soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation in the lungs.

7. Lemon

Lemon essential oil is known for its cleansing properties. It has the ability to clear out toxins from any part of the body. Lemon oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Its also high in Vitamin C, which helps to boost the immune system and fight off infection.