15 Home Remedies for Strep Throat

Having strep throat brings about pain that makes it hard for you to swallow, eat or sleep. Many people will think of an antibiotic treatment whenever they have strep throat, however, antibiotics only help reduce the time the illness will take to subside or heal, let’s say by half a day. Antibiotics are becoming less effective in treating illnesses because of the resistance by bacteria, and this is a real threat in the conventional treatment. It’s important that if you have strep throat symptoms, you try out some Home Remedies For Strep Throat before you can take an antibiotic.

strep throat home remedies

Is it Strep Throat or Sore Throat?

First of all, if you have strep throat, your throat may be sore, but not all cases of sore throat may be considered strep throat. Sore throats are mainly caused by a virus, however, they could also be as a result of bacteria, throat dryness, or pollution. When you talk of strep throat, it is an infection of your throat arising from an attack by bacteria. So, sore throat may be regarded as one of the symptoms of strep throat. Both sore throat and strep throat can be contagious so, you want to refrain from coming in contact with other people until you have the symptoms subside so that you don’t spread the infection or even re-infect yourself.

The Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement says that about 85 to 95 percent of cases of throat infection found in both adults and those children below the age of 5 are as a result of a viral infection. So, not many people that have sore throat, is as a result of bacterial infections. In people aged between 5 and 15 years, it is believed that virus is the main cause of throat infection – contributing to about 70% of those infections. In that age group, the other 30 percent of persons get throat infection from bacteria, particularly group A strep.1

People with strep throat will have symptoms like:

  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red spots occurring on mouth’s roof
  • Yellow or white coating forming on the tonsils or throat
  • Red rash that’s is not itchy
  • Body aches and headache
  • Fever

Strep throat vs normal throat symptoms

Doctors will treat strep throat using antibiotics like amoxicillin or penicillin. Research notes that by just a patient mentioning they have sore throat, it will prompt a doctor to straight away prescribe them an antibiotic, a practice that is contributing to irresponsible use of these medications. This claim is amidst the fact that about 85 to 95 percent of cases of sore throat within adults are as a result of viral infections. Using antibiotics in such reckless ways may be one reason why we are seeing more cases of drug resistance in treatment.

You may want to try out home remedies for treating strep throat before you can use antibiotics.

Home Remedies For Strep Throat

home remedies for strep throat

Below are Top 15 Home Remedies For Strep Throat Infection

Vitamin C

Using vitamin C helps to repair damage on tissue within the throat, it also boosts the immunity so that it can fight any infection. By taking about 1000 mg of this vitamin, it helps to guard you against an oncoming infection. Again by taking 4000 mg of vitamin C every day, it will help ward off an infection that you may already be having in your body.

If you are having strep throat, you may consider increasing your intake of vitamin C by eating foods rich in this vitamin including strawberries, kale, oranges, kiwi, and grapefruit. You can have a smoothie made of fruits rich in vitamin C if you have symptoms like difficulty in swallowing.

Echinacea

Researchers have the view that Echinacea can help with strep infection. This herb has immune system enhancing properties meaning it can prevent infection associated with bacteria such as strep throat. Phytochemicals found in Echinacea have a compound known as echinacein that will prevent virus and bacteria from gaining entry into healthy cells.

By taking Echinacea, it helps relieve pain that is associated with strep throat, for example – sore throat, body aches, and headaches. Again this herb has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling in your tonsils and throat. You may take echinacea as tea, in liquid form or in capsule when you have strep throat symptoms.

Elderberry

Taking elderberry helps protect against symptoms related to respiratory infections. A recent study indicated that having elderberry during long flights helps prevent respiratory symptoms. This was an area of interest with researchers because there has been increased risk of having respiratory disorders caused by viral and bacterial infections when on flights. This study2 found out that travelers who used elderberry during their overseas travel had fewer symptoms related to respiratory infection compared to the placebo group. People can take elderberry as tea, powder, or capsules.

Vitamin D

For many years researchers have studied the relationship between respiratory infections and vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays a big role in enhancing the immune system because it has antimicrobial action. The International Journal of Infectious Diseases published a study that indicated there is a connection between deficiency in vitamin D and the recurrence of infections caused by the group A strep bacteria.1

Herbal tea

Taking herbal tea can help soothe the throat and ease pain. Some of the herbal teas you can take to ease strep throat symptoms include chamomile and dandelion tea. Chamomile has antioxidants that help to reduce congestion, pain, redness, and swelling while dandelion tea helps to boost the immune system.

Bone broth

Taking bone broth provides minerals to boost your immunity while also hydrating the body. You may find bone broth easy to take if you have swollen tonsils or sore throat arising from strep throat. The body is able to easily absorb minerals in bone broth such as phosphorus, sulphur, silicon, magnesium, and calcium. Bone broth contains other compounds like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate that help to reduce join pain and swelling.

Raw honey

You may want to take raw honey if you have strep throat, it has a high amount of antioxidants and helps promote the immunity of the body. The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine published a research paper that showed the healing properties of honey, citing one to be the antibacterial activity of honey and others to be its ability to keep wounds moist and a thick consistency acting as a protective barrier that helps prevent infections.

Studies have also found out that taking medical grade honey can provide effective bactericidal activity capable of fighting bacteria that are known to be resistant to antibiotics and which may cause infections regarded as life threatening to people.1

Apple cider vinegar

Yes, you will find apple cider vinegar a major home remedy product able to treat various ailments. Sipping apple cider vinegar can naturally help to treat strep throat. The vinegar has strong healing compounds including acetic acid that can ward off infectious bacteria while at the same time promoting the growth of good bacteria in body. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar destroys bacteria upon coming in contact with them, so this property makes the vinegar to be regarded as a natural antibiotic.

Coconut oil pulling

You can maintain your oral healthy with oil pulling. Research indicated that this technique lowers strep bacteria found in your mouth, and it’s one of the ideal ways you can get rid of bacteria in your mouth. Coconut oil pulling is an oral detox that will suck up toxins present in your mouth ensuring you have a germ-free, clean mouth. In using coconut oil pulling, you want to take 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and swish in your mouth, do this at least for about 10 minutes then spit out and rinse the mouth or brush the teeth.

Lemon oil

Oil extracted from lemon has antibacterial properties, it also helps to cleanse the body of toxins. Again research points out that taking lemon oil can help impair the growth of bacteria strains that are considered resistant to antibiotics. You can use lemon essential oil by adding about 2 drops to some warm water or in some herbal tea.

Peppermint oil

You can take peppermint essential oil to treat strep throat. It helps in relieving swelling of the throat. Peppermint has menthol that offers a cooling and calming sensation in your body. You may want to add about 3 drops of this essential oil to some water or even to toothpaste to brush your mouth. You may even apply about 2 drops right on your throat, temples, and chest.

Thyme oil

Using thyme oil helps to improve your immune system. The Medicinal Chemistry published a study aimed at testing how thyme oil responds to some 120 strains of bacteria picked from patients who had respiratory infections, oral cavity infections, and genitourinary tract infections. In the study, thyme oil showed that it can help with antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. A patient having strep throat may want to add some 2 drops of thyme oil into water and gargle. Taking a bath that contains 2 drops of this essential oil helps to ease body aches.

Himalayan salt

A patient having strep throat can gargle their mouth with Himalayan salt, it helps to minimize swelling and soothe sore throats. Pink Himalayan salt makes the mouth to be unpleasant for bacteria growth. Having salt in your mouth changes the pH level to an alkaline environment making it difficult for bacteria to be able to thrive. The good thing with Himalayan salt is that it has antibacterial action, it also has anti-inflammatory action.

Baking soda gargle

You can use saltwater to gargle your mouth. It’s effective in removing bacteria. Better still, you can add baking soda to the salt water to help in treating strep throat. The solution will kill bacteria that cause strep throat while also preventing growth of fungi and yeast. The National Cancer Institute has recommended that patients need to gargle and gently swish some warm water containing a 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.4

Fenugreek

There are many health benefits linked to fenugreek. An individual may take fenugreek seeds or use topical oil made using the ingredient. You can even drink tea made using fenugreek. Research shows that fenugreek can help kill bacteria and it has antifungal properties. You can use it to treat strep throat.5

Wrap Up

Antibiotic treatment for strep throat may be causing more harm than good. When you visit a doctor with an issue of sore throat, they will take throat cultures to see if there is strep in the throat, something that without more evaluations leads to prescription with antibiotics. One problem with the tests is that there are small amounts of bacteria, especially Streptococcus in throat and that doesn’t necessarily mean there is an infection or need for routine antibiotic prescription.

Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, a children’s health expert says that finding strep bacteria shouldn’t be an immediate call to prescribe medication. Randall points out that the hazard of treating a patient with antibiotics may outweigh the isolated possibility of a child suffering lasting effects if they have strep infection.8

Over-prescription of antibiotics6 to individuals could cause bacteria to be resistant to the medicines. Home remedies like the ones discussed in this guide can help with your strep throat treatment the natural way. Taking or using home remedies may be an alternative way to treat bacterial infections without having to take antibiotics.

Besides using the home remedies, you may also want to cover your mouth whenever you cough or sneeze and wash the hands frequently. Having sufficient rest helps ensure the body recovers fast, remember to get a new toothbrush so that you minimize chances of having recurrences of the infection. Be careful when using essential oils like peppermint and thyme oil, they can be very powerful.

Reference List

  1. 16 Soothing Strep Throat Home Remedies. Available at https://draxe.com/16-strep-throat-home-remedies/
  2. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4848651/
  3. Strep Throat Self-Care and Home Remedies. Available at https://www.emedicinehealth.com/strep_throat/page6_em.htm
  4. Patient Education- Mouth and Throat. Available at https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/mouth-and-throat.pdf
  5. 12 Natural Remedies for Sore Throat. Available at https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/sore-throat-natural-remedies
  6. Home Remedies For Strep throat(And Why to Just Say No to Antibiotics). Available at http://holisticsquid.com/natural-remedies-for-strep-throat/
  7. Sore Throat Remedies: 16 Natural Gargles. Available at https://www.rd.com/health/conditions/sore-throat-remedies-home-gargles/
  8. Antibiotics for Strep Throat. Available at http://cure-guide.com/antibiotics-for-strep-throat/

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