Strep throat, medically known as streptococcal pharyngitis, is an infection caused by a germ called group A streptococcus bacteria that affects the pharynx, larynx, and tonsils.
Strep throat spreads by person to person contact via fluids from saliva or the nose.
Although anyone could be infected with strep throat, it is most common amongst children between the ages of 5 and 15.
Symptoms of strep throat start to manifest 2 to 5 days after contact with the germ.
Common symptoms of strep throat include; fever that often begins suddenly, red sore throat that may have white patches, chills, pain when swallowing, and swollen neck glands. Other symptoms of strep throat include; headache, nausea, general ill feeling, abnormal sense of taste, and loss of appetite.
Strep throat is highly contagious. Antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs are often used to treat it.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, when dealing with strep throat;
- Drink an adequate amount of water, daily, to help prevent dehydration.
- Try to drink warm fluids such as warm tea with honey.
- Gargle salt water several times a day.
- Suck fruit-flavored ice pops.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol as they could exacerbate strep throat symptoms.
- Avoid exposure to irritants such as chemical fumes and cigarette smoke.
- You could use a humidifier to moisten your room’s atmosphere as this would help soothe your painful throat.
- Ensure you get plenty of rest as this would help hasten recovery.
Below are home remedies for strep throat;
1. Lemon Juice
Since lemon is acidic in nature, it creates an environment that inhibits bacteria and viruses. Furthermore, it contains vitamin C (an antioxidant) that helps to fight inflammation and swelling. When combined with honey, they keep the throat well moisturized. To heal a strep throat naturally, add 1-2 tsp of honey in fresh lemon juice and drink twice a day.
Garlic works as an antibacterial which makes it effective in fighting streptococcal bacteria. Additionally, it possesses large amounts of vitamin B6 and manganese which play a crucial role in improving the immune system. Unlike other conventional treatments, pathogens do not build resistance to garlic. To treat strep throat, crush a fresh garlic clove in your mouth and allow it to release its juice. Alternatively, mix one tsp of grated garlic, a quarter tsp of cayenne pepper, and half a tsp of cinnamon. Add the mixture to a cup of water and drink twice daily.
3. Drink Water
When you drink more water, you will dilate the mucous membranes. A well-hydrated body is more capable of subduing irritants and bacteria. The easiest way to know whether you’ve taken enough fluids is by checking the color of your urine. When you have adequate fluids in your body, the color of your urine will turn from pale-yellow to clear.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Besides its culinary role, ACV is used to treat various infections including strep throat. It contains acetic acid which inhibits the growth of bacteria in your throat. Secondly, ACV helps to increase the number of white blood cells to boost your immunity. Furthermore, it has expectorant qualities that help to thin phlegm to ease breathing. To fight the infection, add 1-2 tsp of ACV to a cup of water and drink twice a day for three consecutive days. You can also add 1-2 tsp of ACV to a glass of water and gargle every few hours.
The allicin compound, found in ginger, can inhibit the streptococcal bacteria. While ginger tea may have a pungent taste, it clears congestion and improves blood circulation in the problem area. Furthermore, ginger helps to flush out toxins from the body, especially if you’re suffering from cold and flu. To brew ginger tea, steep 1-2 tsp of powdered ginger in boiling water for 10 minutes, add some raw honey and drink 2-3 cups every day. To speed up the healing process, you should allow the tea to linger in your throat.
Saltwater can effectively heal your throat by flushing out the irritants that come with strep throat. Besides that, saltwater aids in inhibiting the bacteria that may be flourishing in the throat. Unlike cold water, warm water has a soothing effect and allows the salt to dissolve much easier. To keep the infection at bay, dissolve half tsp of salt in warm water, gargle for 30 seconds and then spit it out. Do the salt water gargle, at regular intervals until you get some relief.
Raw honey is packed with astringent compounds that soothe an irritated throat. Along with its anti-inflammatory effects, honey coats your throat with antibacterial properties and supports the production of white blood cells. This honey remedy is more powerful when combined with herbal tea. Since it’s sweet, it’s the best remedy for children with strep throat. For medicinal purposes, only use raw (manuka) honey.
Due to its analgesic properties, chamomile offers quick relief from strep throat. This herb will also reduce any pain or inflammation that comes with the strep throat. To brew the herbal tea, boil 2-3 tsp of chamomile in a cup of water for 10-20 minutes, strain off and then add some lemon juice. Drink this chamomile tea 2-3 times every day until you get some relief.
9. Carrot Juice
Carrot juice is packed with vitamins A and C which are beneficial in treating cold, cough, and throat infections. Unlike other juices that could aggravate the condition, carrot juice soothes the tender neck glands. Simply blend some carrots to extract the juice and drink one glass before going to bed. To make it more potent, you should add some honey. This carrot juice remedy works best when you have some white patches on your throat.
Cinnamon has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties which make it effective in fighting the bacteria that cause strep throat. Cinnamon also boosts the immune system for quick recovery. Just make your herbal infusion by boiling half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a cup of water for 30 minutes, and add then some honey/lemon. To alleviate the symptoms associated with strep throat, drink the tea 3-4 times a day.
11. Basil Leaves
You can easily treat strep throat by chewing a few basil leaves and then allow the juice to trickle down your throat. Due to their antibacterial properties, basil leaves would prevent the growth of streptococcal bacteria. Not only that, they would remove the phlegm from your respiratory tract. Unlike other natural herbs, you’ll feel the benefits of basil quickly. If you can’t stand the taste of the leaves, you can make some concoction by boiling 1-2 tsp of dried basil leaves in 500ml of water. Drink the tea once a day until you get rid of the symptoms.
Onions are not just a common cooking ingredient; they are antibacterial and antiseptic in nature. Just like garlic, they aid in the production of the white blood cells which boosts your body’s natural defenses to speed up your recovery time.
There is also some evidence that onions have mild anti-inflammatory properties making them effective in eliminating any pain associated with strep throat. To alleviate the symptoms, add 3-4 tsp of fresh onion juice in a cup of warm water and gargle throughout the day. You can also chew fresh onion slices and allow the juice to trickle down your throat slowly.
Before you plan for that visit to your doctor, you should try licorice root. This traditional herb is used as an alternative treatment for throat infections. Since it has anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects on the body, it can eliminate any swelling on the throat. Besides, it works as an expectorant and has a soothing effect on damaged tissues.
To make a powerful licorice infusion, you should include pain-relieving ingredients like dried chamomile, cinnamon, etc along with the licorice roots. Mix them in equal amounts (half tsp) in a cup of hot water to make some tea. Drink 1-2 cups every day until you get rid of the painful strep throat.
14. Sunflower Oil
Sometimes, you may lose your voice when you have strep throat. Thankfully, you can soothe it using sunflower oil. To get rid of the hoarseness in your voice, just swallow one tsp of sunflower oil. Make sure it goes through your throat slowly. You may also want to avoid drinking or eating anything for an hour or so.
15. Take Foods Rich In Vitamin C
When you have strep throat, you should boost your body’s immunity by taking foods rich in vitamin C. Furthermore, this essential vitamin helps to inhibit the harmful bacteria and soothes the irritation. So, before you go for supplements, you should eat more strawberries, grapefruits, kiwi, and kales.
A facial steamer is an old-fashioned remedy that helps to reduce the accumulation of phlegm and at the same time clears the nasal cavity. It’s also a reliable way of detoxifying your body and killing pathogens. To use steam inhalation, pour some hot water in a basin, add some eucalyptus oil, cover your head, and then inhale deeply. Use the steaming method every 3-4 hours until you get some relief.
17. Eat Tender Foods
When you have strep throat, certain foods can irritate your throat. That being said, you should take soft foods like soups and porridge. According to nutritional experts, chicken soup would have a positive effect in reducing the inflammatory cells.
18. Keep Your Throat Warm
When you have strep throat, you can easily soothe that itchy sensation by taking fluids. Hot drinks are by far beneficial compared to cold ones since they help to loosen the mucus relieving you from symptoms such as stuffiness and congestion. So, if you want to speed up your recovery process, you should moisturize your throat by drinking hot fluids.
19. Bitter Melon/Bitter Gourd
This vegetable fruit is treasured in Chinese medicine due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Moreover, it’s rich in calcium, carbohydrates, and vitamins making it a perfect cure for throat infections. Also, it has soothing and expectorant effects on the throat. To eliminate the symptoms associated with the infection, you can either make some juice or consume the bitter melon. Furthermore, since the seeds are oily in nature, you can rub them around your neck.
20. Baking Soda
Just like salt, baking soda is packed with antibacterial properties that help to fight strep throat infection. It also has a soothing effect on your throat. To make your own mouthwash, add a half tsp of baking soda to a cup of water. For best results, you should gargle 2-3 times a day.
Marshmallows contain gelatin compound which has sore throat-fighting properties. Since they are made of sugar, gelatin, and some water, they can help to soothe the throat. While they offer no nutritional value, they have no side effects compared to other conventional treatments with dubious ingredients. Furthermore, they are cheap since you can make them right in your kitchen.
22. Chives And Rock Sugar
Chives are a close relative to garlic. They are characterized by sour, spicy, and pungent taste. Furthermore, they have sputum elimination effects making it a suitable remedy for strep throat. Simply add a handful of chive leaves in a bowl of hot water together with some rock sugar and. then. use as a steam inhalation.
23. Chicken Soup
If you suffer from strep throat, it can be quite painful to swallow some foods. To ensure you supply your body with the right nutrients, you should take lots of chicken soup. Apart from moistening the throat, the chicken soup would reduce the irritation that comes with the condition. To speed up the healing, you should include garlic in your soups to work as a natural antibiotic.
24. Cough Syrup
Most cough syrups are a combination of anti-inflammatory and pain relievers. That’s why a cough syrup can help to reduce the irritation even when you don’t have a cough. So, if you have difficulty sleeping due to throat inflammation, you should take cough syrup. However, if you’re working be sure to take one that will not make you drowsy. Since most children may not be able to use the above remedies, they should try a cough syrup as a home remedy.
Besides its delicious flavor, pomegranates can help to treat a strep throat infection. They have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties which make them effective in relieving pain and irritation. To brew pomegranate tea, steep 2-3 pomegranates in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. You can either use the solution to gargle or drink the tea to treat the condition.
26. Sore Throat Lozenges And Sprays
Unlike saltwater gargle, lozenges and cough drops will stay longer on the throat. Ideally, lozenges stimulate the salivary glands to keep the throat moist. Similarly, the sprays will reduce the pain temporarily thanks to their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects. For best results, you should use lozenges with cooling components.
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