What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a common contagious infection to the throat which can affect the tonsils, pharynx and larynx. Known medically as streptococcal pharyngitis, the infection is caused by a specific bacterial group called Group A streptococcus.
You can get strep throat at any time of life but is more common among children between the ages of five and fifteen. It typically occurs during the cold, winter months and is very contagious indeed.
Symptoms of Strep Throat
Some of the common symptoms of strep throat include white patches in the throat area, a painful, sore throat, fever, difficulties swallowing, diminished appetite, stomach ache and even vomiting.
The tonsils may become red and inflamed while rashes and red spots sometimes appear on the skin as well as in the throat. It is sometimes confused with tonsillitis because the symptoms are so similar.
It is important that you treat your strep throat as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of spreading it to others. In very rare cases, when left untreated, strep throat may lead to more severe health problems including rheumatic fever and kidney inflammation.
The usual method of treating strep throat involves antibiotics and these are often very effective. However with fears of antibiotic resistance becoming more real, many people would prefer to take a more holistic approach. Fortunately for those who would prefer to treat their strep throat naturally, there are a variety of effective and convenient remedies that you can try at home.
Some of these will help reduce the discomfort significantly while also helping to speed up your recovery.
Strep Throat Home Remedies
1) Apple Cider Vinegar
Not to be confused with ordinary vinegar, apple cider vinegar is a highly effective home remedy for a wide variety of conditions. It is believed to have powerful antibacterial and immune system boosting actions that can help you fight off infection and reduce the risk of becoming ill again.
First up, make sure that you buy the best quality apple cider vinegar, the cloudy type that contains the ‘mother’ of vinegar. It is this mother that contains the vast majority of its healing properties.
Mix 2 or 3 teaspoons of your vinegar in a cup of lukewarm water and gargle with the mixture twice a day for a few days or until your symptoms have dissipated.
An alternative approach is to drink it down several times a day. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to an equal amount of good quality honey and mix into a glass of warm, distiled water. Drink it up twice a day until you have recovered properly.
Good old garlic. An extremely tasty, aromatic herb which comes with a dizzying variety of excellent health benefits. Garlic has excellent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a range of infectious illnesses and that includes strep throat. Garlic contains medicinal compounds that help stave off infection as well as various nutrients that can boost the immune system.
There are several ways that you can use garlic to treat strep throat. Assuming that you can tolerate the bitter flavor, simply cut a clove in half then suck on it as if you were eating a candy. Occasionally, you should crush the clove in your teeth in order to release its beneficial juices.
An alternative method is to boil up a cup of water and add a teaspoon of freshly grated garlic to the water. Add a little cayenne pepper and allow the water to boil for a few more minutes. Strain the liquid, allow it to cool and drink the solution several times a day until your symptoms have cleared up.
3) Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is another excellent home remedy for your painful strep throat. This therapeutic spice has excellent antibacterial properties that can combat the infection as well as anti-inflammatory actions that reduce the swelling associated with strep throat.
Cayenne pepper has an active ingredient called capsaicin which helps clear toxins out of the system as well as analgesic properties to soothe the pain.
To use cayenne pepper for strep throat, mix a quarter teaspoon of powdered cayenne with a tablespoon of therapeutic grade homey and a few cloves of grated garlic. Mix together well and take half a teaspoon of the mixture three times each day.
Another method is to gargle with a solution made from a pinch of cayenne, a tablespoon of lemon juice and a glass of lukewarm water.
4) Honey and Lemon
Honey and lemon are both well known for their ability to soothe soreness in the throat while they also contain plenty of natural antibacterial qualities. This is especially the case if you use a high quality honey product like manuka honey. Combining these two ingredients together can offer excellent relief from inflammation and pain in the throat while simultaneously killing the infection.
Just add a tablespoon of both your lemon juice and honey to a glass of warm water, mix well and sip it down slowly several times each day until you are feeling better.
5) Salt Water
Home remedies don’t get much easier or more convenient than plain old salt mixed with water. Despite its simplicity, it is an extremely effective home remedy which can relieve inflammation and kill off any bacteria.
All you need to do is add half a teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water. Stir until the salt has dissolved then gargle with your solution several times throughout the day.
6) Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is best known for its calming properties but it also contains natural analgesic actions that help relieve the painful symptoms of your sore throat. It can also relieve the headaches that so often accompany the condition.
To make a soothing cup of delicious chamomile tea, add a few teaspoons of the dried flowers to a cup of boiled water. Let the herb steep for at least ten minutes, strain then add some soothing honey and lemon. You can happily drink your chamomile tea three or four times a day and should soon notice improvements in your symptoms.
Sage is a highly therapeutic herb with excellent antibacterial properties. It can help relieve the pain and inflammation in your throat while also destroying the bacteria. One note of caution is that sage is not suitable for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Add a teaspoon of your dried sage to a mug of boiled water and let it steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain out the herb and add some honey for taste and even further relief. Drink it up three or four times each day until you have recovered.
This is another spice that is held in high esteem for its medicinal powers. Cinnamon has excellent antibacterial properties as well as helping to reduce inflammation. These properties as well as its abilities to boost the immune system make it an excellent remedy for strep throat.
Boil up a cup of water and add half a teaspoon of your cinnamon powder. Steep the mixture for at least ten minutes, ad in a teaspoon of therapeutic honey and drink up several times each day.
What else can you do?
As well as the remedies we have already written about, there are several other tips for dealing with strep throat and ensuring your symptoms clear up fast.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Stay well hydrated.
- If you have a humidifier, then use it.
- Soothing foods like chicken soup and yogurt are excellent for your throat and don’t cause any irritation.
- Throat lozenges can be very effective as can cold popsicles.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
We hope that one or more of the above remedies helps you to treat your strep throat at home. Let us know how they worked out for you or if you have any alternative suggestions.