If you woke up today with an extremely aching throat, swollen tonsils and lymph nodes, and a fever, then you might probably have a strep throat. Don’t worry, you can easily cure it with simple strep throat remedies.
Strep throat is a bacterial not viral infection. It is caused by a Streptococcus bacteria. People most often mistake a strep throat for a sore throat from common cold or vice versa. The two, however, are not the same. Sore throat is caused by viral infection unlike the bacterial infection that pesters the throat when having a strep. While sore throat could also be painful, strep throat occurs with extreme and sudden pain.
According to WebMD, while the more popular source of strep throat is the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria, other bacteria may produce similar symptoms once they get in the body like neisseria and staphylococcus. This is the reason why merely looking at your throat is not reliable enough to determine that you have a strep throat. There are tests available that include swabbing the throat to see if strep bacteria are the reason of your sore throat.
- 1 What are the symptoms of strep throat?
- 2 How is strep throat spread?
- 3 How to cure strep throat at home with natural strep throat remedies
- 3.1 1. Garlic
- 3.2 2. Cayenne Pepper
- 3.3 3. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3.4 4. Honey
- 3.5 5. Cut off dairy and sugar
- 3.6 6. Cinnamon
- 3.7 7. Water
- 3.8 8. Tea
- 3.9 9. Probiotic
- 3.10 10. Vitamin C
- 3.11 11. Lemon
- 3.12 12. Lymphatic massage or oil castor
- 3.13 13. Soothing foods
- 3.14 14. Stay away from irritants
- 3.15 15. Humidifier
- 3.16 16. Toothbrush
- 3.17 17. Rest
- 3.18 18. Salt water
What are the symptoms of strep throat?
Strep throat is closely related to a sore throat from a common cold and as mentioned above, the strep bacteria that causes this illness produces similar symptoms from other bacteria. Symptoms may include the following:
- A sudden sore throat that comes with extreme pain
- Inflamed tonsils and lymph nodes
- Difficulty or pain in swallowing
- Fever (101°F or 38.3°C and above)
- Nausea or vomiting
- Tiny spots on the back of the throat
- Strep throat rash
- Absence of runny nose, cough, and other cold symptoms
How is strep throat spread?
Strep throat bacteria can live in the throat for months without inducing any harm or danger to the body. This nevertheless does not stop the spread of the bacteria from one person to another. Carriers of the strep bacteria may pass an infection to others, especially when the latter comes in contact with the tiny droplets of the infected person’s sneeze or cough. Such droplets, once they reach the eyes, nose and mouth, will make you feel sick. This is the same when an infected person shares his or her utensils like a spoon and a glass to another person.
Strep throat spreads by direct contact. So when a member of your family gets sick, it is advised to take precautionary steps to prevent the transmission of bacteria. This is very important if you have children at home. Children aged five to fifteen are at the highest risk of acquiring the bacteria.
The rapid spread of bacteria should be the primary concern especially for families living closely in one household. Considering the fact that children are in the frontline when it comes to strep throat, it is important that you come up with ways to combat strep bacteria. Home remedies will help to treat a strep throat or speed up the process when taken alongside with antibiotics.
Antibiotics are the primary cure for strep throat. They kill the bacteria that trigger a strep infection. Antibiotics also help shorten the period when a person may be contagious. However, the medical field acknowledges the long-term effects of antibiotics to children. In the long run, it may lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause an infection. The drug resistant bacteria reduce the effectiveness of the drug or medicine resulting to proliferation of bacteria thereby causing more danger to the human body. Apart from that, exposure to antibiotics increases the risk of asthma and allergies.
Always consult with your doctor first before trying out any of these home cures for strep throat. If the infection worsens, you may still need to be on antibiotics. It’s important to treat the strep bacteria as soon as possible.
How to cure strep throat at home with natural strep throat remedies
The moment you find out that you have a strep throat, head immediately to your spice storage for cloves of garlic. Aside from being accessible, garlic is also known for its effectivity as suggested by various websites on combating strep throat. Used primarily in cooking for adding flavor to the food, garlic is also employed for its medicinal properties basically those which relate to the heart and the blood. More than that, this herb is also applied as a remedy for other viral and bacterial infections. Strep throat is not an exception.
Garlic contains a sulfur compound called as allicin, which is the reason of its strong smell. Allicin is activated by chopping or crushing the fresh clove. This chemical effectively stops the growth of bacteria and driving them away. You can take garlic by peeling and chewing them.
If you can’t stand its distinct and strong taste, you can place it in your cheeks for you to suck on. Just make sure that you crush the clove to let its allicin work into your throat. If that’s not enough, boil some water in a pot and add gloves of garlic in it. Let the flavor infused in the water before allowing it to cool a bit.
2. Cayenne Pepper
Strep throat causes pain that prevents you from working continuously and properly. More reasons why your immediate home remedy should be targeted at eliminating the cause of pain, which in the case of strep throat, is the strep bacteria. Another inexpensive and effective remedy that you can find in the comfort of your home is cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper is packed with capsaicin. Capsaicin has antibacterial properties that may kill the bacteria in the throat. It is likewise an anti-inflammatory agent that reduces swelling in the throat. Its dual purpose- bacteria elimination and swelling reduction- makes cayenne pepper a great alternative for treating strep throat at home.
Mix cayenne powder in a small amount of water to achieve a solution that you can apply at the back of your throat. You can also mix it with water for gargling.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Anyone who is into soups or salads knows how apple cider vinegar can take one recipe to another level. It is a good substitute for standard vinegar and sodium. Apart from its culinary use, apple cider vinegar is also claimed to remedy health problems. Vinegar has been used to preserve food, because it inhibits the growth of bacteria such as E.coli. The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar is a powerful substance that kills bacteria and stops further reproduction of the same. You may either take the apple cider vinegar as it is or dilute it in warm water for an effective gargling solution.
Most strep throat cases attack children between 5 to 15 years old. It is very difficult to ask children to take antibiotics while others are allergic to it. Honey is one of the best kid-friendly remedies, which is an added bonus. Honey helps to soothe the throat, thereby alleviating the pain. If the taste of pure honey seems too strong, you can add it with a lemon and mix them together in warm water. Honey is great in the tea as well.
5. Cut off dairy and sugar
Eating or swallowing food can be both difficult and painful when dealing with strep throat. Of course, it is important to nourish your body with the required amount of food. To help you ease the pain and mucous that form when suffering from a strep throat, it is advised to cut off an intake of dairy and sugar.. Dairy products like milk form mucus, which could make breathing more difficult. Meanwhile, sugar irritates the throat as it feeds the bacteria. This means cutting them off your diet can make changes in the health of your throat.
Truth is, our kitchen is full of helpful ingredients for home remedies we can use, from the leafy vegetables to the condiments, to spices, and herbs. And speaking of herbs, cinnamon is known for its several uses as a great remedy. Strep throat prohibits the intake of acidic and spicy food. While spicy food is a no-no when having a strep throat, cinnamon is an exception. This herb contains high quantity of antioxidants. Our body needs antioxidant to maintain overall health by fighting off the harmful free radicals that yield certain diseases. Cinnamon prevents the buildup of mucus in the throat. It also has antiseptic properties that eliminate bacteria, which could be very helpful in treating strep throat. You can use either the cinnamon powder or cinnamon sticks.
Boil some cinnamon sticks or powder for a couple of minutes. Let the cinnamon tea sit for a while and then add honey to taste. The cinnamon tea likewise produces aroma that helps clear the throat for relief.
When you are hit by a strep throat, two things must be kept in mind. First, maintain moisture in your throat. Second, hydrate yourself. These two can be remedied by water. Drink plenty of water to allow a smooth movement in the throat, which helps you to swallow food easily. And since the throat dries quickly when suffering from a sore throat, you need to refuel your throat with water to prevent any dehydration. Thus, it is advisable to keep a bottle of water beside you wherever you go. Remember, strep throat is triggered by stress and overwork, which would also indicate lack of hydration during those days.
Fluids like tea are needed by the body to ensure proper hydration. Tea, like green tea has catechins. These are antioxidants that combat free radicals, which produce certain diseases. Moreover, the aroma of a tea, like chamomile tea, aids in clearing the mucous membrane. So before sipping the tea, you can inhale the steam coming from it to sooth your throat. Make sure that you don’t drink any liquid while it is still hot. Give some time to let it cool down. Hot substance, either food or drink, could worsen the swelling tonsils.
If you are taking antibiotics to cure sore throat, do not forget to arm yourself with probiotics. Antibiotics kill not only the bacteria that cause the strep throat, they likewise eliminate good or beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria are important in the body as they inhibit the growth and reproduction of infectious bacteria. To significantly increase the level of a good bacteria in the body, you need to take probiotics along with other strep throat remedies. There are probiotic supplements that target bacterial infection in the throat. Probiotics are also important in strengthening your immune system.
10. Vitamin C
The recurring strep throat is the least thing you want to happen. The common mistake of other people is when they take in medication without allowing themselves to build up and develop resistance against the bacteria that causes it. In the duration of the strep throat, you can boost your immune system and resistance by supplying the body with food rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that helps build body resistance against foreign or infectious agents or substances. By feeding the immune system with the appropriate and sufficient amount of vitamins, you are shortening the life of the bacteria that cause the disease.
Another effective home remedy for strep throat is lemon. Lemon has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory components that help eliminate the bacteria in the throat. It cuts mucus in the throat to relieve the air and food passage. Also, because it is rich in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant, it effectively treats a strep throat while fortifying the body’s resistance against infectious agents. You can take lemon as it is, however to minimize its acidity, which is not advisable when suffering from strep throat, you can mix it with honey to come up with a concoction. Better, if you incorporate it in your tea.
12. Lymphatic massage or oil castor
Whether it is a strep throat involving a child or an adult, a gentle massage in the lymph will help. This type of massage is called the lymphatic drainage massage. It aids to clear the lymphatic drainage giving a much needed comfort. The lymphatic drainage massage, as a result, alleviates pain in just a matter of minutes. It can be done by simply using a circular motion from the lymph down to the neck and chest. By simply tracing the lymph nodes from behind your jaw down to the sides of the throat to the collarbone going to the lymph nodes in the upper chest, you are mitigating both discomfort and pain. This is very helpful when dealing with children who are in pain. You can also use the mixture of essential oils. For maximum comfort, apply castor oil on your back. The gentle massage will also improve sleep at night.
13. Soothing foods
It is very difficult to eat when suffering from strep throat. Aside from the struggle with swallowing, you should remember that you have to eat the right food to not aggravate the irritation and the pain. Foods like soup, mashed potatoes, broths and yogurt are soft and easy on the throat. If you want to replenish yourself with fruits and vegetables, blend them instead. Your favorite smoothies will be your best friend when having a strep throat. Aside from the relaxing effects of cold smoothies, they also moisten the throat.
14. Stay away from irritants
It has been emphasized that the bacteria residing in one’s throat and nose can actually live there without showing any symptoms of illness. Once it is triggered, pain in the throat comes in quickly. This pain is extreme and may worsen if exposed to irritants such as smoke or dry air. Give yourself an isolated space far from cigarette smoke and fumes from cleaning essentials at home as they further irritate not only your throat but also the lungs.
With humidifier, you can minimize the discomfort by allowing the mucous membrane in your throat to moisten up to keep it from becoming dry. There are different types of humidifiers available. The most popular is the cool-mist humidifier. If you don’t have one, you can use the saline nasal spray to moisten up the mucous membrane. Just be sure to clean the humidifier daily so as to avoid the formation of germs and molds.
If this is not your first time acquiring a strep throat, consider looking into your hygienic properties that include a toothbrush. Aside from a spoon and a fork, toothbrush has the closest and most direct contact with our mouth and what is inside. The answer to your recurring strep throat might be on the bristle of your toothbrush. Toothbrush bristles can hold a bacteria and without proper cleaning, may lead to the growth of bacteria.
More than the pain and discomfort, strep throat weakens the body. In most cases, a strep throat restrains a person from going to work or school. It also impedes a schedule or daily routine. But one with strep throat should not force herself out as it may lead to more complications. For children, keep them at home until they feel better. This could also prevent the spread of a strep among the classmates and friends. For working adults, stay at home if you can. Take a good rest or sleep, allow your body to fight infection and regain strength and energy.
18. Salt water
Other strep remedies include the use of more popular and traditional salt water gargle. The salt water gargle would not reach this generation without its credibility for strep throat. Similar to what it does with a viral sore throat, the salt in the solution shrinks the swollen area in the throat and also kills the bacteria.
Each of the above listed home treatments have its own composition or properties. So to speed up the treatment and recovery, one can mix and match. This list of throat remedies may not completely eliminate the illness itself. When symptoms such as red rash, shortness of breath and joint pain develop one or two weeks after the infection, one should immediately consult the doctor. Also, blocked throat caused by inflamed tonsils, require an immediate medical attention.
When you have finally recovered from a strep throat, it is important that you practice self-care or prevention measures to prevent its occurrence. There are several ways to prevent strep from coming back. First, clean your hands regularly and properly. This is the most basic step to prevent any kind of infection. Second, make sure to cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve. Third, avoid sharing personal items such as eating utensils.
To prevent the re-occurrence of the painful strep throat, it is also important to strengthen the immune system. A weak immune system makes you more prone to diseases and putting the lives of your family at risk. Also, do not forget to consider primary reason or sources of the recurring strep throat. This is very important, because even after you have recovered from the infection, if the bacteria carrier still exists, you are still prone to it. Families with a strep throat patient should be extra careful with their hygiene and lifestyle.