Home Remedies for Strep Throat

Strep throat, a bacterial infection, causes inflammaiton and irritation that leads to a sudden sore throat. It is contagious as much as five days before symptoms appear, so prevention is the key in keeping yourself healthy. Because the type of bacteria that causes strep throat is known as strep bacteria and many types of strep are serious, it is a good idea to get your throat checked out by a medical professional before trying any home treatments. If you have strep throat you are contagious for as long as you show symptoms.

How can I tell if I have strep throat?

  • Sudden, severe sore throat
  • Coughing, Sneezing, and other cold symptoms
  • Fever over 101 degrees
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • White or yellow spots on the throat or tonsils
  • Bright or dark red spots on the back and roof of the mouth
  • Swollen tonsils

If these symptoms are accompanied by a skin rash over the neck and chest you do not have strep throat but scarlet fever. Seek medical care immediately.

How can I prevent strep throat?

  • Avoid coming in contact with anyone who already has strep throat as it is quite contagious.
  • Wash your hands especially in public places.
  • Do not share toothbrushes, straws or other eating utensils.
  • Keep your home humid durng dry months. This keeps your mucous membranes moist and therefore more resistant to bacteria.
  • Stop smoking.

 

How can I treat strep throat?

  • Rest. Give your body and immune system a chance to fight the infection.
  • Drink raspberry tea. Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of raspberry leaves, steep for 10 minutes then strain and drink. It will help to reduce a fever.
  • Gargle sage or turmeric. Mix a teaspoon of sage in a cup of boiling water, steep for ten minutes and then stir in a teaspoon of cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey. Gargle four times a day. Or, mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a cup of water then gargle. Both help to soothe the pain and irritation.
  • Gargle saltwater. 1/2 teaspoon salt in a cup of warm water. Gargle to cut phlegm and reduce inflammation every 3-4 hours.
  • A gargle of listerine will also help kill bacteria.
  • A great one for anyone over the age of 2 is a drink of cider vinegar. Mix a tablespoon of honey, a tablespoon of apple-cider vinegar and a cup of hot water together. Sip slowly and drink as often as you want. It helps to soothe the throat and kill off bacteria. WARNING: Do not feed anything with honey to anyone under the age of 2.
  • Another great way to kill off bacteria is to take a tablespoon of honey and lemon or lime juice.
  • If the throat is hot, enjoy a popsicle. Don’t suck, however, just let pieces of it melt in your mouth and swallow gently.
  • Steam yourself with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. It will help to soothe irritation and clean out any stuffiness.
  • Drink lots of fluids. It keeps you hydrated and helps to banish bacteria.
  • Indulge in foods filled with garlic and onion. They are naturally anti-bacterial.
  • Try teas and lozenges made with licorice, slippery elm or marshmallow. They help reduce irritation and inflammation naturally.
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