Strep throat or sore throat caused by streptococcal bacteria is a contagious infection. It is more common in children and teens between the age of 5 to 15; however, it can also affect adults. It causes throat pain, inflammation and irritation of the throat, red and swollen tonsils, swollen lymph glands, headache, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, and malaise. This condition if left untreated, can lead to dangerous complications, like tonsillitis, ear infections, sinusitis, poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the kidney), scarlet fever, and rheumatic fever. It is treated using different medications including antibiotics, like amoxicillin, clindamycin, or penicillin and pain relievers, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Besides this, you may also opt for some home remedies that help in reducing the severity of the symptoms.
Strep Throat: Home Remedies
Drugs and medications administered to treat sore throat can give rise to certain side effects in the long run. Hence, you can try various natural remedies that are safe and equally effective. These remedies accelerate the healing process by stimulating the immune system to fight against the bacteria. Before you opt for any treatment options, always remember to seek the advice of your doctor.
► When diagnosed with strep throat, you should take plenty of rest, as it helps the body to fight the infection. Due to painful swallowing, the fluid intake reduces. But, it is very important to have enough fluids in order to prevent dehydration.
► Consume foods that can be easily swallowed, such as soups, broths, mashed potatoes, cooked cereals, yogurt, soft fruits, and soft-cooked eggs. Intake of extremely cold foods, like frozen fruit pops or frozen yogurt has a soothing effect. Avoid eating acidic or spicy foods.
► A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help relieve the discomfort. Moisture prevents drying and irritation of the mucous membranes in the throat. Saline nasal sprays are also helpful in keeping the mucous membranes moist. Try to stay away from substances that can be irritating to your throat and lungs, such as cigarette smoke or alcohol vapors.
► Gargling with salt water is quite beneficial in strep throat. It helps to fight against bacteria and relieve throat pain and inflammation. Salt water can be prepared by mixing ¼ teaspoon of table salt in 8 ounces of warm water. You can also gargle with aloe vera juice, twice a day.
► Fenugreek is one of the most popular natural cures for sore throat. Add some fenugreek seeds to a liter of water, and allow it to simmer for about half an hour. When it cools down, use this water for gargling. You can also use bishop's weed for gargling.
► Herbal tea made from different herbs, like licorice or chamomile provides significant relief from the irritating symptoms of strep throat. Chamomile tea, due to its analgesic properties, provides a quick relief from headache and throat pain. It also helps in preventing dehydration and decreases inflammation.
► Add honey and lemon juice in a glassful of warm water. Consumption of this mixture provides immediate relief from throat pain. Another option is to add a teaspoon of cumin seeds and a few pieces of garlic in boiling water and drink it upon cooling. It is very effective in healing the condition of sore throat.
► Cinnamon is another very effective remedy. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon powder, black pepper, and honey in a glassful of lukewarm water and consume it in small sips.
► Sage is another effective herb used for the treatment of sore throat. Sage can be used in the form of a pill or tincture. It is effective in treating pharyngitis and other types of throat pain. It decreases inflammation and protects the mucous membranes of the throat.
Strep throat can cause serious health problems, therefore, you should opt for an appropriate treatment as soon as the symptoms are observed. By following proper medical treatment balanced with home remedies, you can overcome this infection. However, this infection can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding contact with the infected person.
Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.