Strep throat (or more formally, streptococcal pharyngitis) is an infection of the pharynx caused by group A streptococcal. The symptoms of strep throat often include a sore throat, fever, cough, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes. The infection is highly contagious, but generally subsides between three and five days.
Although treatment for strep throat is often unnecessary, treating the symptoms can make for a more tolerable and seemingly quicker recovery. While there are a number of over-the-counter medicines available to treat strep throat, many people prefer to rely on natural cures. Fortunately, there are a number a number of home remedies for this often maddening condition. Let’s take a look at the best of them.
The Best Natural Remedies for Strep Throat
- Chamomile tea – One of the best remedies for strep throat is chamomile tea, which, through its analgesic properties, aids the relief of both the headaches and throat pain associated with the infection. In order for this treatment to be most effective, consume a cup of the tea every few hours. Not only will this soothe your throat, it will also prevent dehydration, which is a common cause of headaches.
- Sage – Sage is a commonly-used herbal medicine utilized to combat a variety of illnesses. Sage works against strep throat by reducing inflammation and protecting the throat’s soft tissues. Furthermore, sage is an effective cure for coughs and asthma. Sage can be purchased from most natural health food stores as a tincture or capsule. These can be mixed with boiling water, a lemon wedge, and honey (optional) to create a delicious and potent sage tea.
- Salt water – Often the simplest treatments can be the most effective, and salt water is the perfect example. Gargling salt water is effective at reducing throat inflammation and fighting against bacteria. To use this remedy best, mix half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water. Next, gargle for 30 seconds to one minute. Be sure to spit out the liquid afterwards to prevent dehydration stemming from the salt. For sinus infections sometimes associated with strep throat, consider using salt water as a nasal spray. It will act as a decongester and help you to breathe more easily.
- Soothing foods – No doubt you’ve felt the benefits of eating so-called ‘soothing’ foods when you have a source throat. Foods such as frozen yogurt, soups, broths, and smoothies can be effective at temporarily easing the throat inflammation and pain of strep throat. It’s important to note, since we’re on the topic of food, that you should avoid foods that cause irritation. These include acidic or spicy foods, as well as other irritants such as cigarette smoke.
- Chicken noodle soup – Chicken noodle soup deserves its own mention due to its sheer potency. This soup has been used for centuries, and dates back to ancient Egyptian times as one of the most effective home remedies for colds and similar ailments. The soothing effects of hot soup, combined with the vitamins and nutrients contained in its ingredients, make chicken noodle soup especially effective against strep throat. Although canned soup will do, nothing beats a homemade chicken noodle soup for a sore throat.
- Rest – By far the best remedy for strep throat (and any non-serious illness for that matter) is sleep. Sleep allows the body to better fight infection. In addition, by staying in bed for a day or two you avoid the daily stresses of life, which can greatly expedite the recovery process. Although you may not be in a position to completely disregard your responsibilities, getting as much sleep as possible will greatly aid your recovery.
Strep throat, although not particularly harmful, is associated with a number of uncomfortable symptoms – the worst of which is a sore, inflamed throat. In order to ease the pain and symptoms of strep throat and quicken the recovery process, consider trying the above home remedies. For even more effective home treatment, consider utilizing more than one of the cures mentioned above.