Have you ever noticed how some people, maybe you even, never seem to cure entirely of strep throat, even though they take strep throat treatment over and over again? They get it very often, sometimes even after a week or two since their last burst of the disease, being a recurrent condition. That’s because, nowadays, we’ve become ‘addicted’ to antibiotics.
However, we fail to grasp that they are not the answer to everything, they don’t solve our system’s immunity deficiencies, and our bodies get accustomed to them, so they simply don’t work anymore. That happens especially if one doesn't take them in the correct dosage.
What’s the answer? Going back to the roots, pun intended. Going back to the natural strep throat treatment composed of home remedies, sure and cheap.
What Causes Strep Throat?
The reasons for this affliction in both children and adults are quite simple to understand. The condition’s cause is a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, otherwise known as group A streptococcus.
What’s important to know here is that this bacterium is highly contagious, being able to spread in its surrounding environment in virtually any way. Certain viruses and bacteria are strictly airborne, waterborne, or one can catch them via contact or open wounds and blood.
Not the strep throat virus, though. You can catch this one in any of the mentioned ways.
It’s an airborne danger when someone, the carrier, sneezes, and coughs, as all the microscopic droplets of saliva and mucus they expel land on all the surrounding surfaces, only to be inhaled by healthy people. It can be shared via food or drink that has been contaminated and even via surfaces you touch on a daily basis: door knobs, the pole you hang on to in the subway, table tops and so on.
Another important thing to be aware of is that you can introduce this virus to your organism in a number of ways – by breathing contaminated air, eating contaminated food or by touching a spoilt surface and then rubbing your eyes.
What Are the Symptoms Associated With Strep Throat?
This condition’s symptoms include the following:
- Painful throat installing from the get-go. It comes bundled up with the difficulty or even inability to swallow.
- Tonsils turning red and swelling up. Sometimes they have white spots and even pus.
- The soft or hard palate, which is essentially the back of your mouth, gets covered in small, red dots.
- The lymph nodes located in your neck swell up and become tender.
- High fever
- Vomiting and constant nausea paired with a sensibility towards smells
- Body and muscle aching.
There are some situations in which it’s advisable you visit a doctor. For example, if your fever surpasses the 101 F limit or if it lasts longer than 48 hours. In the same way, if you develop a rash, you should see a physician, purely to make sure it’s not caused by something else other than a strep throat, such as an exotic disease.
Also, if you have extreme problems in swallowing or breathing because of your swollen throat, medical attention is required immediately, as there is a risk of choking.
There are also a few complications of a strep throat, such as:
- The bacteria, if left untreated, may spread and cause infections in the blood, ears, skin, sinuses, and tonsils.
- There are a few diseases a strep throat virus left untreated is known to cause and which spread – scarlet fever, kidney inflammation, and rheumatic fever.
The Best Home Remedies for Strep Throat Treatment
The modern man has an ongoing love affair with prescription pills. To be a tad more correct, it’s a ‘love-hate’ relationship, since, as studies show, many of us are aware we should not abuse them, but we still do.
It’s precisely the case with the strep throat treatment. As soon as we feel the slightest sign or enter viral flu season, we rush to the doctor for a week’s long penicillin or amoxicillin course, when, if fact, we really shouldn’t.
There are all sorts of natural, homeopathic, and holistic strep throat treatment ideas which you can use. As a bonus, they are beneficial for the entire organism, not just the throat. Here they are, along with their guidelines.
#1. Vitamin C
Remember when you were little, and this was the universal cure for every single bout of cold you had? That’s because there is a medical reasoning behind it. Although this particular vitamin is best known for curing scurvy, it also fights against stress, viruses, and skin conditions.
If you take approximately 1000 mg of Vitamin C every day and combine it with other strep throat treatment ideas, it’s bound to work miracles in almost not time at all. Antibiotic free!
#2. Cayenne pepper
This is the spicy throat treatment you most likely already have in your cupboard. It means it’s cheap and ready-to-use.
Apart from that, cayenne pepper has been revered for ages as the perfect cure for sore throats. Mix it with a little bit of water or use it on its own if you can take the heat.
When mixed with water, you should use the concoction to gargle. When used on its own, dab a Q-tip in some cayenne pepper and rub it onto the back of your throat.
For a milder treatment and taste, mix some cayenne pepper with organic honey and smear it on your throat. Honey is yet another excellent remedy for sore throats and, when combined with cayenne pepper, it really shows off its powerful remedial qualities.
#3. Apple cider vinegar
Believe it or not, apple cider vinegar is considered to be the most efficient strep throat treatment available on the market today. To use it, you must first dilute it in some very lukewarm water and then gargle with it a few times a day until your throat is sore no more. One to three tablespoons of the miracle working apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water will prove enough.
Many people report that this concoction worked in as little as 30 minutes after they tried but, if it takes a bit longer for you, don’t worry. You can also sip it during the day if you like the taste and if you don’t suffer from previous stomach ailments. For this strep throat treatment to work, make sure you use organic, raw apple cider vinegar, and not the store brand type, which may have preservatives or colorants.
#4. Fluids are essential
The key is to avoid dehydration. Being sick and having a fever will cause you to lose precious liquids, via frequent urination, loose stools, and heavy sweating. When severely dehydrated, it will prove even harder to swallow, and your throat will heal all the more difficult.
To avoid all this, make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Choose high-quality ones, such as chicken or vegetable broth, fruit juices, and teas.
Water is fine as well, but you will need something more. When sick, you will lose your appetite. Apart from that, you will also lose sugar and salt from your blood via sweating.
This means you have to replace the depleted stacks in your system. Drinking broth will introduce salt and protein back into your body while teas and juices will give you a much-needed amount of sugar.
It’s better to avoid caffeine altogether as it dehydrates you. Also, as unbelievable as it may sound, sometimes cold beverages, ice, and even popsicles can help.
Another great way of relieving some of the pain is by gargling with salt water. This is an ages old strep throat treatment and most people who have used it swear by it.
Apart from dealing with the pain, salt is also known to dissolve mucus. This means it will unclog the back of your throat and force your tonsils to back down a bit and allow for better swallowing and breathing.
Salt water can also be used to unclog your nose and sinus cavities located highly in your skull. You can buy over-the-counter solutions for this, or you can make them yourself at home. Mix one or two tablespoons of table salt with approximately 8 ounces of warm water and gargle away at will.
#6. Slippery elm
Slippery is a type of elm known for its curative properties. It has been a healing herb in North America for centuries, the Native Americans using it for ulcers, boils, wounds, burns, and skin inflammations. They also used to consume it when they had a cough, stomach problems, diarrhea, and sore throats.
The slippery elm has a type of mucus inside it. When you mix it with water, the concoction turns into a gel that coats the damaged area and soothes it.
The way to use it at home is by pouring hot water over powdered bark. Let it cool, stir well, and drink it. There are also some elm lozenges available mostly online.
#7. Marshmallow root
This plant works the same way as slippery elm does. It has a mucus-like substance in it that, when added to water, turns into a gel. It will gently soothe your hurting throat.
Add some dried marshmallow root to boiling water to make tea out of it. Drink it two or three times a day so that it can relieve your irritated mucous membranes.
#8. Sage and echinacea
When consumed together, sage and Echinacea act as a viable strep throat treatment. A study was conducted in 2009 on 154 patients who were at least 12 years of age.
They all had sore throats and, for three days, some of them received sage and Echinacea sprays while some received chlorhexidine/lidocaine medicinal ones. All of them were asked to use two puffs once every two hours, up to 10 times a day.
Amazingly enough, the results showed that the sage and Echinacea combination was just as effective as the lidocaine medicinal ones. You can find both of these ingredients online for immediate purchase.
The long list of natural and amazing strep throat treatments could not be complete without peppermint which has always been viewed as some sort of panacea. There’s a good reason for that.
Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties and it gives you minty fresh breath. That’s an added value very welcomed when one suffers from a sore throat because inflamed tonsils and mucus at the back of your throat are a known cause of halitosis or bad breath.
A study was conducted in 2011 which proved that a peppermint based solution that included 4 other herbs was more effective as a strep throat treatment than a placebo. Apart from that, the University of Maryland Medical Centre states that peppermint, which is rich in menthol, thins out the mucus, helps cure coughs, and calm all sore throats. It works wonders as a pediatric treatment for toddlers to teenagers as well.
#10. Licorice root
Licorice root is perfect when trying to cure the pain that accompanies a damaged throat. The pain in itself is caused by the irritation of the throat and can keep you from speaking correctly or as much as you would like to, eating and drinking, and even sleeping at night.
Recent studies performed on this fantastic natural remedy shows how, when mixed with water and gargled, it’s very efficient in alleviating the problems described above. There was even a study completed back in 2009 which showed how licorice root reduced coughing and relieved throat pain in patients who had just undergone surgery in that area.
One of licorice’s added values is the fact that it tastes delicious, which makes it a preferred strep throat treatment, especially for kids. They can be quite fussy when it comes to alternative medication. You can shop for it almost anywhere or order it online. Mix it with water or suck on licorice lozenges all day long for an almost instant relief.
These home remedies are worth giving a shot when you first start experiencing signs of strep throat. Doctors really only recommend visiting them if you have severe symptoms, a high fever, or home remedies are not working.
Being too quick to get an antibiotic will only be detrimental to your health in the future because when you get strep throat again, it may not be reactive to the antibiotic. Your better option is to try to cure it at home first if possible.
However, if you feel exceptionally bad, have had a sore throat for more than three days, have a high fever that does not seen to respond to medicine, or have any other symptoms that worry you, then, by all means, do see a doctor. Do not continue to suffer without getting some help.
Peter has a background in IT and has been more or less of a gadget enthusiast for all of his teenage and college years. He spend the first few years of his working life reviewing consumer electronics like cameras and phones.