Most of the time when you have a sore throat it is caused by a virus and there is no medication that can help cure it. However, strep throat is caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms of strep throat include inflammation and severe pain in the throat. Strep throat can affect anyone, but it is most common in children between the ages of five and fifteen. Strep throat is contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing.
When diagnosed with strep throat your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic in order to help you rid your body of the harmful bacteria that is causing the infection in your throat. However, research has shown that taking an antibiotic will typically only decrease the number of days you are sick by about a single day.
Since there is an overuse of antibiotics and because antibiotics also kill good bacteria as well as bad, many people look for alternative remedies for dealing with strep throat. If you are suffering from a sore throat of any kind or if you have been diagnosed with strep throat, the following fourteen natural home remedies may help to provide you with some much-needed relief.
1. Bone Broth
It is likely that you have heard the saying feed a cold, starve a fever. Well in the case of strep throat, eating hot soup made with bone broth can help alleviate some of the symptoms of the illness. The soup should be made from scratch using the bones from pasture-raised chicken or beef, or other healthy animals such as fish. The broth is easy to digest and can help to strengthen the immune and digestive system. The bone broth will provide you with hydration and also essential minerals that are needed to recover from any illness.
2. Salt Water Gargle
If you have a sore throat, gargling with salt water can be extremely beneficial. The salt can help break up any mucus that is in the area.
In addition, mixing salt with water and gargling it can also help reduce swelling and inflammation in the throat as it can reduce the amount of water being retained. To use, mix about a teaspoon of sea salt with an eight-ounce glass of water.
Once it is well mixed, (the water should be cloudy), simply put some in your mouth and swish it around for a minute or two.
Elderberry has been used for many generations as a way to prevent sickness and to help soothe sore throats.
There have been numerous studies that have shown elderberry can have a positive effect on both the respiratory system as well as the throat. You can find elderberry in several forms including sprays that are available at many health food stores.
You may also make elderberry tea or find elderberry syrup. Not only is elderberry great for treating strep throat, but it can also be used for treating bronchitis and the flu.
4. Vitamin C
A vitamin C supplement can be taken to help boost your immunity. In addition, vitamin c can help repair damage to the tissues in the throat and can decrease your chances of getting a number of different illnesses.
If you feel an infection coming on, take 1000 mg of vitamin C per day. If you are already suffering from an infection up the dosage to 4000 mg. In addition to taking a vitamin C supplement, you can also eat foods that are rich in vitamin C such as strawberries, kale, oranges, kiwi, and grapefruit.
If you are having difficulty swallowing you can use these fruits to make a smoothie.
5. Vitamin D
Another important vitamin to make sure that you have enough of is vitamin D.
There have been several studies that have linked a deficiency in vitamin D and respiratory infections. Vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system, which is why it is important to make sure that you have enough of it in your system.
While most people get enough vitamin D simply from being outside in the sun, during the long winter months a supplement might be necessary. Getting enough vitamin D is an important part of the fighting infections including strep throat.
6. Raw Honey
Raw honey has antibacterial properties that can be especially helpful if you are suffering from a sore throat. There have been several modern studies conducted that show that honey has a natural soothing and preventative effect on the throat.
If you are suffering from strep throat you can simply take a spoonful of honey directly to help ease some of the pain and soothe the soreness. You may also want to add some honey to some hot tea with lemon for added effect.
7. Chamomile Tea
If your throat is really sore, as it tends to be when you are suffering from strep throat, chances are you are not going to feel like eating much.
However, sipping on a warm beverage can be quite soothing. Chamomile tea is not only a comforting drink, but it also offers healing properties. Chamomile can help relax the nerves and ease the pain caused by strep throat.
Additionally, chamomile tea offers many antioxidants that can help fight off the infection. Mixing in peppermint oil or thyme oil can have further soothing effects.
8. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is well known for the treatment of respiratory and throat inflammation. Peppermint oil can either be applied topically or taken internally in order to help reduce swelling and ease the pain. Peppermint oil can also be added to tea.
Menthol is the active ingredient in peppermint oil, which helps to create calmness and cool the areas in the throat that are affected by the virus or bacteria that is causing your throat to be sore. Not only can peppermint oil provide soothing relief in your throat it can also help alleviate stress and depression that may be caused by negative feelings you have while being sick.
9. Thyme Oil
For hundreds of years, thyme has been valued in the use of preventing and treating a number of different illnesses. In fact, thyme has often been referred to as being nature’s antibiotic because of its many healing properties.
To treat strep throat using thyme oil simply mix a few drops of the oil into some water. Gargle this concoction for several minutes and then spit it out.
The herb cannot only help with your sore throat but can also help with any aches and pains that you may be dealing with.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is well known for its healing properties and many other uses. Acetic acid is the active ingredient found in apple cider vinegar and it can help to eliminate harmful bacteria and not disrupt the growth of the good bacteria in the body.
There are several ways to take apple cider vinegar for your sore throat. You can mix a small amount with some water and honey and drink it or you can add some to your tea. You may also mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle and simply spray it into the back of your throat.