Home Remedies For Strep Throat

by Sharon Hopkins


A strep throat or Streptococcal Pharyngitis is an infection of the throat that affects the pharynx, the tonsils, as well as the larynx in the throat. It is caused by a group of bacteria called streptococcus. This contagious disease causes severe inflammation and pain in the throat and easily spreads whenever the patient sneezes or coughs.

In many cases, strep throat symptoms include inability to swallow food, a sore throat, fever, vomiting, and white patches or pus on the throat or tonsils. If you feel that you may have a strep throat, consultation with a doctor is a must in order to determine the severity of the infection and get proper medication. The type of medication given to the patient depends on the severity of the infection.

Home remedies can be used to soothe the symptoms of strep throat if your doctor feels that the infection does not require medication or if along with the medication you would like additional relief. Keep in mind that home remedies cannot cure the infection; however, for mild infections, they help in fighting off the infection till the body naturally heals. Also, home remedies are certainly not as quick as the medications prescribed to you by the doctor that comprise mainly of antibiotics and pain relieving drugs. However, these remedies are simple and natural, and therefore, they pose minimal side effects. The following remedies can help a strep throat patient.

  • Gargling with warm salt water always helps in easing the pain caused by this infection. To some extent, inflammation is also checked. One teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water is adequate for the gargle. One should gargle as often as possible, once every hour is ideal.
  • Avoid dehydration at all costs as it can worsen the infection. Soup and tea or any other hot drinks help in easing the congestion and sore throat.
  • Using a humidifier or vaporizer in the room is another effective home remedy. This is because cool or warm mist makes it more comfortable for the patients as it soothes the air passages. Hoarseness also causes problems, and a humidifier can ease it.
  • Alternately, if you do not have a humidifier or vaporizer, then a shallow pan filled with water can also be kept in the room. The water in the pan will keep evaporating and will maintain the humidity of the air just like the humidifier.
  • Smoke can cause a lot of irritation, and therefore, smoking or being around second-hand smoke is a strict no-no.
  • One can also try sucking on popsicles. The cold temperature will bring relief to the pain and inflammation.
  • Cool drinks are also very helpful in strep throat. One of the simplest home remedies, drinking cold liquids like iced water or cold drinks will help the patient.
  • Alternately, ice chips and ice cubes are a very good substitute for cool beverages. One can easily suck on them so that the cold water reaching the throat will soothe the inflammation and irritation.
  • Commonly used herbs and spices include sage and fenugreek that provide relief from this bacterial infection.
  • To reduce the soreness and irritation of the throat, drinking marigold tea can be a very good option.
  • Garlic is also most commonly used as a home remedy for many infections. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that improve the functions of the immune system. They also activate the T-helper cells that protect the body against an attack of bacteria.
While home remedies are very effective, as stated above, they work best as complementary treatment. Ensure that you check with your doctor and get proper medical treatment to avoid the condition from worsening.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001663/

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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