What are the Best Home Remedies for Strep Throat?

Dorothy Distefano

Strep throat refers to an infection of the tissue in the throat by group A streptococcus bacteria. Not all sore throats are caused by bacterial infection and diagnosis cannot be confirmed without a throat culture. Home remedies for strep throat may include compresses, gargles, and herbs.

Honey can help soothe a sore throat caused by strep.
Honey can help soothe a sore throat caused by strep.

Symptoms of strep throat may include difficulty swallowing, sudden fever, nausea, rash, red throat with white patches, discomfort in throat, and loss of appetite. Some sore throats are caused by viruses, which do not require antibiotic treatment. Strep throat usually requires antibiotics to treat the infection and prevent complications, however, home remedies may be used in conjunction with medical treatment to relieve symptoms.

Gargling with salt water may help reduce pain and swelling in the throat.
Gargling with salt water may help reduce pain and swelling in the throat.

Many home remedies for strep throat feature drinking warm liquids. Honey or lemon tea may soothe discomfort. Licorice or honeysuckle teas may also help alleviate soreness. One homemade tea recipe calls for the juice of one-quarter of a lemon, one teaspoon (tsp) of apple cider vinegar, one tsp of honey, and a pinch of dried cayenne pepper.

A crossection of the human head, including the throat.
A crossection of the human head, including the throat.

Gargles may also be used as home remedies for strep throat. An easy mixture of one-half tsp of salt dissolved in one cup of warm water can be used several times per day. A gargle made of one-half tsp of dried cayenne or chili pepper and a cup of warm water may seem surprising, but the capsaicin in the peppers helps to numb a sore throat.

Strep throat can cause pain and difficulty swallowing.
Strep throat can cause pain and difficulty swallowing.

Another item on the list of home remedies for strep throat is a cool-mist vaporizer. Often, sore throats are dry, and this dryness causes pain. A vaporizer can help keep the throat moist, especially during sleep.

A glass of warm water can be used to make a gargle for strep throat with salt or chili pepper.
A glass of warm water can be used to make a gargle for strep throat with salt or chili pepper.

Home remedies for strep throat may also include the use of herbs. Slippery elm, sometimes included in lozenges found in natural foods stores, contains soothing mucilage in its inner bark. Sage throat sprays have also been found to relieve sore throat pain.

Strep throat sufferers can find relief when using a humidifier.
Strep throat sufferers can find relief when using a humidifier.

If a sore throat persists for more than a few days, consider seeing a doctor for an examination and throat culture. Any time there is difficulty in breathing or swallowing, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. Other symptoms that suggest the need for medical evaluation include blood in saliva, rash, fever, or any strep throat symptoms after exposure to an individual who has been diagnosed with strep throat. A doctor may need to prescribe an antibiotic to clear such an infection.

Strep throat is a bacterial infection that requires a doctor visit.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that requires a doctor visit.

Strep throat is contagious, and precautions should be taken to prevent the spread of the infection. Contact, saliva, and secretions are the main modes of spreading strep. Good hand-washing, isolating the infected person’s toothbrush from others, and common sense are the best tools to prevent people from becoming infected.

Throat lozenges containing slippery elm can be found in natural foods stores.
Throat lozenges containing slippery elm can be found in natural foods stores.
Once antibiotics begin to work against the bacteria that causes strep throat, painful symptoms will diminish.
Once antibiotics begin to work against the bacteria that causes strep throat, painful symptoms will diminish.
Herbal tea with lemon can provide some relief from strep throat.
Herbal tea with lemon can provide some relief from strep throat.
Ice chips can provide soothing relief for strep throat.
Ice chips can provide soothing relief for strep throat.

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