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Home Remedies for Strep Throat Symptoms
If you test positive for strep, it’s important to take prescribed medications in the meantime, you can help ease the symptoms by including some quick home remedies.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat Symptoms
The scratchy, burning pain of a sore throat can make life miserable. From sipping water to answering the phone, everyday tasks are suddenly painful challenges.
Another reason for pain in the throat or difficulty swallowing could be from globus phatyngeus, also known as globus sensation. While it’s common to think you may have strep throat, the bacterial infection can only be diagnosed by a throat swab test.
If you test positive for strep, it’s important to take any prescribed medications, including antibiotics, as not doing so can lead to serious health complications such as rheumatic fever or heart murmurs.
It usually takes only a day or two after starting antibiotics to feel better, but in the meantime, there are some things you can do to help ease the symptoms, including some quick and easy home remedies for strep throat.
What Causes Strep Throat
Strep throat, also known as streptococcal pharyngitis, is caused by bacteria called group Astreptococcus, or Streptococcus pyogenes, which can seed the nose and throat.
You can get the infection from someone who is sick with strep, as it spreads through close contact with saliva.
Symptoms, which include fever, sore throat, red tonsils, and enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, typically begin one to three days after exposure and last seven to 10 days.
How to Test for Strep Throat at Home
The only way to know definitively if you have strep throat is through a rapid strep test administered by a healthcare provider or at your nearest GoHealth Urgent Care. And while home strep tests are available, they aren’t 100 percent accurate and can produce false-negative results.
You can examine your throat for signs of infection by looking in the mirror and saying, “Ahhh.” If you see white dots or patches in the back of your throat, or your tonsils are red and swollen, you may have strep throat and should see your doctor or go to your local GoHealth Urgent Care.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat
Sore throat is not the same as strep throat, as strep is a bacterial infection, yet many sore throat remedies can also help ease the symptoms of strep throat.
In addition to getting plenty of rest and drinking lots of water, you can try the following home remedies, which are aimed at killing the bacteria that causes strep throat. Keep in mind, however, that the only way to cure strep throat is with antibiotics.
Have antibacterial and antiviral effects and has been shown to protect against the risk of upper respiratory disorders and virus- and bacteria-induced respiratory infections on flights. Elderberry is available as a tea, and in capsule, powder, or liquid form.
Are best known for its ability to prevent the common cold, but research suggests it may also stop the spread of bacterial conditions like strep throat. Echinacea’s anti-inflammatory properties can also help relieve pain related to strep throat. Take echinacea in liquid form, as a tea, or in capsule form as soon as symptoms appear.
Can boost your immune system as well as kill infections already in your body. If you have strep throat, boost your vitamin C consumption by taking a supplement and eating foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, kale, strawberries, grapefruit, and kiwi.
Deficiency has been linked to respiratory infections, and research has shown it plays an important role in the immune system.
Raise antioxidant levels in the body, which helps boost the immune system, and its consistency has long been used to ease sore throats. Studies have found that medical-grade honey can fight some of the bacteria that cause infections.
Can keep you hydrated when a sore throat makes it difficult to swallow other foods. It also provides minerals that boost the immune system and help reduce swelling and pain. Drinking warm bone broth made from protein powder throughout the day can help ease the symptoms of strep throat.
Strep throat can help ease pain and treat inflammation. Chamomile tea has antioxidants that help reduce pain, congestion, swelling, and redness, while dandelion tea may help fight infection while boosting your immune system.
Have powerful healing compounds such as acetic acid, which can kill harmful bacteria while promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Also can help soothe symptoms while being gentle on sore throats.
Can reduce swelling in the throat, while its naturally occurring menthol provides a cooling and calming sensation. Mix 1 to 2 drops of peppermint oil in a glass of water and drink it or apply 1 to 2 drops to the skin around your throat, chest, and temples.
Have antibacterial properties and has been shown to limit the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. Add 1 to 2 drops to a glass of water or herbal tea.
Are a common home remedy for strep throat symptoms. Research has shown it’s effective in killing bacteria taken from patients with oral and respiratory infections. Add 1 to 2 drops of thyme oil to a glass of water and gargle or add thyme oil to your bath for relief of body aches.
Other Things to Try
Salt: Can soothe a sore throat, reduce painful swelling, and kill bacteria present in your mouth. The salt’s antibacterial properties are also known to improve respiratory conditions. Mix 1/4 teaspoon (1.42 grams) of table salt in 8 ounces (237 milliliters) of warm water. Be sure to spit out the liquid after gargling.
Home Remedies for Strep Throat: What Works & What Doesn't?
Looking for home remedies for strep throat? Learn how to relieve and recover from strep throat using these remedies provided by K Health that include: chamomile tea, honey, and more.
Health guides > Strep throat > Home Remedies for Strep Throat
Top 8 Home Remedies for Strep Throat
By Terez Malka, MD Medically reviewed February 9, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is Strep Throat?
8 Home Remedies for Strep Throat
Precautions and What to Avoid
Treatments for Strep Throat
When to See a Doctor
How K Health Can Help
Strep throat is a common bacterial infection that comes on suddenly, causing a painful sore throat and a fever.
It’s caused by a bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, or type A Streptococcus.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is typically treated with antibiotics to prevent a serious complication called rheumatic fever.
But, even on antibiotics, symptoms like fever and sore throat can continue for 1-2 weeks as you recover.
There are some at-home remedies that can help soothe your symptoms while you recover.
Don’t waste time on unproven remedies.
In this article, I’ll start by providing more information about strep throat, and then list 8 home remedies that are safe and may help with your symptoms.
I’ll also tell you about some things to avoid, and precautions you can take.
I’ll talk about the types of antibiotics that are prescribed for strep throat, and explain when you should see a doctor or healthcare provider about your sore throat.
What is Strep Throat?
Strep throat is a bacterial infection. Unlike a typical sore throat from a cold, strep throat results in a sudden, severe, painful sore throat that is usually covered in red or white spots at the back of the mouth.
Most people with strep throat have a fever of at least 101ºF.
If you have a cough, runny nose or hoarse voice, your sore throat is much more likely due to a cold or other virus.
THINK YOU MAY HAVE STREP THROAT? CHAT WITH A DOCTOR TODAY.
What causes strep throat?
Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, otherwise referred to as group A Streptococcus.
Group A strep is highly contagious and may easily be passed by coughing, sneezing, shared dishes or utensils and other close contacts.
You can also get strep throat by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that is typically treated to prevent the complication of rheumatic fever, which can cause heart damage.
Use of antibiotics also may help symptoms go away about 1 day more quickly than they would on their own.
Strep throat common symptoms
The most common symptoms of strep throat are:Severe sore throatFever: Many cases of strep throat involve a fever of at least 101ºF.Pain when swallowing: Some people describe the throat and swallowing pain of strep throat as being similar to trying to swallow a brick. It isn’t easily resolved by drinking cold or warm beverages.Petechiae: Tiny red spots may appear on the palate or back of the throat.Swollen tonsils: Along with swelling, the tonsils may appear red or have white patches or pus visible on them.Swollen lymph nodes: It is common to have tender, swollen lymph nodes on the sides of your neck or under your jaw.No cough: It is uncommon to have a cough or runny nose when you have strep pharyngitis.
8 Home Remedies for Strep Throat
Since strep throat takes 1-2 weeks to go away, even on antibiotics, some home remedies can help to reduce pain and make you more comfortable while you wait for your symptoms to improve.
Other home remedies that may be popular are not proven and could actually make things worse.
These eight remedies are safe to try.
Always ask your doctor or provider if you are not sure if a home remedy or over-the-counter (OTC) treatment is right for your condition.
Hydration is especially important when you do not feel well.
Your cells need fluids to properly function, including fighting infections.
Drinking water and other fluids also help to keep the throat moist, which can reduce pain from the sore throat when swallowing.
A centuries-old home remedy, honey has natural antibacterial properties that make it great for many things, including soothing a sore throat.
Mix 2 tablespoons of honey in warm water or tea, stir until dissolved, and drink.
Repeat a few times per day as needed. (Never give honey to a child under age 1.)
Herbal tea is a longstanding remedy for many ailments.
The warm liquid can soothe a sore throat.
The herbs in some teas may also have medicinal benefits.
Chamomile may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant healing properties.
It has been traditionally used for numerous illnesses, including digestive upset, respiratory infections, and inflammation of mucous membranes, which are found in the throat.
Brew a cup of chamomile tea as often as desired to soothe a sore throat.
You can add honey for a doubled-up approach.
There is no scientific evidence that shows chamomile heals strep throat, or any other infection, but it can be soothing and is unlikely to cause any harm.
Chicken soup is often said to have healing properties and has been in use for centuries.
While it cannot actually cure the flu, a cold, or your sore throat, it does have some benefits.
Strep Throat Treatment: Do You Need an Antibiotic?
Strep throat is uncomfortable and highly contagious, but you may not need an antibiotic to treat the bacterial infection. Learn when it's the right time to expect an antibiotic prescription from your doctor to treat strep throat.
Treating Strep Throat: Do You Really Need That Antibiotic?
A sore throat doesn’t mean you have strep throat. Learn how to deal with it and why you don't always need an antibiotic to feel better.
By Bernadette Young
Medically Reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD
Reviewed: March 1, 2018
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections like strep throat.
Have a sore throat? It could be strep. But you might want to think twice before you run to the doctor for an antibiotic.
A review published in December 2017 in PLoS Biology suggests that antibiotic prescriptions for some infections are contributing to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance and superbugs. Researchers found that most prescriptions written for antibiotics in the United States are for clinically mild conditions, such as strep throat, urinary tract infection, and otitis (swimmer’s ear). The study authors suggest developing alternatives to antibiotics to treat infections like strep throat and leaving antibiotics for more severe infections.
“If we want to save lives we have to develop alternative drugs for those mild infections,” says Kristofer Wollein Waldetoft, a postdoctoral fellow in the division of infectious medicine at Lund University in Sweden and a coauthor of the paper, “and reserve antibiotics for infections that kill people, like sepsis.”
Antibiotics are prescribed to treat bacterial infections. But along with killing or stopping the growth of “bad” bacteria in the gut, they take a toll on the “good” bacteria in the body. A lack of good bacteria in the gut can cause potentially bad bacteria, like E. coli, to take hold and wreak havoc on your digestive system.
Exposure to too many antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance, a problem that causes 23,000 deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Resistance is when bacterial growth can no longer be controlled or killed by an antibiotic.
“People should hope that their doctor does not prescribe an antibiotic,” says Aaron Glatt, MD, the chairman of medicine at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Hewlett, New York, and a spokesperson for the Infectious Disease Society of America. “They also shouldn’t expect a prescription every time they visit their doctor.”
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Glatt says that people need to change the way they think about doctor visits. They should go to a doctor for a diagnosis and a recommendation on how to treat an illness, not to always walk away with a prescription in hand.
It’s also important to remember that antibiotics can have side effects, and patients may even have allergic reactions to them. Antibiotics can also be expensive, especially if you do not have insurance and have to pay with cash, says Dr. Glatt.
“It has to be the right person, the right time, and the right drug,” said Glatt.
“There’s a lot of overdiagnosis for strep throat that leads to overtreatment,” says Stanford Shulman, MD, one of the authors of the 2012 guidelines for strep throat diagnosis and treatment by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).
Dr. Shulman, a doctor at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital and a professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says there’s some confusion over the diagnosis of group A strep throat. Often, a large number of people who are carriers of the bacteria don’t need to be treated. And a sore throat doesn't automatically mean you have a strep infection.
A patient may come in with a sore throat along with cold symptoms, such as a cough, runny nose, pink eye, or a raspy or strained voice. With those symptoms, it’s more likely he or she has a viral infection, for which an antibiotic would be useless.
How to Know When Antibiotics Are Necessary
Strep throat is common in children because it’s easily spread through a sneeze, cough, or sharing food, among other ways. Watch out for these symptoms:
Sore throat that causes pain when swallowing
Swollen tonsils with pus
Absence of cough Swollen lymph nodes
Some children may feel nauseated, have a headache or a stomachache, or vomit. A number of children with these symptoms may have scarlet fever, a fever accompanied by a rash.
Doctors have to be selective about testing for strep throat, says Shulman. Strep throat is not diagnosed just by symptoms: There are two tests used to confirm it. The doctor or medical professional takes a throat swab, called a rapid strep test, or a throat culture. If the test comes back positive for the bacteria, then the doctor will usually prescribe an antibiotic.
But strep throat is a self-limited disease that will go away on its own, says Shulman. Antibiotics are not prescribed to treat strep itself, but to prevent serious complications, such as rheumatic fever. Also, after the initial 24 hours of taking antibiotics, people can go back to work or school because they’re not considered contagious anymore, though their symptoms may take a little longer to subside.