A very common bacterial infection that usually accompanies common colds and flu, Strep Throat is caused by the Streptococcus Bacteria (Group A) and is characterized by a scratchy and painful throat. Even though the condition is more prevalent in children, adults can also contract the infection.Strep Throat usually starts with a soreness that develops in and around the throat area.With time, this would lead to other symptoms like a burning sensation, inflammation of the lymphatic nodes, appearance of white patches, sudden chills, nausea and even fever. Even though all these symptoms are restricted to the throat and the neighboring regions, with time the infection can spread to other areas of the body and cause conditions like ear infections, rheumatic fever and kidney disorders etc.
Effective Home Remedies For Strep Throat
Strep Throat can be effectively taken care of with the help of medications. However, there are certain home remedies that can offer relief from the condition and its symptoms until proper medical aid is administered. These remedies can also work as suitable alternatives to standard medications that usually cause side effects. Given below are some of the most common home remedies for Strep Throat
1. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water during a Strep Throat infection can keep the throat hydrated and lubricated. This in turn can reduce the soreness, pain and inflammation in the area to a great extent. Water can also soothe an irritated throat and make it easier for the concerned individual to swallow.
2. Salt Water Gargle
One of the best ways to get rid of the soreness and pain that accompany strep throat is to opt for a salt water gargle at least twice a day. Gargling in a salt water solution (made by mixing one teaspoon of salt in lukewarm water) can help reduce the soreness, pain and inflammation effectively in addition to tackling the virus causing the infection by loosening the phlegm blocking the mucous membranes and the throat.Another alternative would be to gargle with a solution containing ½ a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of lukewarm water. This would also prove to be very effective in releasing nasal blockages and reducing the soreness in the throat.
3. Increased Intake Of Vitamin C & E
The body would need to rely on its natural defenses, aka its immune system in order to fight off the viral infection causing the condition. A weak immune system would not be able to ward off impending infections, and would not be able to recover quickly from the same as well.It is considered wise to stock up on Vitamin C and E during this period in order to boost the immune system and strengthen the body’s natural defenses. This would help get rid of the infection causing the condition (Strep Throat in this case) and promote quick healing afterwards as well. In addition to including foods rich in Vitamin C & E to the regular diet, one can opt for Vitamin C supplements that serve the same purpose.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar can provide very quick and effective results from Strep Throat and its symptoms. A diluted solution of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in 8 ounces of water needs to be stored in a bottle.Gargling with a small amount of the solution at regular intervals throughout the day can effectively reduce the soreness, pain and inflammation caused by Strep Throat.
Lemons are known for their potent antibacterial properties that help fight off infections, and antiseptic properties that help promote quick healing from the same. A mixture of lemon juice, honey and water in the ratio 1:1:4 can be drunk every day for extended relief from Strep Throat and its symptoms.
In addition to possessing potent antibacterial infections that help fight off infections, honey is considered to be a hypertonic osmotic agent that helps to loosen up blockages in the mucous membranes and draw excess water from the inflamed tissues. This in turn would effectively reduce the pain and inflammation caused by Strep Throat. Gulping down a tablespoon of honey or adding some honey to hot water or other beverages like tea, coffee etc. can help provide extended relief from the condition.
Garlic contains antibacterial properties that help fight off the infection behind the condition. Garlic also contains antiseptic properties that help quicken the healing process. Eating a few cloves of crushed garlic can be very beneficial for treating Strep Throat. Alternatively, adding some chopped or grated garlic to foods and juices can also work well in reducing the symptoms of Strep Throat and taking care of the virus behind the infection.
8. Candies And Lozenges
Sucking on candies, popsicles or lozenges can keep the throat hydrated by increasing the production of saliva in the mouth. Increased amounts of saliva would in turn bring down the soreness and irritation experienced in the throat to a great extent.
A cup of warm tea can do wonders in soothing an irritated throat and alleviating the other symptoms of Strep Throat. The best bet would be to opt for herbal teas with analgesic properties that help reduce the symptoms of the condition and energize the body in the process. 2-3 cups of tea every day would be fine until the symptoms reduce.
10. Sunflower Oil
In certain cases, Strep Throat can cause an individual to lose his/her voice temporarily owing to the soreness, pain and inflammation in the throat. A tablespoon of sunflower oil can effectively reduce the soreness in the throat, clear blockages and enhance the vocal chords.
11. Avoiding Triggers
In addition to following the above mentioned home remedies, it is also considered wise to avoid certain triggers that can potentially aggravate Strep Throat and intensify its symptoms. Certain triggers that need to be avoided until the condition is completely cured include spicy foods, acidic foods, cigarette smoke, dust and fumes arising from cleaning products and paints etc.
12. Eating Habits
Strep Throat can make it extremely hard for the concerned individual to swallow foods and even fluids. In these cases, it is considered wise to opt for foods that are easy to swallow and do not irritate the inner lining of the throat. Excellent examples include soups, broths, mashed potatoes, cooked cereals, yogurt, applesauce, boiled fruits and eggs (soft cooked). Another suitable alternative would be to puree foods with the help of a blender in order to swallow them with ease.
13. A Humidifier/Vaporizer
A moist environment would prevent the inner lining of the throat from drying up (a factor that can lead to Strep Throat or aggravate the symptoms of an existing condition). A good quality humidifier or Vaporizer would retain the moisture content in the indoor air, thereby preventing the symptoms of Strep Throat from intensifying.