Natural Remedies to Treat Strep Throat and Difference Between Sore and Strep Throat
I have been suffering from chronic sore and strep throat from many years and often I try herbal or home remedies to get relief. The best initial treatment is to gargle with luke warm water with salt, and sometimes when I feel pain at throat, I just add Disprin and gargle with it.
Let me explain the difference between both ailments by quoting the definition of both terms.
Strep throat is a bacterial infection in the throat and the tonsils. The throat gets irritated and inflamed, causing a sudden, severe sore throat.
Sore throat: Although some people are quick to think that any painful sore throat is strep, sore throats are usually caused by a viral infection and not strep bacteria. A sore throat caused by a virus can be just as painful as strep throat. But if you have cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or a runny or stuffy nose, you probably do not have strep throat.
Strep throat is a sore throat caused by bacteria known as Streptococcus pyogenes, or group A streptococcus. Sore throat is a term for any situation where the throat feels scratchy, tender, and possibly painful. Strep throat is a type of sore throat. Sore throat may be caused by bacteria or viruses, while strep throat is only caused by bacteria. The term strep throat is more commonly used in the USA and Canada, compared to other English speaking countries. Strep throat may also be referred to as Streptococcal pharyngitis or streptococcal sore throat.
What are the signs and symptoms of sore throat?
- Inflamed tonsils
- Tender and swollen neck glands
- Pain in the back of the throat
- Tenderness in the back of the throat
- Pain or discomfort when swallowing
- Fever (definitely an infection)
- Bodily aches (probably an infection)
- Headache (probably an infection)
- Tiredness (probably an infection, possibly other reasons)
What are the signs and symptoms of strep throat?
Strep throat is an infection, while sore throat may or may not be. The signs and symptoms below refer just to strep throat:
- Pain in the throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Tonsils are painful and/or swollen. Sometimes with white patches, and/or streaks of pus.
- Very small red sports may appear on the soft part of the palate (roof of the mouth).
- Nodes (lymph glands) of the neck are swollen and tender.
- Stomachache. Children may have nausea and vomiting
How to treat it?
Strep throat will go away in 3 to 7 days with or without treatment. Doctors usually treat strep throat with antibiotics even though they may not make you well faster. Antibiotics shorten the time you are able to spread the disease to others (are contagious) and lower the risk of spreading the infection to other parts of your body.
Any natural treatment for strep throat would involve herbs and remedies that are anti bacterial. Age old method like gargling with different solutions and herbs mixed with water is still a natural treatment for strep throat.
Natural remedies to cure strep throat:
Some of the natural treatments for strep throat are home remedies that are proven effective in most of the cases. For example gargling with plain water can also be effective in soothing the inflammation caused due to strep throat.
Home remedies for strep throat pain, discomfort and soreness:
Pineapple juice is a great home remedy for sore throats and strep throat. Pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain that can help reduce the irritation at the backs of our tongues, throat and the larynx (voice box). The reason pineapples work so well to help get rid of sore throats, is because bromelain is an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce the irritation in the throat and also destroys bacteria and combats infections.
Sipping on pineapple juice is fine and you can eat pineapple chunks. Slowly chew the pineapple pieces and let the juice soothe your throat. If you are not keen on pineapples, you can mix the pineapple juice with lemon, ginger and honey, mix it up and sip on it.
In addition to helping sore throats and strep throat, pineapple juice and eating pineapple can also help relieve coughs. Other home remedies include:
- Chamomile, sage, peppermint, lavender, jasmine, rosemary and thyme. (These can either be used as essences or ointments and are very efficient in reducing the pain and for relaxing the body.)
- Peppermint and chamomile teas can relief abdominal pain, reduce nausea and can also correct internal disorders such as diarrhea.
- Eucalyptus Oil is a great relief of, and distraction from, the associated pain and congestion of a strep infection.
Gargling with herbs:
Gargling with grapefruit seed extract is also proven effective as a natural treatment for strep throat.
Benefits: Grapefruit seed extract is an excellent anti-microbial and hence it finds its use in natural treatment for strep throat. Add around 5 drops of grapefruit seed extract in ½ a cup of water and use it to gargle. This would be more effective in suppressing the inflammation in the throat due to strep throat.
Another natural treatment for strep throat is to use a mixture of salt and lemon in water. This solution if gargled is also effective as a natural treatment for strep throat. Instead of using water to mix lemon and salt you can also use sage tea which is more effective than water. Sage tea is more effective than water as an anti-microbial agent. This reduces the pain in the throat and soothes the throat. The inflammation in the throat is also reduced with this natural treatment for strep throat.
Elm lozenges are used to soothe the throat in case of strep throat. These elm lozenges are available in health food stores like iHerb. You can create a mixture of Echinacea and goldenseal drops in water. Use this solution to spray at the back of the throat for natural treatment for strep throat. Another easily available natural treatment for strep throat is the use of honey. Taking little honey so that it spread at the back of the throat is a definite remedy for strep throat.
Honey has natural properties to fight against the microbes. Inhaling eucalyptus oil is also used as a natural treatment for strep throat. Prepare a tea with herbs like licorice and elm bark. This tea can be used to soothe the throat affected by strep throat. To reduce swelling in the throat there is another natural remedy in the form of sage or raspberry leaf tea. Tea prepared with these herbs is an excellent remedy to reduce swelling in the throat caused by strep throat. Green tea with honey is one of many natural remedies for strep throat and other respiratory illnesses.
Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria and therefore needs appropriate treatment that consists of antibiotics. Although there are natural alternatives for medical antibiotics, they are considerably less effective in fighting bacteria on their own. Home remedies for strep throat that can act as antibiotics are garlic, honey, olive leaf extract and tea tree oil. Such home remedies for strep throat can help in fighting infection and inflammation, but medical treatment shouldn't be ignored. In fact, most home remedies for strep throat should be used only in addition to medical treatment with antibiotics.
* What Is Strep Throat? What Is Sore Throat? at Medical News Today.
* Strep Throat at WebMD