Skye likes writing about mental health, nutrition, and wellness. She is passionate about sharing information that will educate, and positively affect people's lives.
Leann Poston, M.D.
Leann Poston, M.D. earned her medical degree from the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed an MBA from Raj Soin College of Business, focusing on healthcare. She is a full-time medical communication writer and educator.
April 13, 2021
Everyone has their best home remedies for strep throat, or group A streptococcus bacteria, and much like all home remedies, some actually work – but others are myths. Most of the time, strep throat, because it is a bacterial infection, can only be treated with antibiotics, but some home remedies can either ease the pain of your swollen throat or help you start to feel better a bit faster.
Some of the most common home remedies for strep throat include:
Looking at several of the home remedies for strep throat, most of them are pretty easy to put to use in your own life. Keep reading to learn a little more in-depth about some of the best home remedies for strep throat. Learn things that might make a bout of strep throat a bit easier to manage.
EverydayDr is partnered with PlushCare, a telehealth company that connects patients with exceptional online doctors. PlushCare was just named one of the top startups of 2021 by Forbes, and have experience treating and prescribing antibiotics to cure strep throat. You can book a same-day appointment with PlushCare here.
When it comes to strep throat, the hardest thing to deal with is the pain in your throat. It can hurt to talk, eat, swallow, and breathe, so relieving this pain is probably your highest priority.
One of the best home remedies for pain is to gargle with salt water to help clear your throat.
Saltwater works because it submerges all your throat cells and washes away some of the bacteria and mucus. When you spit out the saltwater, you also spit out bacteria and mucus The warm water also serves as a lubricant that can help to soothe your irritation.
If you want to create an effective mix of saltwater for gargling, the Mayo Clinic recommends combining ¼ to ½ teaspoonful of table salt with 4 to 8 ounces of warm water. If you have too little salt in the water, then the water won’t be as abrasive to get rid of the bacteria. Too much salt will cause the water to taste too salty – and contain too much sodium – when you gargle it.
Home remedies for strep throat might seem like a hit or miss venture, but most of them are pretty valid. Eating soothing foods and making sure that you tailor your environment to one of healing can make sure that you have the best chance of feeling better.
Honey is one of the best natural medications for soreness, as it does have several antibacterial properties. It can not only provide pain relief but is also an anti-inflammatory agent.
Honey can also act as a cough suppressant, allowing you to avoid the painful cough that sometimes comes with strep throat.
You can mix a few teaspoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea, and then drink during the day if needed. Staying hydrated helps ease sore throat pain as well.
Additionally, lemon in tea or water is great for sore throats because, although it is acidic, it can help your body break up mucus. It can also help boost your immune system and add some Vitamin C to your body.
Although spicy foods, in general, are still off the list of foods that you should eat when it comes to strep throat, a mild hot sauce is an effective remedy. The active ingredient in hot foods, capsaicin, has pain-relieving properties that some people find beneficial. Don’t overdo it, since something that’s too spicy might cause more irritation – but a diluted dose of a mild hot sauce might give you some temporary relief.
Add some drops of hot sauce to a glass of warm water and then gargle it. If it helps the pain, great! If it makes the pain worse, stick to more traditional methods.
While it isn’t medication and won’t cure your strep throat, the right types of food help you with strep throat treatment at home.
As the pain starts to leave your throat and you begin to heal, you will be able to return to your regular diet. Add in harder foods gradually, and once the strep is thoroughly defeated, you can get back to what you usually eat.
One of the best ways to reintroduce moisture to your dry throat is to add a humidifier into your room. Make sure that the humidifier releases only a cool mist, and be sure to clean the inside of the machine every day to make sure bacteria and mold aren’t building up inside of it. You can also use throat sprays and saline nasal sprays to keep your throat moist as well.
In order to aid the healing of your throat, you will also need to stay away from the things that will irritate your throat and make the pain worse – cigarette smoke, fumes from paint, and other gases and forms of smoke. Make sure to isolate yourself if there is someone around you who smokes, so your throat remains clear.
If you have strep throat, one of the best things you can do is get plenty of rest and sleep. Sleeping helps your body recharge to be ready to fight against infection. You should make plans to stay home. Your doctor will likely suggest that you stay home until you have been on antibiotics for 24 hours. Not only is strep throat contagious, but it also comes with a host of other issues, including fevers, headaches, and soreness. Take the full course of antibiotics as directed by your doctor. If you do not, the strep bacteria may not be completely killed.
According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention (CDC), “The best way to keep from getting or spreading group A strep is to wash your hands often. This is especially important after coughing or sneezing and before preparing foods or eating.” Make sure to practice good hygiene to help prevent strep infections.
If nothing makes your throat feel better, you should consult a doctor to find more medically professional options.
Our partners at PlushCare provide access to online doctors who can diagnose, treat, and write prescriptions all online.
The most common prescriptions written for strep throat are one of the following kinds of antibiotics:
A doctor will know which will be best for your situation. Because you can only get antibiotics with a prescription, talking to a doctor will be the first step to getting medication to cure your strep throat.
Click here to make an appointment with a PlushCare doctor.
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