Strep Throat: Natural Treatment

Strep throat is an inflammation in the throat caused by a streptococcus bacterial infection, usually accompanied by pain.

Most sore throats are not caused by the strep bacteria. In order to determine if you have strep throat, a doctor must test you for it; symptoms alone are not enough for a diagnosis.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Appetite suppression
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Inflammation in the throat
  • Pain that comes on quickly
  • Rash
  • Red spots at the back of the roof of the mouth
  • Sneezing
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Swollen lymph nodes

PREVALENCE

It is more common in children between the ages of 5 and 15 but can occur in anyone more rarely. Estimates are that about 15% of sore throats are due to the streptococcus bacteria.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

If a throat swab indicates the presence of strep, treatment is usually with antibiotics. The presence of strep bacteria is not necessarily indicative of infection, however, and many doctors feel that medicines are overprescribed. The antibiotics may be prescribed because of the fear of complications that may not occur, especially in otherwise healthy individuals with strong immune systems. Most cases will clear up in several days without any treatment at all.

Bacteria can spread through coughing, sneezing and kissing. Don’t let someone drink from your glass or eat from your spoon.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against infections and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Applesauce
  • Bone broth
  • Fruits
  • Garlic, preferably raw or DIY pickled garlic
  • Moist, smooth foods
  • Organic raw honey
  • Probiotics
  • Pureed foods
  • Yogurt

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE

  • All the usual culprits that compromise your immune system (alcohol, sugars, cured meats, trans fats, chemicals)
  • Smoking

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Apple Cider Vinegar in water as a gargle
  • Baking soda in water; a pinch of soda and a pinch of salt in a cup of water
  • Chamomile
  • Dandelion
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Fenugreek
  • Lemon water, warmed
  • Licorice root in water as a gargle
  • Marshmallow root tea
  • Salt water as a gargle
  • Slippery elm

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Cayenne
  • Fenugreek
  • Frankincense
  • Garlic
  • Peppermint
  • Sage leaf

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil (coconut, almond, olive, etc.), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress. Find recipes for blends on the web or create your own.

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Hyssop
  • Juniper berry
  • Lemon
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tea tree
  • Thieves oil
  • Thyme

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Bromelain
  • Cold Quell
  • Colloidal silver
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Yin qiao san

HYDRATION

Drink plenty of fluids during the episode. Keeping your throat moist will help to relieve discomfort. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

SLEEP

Get as much rest as you can to support the healing process. Studies show that lack of quality sleep affects the production of disease-fighting antibodies. If you wake in the morning after 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep feeling unrested, you aren’t getting enough sleep or you have an underlying health condition.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend, meditate. Do what works for you to stay mellow. Some of the following relaxation methods may be helpful for you:

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Herbal lozenges with no sugar
  • Humidify your room.
  • Many people swear by a concoction of honey, cayenne and pressed garlic as a treatment. Take a spoonful several times a day until you are well.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

  • Avoid fenugreek if you are pregnant.
  • Don’t give honey to young children.
  • Call a doctor if you have trouble breathing or swallowing.

PREVENTION

  • A wholesome, balanced diet
  • Adequate hydration
  • Regular exercise
  • Low stress levels
  • Quality sleep
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Don’t hang around people with strep throat but if you must, don’t share glasses, cutlery or dishware, and move away when they cough.
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