Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. Though the condition usually resolves by itself, according to the National Institutes of Health, it is frequently treated with an antibiotic because of the risk of complications such as rheumatic fever. Home remedies can ease the pain associated with strep throat and will often speed healing. Most commonly seen in children between the ages of 5 and 15, strep is most common in the spring, fall and winter months. Symptoms of strep infection can include fever, swollen tonsils and white patches on the throat, according to the University of Iowa.
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Garlic can be used to soothe a sore throat. Fresh garlic can be blended and added to soups or a gargle. Add one fresh clove of garlic chopped or blended in a food processor to a cup of warm water and gargle. Garlic powder can also be used. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends taking a garlic supplement to help build immunity and help heal sore throats because garlic is high in antioxidants. Fresh garlic has more of the active ingredients than cooked garlic.
Warm liquids are advised by the University of Maryland Medical Center. Herb teas or soups are especially soothing and help add nutrients when it is hard to swallow solid foods. Warm drinks loosen the congestion in the glands and help mucus to flow.
Salt Water Gargle
Gargling with salt water keeps the throat lubricated and can help reduce the pain of strep throat. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends gargling a few times a day with a 1/2 tsp. of salt in 1 cup of warm water.
Honey is soothing to the mucus membranes in the throat. A teaspoon of honey with lemon juice is an old fashioned throat remedy, used to calm a throat inflammation. Lemon acts to cut through the mucus. Honey should not be given to children under the age of one.
Vitamin C has been shown to reduce the time or severity of acute illness, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Its recommendation is 1 to 4 grams a day (1,000 to 4,000 mg).
The spice turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and can reduce the pain and inflammation of strep throat, according to the University of Maryland. Add a teaspoon to a cup of warm water to gargle with, or add turmeric to a salt water garlic. Turmeric can be taken internally by capsule or added to foods to reduce inflammation as well.