Whether you are 8 or 80, getting a sore throat is not fun. Although they are typically caused by viral agents (colds & allergies), they very well could be bacterial. The most common bacterial cause of a sore throat comes from a group of bacteria called Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococci (GAS) bacterium, AKA, Streptococcus pyogenes, AKA, strep throat. Strep infections are detected approximately among 30% of children who have sore throat symptoms.
If you have been diagnosed with strep throat, your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics for 10 days to treat the strep throat and prevent the spread. Strep can go away on its own, but when you or your little one are suffering, we have some science-based home remedies that will help make you feel better in the interim. The best part is you can eat ice pops all day.
10 Natural and Effective Ways to Soothe Your Strep and Sore Throat:
- Water, water, water: Can't say it enough. Staying hydrated is the best way to not only cool your throat but it helps to flush the bacteria out faster. If a little one is sick, try diluted apple juice.
- Honey: Some research shows that honey aids in relieving sore throats by leaving a protective coating as you swallow. It also has antibacterial properties.
- Frozen foods: Yes, go for the ice cream, frozen yogurt, or popsicles. The cold numbs the tissue and nerves to reduce sore throat pain.
- Drink warm fluids: Tea, soup (mom's chicken soup), anything warm will also help soothe sore throats. There is even evidence that herbal teas with chamomile, elm inner bark, marshmallow, and licorice root, can help with inflammation and pain. Bonus: Add honey to your tea for a two-for-one.
- Gargle with salt water: A saltwater gargle helps reduce swelling and increases the pH balance of your mouth, making it harder for bacteria to survive.
- Eat apple cider vinegar gummies: Research suggests that ACV helps cure sore throats by killing germs and bacteria as it goes down. Tip: Try apple cider vinegar gummies for the perfect dose that won't irritate your throat.
- Take your vitamins: Vitamin- C, in particular, will help boost your immune system and can be found in foods in your fridge like oranges, kale, strawberries, grapefruit, and kiwi.
- Try supplements: Elderberry and echinacea have anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent the spread of bacterial conditions, boost your immune system, and reduce sore throat pain. They come in liquid form, as a tea, or in capsule form and are best if taken when symptoms first begin.
- Essential Oils: Breathing in oils like eucalyptus and peppermint can help reduce swelling in the throat and provide a cooling and calming sensation. Can be used in humidifiers too.
- Sleep: Aside from water, sleep will be your best friend in treating strep and sore throats at home. Sleeping will let your body heal and get the rest it needs to fight the bacteria.
If you follow those tips and get plenty of rest, your sore throat will be yesterday's news. If symptoms get worse or still lingering after a week, it's always best to consult with your doctor.