Strep throat is an infection (usually bacterial) of the throat and tonsils which causes severe and sudden sore throat. It is caused by the streptococcus species. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, malaise and regional lymphadenopathy (enlargement of the lymph nodes).
Some of the home remedies that can be used to treat sore throat include:
- Saltwater gargle should be done with warm water several times a day. This remedy helps to reduce the inflammation, flush out the bacteria, loosens mucus and reducing swelling. Add half teaspoon of water to one cup of water, and spit out the water after gargling. Do not swallow.
- Use lozenges or suck cough drops. Cough drops stimulate saliva production and keep the throat moist. Prefer cough drops which have cooling effect like eucalyptus or menthol.
- Even if you don’t have cough, use over-the-counter cough syrups, as they have antihistamines, which reduce inflammation and codeine which induces sleep.
- Drink plenty of hot or warm fluids like soup, tea, coffee, etc. They help in removal of mucus by loosening.
- Avoid too hot foods or drinks, as they can increase the inflammation of the throat.
- Avoid irritants for the throat, like smoking and smoky environment.
- Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have fever.
- Try a cup of warm herbal tea with a spoon of honey in it. Honey allows the easy downward movement of the tea and it also has antibacterial properties, which will help to control the infection.
- Have a cup of chicken soup. It is an age old remedy which is very helpful. The broth contains sodium, which has anti inflammatory properties.
Sore throat can be prevented before its occurrence by taking a few simple precautions. As it is said, prevention is better than cure. Prevention of sore throat can be done by following:
- Avoid sharing of drinking glasses and other utensils with other people.
- Before eating or drinking something, wash your hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizers if soap is not available.
- Avoid touching frequently touched objects like door handles, chair hand rests, etc.
- Avoid contact with allergens like dust and pollens.
- Avoid smoking and smoky places.
- Try to use a face mask in public places and cover the face while someone sneezes or coughs.
- Have a humidifier in your house so as to eliminate dryness.
By using the following home remedies and taking the precautions, sore throat can be treated or prevented.