Strep throat is inflammation of the throat, tonsils and lymph nodes due to infection with group A streptococcus bacteria. Strep throat is very common during the flu seasons and it can be preceded by mild symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing or cough. The incubation period of strep throat is around 3-5 days and most symptoms occur within this period of time. Common symptoms of strep throat are: throat inflammation and swelling, difficult swallowing, difficult breathing, mucus-producing cough, fatigue, body weakness, headache, nausea, poor appetite, enlargement of the lymph nodes and tonsils, excessive sweating and fever.
Strep throat is very contagious and the bacteria responsible for causing the illness can be easily transmitted from a person to another by direct touch, sneezing or coughing. In order to prevent infection with streptococcus bacteria, it is very important to maintain proper personal hygiene and to avoid entering in contact with infected people. The persons affected by strep throat should also take measures in avoiding spreading the bacteria to others.
Untreated strep throat can lead to serious complications and doctors usually recommend a course of antibiotics to most people affected by strep throat. With appropriate medical treatment, the illness can be overcome quickly, minimizing the risk of developing complications.
Although they can’t replace medical treatments completely, there are various home remedies that can quickly relieve the symptoms of strep throat and speed up the process of recovery. Corroborated with proper rest, an appropriate diet and plenty of fluids, natural remedies can quickly deal with the undesirable effects of strep throat.
Chamomile tea is one of the best natural remedies for strep throat. Its analgesic properties can provide rapid relief for throat pain and headaches. Administered every few hours, chamomile tea can also reduce fever and prevent dehydration. A very strong natural remedy, sage can reduce inflammation, protecting the soft tissues of the throat and respiratory system. Sage can be used either under the form of tincture or under the form of capsules. Thanks to its antibiotic properties, garlic is also an appropriate home remedy for strep throat.
Gargling with salt water can fight against bacteria and can reduce throat inflammation and pain, while saline nasal sprays can help decongest the airways clogged with mucus. When suffering from strep throat, it is very important to maintain a warm temperature in your bedroom and to increase the air humidity by using mist humidifiers. You should avoid exposure to chemicals or irritants such as cigarette smoke and alcohol vapors. You should keep away from any substance with strong, persistent odor in order to prevent further inflammation of the respiratory system’s soft tissues and membranes.
It is recommended to avoid drinking cold or very hot beverages, as they can cause throat irritation and pain, slowing down the process of healing. Also, keep away from spicy and irritant foods, as they are not tolerated well by an inflamed throat. When suffering from strep throat, you should only eat soft foods such as soups, yogurts, mashed potatoes, and non-irritant fruits.