If you’re feeling fine one moment, and then suddenly your throat is extremely painful, you’ve got a fever, and all your energy has vanished in a haze of illness, you could well have bacterial tonsillitis, sometimes called strep throat.
Strep is short for Streptococcus pyogenes, a common strain of bacteria that can live in your throat and nose for months without causing any harm. Often people who are carriers of strep have no symptoms, but they can pass an infection on to others.
Once in a while, though, these bugs can turn on you. Maybe you’ve been under too much stress, or your immune system has been overtaxed from fighting a virus such as a common cold or the flu. Or perhaps you’ve picked up a bug from an infected person. Whatever the reason, the normally dormant strep organisms can suddenly start releasing toxins and inflammatory substances to bring on a sore throat and other symptoms.
Although bacterial tonsillitis feels awful, it often goes away within a few days without specific treatment.
Some of the best at home remedies for strep throat are:
Salt water gargle
Help your body create an inhospitable environment in your throat by gargling with salt water. The salt helps to break up mucus and reduce the swelling of delicate tissues by reducing water retention. Add one teaspoon of sea salt to an 8 oz glass of warm water and gargle for one to two minutes and then spit out.
If you aren’t afraid of having garlic breath for a few days, go ahead and give your body and throat the extra infection fighting power it needs by mixing some raw garlic in honey to make a paste, then slowly swallowing one teaspoon every three or four hours.
Honey mixed in tea or taken on its own is a common household remedy for a sore throat. One study found that honey was even more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants. Other research shows that honey is an effective wound healer, which means it may help speed healing for sore throats.
Diluted peppermint oil sprays may also relieve sore throats. Peppermint contains menthol, which helps thin mucus and calm sore throats and coughs. Peppermint also has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which may encourage healing.
Never use essential oils without mixing them with carrier oil such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or softened coconut oil. For peppermint oil, mix five drops of the essential oil with one ounce of the carrier oil of your choice. Never ingest essential oils.
One of the most surprising cures for strep throat home remedies has cayenne pepper as a base ingredient. Cayenne has effective soothing properties, owing to its capsaicin content. If you use cayenne and other hot peppers, you’ll see that the pain caused by strep throat will quickly subside. As cayenne peppers provide quite a kick, we recommend using a bit of honey so you can wash it down.
Boil one cup of water.
As it’s boiling, add half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
After that, add one teaspoon of honey.
Wait until it cools a bit (but is still warm) and stir well before drinking.