A bacterial infection of the throat, most commonly caused by streptococci may warrant the use of an antibiotic. Effective strep throat treatment should also aim to boost the immune system naturally to ensure the infection does not cause complications or return at a later date.
Symptoms of a streptococci throat infection can be;
- Redness and swelling in throat
- Pain in the throat
- A yellow discharge on the tonsils.
- Coated tongue
- Swollen, tender lymph nodes in front of the neck
- Headaches and malaise
- Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting – particularly in children
- Red rash with small spots under the arms or in the skin creases – often in children
As a general rule, if you have a prominent cough or nasal symptoms, you are more likely to have a viral throat infection, rather than strep. Only about 10-20% of sore throats are bacterial, so a swab is recommended before antibiotics are taken for strep throat treatment.
Conventional strep throat treatment
If strep is diagnosed your doctor will prescribe a 10 day course of antibiotics – usually penicillin or amoxicillin. Your symptoms should subside within 2-3 days of taking antibiotics. Even though you may feel better it is important that you finish the whole course of antibiotics as prescribed. Do not return to work or school until you have taken antibiotics for 24 hours and symptoms have subsided. During and after strep throat treatment with an antibiotic, acidophillus bacteria should be taken to replenish the healthy gastrointestinal flora of the body.
Natural strep throat treatment
Supporting your immune system with natural therapies will help to shorten the duration of the infection and avoid repeat antibiotic scripts.
Antibacterial herbs like olive leaf, thyme, sage, myrrh, garlic and wild indigo should be part of your treatment plan. Vitamins A and C are excellent to help boost your immune system in order to fight the bacteria. Zinc taken in a tablet or lozenge form which can be sucked or chewed on has been found to be particularly helpful in soothing the throat.
Some patients attest to the effectiveness of colloidal silver for treatment of strep. Taken 3 times a day it is a powerful anti-bacterial that can be used as a gargle and taken as a tonic.
The dietary strep throat treatment is based around the anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cayenne, pineapple and paw paw. Eat lightly – hot soups, broths and juices are preferred over solid foods.
You need to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and avoid using your voice too much during strep throat treatment. Gargling with warm, salty water and sucking on sugar-free lozenges can ease discomfort. Gently massaging your throat with a menthol-based balm like tiger balm or vapour rub can bring some relief. Some patients like to place a warmed heat bag around their neck to ease any pain.