11 Home Remedies for Strep Throat & How to Use Them

Strep throat is defined by WebMD as a “bacterial infection in the throat and tonsils”.

Children ages 5 to 15 are commonly affected but adults can also get this infection [1].

Caused by a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes, strep throat causes many unpleasant symptoms such as sore throat, difficulty swallowing, inflamed tonsils, fever, headache, and body pains [2].

This is a bothersome condition that can affect simple activities like eating and talking.

Fortunately, there are various home remedies that can safely and effectively resolve this common ailment.

1. Cayenne

Most people with strep throat stay away from anything spicy, thinking it can aggravate their condition.

It seems like spices like cayenne can cause irritation in the throat, but that’s not true.

What many don’t know is that cayenne is actually helpful in fighting bacterial infections of the throat.

In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, it was stated that cayenne can successfully inhibit the activities of infection-causing bacteria such as Streptococcus pyogenes [3].

Through a filter disk assay method, researchers tested different capsicum species including cayenne against 15 strains of bacteria and one species of yeast [3].

Most of the capsicum species demonstrated strong antimicrobial properties against the bacteria, efficiently preventing their growth and spread [3].

Researchers pointed out two pungent chemicals that can be found in capsicum responsible for these actions [3].

These include dihydrocapsaicin and capsaicin [3].

This remedy may cause stinging sensation on the throat at first. If this bothers you, you can try to reduce the quantity and just increase it gradually.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 glass of hot water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Put cayenne pepper, lemon juice and hot water in a glass.
  2. Mix all the ingredients.
  3. Gargle the solution three times a day for one to two days.

2. Garlic

There’s no denying that garlic is one of the most potent and most widely used natural remedies up to this day.

Garlic is an effective carminative, decongestant, antimicrobial, antitumor, and immunostimulant, among many others [4].

There’s a long list of ailments that can be cured with this remedy, and this includes: fever, colds, flu, cough, tuberculosis, asthma, hay fever, gastrointestinal infections, parasitic infections, rhinitis, hypertension, poor immunity, thrush, scabies, indigestion and constipation, among many others [4].

It’s no surprise that it also works so well for bacterial infections like strep throat.

If you can no longer bear the pain and itchiness of your throat caused by this infection, this remedy can surely help.

Research shows that garlic has the ability to prevent the growth and spread of bacterial strains that cause strep throat [5, 6].

In fact, it even works on bacteria that have already grown resistant to antibiotics [5].

Its main compound allicin, which is produced when you crush or slice garlic cloves, has a broad spectrum antibacterial activity against many Gram-negative and Gram-positive strains [6].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Recommended Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add garlic and cinnamon.
  3. Boil for another two to three minutes.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Strain the mixture.
  6. Let it cool a little before drinking.
  7. Take this solution twice a day until symptoms subside.

3. Honey

Stone Age paintings in cave show that honey has been used by humans as food and medicine for the last 8,000 years [7].

A by-product of nectar from flowers, honey is made in the digestive tract of bees and through a dehydration process that happens inside bee hives [7].

Clinical data has proven of its vast array of pharmacological activities, which are due to the presence of active compounds such as phenolics, organic acids, and peptides, among others [7].

For many years, it has been a go-to solution for a wide variety of health problems including respiratory ailments, toothache, wounds, burns, gastrointestinal disorders, fatigue, and vertigo [8].

That’s not all, honey has also been reported to have powerful antibacterial effects on at least 60 bacterial species [7].

Even those that can no longer be cured by commonly prescribed antibiotics can be controlled by honey, making this an ideal remedy for stubborn strep throat infection that keeps on coming back [9].

Contributing to this mode of action is the ability of honey to naturally produce hydrogen peroxide [9].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add honey and lemon juice to water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Drink three times a day until you feel better.

4. Sage

If you want quick relief from sore throat, another practical remedy that you can try is sage.

This plant, which belongs to the Lamiaceae family, is cultivated in many parts of the world [10].

It has been used since the ancient times in culinary, perfumery and cosmetics [10].

With its active compounds 1,8-cineole and borneol, it has also been found to be a potent traditional medicine against many types of ailments [10].

It works well for throat infections caused by bacteria [10].

In 2010, scientists from Turkey evaluated its antimicrobial powers against five strains of bacteria and one strain of fungus [10].

These microbes were exposed to extracts of sage at different concentrations for 24 hours [10].

Results show that it has strong antibacterial activities all the tested microorganisms [10].

According to researchers, it can efficiently inhibit Streptococcus pyogenes with its terpene, pinene, and cineol compounds [10].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of dried sage leaves
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Transfer to a cup.
  3. Add dried sage.
  4. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain the tea before drinking.
  6. Drink this tea twice a day for one week.

5. Chamomile Oil

rosacea-chamomile-oilOne of the world’s most popularly used and most researched medicinal plants is chamomile [11].

Its use has started in Greece and Rome during the ancient times [11].

Currently, more than 4,000 tons of chamomile are being produced annually to meet the demands of the market who has grown fond of using its oil extract as remedy for all sorts of minor and major ailments [11].

Chamomile oil can also be used to put an end to your annoying strep throat condition.

A 2007 study published in the Research Journal of Biological Sciences confirmed that chamomile oil is a strong anti-streptococcal agent that can work against bacterial strains that have become resistant to antibiotic medications [11].

Even at low concentrations, it can efficiently and quickly wipe out strains of Streptococcus bacteria [11].

These findings suggest that chamomile is a reliable treatment for strep throat and other similar infections.

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of chamomile oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  1. Combine the two oils.
  2. Gargle oil mixture inside your mouth for 10 minutes.
  3. Spit it out.
  4. Repeat remedy three times a day for one week.

6. Cinnamon

cancer-Cinnamon-oilCinnamon is a popular sweetener to food and beverages, adding flavorful depth to your coffee or favorite desserts.

As sweet as it is, cinnamon is also a potent natural medicine that can combat bacterial infections.

Italian researchers analyzed the toxicity and antibacterial activities of 13 essential oils against pathogens that commonly affect the respiratory tract [12].

Of all the essential oils tested for bactericidal actions against Streptococcus pyogenes, this herb has been found to be the most potent [12].

Similar results were yielded in a 2013 study, which evaluated 18 essential oils and found cinnamon to have the strongest inhibitory effects on S. pyogenes [13].

It’s no surprise that cinnamon is commonly used as ingredient in various strep throat medications such as Throat Coat [14].

People love using this remedy not only for its efficacy but also for its safety and tolerability.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add cinnamon powder.
  4. Let it steep for 10 minutes before adding honey.
  5. Drink twice a day for one week.

7. Wine

Yes, you’ve read it right, wine is included as one of the remedies for strep throat.

You’d think that you’d be asked to stay away from alcoholic beverages when you’re ill but strep throat is a different case.

It has been proven in research that wine actually contains some active compounds that are good for your health [15].

With their malic acid, tartaric acid and other active compounds, both red and white wines can inhibit oral streptococci that cause throat soreness and inflammation [15].

Moderate intake of wine (one glass per day) may help prevent recurrence of sore throat and other oral infections.

Just make sure that you don’t end up drinking too much of it, or else it will defeat its purpose.

For quick relief from strep throat, try gargling red or white wine for a few minutes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of red or white wine

Recommended Directions:

  1. Gargle wine for two minutes.
  2. Do this remedy once a day until infection clears.

8. Peppermint Tea

indigestion-Peppermint-TeaDid you know that a cup of peppermint tea can do so much for your health?

Brewed from the leaves of the peppermint plant, peppermint tea has been used in traditional medicine to relieve gastrointestinal problems, boost the immune system, provide pain relief, and more [16].

It surely can do a lot for one’s health, so it doesn’t usually take too much convincing for peopleto believe that it’s also a great remedy for strep throat infections.

Its antibacterial properties have been proven in several studies, and these are enough to show you that it’s indeed a viable solution for various oral infections [17, 18].

Streptococcus pyogenes were among the bacterial strains susceptible to the bactericidal actions of peppermint [17].

What You’ll Need:

  • A handful of peppermint leaves
  • 1 pot of water
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add peppermint leaves to water.
  2. Simmer for two minutes.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Strain mixture.
  5. Stir in lemon juice.
  6. Drink tea twice a day until pain and inflammation of the throat subside.

9. Onion

One of the world’s oldest cultivated herbs is onion [19].

Like garlic, it is also an excellent remedy that can cure a wide range of diseases including those that are caused by infectious pathogens.

Strep throat is just one example of the ailments that it can help resolve.

Rich in active compounds such as polyphenols, flavonoids and saponins, onion has various medicinal purposes, including antibacterial properties [19].

In 2012, researchers from Saudi Arabia discovered that it’s highly effective in fighting drug-resistant microorganisms such as those that cause strep throat [19].

At various concentrations, onion extract has been found effective in controlling the growth and spread of microbes.

If you don’t like the smell or taste of onion, you can combine it with honey to make it more palatable.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add honey to onion slices.
  2. Chew onion slices to release the juice, and then swallow.
  3. Do this remedy throughout the day for three to four days.

10. Thyme Oil

A popular herb used in the kitchen, thyme is also known for its multitude of benefits for the health.

Traditional healers have long relied on this herb and its oil extract to treat many types of infections.

Researchers from France investigated its efficacy of 18 essential oils against Streptococcus pyogenes [20].

Remarkably, thyme is one of the few essential oils that exhibited strong inhibitory effects against this bacterium [20].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of thyme oil
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Add thyme oil to water.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Gargle the solution for five minutes.
  4. Spit it out.
  5. Use this remedy twice a day until infection clears.

11. Ginger

Ginger works against different strains of bacteria that are known to cause oral infections, and these include Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pneumoniae [21].

According to a report dated 2011, it was ginger’s terpenoids, alkaloids, flavonoids, and tannins that contributed to this mode of action [22].

It’s also an anti-pyretic agent that can help reduce body temperature if the infection is accompanied by fever [21].

As with all the other remedies mentioned here, ginger is also safe and well-tolerated.

It doesn’t cause any unpleasant side effects to worry about.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 ginger root
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Slice ginger root into small pieces.
  2. Boil water in a pot.
  3. Add ginger to water.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Drink the tea twice a day for two weeks.

To resolve strep throat the easy and natural way, make use of these simple remedies that you can do at home.