Natural Remedies for Strep Throat

remedies for strep throat

Patients are often surprised when I inform them that there are many effective natural remedies for strep throat.  I believe this is partly due to the fact that antibiotics are often seen as the only option for treatment.

The terms sore throat, tonsillitis and strep throat are often used interchangeably; however there are important differences. Strep throat is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes. Other bacteria can cause a sore throat, but Streptococcus is the most common cause in children and adolescents.

Strep throat occurs most commonly during the winter months. Strep throat is contagious. It’s estimated that the risk is about 40% in terms of contracting it from an affected family member. Keynote signs of strep include fever, swollen, tender lymph nodes on the side of the neck, and white patches seen on the tonsils and back of the throat. Other non-specific symptoms may include sore throat, headache, painful swallowing, and less often, nausea and vomiting.

Here are the remedies for strep throat that I have found to be most effective in practice:

Dietary Changes

Avoid sugar and dairy. Sugar feeds the bacteria and dairy tends to be mucous/phlegm-forming in nature, in addition to being a very common food sensitivity due to its casein protein. Alkaline broths are excellent to de-acidify the system. Chop vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini and potatoes and simmer them in water (with no added salt) for about 20 minutes. Then discard the vegetables and drink the liquid. Here is a good recipe for alkaline broth. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids – pure water and herbal teas are best -  to support your kidneys in eliminating toxins.

Echinacea

The herb Echinacea has been shown to inactivate Streptococcus and completely reverse the inflammation caused by this bacteria. I often recommend patients gargle with a herbal tincture combination of Echinacea and Hydrastis, but Echinacea alone will also work.

Hydrotherapy

When taking a shower alternate between hot and cold 2 to 3 times during the shower (3 minutes hot to 30 seconds cold). Always finish with cold. If you need to start off with cool and warm and gradually push towards each extreme that’s okay – you’ll eventually build up a tolerance and the “shock” of the cold water won’t be as bad. Do it in the morning when you wake up to give yourself an energy boost for the day. To soothe your sore throat you can wrap alternating hot and cold towels around your neck like a scarf (again, 3 minutes hot, 30 seconds cold alternating 3 or 4 times).

Lymphatic Massage

In gentle, circular motions, massage from behind you ear, down your neck, towards your chest and heart. Do this at least once per day, for example, each night before going to bed. Optionally, you can use an oil such as castor oil or oil of mallow, which can also be rubbed over your back to support elimination and liquefaction of mucous.

Soothing Herbal Teas

A recipe I often recommend includes one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Stir well and drink up to 4 cups per day. A herbal tea of thyme and fennel seeds is also effective.

Probiotics

A good quality probiotic is especially important if you are on antibiotics. The antibiotic is going to not only kill the bad strep bacteria, but it also kills the “good” bacteria your immune system needs. So taking a probiotic will help to replenish those good bacteria, which in turn strengthen your immune system. Look for a probiotic that has at least 1 billion units of bacteria (cfu or colony forming units) in it and if it contains additional strains such as L. rhamnosus, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, even better.

Sanum Therapy

Sanum therapy is my secret weapon against strep and is the reason I feel confident in treating this bacterial infection without antibiotics. I use a combination of remedies called Pleo-not, Sankombi and Pleo San Strep. These remedies need to be taken under the supervision of a qualified health practitioner trained in the use of these remedies.

Most importantly, you want to ask yourself why this infection came to be … what are the underlying factors that have contributed to a lowered immune system that allowed for this bacteria to thrive? Stress? Poor diet? Nutritional deficiencies? Adrenal fatigue? Systemic dysbiosis or bacterial overgrowth in the intestines? Food allergies? If your strep throat infections are a chronic concern you’ll want to dig a little deeper to prevent them from reoccurring.

I hope that provides you with a few effective natural remedies for strep throat.  Tell me about what remedies you have found to be effective to treat this bacterial infection by leaving a comment below. Do you know someone who suffers from chronic strep throat infections? Share this article with him/her via Facebook or Twitter.

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  1. Pavitra
    2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing.

    One suggestion is to gargle with warm salt-water. I have heard traditional doctors mention and know about it and have used it with some success especially if done early on and frequently.


  2. Dee
    2 years ago

    Please remember that if a strep throat infection is left untreated the infection can spread to the heart and cause serious damage. If you believe that you and/or your child have strep please see your physician.


  3. JC
    2 years ago

    by all means..don’t forget the black walnut tincture…kill those parasites!!!


  4. Auburn
    2 years ago

    Thanks so much for this article! I have been suffering from my worst case of strep I have ever had; fever, headache, dizziness, and mouth sores included. I can barely swallow pure water! That being said, I needed something else to soothe my symptoms while I wait for the antibiotics to do their job, so your suggestions are very much appreciated.


  5. Amie
    2 years ago

    Thank you,
    My boyfriend and I both have step throat and he has a really physically challenging job, so he can’t afford out get sick, and I am currently looking for a job so I can’t get sick like this either.
    We will both be using this information happily along side antibiotics as soon as the doctor opens tomorrow.
    Thanks again,
    Amie


  6. Baruch
    2 years ago

    Thank you for your website. I recovered naturally from strep using your suggestions. My wife now has it, and she’s trying these methods. The fever has subsided, but her throat is really sore. Any suggestions on which types of herbal teas to soothe the sore throat would be great. Thanks and happy healing. : )

    • Glad you found the information helpful, Baruch. Throat Coat® is a commercially available herbal tea that is effective for sore throats. It contains slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra), marshmallow root (Althea officinalis), licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and a dried extract of Chinese licorice root (Glycyrrhiza uralensis). I recommend taking 5 to 8 ounces of the tea four to six times per day. Any one of those herbs on their own – slippery elm, licorice, marshmallow – can be effective, too. You could also add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water and then stir. Drink up to four cups a day. Honey is great for soothing sore throat. Hope your wife is feeling better soon. Let me know how it goes.


  7. JoAnne Kraft
    1 year ago

    Candice’s suggestion about the throat coat tea is a great one and our family used it regularly but ran out and where we used to purchase it in minot no longer carries it….do you know where I might be able to find it here as we used to have a natural remedies store on our main street but they have been gone long ago….if you can get your hands on marshmallow root,sassafrass roots and fresh parsley and boil these items together they’re quite helpful for cleansing the toxins from your kidneys and body….if in Fargo Swansons on Broadway sells almost any herb you could ever want or need at an affordable Swanson’s….they also have a website you can order from for future needs to have them on hand so look under swansons.com in Fargo north Dakota on Broadway and the Swanson store name brand is much cheaper and just as effective as the others. But its personal preference I suppose as well..
    Good luck and happy healing!

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Throat Coat tea, JoAnne. Yes, I agree … I would place more emphasis on the actual herbs rather than the brand. Here are a couple places you can find it online if it’s not available at your local health food store:

      Amazon.com has a good deal for the Throat Coat: http://goo.gl/5s0qW.
      For us Canadian folk NationalNutrition.ca has it: http://www.nationalnutrition.ca/detail.aspx?ID=3278.


  8. Jessica
    1 year ago

    Are y these cuts it just things to relieve the assumptions. Could the hydrotherapy really cure it?


  9. Jessica
    1 year ago

    I meant relieve the symptoms….thanks

    • @Jessica Yes, the goal is definitely cure, not just the relief of symptoms. I recommend using a combination of therapies, including the hydrotherapy.


  10. C. Adam
    1 year ago

    I used to get strep throat 2-3 times a year. Nutrition changes and a vitamin regimen have kept me from having any kind of illness for just over a year, but this last weekend I got hit with the worst case of strep I’ve ever had. My wife and daughter were both sick during the previous week, my daughter had strep and my wife had a bad cold. I took care of them, staying home from school with my daughter. I didn’t get sick until 2 days after they had both been better. I’m sure it was from a day long lapse in my vitamin regimen and some very long hours at my office to make up for being gone most of the week. I hadn’t known about the benefits of Echinacea with regard to strep and so I bought supplements and have been mega-dosing with the Echinacea, vitamin C, L-Lysine, Calcium, Zinc and drinking herbal teas. In 16 hours, my throat which had looked like it was covered in cotton (seriously bad case) is now perfectly clear and the swelling has almost completely subsided. However, my tongue which had stayed a nice pink for the 3 previous days of being sick is now covered with a think layer of yellowish stuff and is sore this morning.
    My throat is still clear so I don’t know if this is a sign of the infection spreading to my mouth, or because of something with the Echinacea. Is it a side effect of too much Echinacea? I’ve taken large doses of other vitamins at the onset of a cold and it’s gone away with no ill effects, but this is my first foray into herbal remedy and I don’t want to be allopathic and soothe one symptom by creating another. Do you have any advice about my tongue? Does my high dosage vitamin regimen seem appropriate?

    • @C. Adam I recommend, of course, being checked out by your naturopathic/family doctor. For a symptom like that it’s best to have it physically examined. From what you’ve said I believe it’s a good sign that your throat is clear though – the illness is progressing in the right direction. What you described with your tongue may be related to the infection or caused by other factors (most likely it’s due to the bacteria). It’s difficult to know without a complete history. You may wish to try swishing/gargling with probiotics formulated with strains specific to your mouth. I don’t think it’s caused by the vitamins or Echinacea, however. I do recommend being careful with “mega-dosing” – not sure how high a dose you are using or for how long.


  11. C. Adam
    1 year ago

    A Candice:
    Thanks for the additional advice and thank you for the article. The strep has now runs its course. Follwing my own vitamin regimen and your suggestions I am now symtom free in 5 days. ‘Allopathetic” docs never helped me achieve better health that fast.
    As for checking with my local naturopathic doc, I’ve been searching for someone for over a year, but the closest registered ND I can find ( who isn’t also running a new age spiritual renewal center) is over 80 miles away in another city and isn’t open on any days I am able to travel. I am vigilant however,
    As for the vitamin education and accompanying regimen that I began 15 months ago, I began with the information provided by Dr. Andrew Saul: http://www.doctoryourself.com/
    If you haven’t heard of him check out his blog. He is very enthusiastic about people educating themselves in order to find better health.

  12. Thank you for the well written article. I have not had strep for several years and do not go to doctors because I seldom get sick. I am 71 and in very good health. My church is a House of Prayer, and I do believe in prayer being able to heal the sick. (Matt. 10:7&8) I also am not stupid, and realize that for whatever reason, we do not always get healed right away, and since Peter was a physician, I believe that it is OK to go to a doctor, (AFTER we pray!). I also believe that if it were not for doctors, many Christians would often be quite sick, or sometimes even dead! So I thank God for doctors. And I thank you for having the courage to share this information with us

    I also appreciate the part about preventing strep. I will investigate that issue. I do use a hot salt water gargle and that seems to help the soreness quite a bit.

    Thank you again, and many blessings.
    Sincerely, in Christ Jesus
    Pastor H.L. (Lee) Hill


  13. christine hurtado
    1 year ago

    thanks for your natural remedies for strep throat,the tea and honey really do help sooth..


  14. Leslie
    1 year ago

    Thanks so much for the fantastic information. Wonderful site, wonderful work! We have been fighting what appears to be strep in our house as of late. Two of us have Tourette’s Syndrome, and strep causes an increase in neurologic symptoms. Aside from treating the actual organism (assuming strep), what can we do to tame the tics, and increased anxiety? There is a products on the market, a homeopathic products that supposedly helps, but I have used products from the vendor in the past with very little if any change. I have read some info on PANDAS, but will not be putting anyone on a long course of prescription antibiotics for the neurological symptoms. The gastric/immune system damage is a very high price to pay, and I haven’t seen much evidence to show that an abx course is really effective for the neuro issues. Now my three year old has a sore throat, high fever, and a very red mouth and face. With an obvious predisposition to neuro issues (genetically), is he in danger of developing TS or PANDAS too? What can I do to prevent/stop this? Thanks so much. http://www.greenlifewellness88.com is my web site. I help people every day, to find the natural alternative to their currents traditional methods for “health.” I seem to have an answer for most everything. Ironically, I am faced, in my own home with something way beyond my abilities.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Leslie. Sure, I can understand your concern given your family history. There seems to be a certain subset of children (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18519489, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19833320) that are more susceptible to the effects of strep in terms of autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders like chronic tic disorders. Whether or not your son fits this subgroup is difficult to say. However, given the family history there may be increased susceptibility and therefore I would recommend perhaps being overly cautious in this case – with a focus on clearing out the possible strep infection as effectively and quickly as possible.

      First, I would recommend confirming that indeed your son has strep throat via a simple blood test to check his “strep titers.” The Sanum therapy I discuss – Pleo-Not – is an excellent option instead of antibiotics and will not wreak any havoc on the gastrointestinal system. I recommend consulting a naturopathic doctor or other holistic practitioner experienced in Sanum therapy to help determine the proper dosing. I’d be happy to consult with you, if interested (http://www.saultnaturopath.com/contact-sault-naturopath/).


  15. Maggie
    1 year ago

    Manuka honey is wonderful for the treatment and curing of strep throat. It comes from New Zealand and is made by bees that pollinate tea tree flowers. It contains amazingly strong antibiotic properties, strong enough to kill off strep faster than a prescription antibiotic. A couple of years ago my co-worker and I got sick with strep at the same time. She took zpac (a strong antibiotic) and I ate manuka honey. Her strep lasted a week and a half and mine cleared up completely in four days. Eating the honey right off the spoon also provided me with near instant pain relief. Ever since I was introduced to this wonder honey it has proven itself to me again and again in the treatment of various infections that I was told must be treated with prescription medications. I strongly recommend looking it up online and reading about it. It’s one of those wonderful natural sources of healing that pharmaseutical companies don’t want you to know about.


  16. Kristy
    1 year ago

    I think I’m getting strep. I do not want to have to take antibiotics but I have to be very careful with strep because I have mitral valve prolapse. I’m drinking the recipe you posted on here. I also wanted to find out more info about the Pleo-not, Sankombi, and Pleo San Strep. Where can you get these and why do you need to be under the care of a specialist when using these? I live in a very remote area and wouldn’t be able to find a specialist that would know anything about these. Thanks for any insight you can give!

    • Hi Kristy, yes with mitral valve prolapse you want to take special care. The Sanum products (Pleo-Not, Pleo San Strep, Sankombi) are professional line products, which means that they are only sold to licensed health care practitioners to prescribe. So I just meant that you need to be under the care of a licensed health care practitioner to have access to these remedies. Your doctor can access these by setting up an account with Biomed (http://biomedicine.com/). I’d be happy to consult with you if interested in further help.


  17. Jody
    1 year ago

    Great ideas for going anti antibiotic for strep. :)
    Just want to bring your attention to a little typo. In the paragraph on probiotics, the first sentence reads, “A good quality ANTIBIOTIC is especially important if you are on antibiotics.” You may wish to edit this.Otherwise, wonderful article.


  18. Nichole
    1 year ago

    I’m fairly certain I have steep right now, of course on a weekend, I’m wondering what a good dose of echinacea is for this and what is the best consumption method. Also where do i find Hydrastis (sorry I don’t even know what it is).

    I typically get my probiotics via milk keifer and I’m reasonably sure that the reason I have strep is because I’ve been stressed and busy and haven’t taken it for several days. You said no dairy – does this include my dairy based keifer? I typically mix it with yogurt but am fine with taking it by itself. I do have backup powdered probiotics if need be…

    I wish I had a naturopath nearby but alas I don’t – I’m in the process of moving so hopefully I can find one when I get there.

    • Thanks for your comment, Nichole. Kefir is a good source of probiotics and is fine to take, however if you currently are suffering from strep I recommend supplementing with extra probiotics.

      Echinacea can be found in various forms and the dose really depends on your individual immune system. 300 mg three times daily of the extract or 15 drops three times daily in tincture form are commonly recommended doses, but of course I recommend consulting a naturopathic doctor to find the dose best suited for your circumstances.

      Hydrastis is the herb Goldenseal and it, along with Echinacea, can typically be found at a natural health food store.

      I’m available for consultation if you would like further assistance.


  19. Nichole
    1 year ago

    Strep, obviously not steep.


  20. kg
    1 year ago

    i tried a couple of thees before i went to bed and then wen i woke up it was almost gone and i could actually swallow things with out it hurting thanks also a good remedy i tried was pouring up a glass of ginger ale and then i stirred it for about two minutes to get the fizz out and that soothed it too.

    • Thanks for your comment, kg. Glad you found some relief with the remedies and thanks for sharing another tip!


  21. Taylor
    1 year ago

    I’m 23 and my entire life, if i got seriously sick, I’d go see the doctor and take antibiotics. I’ve gotten strep throat several times in my life. Well I just got it 7 days ago again. I don’t have health insurance so didn’t want to pay to see a doctor and then buy the antibiotics.

    So I looked for a natural approach to curing it. I searched and found multiple remedies, but less than a handful seemed widely popular.

    What I used: oil of oregano, silvercillin, acv, cayenne pepper, garlic and some herbal teas.

    However, what I believed really did the trick and took the strep out was the oil of oregano with the silvercillin in 2nd place.

    Last Sunday morning I felt a sore throat coming on, but it was nothing big then. The next day I wokeup and had a nasty sore throat and felt like crap, very sluggish. So I drank hot herbal teas as well as crushed up garlic and acv. It helped, but not by much. The next day (tuesday) I wokeup with an even nastier sore throat. Now I had a fever and really felt like crap. I looked at the back of my throat and saw a couple white/ yellow spots in the back. I knew I had strep. I went out to a natural health store and was recommended to try Silvercillin. I bought it and sprayed in 6-8 times about 4-6 times/ day.

    I wakeup the next day (Wednesday) and my throat is terrible. The night before I could hardly sleep because the pain of swallowing. I was getting tempted to just say F it and see a doctor because of the pain. My tonsils were HUGE, had a fever and everything ached. I researched oil of oregano and bought some. I use 2 doses at 5 drops before going to sleep.

    Thursday, still the same pain, same terrible throat, huge tonsils, fever and felt like the walking dead. Half of me wants to go to the doctor really bad, the other half tells me to wait it out a day or 2 more. So I take about 4 does of oregano at 6 drops each time throughout the day. I use the silvercillin about 4-5 doses also. The oregano does help soothe your throat a bit instantly.

    Friday, feeling much better, but still minor sore throat, still huge tonsils…but no fever and less body aches. I continue thursdays regimen and keep drinking herbal teas.

    Saturday and I’m feeling pretty dang good. About 80% of my sore throat is gone, no more body aches and I’m feeling a bit more energized, a bit more like my normal self. I continue the same regimen of oregano/ silvercillin.

    Today, no sore throat at all, no body aches at all, and I’m feeling about 95% back to normal. My tonsils are at about 90% and almost back to normal. I only take 2 doses of oregano and 2 of silvercillin.

    So I can finally say… I beat strep throat naturally! All of the haters out there against natural remedies and have the “take the antibiotics or your dead” belief, you are wrong! Yes you will have to take some pain. I was in excruciating pain Monday night through Thursday..everytime I swallowed I would have to pinch myself or something to distract me from the pain. But just take the oil of oregano and silvercillin, drink your herbal teas and eat your chicken noodle soup. It works!

    Sorry for the longgggg post, but when i was in serious pain this is all i wanted to read. Exact remedies to take and to know exactly what to do and someone who had great results.

    Good luck to you!


  22. Xena
    1 year ago

    WOW! The hydrotherapy was INCREDIBLE! Might become a regular practice for me even when I’m not sick. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, it is much appreciated!

    • You’re very welcome, Xena. Glad you had a good experience with hydrotherapy. It is amazing. And I definitely encourage you to do it for prevention, even if you are not feeling sick.


  23. pat
    9 months ago

    Hi,
    I am trying to find out how to take the pleo san strep drops. Should I put them under my tongue; swish them around in my mouth; put it in water and dilute it and drink it – what?


    • Candice Esposito, ND
      8 months ago

      I recommend placing them under your tongue, holding it there for several seconds before swallowing.


    • Candice Esposito, ND
      8 months ago

      Place under your tongue, hold for a few seconds before swallowing.


  24. BlogZilla
    9 months ago

    I think the culprit here is a bad diet and sugar. After consuming two packages of chocolate covered almonds I contracted strep throat I may have promoted strep throat which took me several days to get over. I got rid of mine by inducing sweat, drinking tons of herbal tea, and juicing (cucumber, celery, carrot, green pepper, lemon)


  25. Angela
    7 months ago

    I have pure oil of oregano which I have heard is good for that. I put a few drops in my salt water gargle

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