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16 Soothing Strep Throat Home Remedies

16 strep throat home remedies
Strep throat can be a painful and frustrating respiratory condition, making it hard to swallow, eat and sleep. Although the conventional treatment for strep throat is antibiotics, research shows that they only reduce the length of the illness by about half a day. They also don’t seem to affect time off from school or work. Because antibiotic-resistant bacteria is becoming a real threat, it’s helpful to try strep throat home remedies first. It’s also important to avoid close contact with others until your strep throat symptoms are gone; this way you won’t spread the bacteria and reinfect yourself.

Strep Throat vs. Sore Throat

Sore throats are pain in the throat that is typically caused by a virus. It can be due to bacteria, allergies, pollution or throat dryness. Strep throat is an infection of the throat caused by bacteria. Sore throat is a symptom of strep throat and it’s also a symptom of other respiratory conditions. Both are contagious; they can be passed from person to person in any place with close contact.

Not many people with sore throats have bacterial infections. According to the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, viruses cause 85 to 95 percent of throat infections in adults and children younger than 5 years of age. Viruses cause about 70 percent of throat infections in those aged 5 to 15 years, with the other 30 percent due to bacterial infections, mostly group A strep. Natural sore throat remedies should be your first choice, as antibiotic treatment will not help a viral infection. (1)

It can be hard to tell the difference between strep throat symptoms and symptoms of a viral infection. Remember, while trying to make a self-diagnosis, that strep throat doesn’t include cold symptoms, like coughing, sneezing or runny nose. If you have a sore throat with cold symptoms, it’s likely caused by a viral infection and it’s not strep throat. (2) Try strep throat home remedies to find some relief from your symptoms.

Causes & Symptoms of Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection of the throat and tonsils. It’s caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, also called group A strep. The group A strep bacteria is very contagious. It spreads through contact after an infected person coughs, sneezes, touches your mouth, nose or eyes. The bacteria also spreads by sharing a glass, utensil, plate or even a doorknob. This is why strep throat seems to happen more often in the colder months when people tend to be in closer quarters.

Strep throat symptoms typically start within five days of exposure to the strep bacteria; symptoms include (3) :

  • Sore throat and difficulty swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Red spots on the roof of the mouth and a white or yellow coating on the throat and tonsils
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or above
  • Headache and body aches
  • Non-itching, red rash, which is a sign of scarlet fever. Scarlet fever is a serious bacterial infection. 

Conventional Strep Throat Treatment

The most common strep throat treatment is antibiotics, such as penicillin or amoxicillin. Research suggests that just mentioning a sore throat to a doctor almost guarantees a prescription for antibiotics, even though viral infections cause 85 to 90 percent of sore throats in adults.

Studies show that antibiotics are only somewhat helpful when used for strep throat. They can improve symptoms at 3 to 4 days and cut the length of the illness by about half a day. Antibiotic treatment doesn’t seem to affect time off from school or work. (4)

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen are also used to relieve the pain related to strep throat.


16 home remedies for strep throat symptoms

16 Strep Throat Home Remedies


1. Elderberry

Elderberry has antibacterial and antiviral effects. A recent study showed that elderberry can protect against respiratory symptoms during long flights. Researchers analyzed this due to the increased risk of getting upper respiratory disorders and virus and bacteria-induced respiratory infections on flights. They found that the travelers returning from overseas, who used elderberry, showed fewer respiratory symptoms than the placebo group.  (5)

You can drink elderberry tea, take capsules, or use elderberry powder. You can even buy it in liquid form.

2. Echinacea

Known as another way to prevent the common cold, researchers suggest that there are many powerful echinacea benefits, including its ability to work as an immuno-enhancing herb that can stop the spread of bacterial conditions like strep throat. There is good evidence suggesting that the phytochemicals in echinacea, and one of its compounds called echinacein, can keep bacteria and viruses from entering healthy cells. (6)

Echinacea can also be used to relieve pain related to strep throat, such as sore throat, headaches and body aches. It has anti-inflammatory effects that will help to reduce swelling in the throat and tonsils. Take echinacea in liquid form, as a tea or in capsule form as soon as symptoms appear.

3. Vitamin C

Use vitamin C to boost your immune system, repair tissue damage in the throat and decrease your risk of a wide range of illnesses. Take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C to fight off an oncoming infection. Take 4,000 milligrams per day to get rid of an infection already in your system. (7) If you have strep throat and need to boost your vitamin C consumption, take a supplement and eat vitamin C foods like oranges, kale, strawberries, grapefruit and kiwi. If you are having trouble swallowing, try making a smoothie.

4. Vitamin D

Researchers have studied the link between vitamin D deficiency and respiratory infections for years. Scientific evidence shows the important role vitamin D plays in the immune system because of its antimicrobial defenses. A recent study published in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases shows that there’s a link between vitamin D deficiency and the recurrence of respiratory conditions caused by group A strep bacteria. (8)

What to Eat and Drink:

5. Raw Honey

A daily dose of raw honey raises levels of health-promoting antioxidants in the body. This helps to boost the immune system and is one of several soothing strep throat home remedies. According to research published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine, honey’s healing property is due to its antibacterial activity, ability to maintain a moist wound condition and its thick consistency that helps to create a protective barrier to prevent infection. Studies have found that medical grade honeys have strong bactericidal activity to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause several life-threatening infections in humans. (9)

6. Bone Broth

Bone broth helps to keep you hydrated and it provides minerals that you need to boost your immune system. It’s soothing and easy to eat when you are suffering from a sore throat or swollen tonsils due to strep throat. Bone broth contains minerals in forms that your body can easily absorb, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and sulphur. It also contains chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, the compounds sold as pricey supplements to reduce swelling and joint pain. (10)

Instead of spending hours making bone broth from scratch, use protein powder made from bone broth to help you recover from strep throat quickly. Drink warm bone broth throughout the day.

7. Herbal Tea

Drink herbal tea to soothe your throat, ease pain and treat inflammation of the mucous membranes. Chamomile tea is a great choice because the plant is loaded with antioxidants that help reduce pain, congestion, swelling and redness. (11Dandelion tea is another one of the strep throat home remedies because it is used to treat infections, ease an upset stomach and boost your immune system.

8. Apple Cider Vinegar

Sipping apple cider vinegar is an easy way to treat strep throat naturally. Apple cider vinegar has powerful healing compounds such as acetic acid, which can kill dangerous bacteria while helping the growth of beneficial bacteria. Because acetic acid kills unwanted bacteria when it comes into contact with it, this natural compound practically acts as a natural antibiotic. (12)

What to Do:

9. Gargle with Himalayan Salt

Gargling with pink Himalayan salt water helps to reduce swelling, soothes a sore throat and creates an unpleasant environment for bacteria in your mouth. Salt temporarily increases the pH balance of your mouth, creating an alkaline environment that makes it hard for bacteria to survive. Himalayan salt is known to improve respiratory conditions because it’s an antibacterial agent. It has anti-inflammatory properties and it removes pathogens from the mouth when gargled or swallowed. (13)

10. Try Oil Pulling

Research shows that oil pulling has the power to reduce the presence of strep bacteria in the mouth. Use it as a tool to maintain oral health. (14)

Coconut oil pulling is one of the best ways to remove bacteria from the mouth. It works as an oral detox, sucking up the toxins in your mouth and creating a clean, germ-free environment. To use oil pulling as one of your strep throat home remedies, swish 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your mouth for at least ten minutes. Then spit out the oil in the trash, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth.

Essential Oils:

11. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a great essential oil for a sore throat. It reduces swelling in the throat, which is why it’s often used for the treatment of respiratory infections. Because peppermint oil contains menthol, it causes a cooling sensation and a calming effect on the body. (15)

Add 1-2 drops of peppermint oil to a glass or water or to your toothpaste to use it internally. For topical use, apply 1-2 drops to your throat, chest and temples.

12. Lemon Oil

Lemon oil has antibacterial properties and it helps to cleanse toxins from the body. Research shows that lemon oil is able to limit the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains. (16) To use lemon essential oil, add 1-2 drops to a glass of cool or warm water, or add it to herbal tea for more flavor.

13. Thyme Oil

Thyme oil supports the immune and respiratory systems, making it one of the strep throat home remedies. A 2011 study published in Medicinal Chemistry tested thyme oil’s response to 120 strains of bacteria taken from patients with infections of oral cavity, respiratory and genitourinary tracts. Results showed strong activity against all clinical strains. It also showed effectiveness to resist antibiotic resistant strains. (17)

You can use thyme oil as a mouthwash by adding 2 drops to water and gargling. Or take a bath with 2 drops of thyme oil added to ease body aches.

To Prevent Spreading the Infection:

14. Avoid Contact

As long as you have strep throat symptoms, don’t sneeze or cough on others in order to stop the bacteria from spreading. Do not share glasses, utensils, plates or food with anyone for two weeks. Use a powerful and natural soap, like castile soap, to wash your dishes and the surfaces in your bathroom and kitchen counter.

15. Wash Your Hands

Be sure to wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are around other people. Use an antibacterial soap to get rid of any trace of group A strep. One example is this Homemade Hand Soap with castile soap and peppermint oil.

16. Replace Your Toothbrush

Replace your toothbrush when you first show symptoms of strep throat and then again after you are well. This will help you to avoid reinfecting yourself with another group A strep infection.


Get a lab test before you decide to use antibiotics, as they will not help against viral sore throats. Viruses such as influenza and adenovirus cause most sore throats. Also, strep throat symptoms and symptoms of non-strep sore throat are a lot alike.

You should see your doctor if you have trouble swallowing, your throat is blocked by swollen tonsils, or your fever doesn’t go down. Antibiotic treatment should only be used for illnesses that it can treat best; overuse can contribute to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, if you are still sick after nine days of using these home remedies for strep throat, see your doctor about further treatment.

Final Thoughts

  • Strep throat is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils caused by the group A strep bacteria. It is highly contagious and spreads through close contact.
  • Strep throat may lead to scarlet fever, a very serious bacterial infection.
  • The conventional treatment for strep throat is antibiotics. Antibiotics will cut the length of the illness by about half a day.
  • Strep throat home remedies include supplements that will boost the immune system, foods that will soothe the throat and ease pain, and essential oils that help to kill bacteria.

Read Next: Lymphatic System: How to Make it Strong & Effective

16 Soothing Strep Throat Home Remedies

Josh Axe

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    • M Hart on

      Absolutely not! Strep throat is a KILLER that has a death list of tens of thousands. Jim Hensen DIED ignoring strep. My friend DIED from strep after it moved into rheumatic fever, enlarging his heart and eventually causing his fatal heart attack.

      Readers, go get the antibiotic before strep throat ruins your health or kills you. And ignore stupid and dangerous advice from fakers calling themselves doctors on the Internet, a pool of sharks seeking your blood.

      And this is one of the most irresponsible web pages I have ever seen.
      YOU, WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE, ARE DANGEROUS. If you are a doctor, you are an incompetent who ignores history and research. Take down this page, you menace to society, before you kill someone. Because you will.

      • Angellica on

        Natural remedies have been around much longer than mainstream mad medicine please keep your fear to yourself! Essential plant oils are incredibly antimicrobial and work better than poisoning with antibiotics!!!

        This page is great!

      • Mama on

        You are ignorant & uninformed! Do you know how many people die in the hospital every year from Strep & pneumonia while on conventional antibiotics because they have a built up immunity by hospitals usually wait 5-7 days to see if they’re working… that makes you7 days sicker while they are experimenting on you. Strong oils like Wild Oregano Oil & Thyme Oil, plus high doses of Vit C to keep your system alkaline to keep bacteria from spreading. Plus you can come down with staph & Mercer in the hospital. Go ahead… you go to the hospital… I’ll treat at home! 😊

      • Alex D on

        Sounds like you’re working for big pharma, or you’re just a sheep. Keep swallowing those pills that the doctor gives you M Hart, and you will find thatvwhen you need them the most, they will not work for you. Sad thing is, many will read your post and buy into your school of thought

      • JTruck on

        Your fear mongering is what is dangerous! As a sufferer of strep throat, my constant taking of antiobiotics as a child has ruined my gut and health. Ruined! Long term side effects of overuse of antiobiotics is what should be feared. Thanks to people like you all too many people jump on the antiobiotics wagon before even considering the opportunity to fight strep with natural options.

  1. Elaine on

    I had fever a few days ago so I’m trying to heal from the strep now. I’ve been taking a probiotic so I will try these remedies instead of the antibiotics.

  2. Sarah on

    My adult daughter has had strep throat 3 times since August. They now believe her daughter is a carrier. She tested positive and tested positive again after being on antibiotic. She is on a stronger antibiotic now and will be tested again next week! Hoping it is negative this time! What can be done if it is positive again? She never has had symptoms …just her mother and father get it. Her brother tested positive also with no symptoms but after one round of antibiotics was negative. My daughter uses essential oils for lots of things.

    • M Hart on

      Has those essential oils worked? No? Still a carrier? I guess essential ols don’t work against a very contagious and dangerous disease. Life is a highway. Read the signs.

    • Guille on

      bacteria infection Is treated first antibiotics don’t kill bacterias only inhibit freeze white cell complete the job is hard immune system to trap bacterias fight back. Needed both make stronger immune system and antibiotics

    • Candice on

      How did things turn out? I’m having the same problem. I keep getting strep and my son who is 5 is a carrier. I dont know what to do. These antibiotics are making me so sick.

  3. M Hart on

    This is TOTAL BS. Strep throat WILL KILL YOU. I know someone who got an enlarged heart from strep throat and died years later. Do not listen to this page. Go to a doctor and get antibiotics. Strep throat is not a mild cold to be treated at home. Again. STREP THROAT WILL KILL YOU. It leads to rheumatic fever. And it’s a strep virus that has killed tens of thousands, including Jim Hensen.

    And the owners of this website is incredibly responsible to post this page. Incredibly. They just might kill someone. Shame! You are the danger in knowing too little but just enough to be dangerous.

    • BSG on

      Wow! Pal, you have a bit of a vengeance against strep I see. That’s not that bad of a thing to have, but you also can’t take it to far and turn it into hate or fear. What these people are trying to do is answer a question, so leave them alone about it. I understand that you have lost someone to strep. But, not everyone will die from strep, its actually kind of rare for it to go that far. I have strep right now and in my current location I have no access to morden medicine. Therefore this page is extremely informative and helpful right now. And also please remember that modern medicine is not always the best choice. Thanks!

    • Sherri on

      Antibiotics will kill you. Did you know that? Why are you on this page if you don’t approve of natural medicine. It’s this kind of statement that discourages people and makes me think you should mind your own business and just go to the doctor if that is what you want.

    • Lucinda on

      What if you are allergic to antibiotics?
      Grapefruit seed extract cured my strep throat. I was 80% covered w plaque Psoriasis too.

    • Doons on

      You make me chuckle M Hart! Clearly you are uneducated and don’t know a single thing about natural medicine. Antibiotics are harmful for your body in many different ways. Did you know that some people are actually allergic to antibiotics? Wow! Crazy right? What do you think they should do? Maybe one day when you, or if, you get strep throat, you will come to your senses. The fact that you took time out of your day just to post something like that is extremely disappointing. The sad thing is that people might actually listen to you, and you could be putting others in danger… God bless your soul!

  4. Val on

    Very informative article, thank you so much. My grandkid has strep and I wanted to know what I could do to help her and also keep me from getting it

    • Sylvia on

      My son’s pediatrician’s advice 46 years years ago was to not treat strep for the first few days with antibiotics to allow his body to build its own defenses. There are numerous strains of strep; most will not damage heart or kidneys. The more lethal strains take some time to do their damage, hence a delay in starting antibiotics is justified.

  5. E on

    The vast majority of sore throats are NOT strep and do not need antibiotics. However, if you have strep throat antibiotics are important to prevent serious complications (cardiac problems, etc). Make sure you have a positive rapid test or throat culture before taking an antibiotic.

    Nearly all cases of strep can be cured with penicillin – antibiotic resistance is not really any issue with strep.

    • Lisa on

      As a child I suffered from Strep infections of my throat …it was confirmed.
      My parents were into healthy immune support and developing immunities.
      My Mom provided all the information and let me choose between antibiotics and natural remedies. We were aware of the known risks. I opted for natural non antibiotic. My mom was a stay at home Mom and monitored my condition closely through the next week. I kicked it. The last time I had strep was at age 13. I have not used antibiotics (except in the hospital for a C section) in all the remaining years. I am 55 and have a remarkable immune system. I have gone 15 years, 11 years, and 7 years without even a cold. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Eat Well, Supplement when appropriate, use homeopathy, sunshine, exercise, and a positive attitude to defeat illness.

  6. liz reed on

    You missed the best “cure” for sore or strep throat! Oil of Oregano. We have been using it for over 20 years and my daughter has never needed an antibiotic for a sore throat EVER. We have even been to the Dr who tested her and confirmed strep but by that point she was already almost better from the Oil of Oregano. I have recommended it to many people who also confirmed it worked. Just a few drops under the tongue a few hours apart and it will be gone.


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