Strep throat is an infective condition in which your throat feels scratchy and sore. In this condition your throat and tonsils are infected. It is caused by bacteria known as Gas (Group A Streptococcus). Have you ever experienced this? Yes, many of you might have experienced it at some age in your life. If you are thinking it is quite common and why should I further read. Let me tell you, it is common and quite dangerous too if left untreated. read full details of Strep throat symptoms, treatment and home remedies. So it’s better to know everything including its prevention and cure.
Strep throat if left untreated causes Rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation. Further Rheumatic fever can cause pain and inflammation in joints. It can cause a specific type of rash and can damage your heart valves too. Scared? You shouldn’t be, because in this article you will get to know medications as well as the home remedies for strep throat
Strep Throat Symptoms
It is most common in children between the age of 5 and 15. But anyone can get infected with it. Its symptoms may vary from person to person. Some can have mild Strep throat symptoms while others can experience severe ones.
Common Strep throat symptoms
- Sore red throat with white patches.
- Tiny red spot on the mouth’s roof (hard or soft palate)
- Red and swollen tonsils.
- Pain during swallowing.
- Sudden fever ( 101°F especially)
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or Vomiting especially in younger children.
- Body ache.
Its incubation period is two to five days from exposure to bacteria. That means strep throat can occur within 5 days of exposure to the bacteria.
Causes of strep throat
Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus bacteria. But some other conditions can also be the cause. These are :
- Allergy or asthma
- Excessive dry climate.
- Air pollution
- Swollen glands.
- Common cold
- Respiratory tract infections.
Is strep throat contagious ?
Unlike psoriasis and eczema, strep throat is contagious. Yes you heard it right, it is a communicable disease.
These bacteria can spread from one person to another via droplets. That is whenever someone with strep throat sneezes or coughs, you can catch it’s infection via drops (droplet infection).
How? Well you will inhale in the surroundings in the vicinity of the infected person or touch your eyes mouth or nose after touching the infected surface.
You may also get infected if you:
- use same swimming pool or towel
- share food or drinks with someone having strep throat.
- come in contact with the infected objects like a chair or a bedsheet.
When should you visit a doctor?
- When sore throat lasts for more than 48 hours.
- Sore throat with white patches.
- Sore throat with pinkish sandpaper like rashes on skin.
- Spots on the roof of the mouth.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Persistent fever
- Problem in breathing and swallowing.
- Cola coloured urine- this is the sign of infected kidneys.
Allopathic Treatment of Strep throat
Most of the strep throat cases don’t require treatment and get cured on their own while some might need serious attention.
As strep throat is a bacterial infection, antibiotics play an important role. Commonly used medicines are:
Note – Aspirin or ibuprofen shouldn’t not be consumed by patients with kidney and stomach problems.
During strep throat treatment, one should always complete its treatment course. Many patients stop taking medications when symptoms are relaxed. But it can relapse that means strep throat symptoms can come back again and cause severe complications. So, always complete its medication course.
Home remedies to treat strep throat
Gargle with hot salt water
It is the best way to reduce throat swelling and to loosen up your mucus. As the bacteria cannot survive in high temperatures, they are killed. Also while gargling with hot salt water your blood vessels are dilated which increases the blood flow.
Apple cider vinegar
It is very effective in the treatment of respiratory infections. As the name suggests it is acidic in nature. Acidity eliminates the bacteria or germs. Also adding in honey can relieve throat pain. So, it can act as a good remedy.
It acts as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti- astringent. Some studies prove that inhaling its steam can help you cure cold and strep throat as well.
Lemon and honey tea
Lemon due to its acidity helps in killing bacteria and honey acts as antibacterial. You can add a little turmeric too in that as it too acts as antibacterial.
Ayurveda perspective for strep throat.
If we look from Ayurveda Perspective, sore throat can’t be compared directly to any disease mentioned in Samhitas(Ayurvedic texts). There are various diseases related to throat and there are many forms of sore throat. That means the symptoms of sore throat can be found in more than one disease. So it is difficult to pinpoint any disease mentioned in the samhitas that matches the modern Strep throat. But if it is not mentioned it doesn’t mean that it cannot be treated through Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic treatments are based on doshas and prakriti of our body so giving names to diseases as in modern treatment is not necessary.
There are several treatments mentioned for reliving throat problems. These include
- decoctions (kadha)
- Gargling with herbs
- Application of herbal pastes (medicated with ghee or oil depending on doshas.
Involvement of doshas in Strep throat
Inflammation, pain, redness in the strep throat indicates the involvement of pitta. Whereas the dryness and burning sensation which are sometimes seen in strep throat indicate that pitta and vata are acting together.
Ayurveda treatment for strep throat
- Application of herbs on throat (lepa) Paste of Neem along with mahasudarshan, turmeric, jasmine and sandalwood can be applied on the throat. These herbs act as anti-bacterial agents. Some of them are anti-inflammatory too. Besides this they also help in stabilising vitiated pitta. Sweet moistening agents like liquorice root can be added to balance Vata.
- Tankan bhasm This is an Ayurvedic medicine. Tankan bhasm should be dissolved in warm water and you can gargle with it. Similarly you can gargle with fenugreek powder and cardamom powder.
- Liquorice root decoction- Take 1teaspoon of liquorice root in 2cups of water. Boil it in medium flame till it becomes 1/4th. Drink it warm. You can also add a little honey to it.
- Triphala Triphala is the power which consists of Amla (Emblica officinalis) haritiki (Terminalia chebula) and vibheetki (Terminalia bellirica).Triphla acts as a detoxifier and is rich in Vitamin C. Thus, it helps in clearing throat.
How to use it? Mix 1/4th powder of triphala and leave it overnight. Drink this water in the morning.
- Chewing herbs Cloves and betel leaves can be chewed for relieving the symptoms of sore throat. This is one of the effective and easiest home remedies. Also cloves are being used for throat problems from the day symptoms.
- Garlic Garlic acts as antibacterial and anti inflammatory because of its component allicin. It also helps in reducing pain and redness of throat. For using it you simply cut a clove of garlic into halves. Put these between your jaws and cheek. Take in all its juice and avoid biting it.
- Yoga and meditation These both will help in relaxing your mind, body and soul. Also yoga asanas purify your breath and help in eliminating mucus and toxins.
Complications of Strep throat
If left untreated, strep throat can infect your skin, sinuses, blood, tonsils and middle ear. Complications can be:
- Glomerulonephritis -inflammation of kidneys
- Rheumatic fever- a condition in which the heart, joints, skin and nervous system is infected.
- Mastoiditis – infection of mastoid. Mastoid is a part of the skull behind the jaw.
- Scarlet fever- which is caused by toxins of bacteria and is characterised by scarlet rash.
- Infection of the sinuses that is sinusitis
- Peritonsiller abscess , that is formation of pus near tonsils.
Prevention of strep throat
- Exercise daily to make your immune system strong.
- Wash your hands.
- Always cover your mouth while sneezing or coughing.
- Eat well. Increase intake of leafy greens and avoid oily and fatty foods.
- Sleep well.
- Avoid smoking
- Isolate yourself from infected items.
- Don’t take strep throat casually, follow the treatment and complete it.
We all take sore throats very lightly. Though it is not considered as a serious ailment but its complications are. So never leave sore throat untreated. Take medicines regularly. You can follow any of the home remedies which seem the easiest to you.
Try to meditate and do yoga daily. It benefits in all ways possible, whether it is the case of a disease or our mind and soul.