A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
Viral infections are responsible for sore throat in most instances and they usually vanish in one or two days. Nevertheless, in a number of cases sore throat is caused by infection by Streptococcus (strep) bacteria and in such instances, it may take several weeks to cure the ailment. People enduring strep throat experience pain while swallowing anything, distended tonsils, and reddishness of the throat as well as painful lymph nodes in the neck. It is almost impossible to distinguish strep throat from viral sore throat simply by taking a look at the throat and tonsils. However, it is fortunate that these days doctors have swabs, which can examine the presence of Streptococcus bacteria instantaneously.
Often strep throat may cause rheumatic fever, which, in turn, results in fever, arthritis as well as inflammation of the heart. Hence, different from viral contagions, antibiotics are used to cure strep infections with a view to avoid damage to any other organ. It is, however, regrettable that these medicines are not effectual all the time.
It may be noted that using herbal medications to treat strep throat usually take about three days to improve and three weeks to disappear completely. In case this does not happen, it is likely that a more grievous secondary contagion is present. In such instances, it is important to visit a professional healthcare provider or a competent doctor.
Unless you have been directed otherwise, the dosage of herbal medications for adults is mentioned below. Children below the age of six years ought to be given one-fourth of the dosage recommended for adults, while children who are aged between six years and 12 years ought to be given half the dosage of herbal remedies recommended for adults. Before giving a child any formula dosage, it is essential to consult a well-informed healthcare practitioner.
Supplements and herbs
A tincture prepared with barberry, coptis, Oregon grape root or goldenseal is effective in curing strep throat. This tincture should be taken in dosage of 15 to 20 drops in one-fourth cup of water thrice every day for 10 consecutive days. This tincture helps to avoid Streptococcus bacteria from binding to the throat lining.
Pregnant women and those suffering from gallbladder diseases should never use coptis, barberry, goldenseal or Oregon grape root. In addition, neither of these herbs should be used every day for more than two weeks in succession. It should also be noted that these herbs should not be used as a supplement with vitamin B or any protein supplement that encloses amino acid histidine. Here is another word of caution: never use the herb goldenseal if you are enduring glaucoma or any cardiovascular disease.
Echinacea (E. purpurea) tablets are also beneficial for treating strep throat. The standard dosage of this tablet is taking a minimum of 900 mg every day. Taking this tablet prevents the Streptococcus bacteria from developing colonies wherein they may reproduce quickly. However, you should keep away from using Echinacea in case you are suffering from any autoimmune disease, for instance, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. Also never use this herb if you are enduring any chronic infection, for instance, tuberculosis or HIV.
You may also use garlic oil in dosage of three to four drops in one-fourth cup of water once every day in the form of a gargle. Using this oil as a gargle will help to ease the problem of swallowing, which is a common symptom of strep throat. Alternately, you may also take ginger tea prepared by adding one-third teaspoon or about one gram of powdered ginger in one cup (250 ml) of water. Take this tea in dosage of one cup thrice every day. Taking ginger tea will help to alleviate the pain associated with strep throat.
Myrrh tincture is also effective in healing strep throat. This tincture ought to be taken in dosage of 10 to 30 drops in one-fourth cup of water for a maximum three times every day. Myrrh tincture not only alleviates the throat ulcers, but also puts an end to phlegm formation. It may be noted that myrrh possesses anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and is an extremely potent and an outstanding remedy for persistent tender throat. In addition, myrrh also works in the form of a decongestant as well as an expectorant.
Another herb that several people employ for culinary purpose and also possesses wonderful remedial properties to cure sore throat as well as the infection of the upper respiratory tract is horseradish. In addition, this herb also helps in lowering fever and gets rid of mucus concentrations.
In addition, using natural apple cider vinegar may also improve your condition rapidly too. First, prepare 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and mix it with 8 ounce of water. Take one tablespoonful of this mixture and use it in the form of a gargle and finally spit out the liquid. This ought to be repeated once in every 30 minutes and you will notice considerable improvement in your condition in just two days. This particular treatment is obviously additionally comfortable in comparison to cayenne pepper therapy.
Cinnamon is another herb that is effective in healing strep throat. Boil about half teaspoonful of cinnamon in one cup (250 ml) of water for about 10 minutes. When the cup becomes warm, include one teaspoonful of honey to the mixture and drink it thrice or four times daily. Drinking this mixture will help you to get immediate relief, as it soothes an itching or prickly throat.
Essential oils possessing antibacterial properties are known to be effectual in easing tender throats and may be employed in the form of a home remedy for strep throats. Oils that are especially helpful in relieving sore throats comprise eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, thyme, peppermint, lemon and chamomile.
You may prepare a beverage by blending two drops of lemon oil and one drop of lavender oil with two teaspoonful of honey in a cup. Pour hot water to this combination and breathe in the steam. You may also sip this drink slowly.
In addition, you may also use the essential oils to massage the entire area in the region of the neck as well as at the back of the ears. These essential oils and their dosage are given below:
All these essential oils need to be diluted by adding one teaspoon of any good carrier oil.
Additional things you may do
Besides taking prescription drugs, herbs and supplements as well as taking the help of aromatherapy, you may do a few additional things to cure strep throat. For instance, take vitamin C in dosage of about 250 mg to 500 mg four to six times every day. It may be noted that vitamin C supplement nearly gets rid of the perils of developing rheumatic fever as well as rheumatic arthritis induced by Streptococcus bacteria.
If you are taking any antibiotic to treat strep throat, it is essential that you take the complete prescribed course of the medicine. If you only take a part of the prescribed regimen, it will only eliminate the weakest bacteria, while the stronger ones that are able to resist the effect of antibiotic will remain and continue to reproduce. Remember, using antibiotics may not work if these strong and antibiotic resistant bacteria infect you again or infect anyone else.
In case you are taking antibiotics to treat strep throat, you should also take any probiotic supplement like Bifidobacterium bifidus or Lactobacillus acidophilus during the period you are taking the antibiotics and even for two weeks later. Taking a probiotic supplement will facilitate in maintaining the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract and also puts off any yeast infection afterward. It is advisable that you should take the probiotic supplement at the maximum possible interval after taking the antibiotic. Also ensure that you examine the expiry dates of the medications so that the supplement is fresh and the bacteria are live.
At the same time, it is important to change your toothbrush once in every two to four weeks. In fact, the toothbrushes may actually be a reservoir for recurring infection by Streptococcus bacteria. Also never give aspirin or any product enclosing aspirin to a child who may show symptoms of any viral infection. Remember that the use of aspirin may lead to Reye's syndrome, a possibly grave complication.
However, the fact remains that generally use of antibiotics have very little impact on the bacteria present in the throat, and are not helpful in preventing the complications. It has been found that around 20 per cent of cases, antibiotics are unsuccessful in eliminating the entire Streptococcus bacteria. In cases where treatment with antibiotics is not successful in curing strep throat, generally it is owing to the fact that there is some kind of secondary contagions due to Staphylococcus aureus or Bacteriodies bacteria. These bacteria actually protect Streptococcus bacteria by means of neutralizing penicillin. In order to facilitate treatment with penicillin (Pentids, Pfizerpen, Bicillin, Wycillin and/ or Veetids) or erythromycin (Ilotycin, Eryc, Pediamicin, PCE and or Pediazole) to function effectively, you should gargle with 10 to 15 drops of clove oil blended with one-fourth cup of water twice every day and also take 500 mg of scutellaria thrice every day so long as you continue to take antibiotics. It may be mentioned that the oil of cloves eliminates staph bacteria that might be camouflaging strep, while scutellaria eliminates staph bacteria that are penicillin resilient.
People enduring strep throat should keep away from sugar and dairy products. In effect, sugar provides the nourishment for the bacteria, while the dairy has an inclination to become phlegm/ mucus-forming in nature as well as being a common food sensitivity owing to its casein protein. On the other hand, alkaline soups are exceptional in de-acidifying the system. You may also slice vegetables like potatoes, celery, carrots, and zucchini and boil them in water without adding any salt for approximately 20 minutes. Subsequently, throw away the vegetables and drink the liquid, as it will help in easing the symptoms of strep throat. In addition, you should ensure that you drink lots of fluids, clean water and herbal teas are considered to be most suitable, with a view to support the kidneys in getting rid of the toxins and waste products produced by the body.
Lymphatic massage: lymphatic massages are known to be effective in treating strep throat. It should be done in mild, circular actions from the back of the ear, down the neck, in the direction of the chest and heart. It is important that if you are enduring strep throat, you need to do this massage for a minimum of once every day, for instance, prior to retiring to bed every night. Alternately, you may even use any oil, for instance, oil of mallow or castor oil, which may also be massaged over the back to promote removal as well as loosening up of mucus.
Other beneficial herbs
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