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Home Remedies For Strep Throat By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


Strep throat can make your throat sore and scratchy, and it’s really not the best feeling to talk with a throat like that. Strep throat infection is a bacterial infection of the throat and tonsils and is caused by a group of bacteria called Streptococcus (group A strep).

Strep throat infection is common in children between the ages of five to fifteen years. Adults might also develop a strep throat. Rarely 1 in 10 adults with a complaint of the sore throat might actually have a strep throat. A strep throat infection is highly contagious and can be easily transmitted from an infected to a healthy person by inhaling contaminated air.

strep throat home remedies

Let’s know more about some natural remedies for strep throat that might help you right in the comfort of your home. 

Did you know?

What Causes Strep Throat: 

Streptococcus species (Group A Streptococci) is the causative agent of strep throat. These bacteria are the natural flora that reside in our nose and throat. They are easily transferred from person to person and are highly contagious.  

When an infected person speaks, coughs or sneezes, tiny respiratory droplets containing these bacteria are released from the mouth that contaminates the surrounding air. When a healthy person inhales this contaminated air, they might catch the infection. In this way, you can get a strep throat infection.1 

The most common causes of strep throat are:

  • Drinking and eating from the same utensils as the infected person 
  • Touching things with those droplets on them and then touching the mouth or nose  
  • Breathing respiratory droplets that contain the bacteria 
  • Food that is not handled correctly1 

An effective remedy for streptococcal throat infection involves gargling a solution of betadine and water in addition to the prescribed antibiotics. If needed, doctors may also prescribe gargles with pain relief ingredients to ease the discomfort while swallowing.

Dr. Arpit Verma, MBBS, MD (Pharmacology)

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Sinus Problems

Symptoms of Strep Throat: 

Fever without cough and pain are the two main symptoms and signs of strep throat. It can be a mild infection, but people might experience a lot of pain. Some people may remain asymptomatic, meaning they do not show any symptoms of sore throat. These people are called “carriers” of infection and can still spread it to others1 

The most common strep throat symptoms are:

  • Fever 
  • Small, tiny red spots on the roof of the mouth 
  • Pain during swallowing 
  • Sore throat 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Red, swollen tonsils with white spots, patches, or pus.1 

Other symptoms of strep throat may be:

  • Nausea 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Headache 
  • Rashes spreading throughout the body(condition is called scarlet fever or strep throat rash) 
  • Vomiting (in children).1 

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Pneumonia

Home Remedies for Strep Throat: 

Strep throat can be a mild infection, but its pain might lead to a discomforting feeling, If you are searching for how to cure strep throat naturally 1 Here are some natural remedies for strep throat that you can try, which are easily available in your kitchen. 

1. Lemon 

Lemons contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin C. It may act as an immunity booster. Lemon juice might be beneficial in breaking down the mucous-containing bacteria and providing pain relief. Lemons might also offer natural ways to heal a painful strep throat.2 

You can use lemon juice as one of the home remedies for strep throat. Drinking warm water with one teaspoon of lemon juice might help you to relieve the throat pain.2   

2. Honey 

The best strep throat home remedies might just be honey. It may be due to the natural antibacterial properties and wound-healing action of honey. It may relieve the pain and inflammation associated with strep throat. According to a physician at Penn Medicine, honey may have the potential to kill bacteria and help fight infections.2 

 A few tablespoons of honey may be taken with warm water or tea. Drink this a couple of times a day to help ease the throat pain. It’s important to note that honey is not suitable for children under the age of one.2 

3. Ginger 

Ginger may have beneficial properties and may be used for sore throat remedies It contains valuable phytochemicals such as zingerone, paradols, shogaols, and gingerols. It may have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.3 

You can make ginger tea at home. Take some fresh ginger roots, crush and add them to boiling water. Give it a nice boil for a few minutes; strain the liquid and remove the used ginger before drinking. Your ginger tea is ready! Sip this as many times as you like each day. It will help in pain relief. 

4. Salt water 

Salt water may be used as a part of strep throat self-care, serving as a natural remedy to alleviate the condition. It might not provide immediate relief; however, it may be useful for killing the bacteria causing strep throat. It might also help to loosen mucus and ease the pain. You can take some table salt in a glass of warm water, stir well, and use it to gargle.2 You may use salt water to swish around your mouth for about a few seconds. Repeat this several times throughout the day until you are relieved of the pain. 

5. Hot sauce 

The hot sauce might be used to provide quick pain relief. Hot sauce is made from pepper which is high in capsaicin (an active compound). The hot sauce might be used to relieve strep throat. You can add a few drops of hot sauce into warm water and use it to gargle. The capsaicin in the hot sauce may provide pain relief and reduce inflammation.2 

6. Herbal teas 

Herbal tea such as green tea, clove, chamomile, raspberry, and peppermint tea might be the best option for strep throat treatment at home. The beneficial effect of green tea is due to its polyphenol content, mainly catechins. Green tea and clove tea may have antibacterial and antioxidant activities. Peppermint, raspberry, and chamomile tea may help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation. Peppermint tea may help numb the throat and reduce pain. 

In addition, chamomile tea might be a natural lubricant and may help to overcome hoarseness in voice.4 

You can easily make green tea at home. Buy locally available green tea in the form of leaves or a tea bag. Add the loose leaves or a tea bag in boiling water. Allow it to boil for a few minutes and use the water after straining the leaves. Your green tea is ready to be served. Drink it a few times a day for best results. 

7. Red root 

Red root might be one of the best herbal remedies for strep throat. The red root may have an antibacterial effect. It might help overcome the scratchiness associated with strep throat. It may be used as a herb to manage strep throat in people who do not prefer antibiotics. Red root might be effective for swollen lymph glands and inflamed throat tissues. You can use the herbal mixture of the red root. It can be diluted in water and either swallowed or gargled a few times each day. 5 

8. Marshmallow  

Marshmallow or Mallow species are flowering plants scientifically known as Althaea officinalis. Acold infusion of marshmallows may be one of the best home remedies for strep throat in children. The cold-infusion can be sipped in small doses if you feel the slightest hint of a scratchy throat.5 

You can prepare a pint of cold infusion of marshmallows by adding a few tablespoons of the ground herb in a cloth bag to a pint jar filled with cold water. Let the infusion sit overnight and remove the bag in the morning you can refrigerate the cold infusion and use as and when needed .5 

Though there are studies that show the benefits of the herbs mentioned above and home remedies in the condition, these are insufficient. Therefore, there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of these herbs and home remedies for strep throat treatment. Thus, these should be taken with caution and never as a substitute for medical treatment. 

Also Read: Simple Home Remedies for Wheezing

When to Seek Medical Help:  

Take an appointment with your doctor if your throat infection refuses to get better even after trying the home remedies.2 You should seek medical attention if your strep throat is accompanied by- 

  • Inability to drink fluids 
  • Chills and fever 
  • Difficulty in  swallowing 

These might be the signs of developing a serious illness.2  

You must not rely on home remedies alone for strep throat treatments. You should always consult a qualified doctor for treatment of strep throat infection if the symptoms don’t improve. 

Also Read: The Duration Dilemma: How Long Does Strep Throat Last?

Strep Throat vs Sore Throat

Sore Throat:

  • Causes: Sore throats are often caused by viral infections like the common cold or the flu. Other factors include irritants such as smoke, dry air, or pollutants.
  • Resolution: Most sore throats are self-limiting and resolve on their own within a few days. Treatment involves rest, hydration, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Contagiousness: Contagion depends on the underlying cause; viral sore throats are contagious, while those caused by irritants are not.
  • Symptoms: Common symptoms include scratchiness, irritation, and pain in the throat. Other symptoms like a runny nose or cough may accompany viral sore throats.

Strep Throat:

  • Cause: Strep throat is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus).
  • Treatment: Requires specific antibiotic treatment to prevent complications and hasten recovery. Without antibiotics, the infection may lead to complications like rheumatic fever.
  • Contagiousness: Highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets. Strict hygiene measures are necessary to prevent transmission.
  • Symptoms: Presents with a severe sore throat, fever, swollen tonsils with white patches, headache, and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms may differ from a typical sore throat and often worsen without proper treatment.

Distinguishing between the two is crucial for appropriate care and to prevent potential complications associated with strep throat. Seeking professional medical advice is recommended for accurate diagnosis and treatment.


The reason behind your scratchy throat might be a bacterial infection. Group A Streptococcus bacteria cause strep throat infection. It is common in children and adults. Strep throat infection is highly contagious and easily spread through the air. The early signs of strep throat are fever and throat pain.  Various home remedies such as lemon juice, salt water gargling, honey, ginger, hot sauce gargle, green tea, red root, and marshmallow infusion, might be used to manage strep throat. However, it’s advisable to seek medical attention in case of prolonged Strep throat to avoid further complications. 

Also Read: Home Remedies For Asthma By Dr. Siddharth Gupta

Frequently Asked Questions: 

What is strep throat?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, also known as group A streptococcus. It leads to a sore and inflamed throat, often accompanied by symptoms like fever, difficulty swallowing, and white patches on the tonsils. Strep throat is typically treated with antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional.

What are the common antibiotics recommended by doctors for strep throat?  

Doctors recommend either amoxicillin or penicillin as the first choice of treatment for strep throat infection.1 

Which is the major microbes causing strep throat infection? 

Strep throat infection is caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus (Group A streptococcus).1 

What are the primary precautions to prevent strep throat infection? 

People may get strep throat more than once. As there is no permanent cure, people must follow general precautions to prevent its spread. One must regularly wash hands with soap for about 20 seconds.  If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-form hand rub-sanitisers.It is important to cover your mouth using tissue paper when you sneeze and cough and discard the used tissue. Other than these, washing the utensils after an infected person uses them is necessary.1 

What are the possible home remedies for strep throat? 

The potential home remedies for strep throat include honey, ginger, lemon juice, salt water, hot pepper sauce, green tea, red root, marshmallow, etc.  2-5 However, people should not rely on home remedies. Consultation with a doctor is important to avoid further complications. 

Which herbal teas can be used to manage strep throat? 

Herbal teas, such as green tea, clove, chamomile, raspberry and peppermint tea maybe a great choice for managing strep throat infection. They may have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects to help fight the infection and relieve pain. Chamomile tea might be used as a lubricant if your voice is hoarse or in case of difficulty in speaking. Peppermint tea may help with throat pain by numbing thethroat.2 

Is strep throat contagious without a fever?

Yes, strep throat is contagious even without a fever. It can be transmitted through close contact with an infected person, regardless of their fever status.

Is strep throat curable?

Yes, strep throat is curable with appropriate antibiotic treatment prescribed by a healthcare professional. It is important to complete the full course of antibiotics to ensure complete recovery and prevent potential complications.

Is strep throat viral or bacterial?

Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by the group A Streptococcus bacteria. It is not a viral infection.

Is strep throat deadly?

Strep throat is typically not deadly when promptly diagnosed and treated with antibiotics. However, if left untreated, it can lead to complications that may be serious. It’s essential to seek medical care for proper management.

Is strep throat same as tonsillitis?

Strep throat and tonsillitis are related conditions, but they are not the same. Strep throat specifically refers to an infection caused by the streptococcus bacteria, while tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils and can have various causes, including viral and bacterial infections, with streptococcus being one of them.

 Is strep throat airborne?

Strep throat is not typically considered an airborne disease. It primarily spreads through direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person, such as through coughing or sneezing. It’s important to practice good hygiene and avoid close contact to reduce the risk of transmission.

Can adults get strep throat?

Yes, adults can get strep throat, and recognizing symptoms of strep throat in adults is crucial. Strep throat can affect individuals of all ages, although it is more common in children and adolescents. Proper diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics are essential for recovery and to prevent complications.

Can you get strep throat without tonsils?

Yes, it is possible to get strep throat even if you don’t have tonsils. Strep throat is caused by an infection with Streptococcus bacteria, and it can affect various parts of the throat and mouth, not just the tonsils.

Can dogs get strep throat?

Dogs can contract a streptococcal infection, but it’s different from strep throat in humans. Strep throat is caused by Streptococcus bacteria specific to humans, and it’s uncommon for dogs to develop a similar condition. If a dog appears to have a throat or respiratory issue, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can babies get strep throat?

Yes, babies can get strep throat, Strep throat in kids can sometimes present differently than in adults. Strep throat can occur at any age, and if symptoms suggest an infection, it’s important to consult a pediatrician or healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Can you die from strep throat?

While rare, severe complications from untreated strep throat can be life-threatening. These complications, such as rheumatic fever or kidney problems, may occur if strep throat is not properly treated with antibiotics. It is crucial to seek medical attention and follow the prescribed treatment to prevent such complications.

Can you get strep throat from oral sex?

Yes, it is possible to contract strep throat through oral sex if one of the partners has a streptococcal infection in their throat or mouth. Engaging in safe sexual practices and maintaining good oral hygiene can help reduce the risk of transmission. If symptoms of a streptococcal infection occur, seek medical advice.

Can you have a cough with strep throat?

Coughing is less common with strep throat compared to other respiratory infections like the common cold. Strep throat typically presents with symptoms like sore throat, fever, and difficulty swallowing, but a cough may occasionally be a symptom in some cases. If you have concerns about your symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can strep throat last for months?

Strep throat is typically a short-term infection that can be effectively treated with antibiotics. If symptoms persist for an extended period or recur, it may be a sign of a different underlying issue, and it’s important to seek medical evaluation to determine the cause and appropriate treatment.

What does strep throat look like?

Strep throat doesn’t have a distinct visual appearance. It often presents as a red and swollen throat with white patches or pus on the tonsils, but the definitive diagnosis is made through a throat swab and laboratory testing by a healthcare professional.

How do you get strep throat?

Strep throat is usually contracted through close contact with an infected person who is coughing or sneezing, or by touching surfaces contaminated with streptococcal bacteria and then touching the mouth or throat. It’s important to practice good hygiene and avoid close contact to reduce the risk of transmission.

What does strep throat feel like?

Strep throat often feels like a severely sore and scratchy throat, accompanied by pain when swallowing. Other common symptoms include fever, swollen lymph nodes, and white patches or pus on the tonsils. If you suspect strep throat, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.

Does strep throat go away on its own?

Strep throat typically does not go away on its own and requires treatment with antibiotics. Without proper medical intervention, it can lead to complications and may persist or worsen. Seeking medical advice and following prescribed treatment is essential for recovery.

 How to get rid of strep throat overnight?

It’s not typically possible to get rid of strep throat overnight. Strep throat usually requires a full course of prescribed antibiotics for effective treatment. Rest, staying hydrated, and following your healthcare provider’s recommendations can help alleviate symptoms over a few days, but recovery takes time.

Can strep throat go away on its own?

Strep throat typically does not resolve on its own and usually requires antibiotic treatment. Leaving strep throat untreated can lead to complications and prolong the illness. Seeking medical advice and following prescribed treatment is essential for a full recovery.

How long does strep throat last?

Strep throat symptoms typically improve within 3 to 7 days with appropriate antibiotic treatment. Without antibiotics, the illness may last longer, and complications can arise. Seeking medical attention promptly ensures a faster recovery and reduces the risk of complications.

Can cats get strep throat?

Cats cannot contract strep throat from humans as the Streptococcus bacteria that cause strep throat are species-specific. While cats can develop throat infections, they are typically caused by different bacteria or viruses. If concerned about a cat’s health, consulting a veterinarian is advisable for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

How contagious is strep throat?

Strep throat is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Close contact with an infected individual or touching surfaces with the bacteria can lead to transmission, emphasizing the importance of practicing good hygiene to prevent its spread.


1. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [Internet]. Strep Throat: All You Need to Know; 2007 [cited 2022 Jul 11]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/groupastrep/diseases-public/strep-throat.html 

2. Penn Medicine. [Internet]. 6 At-Home Remedies to Ease Your Sore Throat; 2022 [cited 2022 Jul 11]. Available from: https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2018/february/sore-throat?_ga=2.149510006.1759347718.1657514818-126493995.1657514818 

3. Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. Interna J of Preven Med. 2013;4(1):36–42. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3665023/pdf/IJPVM-4-36.pdf 

4. Neturi R, Srinivas R, Vikram Simha, Sree S, Chandra Shekar, Siva Kumar. Effects of Green Tea on Streptococcus mutans Counts- A Randomised Control Trail. J Clin Diagn Res. 2014;8(11):128–30. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290345/pdf/jcdr-8-127-ZC128.pdf 

5. Eric Yarnell, Kathy Abascal. Undervalued Herbs. Alternative And Complementary Therapies. 2011;17(4):220–4. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282715102_Undervalued_Herbs_Use_in_Clinical_Practice_and_Need_for_Validating_Research/link/56a6c1aa08ae0fd8b3fc739e/download 

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