10 home remedies for strep throat


Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria called group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes). It causes a sore throat, fever and painful swallowing, which makes daily tasks difficult.

Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are most likely to get strep throat, but anyone can get it. The infection spreads quickly, especially among family or household members.

Untreated strep throat can lead to serious complications, so it’s important to see a medical professional. Fortunately, there are home remedies to relieve your symptoms.

This article discusses natural home remedies for strep throat to help you cope with the symptoms.

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Will strep throat go away on its own?

Strep throat can go away in a few days without treatment. Nevertheless, it is important to see a health care provider for proper evaluation and treatment. This can prevent the development of serious complications.

Strep Throat vs Sore Throat

Strep throat is an infection caused by bacteria. Symptoms of strep throat include fever, painful swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes. However, most sore throats are caused by a virus, not strep throat. If your sore throat is accompanied by a cough, runny nose, hoarseness, or conjunctivitis (pink eye), it’s likely a virus causing your illness.

Ways To Treat Strep Throat Naturally

Strep throat is treated with antibiotics and symptoms improve fairly quickly. You can also try these home remedies for strep throat.

Drink more fluids

Drinking plenty of water can prevent dehydration and moisten your throat. Cold and hot liquids such as broths, tea, and popsicles can also help relieve sore throats.

raw honey

Raw honey is known for its antibacterial properties. It also works to reduce inflammation and relieve pain caused by strep throat. Health professionals recommend using honey if you have a cough and sore throat.

You can mix 1-2 tablespoons of honey in hot tea or hot water to help ease pain and suppress cough. It is important to note that babies under 1 year old should not be given honey.


If you have strep throat, taking vitamin C supplements or eating foods rich in vitamin C can help boost your immune system. Some studies suggest that taking vitamin C supplements may help shorten the duration of cold symptoms, such as a sore throat.

Currently, however, there is no strong evidence that vitamin C alone can help treat strep throat.

Foods rich in vitamin C include:

  • citrus fruits
  • peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • kale

Additionally, some studies suggest that high-dose zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of an irritated sore throat in people with a cold.

Gargle with pink Himalayan salt

Gargling with warm salt water can help relieve the discomfort and swelling associated with strep throat. It can also help kill bacteria and loosen mucus.

To make a saltwater solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt in 8 ounces (1 cup) of warm water.


Elderberry has been used for years as a home remedy to treat colds and flu. Some studies suggest that elderberry extract may possess antimicrobial activity against bacteria that cause strep throat.

One of the most common ways to consume elderberry is as a syrup, but it’s also available in gummies and teas.

herbal tea

Sipping hot herbal tea can help soothe a sore throat. Specifically, some teas contain compounds that may provide additional relief.

According to one study, herbal tea made with safe concentrations of barberry, licorice, thyme, or oregano can ease the discomfort associated with strep throat.

bone broth

For years, bone broth has been used as a remedy for colds and upper respiratory infections.

Drinking bone broth can help keep you hydrated, and its warmth can help soothe a sore throat. Bone broth also contains carnosine, which can help reduce the inflammatory response that contributes to sore throat.

It is also easy to consume and contains beneficial amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

Essential oils

Essential oils are a popular remedy for relieving the symptoms of strep throat. A study found that thyme essential oil possesses antibacterial activity against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Research also shows that lemon essential oil has antibacterial and antioxidant properties and can inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause listeria. This suggests that it may also be beneficial in treating bacteria associated with strep throat. However, we need more studies to confirm its effectiveness in treating strep throat.

coconut oil

Although modern research on the subject remains limited, some studies suggest that coconut oil pulling may reduce the number of strep bacteria in the mouth.

Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic medical practice that involves shaking a tablespoon or more of coconut oil around the mouth. It is believed to help detoxify and “pull” unhealthy bacteria out of the mouth, leaving a germ-free environment.


Echinacea extract is often used as a herbal remedy to treat colds, viruses, sore throats and flu. Several studies suggest it may also help treat respiratory infections, reduce inflammation and pain, and have antiviral effects.

Other laboratory studies suggest that it can inactivate the bacteria that cause strep throat. However, we still need more human studies to confirm this.

When to See a Health Care Provider

If you develop the symptoms of strep throat, you should see your health care provider. You should also call your health care provider if symptoms do not improve within 24 to 48 hours of starting treatment.


Strep throat is a common condition that usually requires a visit to a medical professional and a course of antibiotics. Additionally, you can try home remedies like drinking plenty of fluids, sipping bone broth, and gargling salt water to help ease your symptoms.

A word from Verywell

Dealing with a case of strep throat can make you miserable. The good news is that symptoms usually start to improve within a few days of starting antibiotics. In the meantime, there are also effective home remedies to relieve your pain. The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner you will start to feel better.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you get rid of strep throat without antibiotics?

    Although some cases of strep throat may improve without antibiotics, it is important to take antibiotics to kill bacteria and prevent serious complications.

  • What kills strep throat naturally?

    Strep throat is treated with a series of antibiotics. However, home remedies such as gargling with salt water and consuming raw honey can help improve symptoms.

  • What does strep throat look like?

    Strep throat causes red, swollen tonsils and tiny red spots near the back of the roof of the mouth. There may also be white streaks caused by pus on your tonsils.

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