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How To Treat Strep Throat At Home
Updated on August 10, 2023
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How To Treat Strep Throat At Home
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Strep throat is a bacterial infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes. Like most bacterial infections, you can only treat strep throat with antibiotics.

Unfortunately, it takes time for them to work. You might continue to experience a painful sore throat and have difficulty swallowing for a few more days.

Strep throat home remedies can reduce swelling and pain. Remember that while they can help ease your discomfort, they don’t actually cure strep throat.

These remedies only relieve your strep throat symptoms—at least until your medications kick in to get rid of the infection.

How To Treat Strep Throat At Home 2


Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes pain and makes it difficult to swallow. Soft foods, herbal teas, and honey can boost your immunity and relieve discomfort.

7 Home Remedies For Strep Throat

In some cases, the symptoms of strep throat may take days to improve. These home remedies may help ease your pain while getting treated and waiting for the infection to clear:

1. Hydrate yourself 

Keeping yourself hydrated is essential, especially if you're not feeling well. 

Proper hydration helps ensure that every cell, tissue, and organ in your body is functioning correctly, so they can help fight off your strep infection.

When you have symptoms like fever, your body tends to lose fluids from excessive sweating. Drinking enough water can replace the lost fluids and prevent dehydration.1

Regular fluid intake also keeps your throat from becoming dry. A dry throat can become irritated, which will only worsen the pain and inflammation associated with strep throat.

2. Eat soft foods

A sore throat makes it difficult to swallow food since you will have swollen tonsils. Eating dry and solid foods isn’t advised as it would worsen your pain.

If you want to get adequate nutrition without straining your throat, we recommend eating soft and soothing such as:

  • Bone broth
  • Soups
  • Applesauce
  • Cooked cereal
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft fruits
  • Yogurt
  • Soft-cooked eggs

3. Drink chamomile tea

Drinking herbal tea—especially when warm—may help relieve pain related to a sore throat. Herbal teas may also possess antibacterial and antiviral effects.

Teas with natural antibacterial properties can help your body fight off a throat infection, while those with anti-inflammatory properties may be able to relieve your symptoms.

Here are some herbal teas and their potential benefits:

  • Licorice root tea – it can kill bacteria
  • Chamomile and turmeric tea – helps reduce inflammation
  • Green tea – relieves symptoms of strep throat
  • Peppermint and lemon tea – reduces pain and throat irritation
  • Marshmallow root and slippery elm tea -- coats your throat with mucilage and relieves irritation

4. Add honey to your drinks 

Honey is another staple herbal medicine. Long before people used it as a sweetener, they used it back in the day to cure different ailments.

Studies show that honey has healing effects that may provide sore throat relief. It also has antibacterial properties that can help with infections.2

You can add two tablespoons of honey to your warm water or tea. Stir until it dissolves, and consume as many times as you want throughout the day.


You can speed up your recovery from strep throat by gargling with salt water, using humidifiers, and getting adequate sleep.

5. Gargle using warm salt water

You may have heard from your mom or grandma to gargle with salt water when you have a sore throat. There’s some scientific evidence that backs up their advice. 

Research shows that salt water can break up irritants, mucus, and other fungi in your throat. Gargling with it can also soothe a swollen throat and clear nasal passageways.3,4

To make a saltwater gargle, mix ½ teaspoon salt with six to eight ounces of warm water. Stir until the salt dissolves. Doctors suggest you limit gargling to two to three times a day.

6. Get plenty of rest

When you’re sick, your body needs more rest than usual in order to help fight the illness and recover from its effects.

For instance, it enables your immune system to function better. Research shows that your body produces vital proteins in your brain when you sleep.5

These proteins boost your immune system, helping the body ward off infections.5

Being well-rested may also reduce your stress and potentially decrease the extent of your symptoms, so make sure you get enough sleep.

7. Use humidifiers

Humidifiers add moisture to the air. They’re great to have around when you have common cold symptoms, such as a stuffy nose and sore throat. 

The moist air produced by humidifiers can rehydrate your mucous membranes, and decongest your sinuses. Humidifiers also have a soothing effect on the swollen tissues in your throat.6

Keeping your throat moist and clear will prevent dryness and irritation, so your strep throat symptoms don't get worse.

Place a humidifier in your bedroom when you sleep so you can avoid an itchy or painful throat.

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What To Avoid If You Have Strep Throat

Exposure to certain irritants can make your condition worse. Strep throat is also highly contagious. To keep it from spreading, you need to take some precautions.


Consult your doctor if you think you have strep throat. They can prescribe your treatment and tell you what you need to do and avoid.

If You Want to Recover Faster

A strep throat usually takes seven to ten days to resolve on its own. If you want to get better sooner, you should avoid the following because they can aggravate your condition:

  • Essential oils
  • Smoking or cigarrete smoke
  • Spicy or acidic foods (e.g., oranges)
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Foods that are difficult to swallow
  • Polluted air (e.g., smoke from cars)
  • Fumes from chemical cleaners

To Prevent Strep Bacteria From Spreading

Strep throat can be very contagious. If you still have signs of strep throat, it’s best to avoid sharing personal items like drinking glasses and utensils to prevent the spread of bacteria. 

Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, so you don’t transmit the bacteria in the air. Staying at home can also minimize your contact with others, lowering the risk of transmission.

Medical Treatments For Sore Throat

At-home remedies aim to ease the discomfort of strep throat. But they aren’t meant to replace visits to a healthcare provider or any medications they might prescribe.

Doctors typically prescribe these antibiotics for treating strep throat:

  • Penicillin
  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin

They will ask about your body weight and age to determine the proper dosage for your treatment. Your doctor will also tell you how long you need to take medications.

Remember to follow your doctor's prescription. Don’t stop your antibiotic treatment midway just because you feel better.

This can cause the infection to recur with antibiotic resistant bacterial strains. Once bacteria is resistant to antibiotics, it no longer responds to treatment.

Your doctor may need to prescribe stronger medications in order to treat your throat infection.


If you don't have time to see a doctor, you can take an at-home strep test. Should you test positive for strep, you can take your results to them for further testing.

Can You Take An At-Home Strep Test?

Yes. Currently, at-home test kits for strep throat are available. At-home strep tests work the same as the rapid strep test that doctors use.

Strep kits usually include a sterile cotton swab and two reagents or substances to quickly check for the presence of certain bacteria. For most tests, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Gently brush the cotton swab against the back of your throat
  2. Mix the reagents inside the provided container
  3. Place the cotton swab to soak them with the reagents
  4. Let the mixture sit for a couple of minutes
  5. Soak the small stick included in the test kit into the mixture

The interpretation of your results will vary depending on kit you're using. But lines usually show up on the stick to indicate your test results.

When To See A Doctor

Home remedies help you feel less uncomfortable when you’re suffering from a sore throat. You must see your doctor immediately if they don’t seem to help with your symptoms.

You should also seek medical advice if your sore throat comes with fever, chills, or shivering. A doctor needs to assess your condition if you have severe sore throat pain that makes you struggle with: 

  • Swallowing
  • Drinking fluids
  • Speaking
  • Breathing

Remember that while home remedies help ease your pain from strep throat, they won’t actually cure the infection. See a doctor to receive the proper antibiotic prescription for your condition.

Left untreated, strep throat can cause serious complications such as rheumatic fever and other respiratory infections.

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Updated on August 10, 2023
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7 sources cited
Updated on August 10, 2023
  1. Dehydration.” Mayo Clinic.
  2. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  3. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity.” Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine.
  4. The Benefits of Gargling with Saltwater.” Holman Family Dentistry.
  5. Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections by gargling: a randomized trial.” National Center for Biotechnology Information.
  6. The neuron-specific interleukin-1 receptor accessory protein is required for homeostatic sleep and sleep responses to influenza viral challenge in mice.” Science Direct.
  7. Can Humidifiers Soothe Sore Throats?” The Well by Northwell.
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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