Antibiotics and Natural Remedies for Strep Throat
Strep throat is a common infection caused by Streptococcus bacteria. The bacteria affect the mucous membranes of the throat and may also cause tonsillitis or tonsil infection.
Sore throat usually affects children, though anyone can get this infection. Cigarette smokers and those who live in a damp, crowded place are at high risk of getting a sore throat. Sore throat is a communicable disease. Streptococcus can be transmitted by mere coughing or sneezing. When sore throat victims cough or sneeze, the bacteria may infect nearby foods, thus exposing other people to sore throat risks. Streptococcus bacteria invade cells very fast and are likely to infect several members of the carriers’ family within a week.
Penicillin is commonly used to treat strep throat. Normal dosage is two or three pills a day for ten days. Another treatment is amoxicillin, which is taken in less dosage. Macrolides such as erythromycin can be substituted for penicillin if the latter causes allergic reactions. Some members of the macrolide class are equally effective in treating sore throat, but they may cost more.
Strep throat can resolve on its own, so using antibiotics in mild cases is not necessary. Overuse of antibiotics can cause the body to grow resistant to these drugs. Physicians use discretion when deciding whether antibiotics are needed to treat sore throat. The level of discomfort is one of the factors to look at.
Alternative treatments for sore throat
There are safer and effective alternative treatments for sore throat.
- Chew licorice root. A popular herb in Asia, licorice has been used for ages to treat strep throat.
- Drink a lot of water to relieve the symptoms of strep throat. However, you should avoid beverages that may irritate your throat.
- Sip warm orange juice with low amount of sugar.
- Abstain from smoking and don’t get yourself exposed to secondhand smoke.
- Gargle with warm salt water every day to ease throat pain.
If untreated, strep throat can worsen and lead to rheumatic fever and other more serious illnesses. In worse cases, sore throat can cause organ failure, shock, and even death.
Strong immune system is the key!
Having a strong immune system is the best natural defense against strep throat and other infectious diseases. A weak immune system will leave the body unprotected to Streptococcus bacteria.
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There are numerous other natural approaches to boost the immune system. Drinking teas fortified with sage and Echinacea not only strengthens the body’s natural defense but also helps in the treatment of throat infection.