Strep Throat Strategies
This time of year, it’s almost guaranteed that your child will come home from school with a “there’s a Strep infection in the class” letter.You will also be advised to immediately go to the doctor upon noticing symptoms and get treatment with antibiotics.Though antibiotics will often quickly do the trick at knocking out that infection, there is much evidence now that suggests that antibiotics can actually weaken your immune function in the future making you much more likely to continually fall victim to the dreaded strep throat.
I myself had to have my tonsils removed in my youth, because of chronic strep infections after taking many unhelpful rounds of antibiotics.What parents are not commonly told is that there are many at home strategies you can use to prevent your child from “picking it up” and there are even natural home remedies that can help you fight it without needing to take antibiotics.I know because I’m a mom with 3 boys (elementary through high school age) who have all caught it and fought it without having to go to the doctor or take antibiotics.Thankfully, because of practicing some of the things I will share in this article, my children have never needed antibiotics in their life to date.
Here are the top 5 tricks for strep-throat prevention and some links for tested and tried methods to fight it on your own.
1)During cold and flu season or as soon as you see the school letter, have your kids gargle with a solution of salt water and baking soda before they go to school, upon returning home from school and before bed with their teeth brushing routine.You can mix 1 tsp of sea salt and 1 tsp of aluminum-free baking soda with 2 cups of filtered water and put it in a bottle to leave beside the main bathroom sink, notifying everyone in the family to use it as they come and go.
2)Stay hydrated.Send your child to school with filtered water in a stainless steel or BPA free water bottle.Remind them to drink water before and after school.Offer them warm non-caffeinated drinks like homemade ginger tea, fresh squeezed lemon in water, rooibos tea, Tulsi tea, Echinacea tea, broth etc.There are lots of natural immune boosting options.Just remember to avoid sugar and caffeine.
3)This one may be more difficult for some, than others, but it is very protective to avoid simple refined sugar when threat of strep is in the air.Sugar weakens the immune system.It interferes with the uptake of vitamin C which is needed by white blood cells in order to destroy viruses and bacteria.Your body is also robbed of valuable minerals when you eat sugar, because it uses them to try and balance your blood sugar level to reduce a spike.If your child slips and eats a sweet treat, you can reduce the negative impact by giving them extra vitamin C and a mineral rich drink like a non-caffeinated herbal tea or bone broth.Small amounts of honey (particularly, Manuka honey which has powerful natural antibiotic properties), non-sugar sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia can be used to sweeten foods instead.Be sure to avoid all artificial sugar substitutes because they are toxic and harmful to your body.
4)Use lots of raw garlic in your cooking and or give it medicinally to your children.Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic.Here’s a link to a healthy pesto recipe with raw garlic and pumpkin seeds (another nutritional powerhouse high in zinc which supports the immune system. https://www.thespruceeats.com/pumpkin-seed-pesto-recipe-101942
5)Supplement with Vitamin D during seasons where the children are not getting enough outdoor sun exposure.It is believed that the age-old cod-liver remedy used to successfully treat infections before the advent of antibiotics got its power from the high levels of vitamin A& D that it contained.
Below are some links with do-it-yourself strategies for treating strep throat:
Of course, if you don’t see improvement after a week of doing it yourself, you shouldn’t hesitate to see a doctor.