Strep throat is an acute, contagious infection of the throat and tonsils which results in a septic sore throat. Strep is short for streptococcus, a type of gram-positive cocci which occurs in chains.
The four major types of streptococcus bacterium are not only responsible for strep throat, but for many other infectious disorders as well, including glomerulonephritis, scarlet fever and rheumatic fever.
Treatments for strep throat are bed rest, adequate fluids, aspirin and aspirin substitutes for pain, and antibiotics to fight the infection and prevent secondary infections. The possibility of strep throat is the main reason for seeing a doctor should a sore throat develop; culture swabbings from the back of the throat can confirm this condition.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of strep throat include those of a sore throat. The following symptoms are particularly characteristic:
Intense pain when trying to swallow
Swelling of the tonsils and the back of the throat
Visible pus on the tonsils
Swollen neck lymph nodes
Sore neck lymph nodes
Structure & Function: Immune System Support
Adult Child/Adolescent Garlic* Vitamin C 500 - 2,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg Vitamin E 100 - 400 IU 100 - 400 IU Zinc 10 - 20 mg 10 - 20 mg
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
Note 1: As a natural food source, garlic may be especially useful if accompanying chicken soup or broth! It is also available as a food supplement.
Note 2: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
Fever, a symptom of strep throat, accelerates the metabolic processes of the body, creating a need for extra fluids to replace those lost through sweat. The individual should be encouraged to drink plenty of fluids to minimize dehydration. Caloric needs increase during infection, especially when accompanied by fever. Liquid foods, ie. the Full Liquid Diet, can provide nutrition to the body, while not aggravating the pain of the sore throat.
If solids can be swallowed, an Immune Strengthening Diet can be followed to help strengthen the body's defenses.
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Berberine from either Bayberry or Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is antiinflammatory, antiseptic and bactericidal. It may be used as a gargle. (Hahn, 1976) It may be combined with myrrh.
Echinacea may also be used as a gargle but can be swallowed afterwards. Herbalist David Winston specifies that Echinacea is indicated by sepsis, when tissues are inflamed, red and ulcerated.
Ginger plant is antiinflammatory as well as stimulating the circulation. If the patient feels better with warmth, Cayenne could also be tried, or even mustard.
One of the simpler home remedies is to chew several garlic cloves each day. This should not detract from its antibiotic action.
Hahn, F & Ciak, J: Berberine. Antibiotics. 1976(3):577-588.
Sabir, M & Bhide, N: Some pharmacological actions of berberine. Ind. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 1971(15):111-132.
Sabir, M et al., Further studies on pharmacology of berberine. Ind. J. Physiol. Pharmacol. 1978(22):9-23.
Scalzo, R: Therapeutic botanical protocol for strep throat. The Protocol J. of Botanical Mediicne, 2(2):183-184.
Winston, D: Eclectic and botanical protocols for strep throat. The Protocol J. of Botanical Mediicne, 2(2):177-178.
See Sore Throat
Also: Echinacea angustifolia - 30C
Hydrastis canadensis - 30C
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Clary Sage Essence, Lavender Essence, Lemon Essence, Sandalwood Essence, Tea Tree Essence.
Related Health ConditionsAbstracts
Bar-Dayan Y et al., Food-borne outbreak of streptococcal pharyngitis in an Israeli Airforce Base. Scand J Infect Dis, 1996, 28:6, 563-6.
Bar-Dayan Y et al., Food-borne and air-borne streptococcal pharyngitis--a clinical comparison. Infection, 1997 Jan-Feb, 25:1, 12-5.
Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. Keats, 1983.
Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide. William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.
Chicago Dietetic Association and the South Suburban Dietetic Association of Cook and Will Counties. 1981. Manual of Clinical Dietetics. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadephia.
Chowdhury MN et al., Non-group A streptococci: are they pathogens in the throat? J R Soc Health, 1997 Jun, 117:3, 160-3.
Dagnelie CF et al., Do patients with sore throat benefit from penicillin? A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial with penicillin V in general practice. Br J Gen Pract, 1996 Oct, 46:411, 589-93.
Dobbs F: A scoring system for predicting group A streptococcal throat infection. Br J Gen Pract, 1996 Aug, 46:409, 461-4.
Hilger AE et al., Computer instruction in learning concepts of streptococcal pharyngitis. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, 1996 Jun, 150:6, 629-31.
Ingelfinger, F.J. 1980. Dorlands Medical Dictionary. Saunders Press Pub., Philadelphia. 740 pp.
Jaffe, M.I. & A.R. Rabson. Lymphocyte Subsets in Measles: Depressed Helper/Inducer Reversed by Treatment with Ascorbic Acid. Journal Of Clinical Investigation, 72. 1983.
Kayaba H et al., Evaluation of the therapy for streptococcal pharyngitis using Abbott Test Pack strep A. Acta Paediatr Jpn, 1996 Feb, 38:1, 8-11.
Kline-JA & Runge-JW.: Streptococcal pharyngitis: a review of pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management.. J-Emerg-Med. 1994 Sep-Oct; 12(5): 665-80.
Krantz-MA. et al: Uvular necrosis following endotracheal intubation. J-Clin-Anesth. 1994 Mar-Apr; 6(2): 139-41.
McIsaac WJ et al., Reconsidering sore throats. Part 2: Alternative approach and practical office tool. Can Fam Physician, 1997 Mar, 43:, 495-500.
Moore, M. 1979. Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Museum of New Mexico Press, New Mexico.
Nockels, C.F. Protective Effectives of Supplemental Vitamin E Against Infection. Federation Proceedings, 38. 1979.
Nutrition and Cataracts. Nutrition Reviews, 32. 1984.
Ollinger-Snyder P & Matthews ME: Food safety: review and implications for dietitians and dietetic technicians [see comments]. J Am Diet Assoc, 1996 Feb, 96:2, 163-8, 171; quiz 169-70.
Perkins A: An approach to diagnosing the acute sore throat. Am Fam Physician, 1997 Jan, 55:1, 131-8, 141-2.
Pichichero ME: Sore throat after sore throat after sore throat. Are you asking the critical questions? Postgrad Med, 1997 Jan, 101:1, 205-6, 209-12, 215-8, passim.
Ruppert SD: Differential diagnosis of common causes of pediatric pharyngitis. Nurse Pract, 1996 Apr, 21:4, 38-42, 44, 47-8.
Sakaguchi-M et al: Acute pharyngitis, an unusual complication of intravenous hyperalimentation.. J-Laryngol-Otol. 1994 Feb; 108(2): 159-60.
Subak-Sharpe, G.J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.
Thomas, C.L. 1985. Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. F.A. Davis Co. Pub., Philadelphia. 2170 pp.
Weber DJ et al., Management of healthcare workers with pharyngitis or suspected streptococcal infections. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol, 1996 Nov, 17:11, 753-61.
Williams, Chris. 1983. All About Cancer, A practical Guide to Cancer Care. John Wiley and Sons Pub.
Wurzelmann-JI et al: Childhood infections and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease. Dig-Dis-Sci. 1994 Mar; 39(3): 555-60.
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