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Strep Throat

Strep Throat


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.


The primary cause of strep throat is infection by the microorganism Streptococcus pyogenes.

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of strep throat include those of a sore throat. The following symptoms are particularly characteristic:

High fever
Intense pain when trying to swallow
Swelling of the tonsils and the back of the throat
Inflamed uvula
Visible pus on the tonsils
Swollen neck lymph nodes
Sore neck lymph nodes

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function: Immune System Support

General Supplements

Vitamin C500 - 2,000 mg 500 - 2,000 mg
Vitamin E100 - 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.

Dietary Considerations

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.

Herbal Approaches


Ginger plant
Goldenseal (Berberine)

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.

Homeopathic Remedy

See Sore Throat

Also:        Echinacea angustifolia - 30C
        Hydrastis canadensis - 30C

Treatment Schedule

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 Conditions

Rheumatic fever
Scarlet fever
Sore throat



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