Streptococcus bacteria, commonly referred to as Strep, is a naturally occurring bacteria found pretty much everywhere on Earth. But if circumstances allow strep to over colonize in you as a human, you can get pretty sick and uncomfortable. Even worse, Strep can become fatal for kids and elderly adults if not treated. Fortunately, there are a number of herbs, foods and remedies that help kill strep naturally.
The information in this post is based on personal experience and extensive research, but not intended as medical advice. If you think you need medical attention, please consult a healthcare expert.
What kills Streptococcus bacteria?
There are naturally occurring plants and foods that have antibacterial and anti-adhesive properties, the two things you need to kill off Streptococcus bacteria. Many plant extracts are able to kill Strep, even at low concentrations. Meaning, it wouldn’t take much of one of these plant extracts to get rid of Strep infections, like Strep throat. This study found that there are several plant extracts that are most effective, having “the ability to induce degradation of bacterial cell wall and disintegration of the plasma membrane”.
There are also several foods that can get rid of strep in the body. Foods containing antibacterial properties, like allicin in garlic and some fruits are also able to fight and kill Strep.
Strep infections, like Strep throat, can be cured using natural plants and foods. That means, you don’t always need an antibiotic to get rid of Strep. Here’s what the research shows and how to use these herbs and foods to kill Strep at home.
Herbs that kill streptococcus
Thankfully, many plant extracts are able to kill strep fast. These herbs have been studied in depth and proven effective at killing streptococcus bacteria.
- Clove – Flowering buds
- Sage – Leaves
- Ginger – Canada Rhizome
- Ginger – Chinese Rhizome
- Oregano – Flowering buds
- Thyme – Flowering buds
- Licorice -Roots
- Barberry – Roots
- Echinacea Leaves
- Echinacea Stems
This study analyzed how well the above herbal extracts, at minimum concentrations, infused in hot water, killed strep bacteria. They found that all of the extracts were effective at killing three strains of Streptococcus pyogenes. The main difference between the above herbs is that 4 of the plants were able to kill Strep the quickest. In fact, one of the plants killed strep bacteria within 12 hours and three took up to 24 hours time.
The herb that killed Streptococcus bacteria strains within 12 hours is:
- Hot water infusions of Licorice roots
Herbs that killed Streptococcus bacteria strains within 24 hours are:
So if you or your children believe you are fighting Strep throat or another Strep infection, follow this guide for choosing any plant remedy to cure it in a day!
How to use Licorice root for Strep throat and other infections
According to the study cited above, Licorice root at low concentrations is the best herb to use if you want to kill strep naturally. It’s the flavonoids and phytochemicals in Licorice root that make it the best herbal remedy for infections like Strep throat.
You can find organic Licorice root at farmer’s markets, whole food stores and online. I have purchased a bag for $20 from Starwest Botanicals. This bag will last you a good while.
1-2 cups boiling water
1/2 – 1 whole stick of licorice root, broken/cut in pieces
Put the Licorice root in a small glass jar or coffee mug and add the hot water. Allow this to sit for at least 5 minutes and up to several hours. The resulting liquid is a hot water Licorice infusion. Drink this as you would any tea. You can add raw honey or drink it by itself.
Foods that kill streptococcus
This study found that some fruits, including cranberry and sumac have antibacterial properties that are effective at killing Streptococcus bacteria. Cranberry extracts are effective against Streptococcus bacteria because they are both antibacterial and anti-adhesive (they don’t allow bacteria to adhere to cell membranes).
And this same study, showed that sumac extracts were able to kill Strep bacteria in the same manner. Cranberry extracts can be purchased in capsule form or liquid form on Amazon. Sumac is available in liquid form. Be sure to get an organic product.
Organic Sumac Extract – liquid form
Strep throat treatment without antibiotics
Antibiotics are a very effective solution for serious infections, especially those not able to be treated naturally. But it’s best to reserve antibiotics for those serious situations and not give it for every infection that arises, due to the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Fortunately, Strep throat can be treated naturally using home remedies that are easy to find and easy to give. In combination, these remedies provide pain relief and help you heal fast.
For sore throat and Strep throat, follow this treatment plan:
- Take raw, unfiltered honey for throat pain relief
- Gargle with warm salt water
- Take garlic drops orally (here’s how to make your own)
- Drink your own Licorice root infusion or buy one
- Take a cranberry extract like the one linked above
- Don’t forget your probiotic!
The above natural remedies should help you fight Strep and kill it in about 24 hours. Make sure to have Licorice root on and garlic oil on hand so that you don’t spend any time waiting for those very important ingredients!
What kills streptococcus bacteria in gut
Streptococcus bacteria can infect any part of the body. Aside from the mouth and throat, Strep can over-colonize in the gut as well. The best natural way to kill Strep in the gut is by taking probiotics daily.
If you’ve taken antibiotics in the last year, fought off frequent illnesses or have a poor diet, Strep might be over-colonizing in your gut. This can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea or irregular bowel movements and frequent nausea and/or vomiting. If these symptoms are present you need a powerful probiotic to heal your gut.
Some of the best probiotics for bacterial imbalance in the gut are:
- Dr. Berg probiotics – capsules or liquid available
- Mary Ruth’s probiotics – capsules for digestive health
- Hyperbiotics – time release capsules
Read more about when kids should take probiotics (also applies to adults) and how to select the right probiotic for your situation in this post.