When the weather outside is frightful, cold and flu get all the attention.
But there’s another infection we need to pay close attention to…
And while you might think of it as a “childhood illness,” it can have devastating ramifications for older folks who catch it.
It’s strep throat – and it’s so contagious, it can run rampant in hospitals and eldercare facilities once one person catches it.
The Streptococcus bacteria are notoriously difficult to erase with antibiotics…
But an ancient “herb of courage” can send the soreness packing AND keep the infection from INVADING the rest of your body.
Don’t get PLAGUED by strep
During the Middle Ages, warriors who were going off to battle would often receive gifts to boost their bravery… and they almost always included leaves of the thyme plant.
Medieval folk singers praised it, along with fellow symbolic herbs parsley, sage, and rosemary.
And thanks to the Romans, we include thyme in many of our flavorful, savory dishes.
But thyme is so much more than a kitchen spice – it’s a savior for a killer sore throat.
Oil of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) has been used as a folk remedy for coughing and a scratchy throat… particularly when drunk as a tea… but its powers go WAY beyond your standard cough syrup or drop.
Just as it’s a natural disinfectant for your home… it’s a potent germicidal alternative for fungal infections, parasites, and bacteria in your body.
In the 14th century, people all over the globe turned to thyme to protect them from the Black Death that ravaged the world’s population.
Compared to the plague, strep throat is an EASY target for thyme.
But it does more than just soothe the soreness and calm the cough…
It gets its power from an antiseptic compound called thymol, which also gives thyme its distinctive aroma and flavor.
Thymol has also proven effective against deadly superbugs.
While strep throat doesn’t have the reputation for being a killer, it’s not always just a “run of the mill” infection.
It can be particularly dangerous in older folks.
Left untreated, invasive strep bacteria can travel to your kidneys… and even cause your organs to fail.
Believe it or not, untreated strep infections can KILL healthy tissuein your hands, feet, arms, and legs — causing some adults to LOSE a LIMB!
And the bacterium that causes it, Streptococcus pyogenes(or group A strep), has learned to resist the antibiotic most commonly used to treat it (erythromycin).
Combine that with an immune system that isn’t quite as strong as it used to be…
And you’ve got a RECIPE for DISASTER.
But a 2010 study found that thymol can actually make the “strep” bug MORE susceptible to antibiotics – essentially REVERSING its drug resistance!
And there’s nothing safer than thyme.
If you develop a sore throat and have more trouble swallowing… and those white or yellow spots appear on the back of your throat… your doc will write you an Rx for an antibiotic and tell you to take Tylenol for the fever.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Also gargle with thyme oil diluted in warm water… or add thyme leaves or thyme oil to your olive oil and drizzle it over EVERYTHING.
You can also add a few drops of thyme tincture (thyme leaves steeped in alcohol) to a small amount of water and drink it.