Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the tonsils, which are lymph nodes located on both sides of the throat. Tonsillitis is very commonly seen in children, but adults can get it, too.
Tonsillitis occurs as a result of a viral infection or, at times, due to a bacterial infection that causes enlargement of the tonsils. The condition can be of varying degrees – mild, moderate and severe.
Common symptoms of tonsillitis include sore throat, fever, swollen glands on the tonsils, difficulty swallowing, runny nose, headache, bad breath, coughing and sneezing.
A highly contagious disease, tonsillitis spreads very quickly from one person to another. The bacteria or virus is transmitted through droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing or through social contact. This is why you need to treat it immediately.
There are many medicines for tonsillitis. However, you can treat it at home using natural remedies. Home remedies will help manage symptoms and fight the infection.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for tonsillitis.
1. Salt Water
The best and the most common home remedy for tonsillitis is to gargle with warm salt water. The warm water will have a soothing effect and the salt will help kill the virus or bacteria. Plus, salt helps reduce inflammation, giving you instant relief.
- Mix one teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water.
- Gargle with the solution. Do not swallow it. Spit the water out after gargling.
- Repeat this as often as possible for speedy recovery.
Lemon’s antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties take care of the infection as well as the inflammation. Plus, its high vitamin C content improves the body’s resistance to infections.
- In a glass of lukewarm water, add the juice from one lemon, a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of honey. Drink it slowly, twice daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, you can sprinkle a little salt and pepper on a slice of lemon, and then suck on the lemon slice. It will help force the phlegm out of your throat. Do this two or three times a day for several days.
Basil is another very effective home remedy for tonsillitis due to its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, its healing properties and soothing qualities will help reduce swelling and pain as well as speed up the healing process.
- Add 10 to 12 basil leaves to one and one-half cups of water.
- Boil for 10 minutes.
- Strain and add the juice from one lemon to the solution. Optionally, add one teaspoon of honey to sweeten it.
- Drink this three times a day for two to three days.
Due to its strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities, turmeric can also fight off tonsillitis infection and relieve irritating symptoms.
- Add one teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot water or salt water. Gargle with this mixture several times a day, and especially before going to bed. It will help get rid of the inflammation and soreness.
- Alternatively, you can add one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of ground black pepper to a glass of warm milk. Drink it at night for two to three days to speed up the healing process.
Cinnamon can be used for treating tonsillitis. Being rich in antimicrobial properties, cinnamon inhibits the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms in the tonsils and helps reduce swelling, pain and inflammation.
- Add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a glass of hot water.
- Mix in two teaspoons of honey.
- Sip on it slowly while it is still warm.
- Drink this two or three times a day for one week.
6. Slippery Elm
Slippery elm contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that can ease soreness, inflammation and pain. When taken internally, slippery elm soothes and heals inflamed tissues, including the mucus membranes of the throat.
- Add one teaspoon of the inner bark of slippery elm to two cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep for five minutes, and then strain the solution. Drink it slowly while it is still warm twice daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, mix together three teaspoons of the powdered bark of slippery elm, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder, two teaspoons of honey and four teaspoons of warm water. Take one teaspoon of this mixture at regular intervals for two to three days.
Mint is believed to have antimicrobial powers, hence it can effectively kill bacteria and viruses that cause tonsillitis. Plus, the menthol in the mint soothes the irritated mucus membranes and gives you relief from many of the symptoms.
- Boil one glass of water with a handful of mint leaves. Allow it to boil until the water is reduced to half the quantity. Strain, add one teaspoon of honey and drink it while it is still warm. Drink this soothing drink two or three times a day for a few days.
- You can also gargle with mint-flavored mouthwash several times a day for as long as you have tonsillitis.
Fenugreek, also known as methi, has antibacterial properties that make it an excellent cure for tonsillitis as it can kill the bacteria responsible for tonsillitis. Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties present in fenugreek will give you instant relief from pain and inflammation.
- Add two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds to two to three cups of water.
- Allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain and let it cool.
- Gargle with it for at least 30 seconds, and then spit it out.
- Repeat twice daily until your tonsillitis goes away.
9. Carom Seeds
The nutritional value of carom seeds (ajwain) is helpful in fighting symptoms of tonsillitis. The seeds are rich in antioxidants as well as vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system to fight off the infection.
- In a pan, heat one-fourth teaspoon of carom seeds until they are brown.
- Add a pinch of turmeric power and stir for a few seconds, then add one cup of warm milk and mix well.
- Remove from heat.
- Enjoy the drink while it is still warm. Drink it twice daily for two to three days.
Figs are quite effective for treating tonsillitis at home. Because of their high mucilage content, figs can reduce pain and soreness caused by tonsillitis.
- Boil three dried figs in water and mash them. Eat it with one tablespoon of honey two or three times a day for a number of days.
- Alternatively, boil and mash some fresh figs. Mash the figs in the water you have used for boiling them. Apply this paste on the outer part of your throat. Allow it to air dry, and then rinse it off with warm water. Repeat once daily to relieve pain from tonsillitis.
As tonsillitis is extremely contagious, proper care should be taken to maintain high levels of hygiene to prevent contracting the illness.
If you have become infected, get lots of rest, speak as softly and as little as possible, and drink plenty of fluids to aid recovery.