Before diving into great home remedies for tonsillitis, it’s important to first have a brief background about this condition. Tonsillitis is the inflammation or swelling of the tonsils, causing pain and discomfort in the throat, especially when swallowing. This condition affects everyone regardless of age, but it is more common among children. So what exactly causes this annoying problem?
What Causes Tonsillitis?
The tonsils serve as the first line of defense of the immune system by acting as our body’s natural filters from germs entering our airways into the body. When the tonsils become overwhelmed with infection-causing germs, they can get infected themselves and become swollen and irritated that results to tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is due to either a viral or bacterial infection. One of the common cause is the bacteria known as the Streptococcus bacteria – the same bacteria that causes strep throat. In this case, the soreness of the throat is usually more severe and persistent.
What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis?
When a person suffers from tonsillitis or strep throat, he or she may show common signs and symptoms such as:
- Sore throat.
- Swollen tonsils.
- White or yellow spots on the throat and tonsils.
- Raspy voice or sometimes inability to speak (due to difficulty and discomfort).
- Loss of appetite (due to difficulty of swallowing).
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Bad breath.
- Pain on the neck, ears, and head (headache).
How to Treat Tonsillitis?
The treatment for tonsillitis may vary depending on how the condition was acquired. Most of the time, people think that antibiotics are the number one solution for tonsillitis. However, that’s usually not needed as most cases of tonsillitis are typically caused by viral infection.
If tonsillitis is caused by bacterial infection or strep, doctors will prescribe antibiotics that will be taken by mouth for ten days as a way of treatment. However, if tonsillitis comes and goes, it can turn into a more severe type of condition that may need further medical assessment by the doctor.
When to See the Doctor?
Tonsillitis can be painful and difficult especially for children. If treated early, the infection usually goes away naturally. However, the problem can persist that may lead to chronic tonsillitis or recurrent tonsillitis for both adults and children.
In some cases, tonsillitis cause obstruction of the airway that leads to other problems such as sleep apnea, snoring, and difficulty breathing.
Tonsil Removal Surgery – Is It Necessary?
Tonsil surgical removal or tonsillectomy is commonly recommended for patients experiencing chronic or recurrent tonsillitis. For children, this can be both scary and traumatic. For adults, on the other hand, it can be quite expensive.
If you want to avoid facing the cost of a tonsil removal surgery, let’s find out some of the cheaper home remedy alternatives to treat and eliminate tonsillitis.
12 cheap and effective home remedies to treat tonsillitis
Treatments and medications for tonsillitis shouldn’t always have to be expensive. Sometimes, better treatments are available right at home in your kitchen! To learn more about home remedies in treating tonsillitis, check this out.
1. Gargling salt water
Probably the most popular among this list, the old salt water gargling method is on top of the list due to its ingenuity and effectiveness. The salt acts as a pain reliever and helps reduce inflammation of the throat and also helps eliminate bacteria, fungus, and virus because of its natural cleansing properties.
- Mix and dissolve about ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt into a cup of 4 – 8 ounces of warm water.
- Gargle the solution for about 30 seconds – 1 minute and then spit the water out after.
- Continue doing so and repeat frequently for faster results.
Just like salt, lemons make a great solution for sore throats for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. They are also high in vitamin C that can boost the body’s resistance against infections.
Create a juice from half of lemon, ½ to 1 tablespoon of salt and 4 – 8 ounces of warm water.
Gargle the mixture every day and until the pain and the sore throat is relieved.
3. Raw honey
Honey is a superb ingredient to any recipe that requires it and it can also do wonders for people suffering from a sore throat and tonsillitis. It has antibacterial properties which kill bacteria and it tastes good too!
- Mix 4 tablespoons of honey in a glass of warm water.
- Do this at least 3 times a day to feel better.
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is another excellent home remedy you can use to treat tonsillitis. It is known for its numerous uses like its antiviral and anti-inflammatory
properties and is believed to help relieve other problems like flu, common cold, asthma, bronchitis, diabetes, and even anxiety and depression!
- Put 10 – 12 holy basil leaves to 1 – 1 ½ cups of water, then boil for at least 10 minutes.
- Strain the water and add juice extract from one lemon.
- You can also add 1 teaspoon
of honey to sweeten the tulsi extract.
- Drink at least three times a day for two to three days.
Because of its antimicrobial properties, cinnamon acts as a natural antibiotic and do wonders especially in treating tonsillitis. Cinnamon is also known to fight antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections and inhibit their growth in the mouth.
- Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a glass of hot water.
- Pour two teaspoons of honey.
- Sip on the juice while it’s still warm.
- Drink two or three times a day for one week.
Also known as methi, the Fenugreek is known for its antibacterial properties that make it one of the best alternative home remedy treatment for tonsillitis. It can kill the bacteria that cause tonsillitis and it can give instant pain relief for its anti-inflammatory properties as well.
- Add two tablespoons of Fenugreek seeds to 2 – 3 cups of water. Simmer for at least 30 minutes.
- Strain and leave to cool down.
- Gargle with it for at least 30 seconds then spit it out.
- Repeat two to three times a day until pain is relieved.
7. Green tea
Green tea is well-known for boosting the immune system to help fight bacterial and viral infections that cause swollen tonsils. It also has an anti-inflammatory property that relieves the pain of swollen tonsils and sore throat. According to research, green tea extracts have the strongest antimicrobial element among all other teas tested!
- Mix 1 teaspoon of green tea leave in a cup of water then boil for 15 minutes.
- Strain and let it cool.
- Gargle the mix three times a day – once before going to bed.
8. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another powerful anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and immune-boosting home remedy treatment – one of the best nature has to offer! Because of the wonders apple cider vinegar can do, it was a favorite of the father of medicine, Hippocrates, and also considered it as one of the best “remedies of choice”.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of ACV in a cup of warm water.
- Gargle the solution and rinse with water at least once a day.
- Repeat every day.
Aside from salt, garlic is probably one of the most common home remedy solutions for tonsillitis you already have in one of your kitchen cupboards. It is considered to be one of the best spices for its antibacterial and antiviral properties and helps boost the immune system.
- One of the best options to intake garlic is to eat it raw and fresh or,
- Mince garlic cloves and let it stand for at least 10 – 15 minutes to enable the active ingredient allicin to form.
- Mix the minced garlic to honey, yogurt, or any extracts and juice mixtures we have on this list.
Ginger is another excellent home remedy for tonsillitis. It can be taken by preparing a ginger tea mixed with honey and drinking it while it’s warm or by making ginger paste mixed with honey and lick it like candy.
- Grate a ginger root mixed with warm water.
- Mixed the grated ginger thoroughly with the water. Add a 1 – 1 ½ teaspoon of honey to add flavor.
- Drink the tea while warm to soothe the pain.
Staying hydrated is one of the best ways of keeping a healthy lifestyle. For tonsillitis, drinking warm water will ease the pain of swollen tonsils and sore throat. Drinking water can also help keep the body temperature manageable in case of fever.
12. Plenty of Rest
Of course, none of these home remedies will work if you’re not taking a well-deserved rest. When your body is under stress, you will have a hard time recovering from tonsillitis and the symptoms that come with it like a fever. Give yourself time-off from work or any strenuous activity that you usually do like going to the gym or any exercise routine.
How to prevent tonsillitis?
The bacteria and viruses that cause tonsillitis are contagious. So, the best way of prevention is through proper hygiene. Washing hands thoroughly and frequently using soap especially before and after eating and using the toilet is one of the best good hygiene practices.
Avoid sharing foods, glasses or any drinking bottles or utensils to others even with family members. Also, don’t forget to replace toothbrushes.