Has a sore throat left you mum in social gatherings? Does it hurt badly while swallowing anything? There is a good chance that the very frustrating malady-tonsillitis have doomed you.
Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue located at the back of the throat.
This set of soft tissues is part of the lymphatic system, which serves as the first line of defense for fighting infections. Tonsils produce white blood cells that prevent virus and bacteria trying to enter through your mouth. (1)
As the tonsils are constantly battling out the pathogens, they are also quite vulnerable to infections themselves, leading to their inflammation, medically referred to as tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is a common childhood infection. It is most often diagnosed in children from preschool age through their mid-teens. However, it can occur at any age.
- Causes of Tonsillitis
- Symptoms of Tonsillitis
- Preventing Tonsillitis
- Home Remedies for Tonsillitis
- Method 1: Salt Water
- Method 2: Coconut Oil
- Method 3: Ginger–Lemon–Honey Tea
- Method 4: Lozenges
- Method 5: Peppercorn Salt
- Method 6: Licorice
- Method 7: Chamomile Tea
- Tips for tonsilitis relief
Causes of Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is caused by viral or bacterial infections. The most common bacteria causing tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes. Other pathogens that can cause tonsillitis include:
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus, which also causes mononucleosis
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Herpes simplex virus
Symptoms of Tonsillitis
The symptoms of tonsillitis include:
- Sore throat and pain when swallowing
- Headache and earache
- Redness of the tonsils
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- Blisters or ulcers on the throat
- Loss of appetite
- Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
- Bad breath
Tonsillitis is a contagious disease. Adopt the following preventive measures to avoid catching as well as spreading the infection. (3)
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the toilet and before eating.
- Avoid sharing food or utensils.
- Replace toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis as it will be contaminated with the infection as well.
To avoid spreading the infection to others:
- Stay at home when you are ill
- Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Wash your hands after sneezing or coughing
Home Remedies for Tonsillitis
While the doctor may prescribe you antibiotics to treat tonsillitis, here are 7 powerful home remedies for tonsillitis that work fast.
Method 1: Salt Water
Salt water is one of the most basic and powerful home remedies for tonsillitis that works fast. Swirling the saline solution in your mouth will help flush the toxins out of your oral cavity and also disinfect the area. (1)
It also helps to bring down the swelling in the tonsils. Salt further restores the pH level of your throat, which would have been distorted due to the inflammation.
Normal pH helps increase blood circulation and removes acidity and mucosal irritation.
Single-Step Treatment: Gargle with salt water
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt into 1 glass of warm water.
- Take a swig of the water and gargle for 10 to 15 seconds, and then spit it out.
- Repeat until you have used up all the water in the glass.
Repeat the salt water gargle 3 or 4 times throughout the day to get instant relief from the soreness. Continue for 3 to 4 days for complete relief.
Method 2: Coconut Oil
You must have heard about the benefits of oil pulling to keep your teeth and gum healthy. But did you know you could also soothe your tonsils with it?
Coconut oil, touted for its healing properties, can be used either for gargle or as a cough syrup to get rid of tonsillitis.
The anti-bacterial properties help detach the pathogens from the surface of the tonsils, and the anti-inflammatory properties provide instant relief from pain, making it easier for you to speak or eat and drink.
To prepare coconut cough syrup, mix some honey that acts as a humectant and moisturizes the mucous membranes while the lemon also helps fight and prevent infection.
Things you’ll need:
- Extra-virgin coconut oil (anti-bacterial) – 2 tablespoons
- Raw Honey (acts as a humectant) – ¼ cup
- Fresh lemon juice (increases resistance against infection) – 3 tablespoons
Step 1. Heat up the ingredients in a skillet
- Pour 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil in the skillet.
- Add 3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Also, add ¼ cup of raw honey.
- Mix these together and warm them on low heat. You just want the ingredients to melt and blend, do not cook for too long.
Step 2. Transfer to a bottle and use
- Transfer the prepared cough syrup to a container and let it cool off for some time.
- Store the syrup in an airtight bottle for use.
Step 3. Dilute in a cup of warm water and drink
- Mix 1 teaspoon of coconut syrup in 1 cup of warm water and drink it.
Drink this 2 to 3 times in a day to clear up the infection within 1 week.
Alternatively, just take a spoonful of melted coconut oil, tilt your head back, and let it pool toward the back of your mouth/throat. Hold it there for as long as you can.
Repeat several times a day. This should provide you relief from the pain and discomfort within 1 day.
Method 3: Ginger–Lemon–Honey Tea
You must have seen your grandma preparing a mix of ginger, lemon, and honey (2) when you suffered from a bad throat.
Well, the recipe is not an old wives tale, but a potent remedy to treat tonsillitis. These three ingredients, with healing property, come together to form a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory salve for your throat.
Things you’ll need:
- Hot water – 1 cup
- Raw honey (anti-bacterial and humectant) – 1 teaspoon
- Grated ginger (anti-inflammatory) – ½ tablespoon
- Fresh lemon juice (increases body’s resistance) – 1 teaspoon
Step 1. Steep ginger in hot water
- Add ½ tablespoon of grated garlic to 1 cup of hot water.
- Cover the cup with a lid and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
Step 2. Mix the other ingredients and consume
- Strain out the water.
- Add 1 teaspoon each of fresh lemon juice and raw honey.
- Mix it well with a spoon.
Consume the honey–lemon–ginger tea 3 to 4 times in a day to soothe a painful throat. Consume for a week to recover fully from the infection.
Method 4: Lozenges
Sucking on some lozenges can also provide you temporary relief in tonsillitis. These lozenges contain topical anesthetics and medication, which mix with the saliva and help lubricate the lining of the throat bringing real and noticeable relief. (1)
Single-Step Treatment: Suck a medicated lozenge every 2 to 3 hours
- Take one lozenge and keep it in the mouth whenever your throat hurts and let it melt slowly.
- Do not consume more than 12 lozenges in 24 hours.
Method 5: Peppercorn Salt
Peppercorns act as an expectorant property that helps break up the mucus and phlegm and helps you expel these loosened materials through the act of sneezing or coughing. Its anti-bacterial properties help you recover from infections as well.
In this remedy, lemon also increases the infection-fighting ability, while salt acts as a disinfectant.
Things you’ll need:
- Whole black peppercorns (expectorant) – 1 teaspoon
- Fresh lemon juice (anti-bacterial) – 1 tablespoon
- A pinch of salt (disinfectant)
Step 1. Pour the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil
- Pour 1 cup water in a saucepan.
- Add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.
- Add 1 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns.
- Drop in a pinch of salt.
- Heat up the ingredients until the water comes to a boil.
Step 2. Let it simmer for 5 minutes then strain and consume
- Once the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes to allow the peppercorns to diffuse in the water.
- Strain the tea in a cup and consume. You can also add 1 teaspoon of honey at this point to make it taste better.
Consume the tea 3 to 4 times in a day to soothe a painful throat. Drink every day until you get rid of tonsillitis completely.
Method 6: Licorice
Licorice is a sweet root popularly used in herbal tea due to its anti-inflammatory properties. You can also try lozenges with licorice root extract to soothe tonsillitis. It helps loosen the cough and therefore can also be used for treating dry and wet cough.
Things you’ll need:
- Licorice root sliver (anti-inflammatory) – 3
- Grated ginger (anti-inflammatory) – 1-inch piece
- Water – 3 cups
Single-Step Treatment: Prepare and consume licorice tea
- Pour 3 cups of water in a saucepan.
- Drop 3 crushed slivers of licorice roots in the water.
- Add grated ginger (1-inch piece).
- Bring the water to a boil and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Strain out the tea and consume.
Consume the tea 3 times a day for 1 to 2 weeks but not more than 6 weeks. You can also drink this tea 2 to 3 times daily to get rid of stomach ulcers.
Method 7: Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is touted as herbal tea because of its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antispasmodic, and astringent healing properties. Drinking a cup of chamomile tea every day can help bring down the swelling and pain in tonsils and help you recover faster from the infection.
Things you’ll need:
- Chamomile tea bag (anti-inflammatory) – 1
- Raw honey (keeps mucous membranes moisturized) – 1 teaspoon
- Fresh lemon juice(anti-bacterial) – 1 teaspoon
- Hot water – 1 cup
Step1. Brew a cup of chamomile tea; add lemon and honey
- Dunk 1 chamomile tea bag in 1 cup of hot water and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and add 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
Step 2. Give it a stir and drink
- Stir well and consume the tea.
Drink chamomile tea 3 to 4 times a day to soothe the sore throat faster. This is an extremely powerful remedy for tonsillitis that works fast.
Tips for tonsilitis relief
- When suffering from tonsillitis, take as much rest as you can to allow your body to fight the infection.
- Include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet to boost your immunity.
- Drink lots of water to flush out toxins naturally.
- Tonsillitis: Overview. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK401249/. Published January 17, 2019.
- Mandala MD, Mandal S. Honey: its medicinal property and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169111600166?via=ihub. Published July 21, 2011.
- Pichichero ME. Treatment and prevention of streptococcal pharyngitis. UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/treatment-and-prevention-of-streptococcal-pharyngitis#H300507074. Published 2018.
Summary of 7 Powerful Home Remedies for Tonsillitis That Work Fast
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