10 Natural Home Remedies to Treat Tonsillitis You Must Try After Everything Else Failed

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of lymph nodes that are located on either side of your throat. These lymph nodes are called tonsils. The condition mainly occurs… Simi - October 20, 2017

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of lymph nodes that are located on either side of your throat. These lymph nodes are called tonsils. The condition mainly occurs in children and teenagers, but it can also affect adults. Tonsillitis can be caused by bacterial or viral infections. It is also important to remember that both viral and bacterial infections are contagious. Thus, it is recommended that those infected stay away from public places until the symptoms have cleared.

Tonsillitis symptoms to look out for include: A sore throat, difficulty swallowing, painful neck, chills or fever, loss of voice, coughing, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and bad breath. The severity of tonsillitis varies; although it is usually not a serious condition. Most cases get better within a week without any medical treatment.

There are numerous home remedies for managing the symptoms and fighting against the infection while you wait for the tonsilitis to clear up. If the infection is viral in nature, you will have to fight it off naturally, as antibiotics don’t kill viral infections. If bacteria is to blame, you will also be able to treat the infection without antibiotics or surgery.

A tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils), is not advised for mild to moderate tonsillitis in children. This is because tonsils are key players in preventing illness in childhood. It will only be necessary to consult a doctor if there is difficulty breathing, no sign of improvement, or tonsillitis keeps returning. To help relieve you of your symptoms and treat the infection, we have compiled a list below of 10 natural home remedies.

1. Basil

The basil herb offers a range of benefits for relieving symptoms caused by tonsillitis. Basil is actually a key ingredient in countless cough syrups and will help relieve you of your cough. Eating fresh basil leaves will boost your immune system. This will improve production of infection-fighting antibodies. These antibodies will assist in fighting off the bacteria that have infected your tonsils.

To experience these benefits, start off by mixing a handful of fresh basil leaves with 300 ml of water. Then boil the water with the basil for 10 to 15 minutes. Filter the mixture and squeeze the juice of a lemon into the water. You may sweeten the solution by adding honey. Make and drink this mixture at least twice a day until your tonsillitis has cleared.

You can also make basil syrup, which can be taken as a spoonful to soothe a sore throat and cough. Place a 1/2 cup of fresh basil into a saucepan with 1 cup of water. Boil the water and turn off the heat for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and return the basil tea to the heat. Then add 1 cup of raw sugar to the saucepan and stir often. Once the mixture has thickened, you can leave it to cool and pour into a bottle for up to two months.

Additionally, you can place a few fresh basil leaves in the sun for a couple days and make a powder from them. Massaging this powder onto your gums will help fight off the bad breath caused by the infection. Basil also works as a muscle relaxant and can help relieve you of a headache caused by tonsillitis. Massage basil essential oil to your aching head for pain relief.

2. Lemon

Some of the best medications for colds and flu contain lemon. This is because lemon has antiviral and antibacterial properties that treat the infection. Lemon will dry up the bacteria, thus killing the infection. Meanwhile, its anti-inflammatory properties will relieve inflammation caused by tonsillitis. Lemon is also a natural astringent, meaning it will shrink your mucous membranes and reduce mucous that is cause your throat to hurt. Also, lemon contains high amounts of Vitamin C, an important antioxidant. Vitamin C will boost the body’s immune system and its resistance to future infections.

Start by squeezing the juice out of one lemon into one glass of warm water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt along with two teaspoons of honey for taste and additional benefits. Drink the mixture twice, daily. An alternative option is to sprinkle pepper and salt on a lemon slice and suck on it. This will help remove phlegm from your throat.

Suck on the slice of lemon at least two times a day. Another effective method is to gargle with lemon water to further flush out pus and phlegm stuck between enlarged tonsils. Lemon water will also assist in easing a persistent cough. A more potent form of treatment is to swallow a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice.

Many children may not prefer this sour method. Instead, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, to some warm tea sweetened with honey. Be careful not to leave any seeds in the mixtures you make, as these can cause pain when passing through your throat. The warm water will soothe a painful throat and keep the body hydrated. Lemon water will also reduce bad breath, another common and troublesome symptom of tonsillitis.

3. Salt Water

The most popular natural for tonsillitis is gargling with warm, salty water. Gargling creates a whirlpool in your mouth and throat that will flush out any phlegm or pus stuck between enlarged tonsils. Warm water helps soothe a sore throat, while the salt reduces inflammation and help treat the infection.  Salt, additionally, promotes osmosis. This is helpful because the salt absorbs the fluid from swollen tissues, helping to remove swelling and inflammation.

Salt is also a deterrent to bacteria. By creating a salty atmosphere in the throat temporarily, the growth of more harmful bacteria will be stopped. The salt will also restore the pH of the throat to normal levels, or make it more alkaline. This increases blood circulation, which improves the supply of infection-fighting cells to the throat.

You can prepare a salt water gargling solution by mixing one leveled teaspoon of salt with 200 ml of lukewarm water. Take a swig of the water and gargle for 15 seconds, and then spit out the water. Continue to do this until you have used up all the mixture in the glass. Repeat this process three or four times a day. This combination of salt with warm water should help to reduce pain and discomfort in your throat.

Take note that too much salt can dry up the throat and further infection. Hence, it is vital that you use the recommended amount of salt and water. It is also important that you don’t swallow the mixture. For this reason, this home remedy may not be suitable for children under 8 as it is easier for them to swallow the mixture by accident.

4. Turmeric

Owing to its powerful anti-inflammatory qualities, turmeric is also a top remedy for relieving symptoms caused by tonsillitis. The root has been used as both a spice and a medicinal herb in India for hundreds of years. Recently, science has started to study the root and support the effectiveness of this ancient remedy. They found that curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric, is responsible for the health benefits.  Several studies have shown that curcumin is so strong an anti-inflammatory, that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs.

American and Danish scientists have found that curcumin also increases levels of a protein. This helps the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. The protein, called CAMP, is only antimicrobial of its type known in humans, according to researchers. The spice has also been shown to provide relief from coughing caused by bacteria, a painful symptom of tonsillitis.

To help rid your throat of inflammation and pain, gargle with a teaspoon of powdered turmeric added to one cup of lukewarm water. Do this as many times throughout the day. Surprisingly, the golden-yellow color of the spice will not stain your teeth but actually, make them whiter. Brush your teeth with water and the color will disappear.

A second option is to drink a mixture using one heaped teaspoon of the spice with one cup of heated milk. Unfortunately, the bloodstream does not absorb curcumin well. However, by consuming black pepper along with turmeric, curcumin absorption is enhanced by 2000%. Just add half a teaspoon of grounded black pepper into the mixture for the best results.

5. Slippery Elm

This powerful tonsillitis remedy comes from the bark of the slippery elm tree. The elm has been used as a herbal medicine for centuries by Native Americans. What makes the elm so beneficial for tonsillitis is that it contains mucilage. When slippery elm powder comes into contact with water it becomes mucilaginous. The substance has a gel-like texture and coats tender throat membranes in the throat, easing inflammation.

When consumed, slippery elm will soothe and heal your tissues with its demulcent properties. Because of these throat healing qualities, slippery elm is a common ingredient in lozenges. It is also possible to make your own slippery elm lozenges at home. This sore throat home remedy is easy to make and very soothing and healing as well.

Simply pour a 1/4 cup slippery elm powder into a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of raw honey into a 1/4 cup measuring cup and then pour freshly brewed tea or boiling water to fill the rest of the measuring cup. Then pour the sweetened tea into the bowl containing the slippery elm powder and mix the ingredients together. Roll the paste into small marble-sized balls and roll them in extra slippery elm powder.

Store the lozenges in your freezer or let them dry on their own. Sucking on these slippery elm lozenges will help ease the pain in your throat and your dry cough. Or you can make your own slippery elm tea. Simply add a teaspoon of slippery elm inner bark to a cup of boiled water. Leave the slippery elm to steep into the water for several minutes before straining the tea. Drinking this solution twice daily will make your tonsillitis recovery less painful.

6. Peppermint

One of the world’s oldest, and most versatile, medicinal herbs is peppermint. The essential oil derived from its leaves has numerous therapeutic effects, including pain-killing properties. Researchers have explored peppermint’s antimicrobial effects and found that they are effective in killing viruses and bacteria. Hence peppermint is an ideal remedy for treating tonsillitis, which is caused by bacterial or viral infections. The menthol contained in the peppermint will further provide relief from soreness by soothing tender mucous membranes.

Science has also proven peppermint’s worth as an effective remedy for tonsillitis. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, menthol is proven to be a calming solution for calming sore throats. While a 2008 report in the journal “Harefuah” claimed that peppermint may have strong anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and antiviral benefits.

To access these medicinal properties, you can make a variety of home remedies with the herb. One such remedy is mint tea, which can be bought as teabags or made with fresh mint leaves. If using leaves, boil ten fresh mint leaves with one cup of water. Boil the solution until only half the water remains. You may then strain the tea and add honey as a sweetener. Drink this remedy at least three times each day for best results.

The peppermint will also help cure bad breath caused by tonsillitis. A headache and earache are also common symptoms associated with tonsillitis. Massage peppermint essential oil into your head, back of neck, and ears can help relieve tension and pain. Peppermint oil can also be inhaled for healing symptoms of sore throats and cough. 1-3 drops of the oil can also be added to tea for a potent and effective remedy.


7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the bark of the evergreen cinnamon tree. It can be bought in the form of quill or ground powder. Better known for its aroma and taste, cinnamon also has profound health benefits, especially for tonsillitis. Cinnamon is packed with antimicrobial properties and can so be used to improve recovery time from a tonsillitis infection.

Cinnamon has been shown to inhibit bacterial growth responsible for infected tonsils. Analysis of cinnamon has been carried out to test its anti-microbial nature. Results showed that showed components in cinnamon stops various microbes, including bacteria, from growing. Due to these strong anti-microbial properties, cinnamon is highly recommended for treating bacterial infections causing tonsillitis.

The popular spice is also known to be an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. These qualities assist in reducing inflammation, swelling and pain caused by tonsillitis. Swollen lymph nodes in the front of the neck and swollen tonsils on the side are common painful symptoms of tonsillitis. For this reason, cinnamon is highly recommended for those with the condition. To enjoy its medicinal properties, mix a teaspoon of cinnamon powder with one cup of warm water.

Add one tablespoon of honey for a sweeter taste and more benefits. Sip on the warm mixture slowly. A second option is to make cinnamon milk. Simply heat a cup of milk until it is hot, and then stir in a teaspoon of cinnamon. Add ginger and honey for better taste and added health benefits. The honey will act as a cough suppressant, while the ginger will help fight the infection and boost your resistance. Cinnamon milk is particularly soothing before you sleep. The painful throat and cough caused by tonsillitis can make sleep seem impossible, but the cinnamon mixture will ease the pain.

8. Carom seeds

These seeds (ajwain) have high nutritional value. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This helps ease tonsillitis symptoms, while also strengthening the body’s immune system for fighting the infection. Carom seeds are also effective in helping to expel mucus from the throat. The seeds can be chewed raw, added to water or to milk.

To make an effective carom seed remedy, simmer one teaspoon of the seeds in a pan until they turn brown. Pour a cup of heated milk to the pan and add a pinch of turmeric powder. After mixing well, remove the solution from the heat. Drink the mixture warm twice a day until your tonsillitis has cleared. Alternatively, you can take 3 teaspoons of carom seeds and boil them with one cup of water.

Filter the water and add a pinch of salt for added benefits. Gargle with this mixture until it is finished. Follow this process twice a day. This will help expel mucus and phlegm stuck between your enlarged tonsils. Gargling with the mixture will also assist in reducing bad breath caused by the tonsillitis infection.  If your tonsillitis symptoms include a cough problem, chew the carom seeds.

Carom seeds have a strong odor that is similar to thyme and can be inhaled to relieve a headache. If your tonsillitis is causing head pain, consider wrapping the carom seeds in tissue paper, or burning the seeds and inhaling the scent. To continue to reap its benefits, include carom in your daily diet. This will help fight off any future infection as your immune system will be much stronger and resistant.

9. Fenugreek

Fenugreek, known as ‘methi’ in some cultures, is an annual herb of the pea family.  The seed pods of the fenugreek plant contain 10–20 small, yellow-brown, aromatic seeds. The seeds are the most used part of fenugreek plant. The seeds are also a common ingredient in modern medicine. This is because fenugreek seeds are packed with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Research has shown that fenugreek assists with reducing both internal and external inflammation. Due to these anti-inflammatory properties, fenugreek can provide immediate relief from pain and swelling caused by your tonsillitis. The antibacterial components of fenugreek have also been noted as a natural treatment for bacterial infection.

The seed is an ideal ingredient for treating tonsillitis because it will help fight the bacteria causing the infection. Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses the seeds to help move phlegm and cool inflammation inside the body. Fenugreek acts as an expectorant and antispasmodic to help loosen phlegm and ease coughing. Research has further shown that fenugreek increases perspiration to lower fever, a symptom of tonsillitis.

You can prepare a fenugreek gargle solution by adding two leveled tablespoons of the seeds to one cup of water. Leave the water simmering on the heat for half an hour and then strain the mixture. Gargle with the mixture for 30 seconds at a time before spitting it out. Do this twice a day until your symptoms have cleared. Another option is to chew on the fenugreek seeds so that their juices pass through your throat. The fenugreek seeds may not be pleasant to chew as they have a somewhat bitter taste.

10. Figs

Soreness and pain in the throat caused by tonsillitis can be relieved using figs. Figs contain high amounts of mucilage, a gel-like substance, that coats irritable mucous membranes in the throat. By coating the throat, mucilage helps soothe and heal inflamed tissues. Also, figs are rich in dietary fiber and are a good source of minerals and vitamins. Since figs have high nutritional value, they will boost your immune system for fighting off the tonsillitis infection.

Although figs are not available throughout the year, dried figs are stocked all year round. Dried figs are an excellent remedy for inflamed tonsils. However, dried figs require lots of chewing, which can be painful with a swollen neck. Therefore, stewing the figs is a better option. To do this, simmer a handful of figs in boiling water for 30 minutes.

Filter out the water and mash the figs. Leave the stewed figs to cool and then drink this mixture slowly. Adding honey to the mixture will sweeten the taste and make it more pleasant for children. The honey will also further soften the figs and make chewing and swallowing easier. Doing this will provide fast relief to a sore and inflamed throat.

Another treatment is possible by using figs. Boil the figs with water and mash them to form a paste. Gently massage this paste to the skin around your throat and leave the paste to dry. Gently rinse the paste off using warm water. Doing this can help cool inflammation and provide pain relief. Fig brew can also be prepared with little effort.  Boil two figs in a cup of water and drink the warm liquid at least twice a day. This will help relieve a dry cough, remove excess mucus, and ease soreness.