11 Safe and Natural Home Remedies for Tonsilitis & How to Use Them

Although tonsilitis is usually dismissed as a minor ailment that shouldn’t be a cause for concern, it’s not something you can completely ignore.

For one, it can cause great discomfort.

Apart from throat pain and tenderness, it causes headache, loss of appetite, ear pain, and difficulty in breathing and swallowing [1].

If left untreated, it can also progress to a more serious infection [1].

Tonsils, which refer to the two oval tissue pads at the back of the throat in charge of preventing germs from entering the airways, is where the infection all starts [1].

Their main duty is to trap the germs so they don’t enter the airways, but there are times when they also become infected [1].

This happens when there’s an overload of viruses or bacteria, which the antibodies in the throat can no longer control [1].

The good news is that you can find immediate relief by using these practical and safe home remedies.

1. Peppermint

Ease painful and swollen tonsils with the soothing properties of peppermint.

Peppermint has been found to contain an active compound called menthol, which exhibits potent antiviral and antibacterial properties [2].

It is also a confirmed a natural antitussive agent, which means that it can help suppress coughing [2].

A 2011 study provided evidence that mint is among the aromatic essential oils that can help treat respiratory tract infections [2].

In this study, a total of 60 patients were assigned into different treatment groups in which essential oils in spray form were applied five times a day for three days in comparison with a placebo spray [2].

Results revealed that there was a marked reduction in symptoms among those who were asked to spray peppermint and other essential oils [2].

Many other studies echo these findings, reporting of mint’s potent antibacterial powers that can help put an end of tonsillitis [3, 4, 5].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of mint leaves
  • 1 glass of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot.
  • Add mint leaves.
  • Boil water until half evaporates.
  • Stir in honey.
  • Drink three times a day for five days.

2. Turmeric

If you’re going to browse through lists of home remedies for different kinds of ailments, for sure, you’re going to find turmeric a number of times.

This has been hailed as the Queen of All Spices due to its plethora of remarkable health benefits.

Turmeric is among the 82 medicinal plants from India that were tested for their anti-microbial properties [6].

It is one of those with the strongest inhibitory effects against “pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms” [6].

Research reveals that turmeric’s curcumin can actively fight bacteria and viruses causing oral infection [7].

Not only that, because it’s naturally antiseptic, this pungent can also help relieve the irritation and soreness of the tonsils.

The best thing about this remedy is that its active compounds only trigger the cells of the viruses and bacteria, and not the healthy cells of the body.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of hot water
  • 1 drop of turmeric oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Dissolve turmeric powder in the glass of water.
  • Use this solution to gargle several times a day.
  • Repeat the technique for one to two weeks.
  • Combine turmeric oil and olive oil.
  • Swish the oil blend in your mouth for one minute once a day for two weeks.

3. Fenugreek Seeds

There are many benefits that have been associated with fenugreek seeds.

Fenugreek seeds are loaded with essential nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, copper, zinc, selenium, calcium, iron and potassium, among others.

A popular homeophathic therapy for tonsillitis, fenugreek seeds have also been the subject of various scientific researches.

In one that reviews its numerous medicinal purposes, it was found that fenugreek seeds have strong antibacterial effects [8].

The phenolic compounds in these seeds are the ones that produce these useful pharmacological properties.

Another study points out that these seeds are effective for tonsilitis, even for severe cases [9].

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • 3 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Add fenugreek seeds.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Let it cool before gargling the solution for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat twice a day for one week.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon, which means “sweet wood” in Greek, is much loved for the sweet flavor and aroma it adds to food and beverages.

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It also plays an important role in traditional medicine.

It has been found useful in the treatment of respiratory infections like colds, asthma and bronchitis [10].

With its antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-viral and antiseptic properties, cinnamon can definitely help sooth irritation caused by tonsillitis [11].

It’s what you need to take if you want immediate relief from the pain and swelling caused by this condition.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 glass of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix cinnamon powder into the water.
  • Add honey.
  • Drink slowly two to three times a day.
  • Repeat procedure for one week.

5. Salt Water

One of the quickest and simplest remedies for tonsilitis that has been used for hundreds of years is salt water.

The Student Health Services at University of Connecticut recommends salt water rinse for people suffering from tonsilitis, as it can alleviate throat soreness by breaking down secretions and getting rid of white spots.

Salt is also said to have strong antibacterial properties, which means that it can help control the infection-causing bacteria in the tonsils.

Not only would it prevent them from further spreading, it can destroy these pathogens at once.

Moreover, by quickly reducing the inflammation, this remedy can give you almost instant pain relief.

Since salt is readily available in most homes, there’s no excuse not to try this remedy, which has been proven by many people to actually work.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 teaspoon of table salt
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dissolve salt in the water.
  • Gargle the mixture for 30 seconds.
  • Do not swallow the mixture.
  • Spit it out.
  • Rinse your mouth with plain water.
  • Do this several times a day for one to two weeks.

6. Carom Seeds

Also called ajwain, carom is an annual herbaceous plant widely cultivated in India, Egypt, Iran and Pakistan [12].

It is also now being grown in many other parts of the world mainly for its medicinal value.

Carom seeds can help those suffering from tonsilitis in various ways.

For one, carom seeds possess strong bactericidal properties [12].

They can immediately control the infection-causing bacteria before they inflict more harm.

Moreover, research has shown that these seeds are also potent as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory [12].

With these, they can provide immediate relief from pain and inflammation.

All these properties make carom seeds highly effective in fighting off infection in the tonsils.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 teaspoon of carom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 cup of warm milk

Recommended Directions:

  • Brown carom seeds in a pan over medium heat.
  • Stir in turmeric powder.
  • Pour warm milk.
  • Mix well.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool a little
  • Drink this concoction twice a day for three days.

7. Lemon

Lemons help beat tonsilitis by making the body stronger and more resistant to harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses.

As you know, lemons are rich in vitamin C, which have been proven in many studies as a powerful immunity booster that can ward off respiratory infections [13, 14].

In one that was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 1999, researchers worked to assess the efficacy of vitamin C supplement in preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms, which include sore throat [13].

More than 460 students participated in this experiment, where they were randomized to receive either vitamin C supplements or a placebo [13].

The supplement was given in 1,000 mg doses three times a day [13].

By the time the trial was over, it was noted that there was a staggering 85 percent reduction in the cold and flu symptoms among those who took vitamin C supplements [13].

A 2000 study, meanwhile, revealed that consumption of fresh fruits rich in vitamin C like lemons can promote respiratory health [15].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • 3 drops of lemon oil
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Squeeze juice from the lemon.
  • Add lemon juice to a glass of warm water.
  • Stir in honey.
  • Drink two times a day for five days.
  • Add lemon oil to a cup of water.
  • Gargle the solution inside your mouth for one to two minutes.
  • Do this everyday for one week.

8. Figs

Native to the dry regions of the Asia Minor, figs are some of the world’s oldest fruits recognized for their anti-viral, antibacterial and antioxidant properties [16].

These fruits, which come from a tree that belongs to the mulberry family, are packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus.

High in mucilage content, figs are also commonly used for medications designed to treat respiratory infections [17].

Fig’s mucilage content helps reduce pain and inflammation of the tonsils while their anti-viral and antibacterial activities kill the oral microorganisms causing the problem.

With its overload of nutrients, it also strengthens the immune resistance so that the body can fight off the infections more easily.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 dried figs
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 to 2 cups of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot.
  • Add dried figs.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer until figs are soft.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Mash figs and add honey.
  • Eat sweetened figs two to three times a day.

9. Slippery Elm

Slippery elm is a tree that’s widely cultivated in the eastern part of North America [18].

The inner bark of this tree is typically used as a natural medicine [18].

There’s a long list of health issues that can be alleviated with slippery elm, and these include bladder infections, urinary tract infection, tapeworm infestation, cough, cold, colic, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids, among many others.

It is also an efficient way to treat swollen mucus membranes in the throat [18].

Like figs, slippery elm also contains enough mucilage to help tone down pain and swelling associated with tonsilitis.

Plants with mucilage have been found highly effective in alleviating internal inflammations and irritations [19].

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 teaspoons of slippery elm bark powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 4 teaspoons of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix all the ingredients.
  • Take one teaspoon of this concoction once a day for three days.

10. Basil Oil

The medicinal applications of the herb basil are varied and countless.

Many people rely on it to clear nasal congestion, relieve sore muscles and painful joints, and ameliorate digestion-related ailments.

Oil extracted from this plant has also been scientifically proven to inhibit growth and spread of oral bacteria [20].

According to researchers, basil oil’s antibacterial activities were effective against 29 strains of oral bacteria [21].

At minimum concentration, this oil successfully inhibited the activities of Klebsiella pneumonia, Streptococcus viridians and Staphylococcus albus, among many others [21].

Apart from destroying the infection-causing microorganisms, basil oil also soothes and reduces pain due to inflammation.

What You’ll Need:

  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil basil leaves in the water for 10 minutes.
  • Strain the leaves
  • Add honey and lemon juice.
  • Mix well.
  • Drink three times a day for three days.

11. Licorice Root

Licorice has many excellent benefits for the health that it’s quite odd that most people only think of it as candy flavoring.

The root of this plant is commonly used as natural medicine for inflammation, digestive complaints, stomach ulcer, gastritis, colic, cough, and bronchitis.

It’s also a potent remedy for tonsilitis that causes pain in the throat.

In a study dated 2009, 40 patients with sore throat were given either a mixture of licorice and water, or water alone [22].

Severity of the tonsil inflammation was greatly reduced in participants from the licorice group [22].

Those who gargled with licorice and water also found it less painful to eat and swallow food after a few days [22].

No side effects have been observed after the experiment [22].

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 tablespoon of licorice root powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, chopped
  • 1 cup of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot.
  • Add licorice root powder, cinnamon stick and chopped ginger.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Strain the mixture.
  • Drink the tea twice a day until condition improves.

With these simple and low-cost yet highly effective home remedies for tonsilitis, you can put an end to pain, inflammation and other problems caused by this infection.