Tonsillitis – Causes, Symptoms, And Home Remedies Goes Viral


Can you recall the picture of a kid with swollen tonsils from your old science textbooks? What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of it? As kids, most of us must have associated tonsillitis with a swollen lump that protruded from our throats.

But well, tonsillitis is nothing like we imagined it back then. Do you want to get a better idea about this contagious infection?

Go ahead and read on to know how you can treat this condition with home remedies.

What Is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a condition where your lymph nodes (called tonsils) that are present at the back of your throat are sore and swollen. Although it is a common infection and can occur at any age, tonsillitis is more common among children.

What Causes Tonsillitis?

Your tonsils defend your body against various disease-causing microbes. They produce white blood cells to prevent the entry of these infectious microorganisms into your body via your mouth. But, in certain situations, your tonsils may become vulnerable to them, and this leads to inflammation and swelling and causes tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis can be caused by a common cold or even strep throat. About 30% cases of tonsillitis in children are due to a strep throat. Being a contagious condition, tonsillitis is easily spread from one person to another, especially among children.

Let us now look at the symptoms that accompany tonsillitis.

Signs And Symptoms Of Tonsillitis

The most common symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Inflamed and swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow spots on tonsils
  • Severe sore throat
  • Difficulty while swallowing
  • A scratchy voice
  • Bad breath
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache and stomach ache
  • A stiff neck
  • Tender jaw and neck
  • Poor appetite and increased irritability in young children

These symptoms often surface with the onset of tonsillitis and can be diagnosed easily. There are also some other ways to diagnose tonsillitis, and they are discussed below.

How Is Tonsillitis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of tonsillitis usually follows a physical examination of your throat. Laboratory testing of the swab from your throat is another way.

Tonsillitis can be easily diagnosed and easily treated. Although this condition is not of much concern, if left untreated, it can turn chronic and cause problems.

Hence, like in the case of any other disease, it is better to treat tonsillitis at the earliest. And what could be better than to treat it naturally and right at your home? Given below is a list of home remedies that have proven to be effective in the treatment of tonsillitis.

How To Cure Tonsillitis Naturally

  • Salt Water Gargle
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Bee Propolis
  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Fenugreek Seeds
  • Milk
  • Carrot, Cucumber, and Beetroot
  • Fresh Figs
  • Alum
  • Mint Tea
  • Mustard Powder
  • Soups and Broths
  • Wood Violets
  • Lemon Juice
  • Epsom Salts
  • Oregano
  • Barley
  • Water Hyacinth
  • Coconut oil
  • Pineapple juice
  • Yogurt

Home Remedies For Tonsillitis

1. Salt Water Gargle

You Will Need

  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of warm water

What You Have To Do

  • Add half a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water.
  • Mix well and use this solution to gargle.

How Often You Should Do This

  • You can do this multiple times daily.

Why This Works

Gargling with salt water can help get rid of the phlegm that is stuck between the tonsils and gaps inside your mouth and throat. This phlegm usually contains the microbes responsible for tonsillitis. Also, salt has antiseptic properties that can help treat the infection. The warm water used for gargling breaks down the mucus and makes breathing easier.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of warm water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  • Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
  • Mix well and add honey for flavor.
  • Gargle or consume this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

  • You can do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) possesses antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help kill the bacteria that cause tonsillitis. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help to reduce the swelling and inflammation of your tonsils.

3. Chamomile Tea

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  • Add a teaspoon of dried chamomile to a cup of hot water.
  • Allow it to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Strain and add honey to this concoction.
  • Drink the chamomile tea before it turns cold.

How Often You Should Do This

  • You must do this 2 to 3 times daily.

Why This Works

Chamomile is a medicinal herb with a wide range of benefits. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the swelling, inflammation, and pain associated with tonsillitis. It also increases the potential of antibiotics, making it a sure-shot way to combat tonsillitis.

4. Bee Propolis

You Will Need

  • Bee propolis throat spray
  • What You Have To Do
  • Spray the bee propolis directly into your throat.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this 1 to 2 times a day.

Why This Works

Bee propolis, also known as bee glue, is a sticky substance that bees use to seal small cracks or gaps in their hive. And surprisingly, this substance is beneficial to humans. Bee propolis has some wonderful antibiotic, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, which make it effective in treating ailments like cough, cold, and tonsillitis.

Caution: Some individuals may be allergic to bee propolis. Hence, care should be taken before using it.

5. Onion

You Will Need

  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Honey

What You Have To Do

  • Blend an onion with half a cup of water.
  • Add honey to this and mix well.
  • Consume this mixture in small quantities throughout the day.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this once daily.

Why This Works

Onions exhibit natural antibacterial properties that can help in combating the bacteria that cause tonsillitis. Additionally, onions are also anti-inflammatory and can help relieve swelling and inflammation of your tonsils.

6. Ginger

You Will Need

  • 1 inch of ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  • Boil the ginger in a cup of water in a saucepan.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes and strain the solution.
  • Allow the tea to cool down a bit.
  • Add honey and consume this tea daily.

How Often You Should Do This

  • You can do this 3 or 4 times daily.

Why This Works

Ginger contains a compound called gingerol that has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Fresh ginger is also proven to exhibit antiviral activities, which makes it all the more suitable for curing tonsillitis.

7. Fenugreek Seeds

You Will Need

  • 3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds
  • 1 L of water

What You Have To Do

  • Add the fenugreek seeds to water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Simmer for 5 minutes and then allow it to cool a little.
  • Use this fenugreek solution to gargle throughout the day.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this several times a day until you run out of the solution.

Why This Works

Fenugreek is an excellent natural remedy for tonsillitis, given its anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of fenugreek can help fight infections while its anti-inflammatory properties can provide relief from swollen and inflamed tonsils. Fenugreek seeds also act as a natural expectorant and help break down the phlegm in your throat.

8. Milk

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of hot milk
  • A dash of pepper and turmeric powder

What You Have To Do

  • Add some pepper and turmeric powder to a cup of hot milk.
  • Mix well and drink it before your bedtime.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this before bedtime for three nights consecutively.

Why This Works

Milk is a proven remedy against many infections, including tonsillitis. Daily consumption of milk can help soothe your inflamed tonsils and relieve pain. The combination of milk with turmeric and pepper is even more effective against tonsillitis. This is because turmeric (Curcuma longa) and pepper (Piper nigrum) also have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic properties, which not only help treat tonsillitis but also provide relief from its symptoms.

9. Carrot, Cucumber, And Beetroot Juice

You Will Need

  • 150 mL of carrot juice
  • 50 mL of cucumber juice
  • 50 mL of beetroot juice

What You Have To Do

  • Mix the three juices in the specified quantities.
  • Drink this mixture.

How Often You Should Do This

  • You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

Vegetables are a rich source of many nutrients that help your body combat infections naturally. The vegetable juice mixture of carrots, cucumber, and beetroots is a commonly used remedy for tonsillitis. The vitamins A and C in these vegetables not only help fight inflammation but also enhance the action of antibiotics against tonsillitis.

10. Fresh Figs

You Will Need

  • 2-3 fresh figs
  • Water

What You Have To Do

  • Boil a few fresh figs in water.
  • Make a paste out of the boiled figs and apply it externally to your throat.
  • Leave this on for 10 to 15 minutes and wash it off with water.
  • You can also eat some figs on a daily basis.

How Often You Should Do This

  • Do this 1 to 2 times daily.

Why This Works

Figs are a rich source of phenolic compounds that exhibit anti-inflammatory properties. They can help relieve the inflammation and pain associated with tonsillitis, both internally and externally. Figs are also naturally antibacterial and can help relieve infections that cause tonsillitis.


Along with the remedies mentioned above, you must also follow a few tips to prevent the recurrence of tonsillitis. They are as listed below.

Preventive Tips

  • Increase your intake of soups and broths
  • Consume more of probiotic-rich foods like yogurt
  • Use a humidifier in your room to keep the air moist. Moist air prevents your throat from drying further
  • Maintain a distance from those suffering from tonsillitis or a sore throat
  • Wash your hands at regular intervals
  • Keep a hand sanitizer handy
  • Always cover your mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing
  • Quit smoking
  • Practise yoga poses like Rabbit Pose, Lion Pose, and Corpse Pose to get relief from the symptoms of tonsillitis

If tonsillitis is a recurring problem for you, you can consider getting your tonsils removed surgically. The procedure is known as tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy may also be performed on individuals who snore a lot. However, there are a few side effects that may surface with the removal of your tonsils, and they are discussed below.

Side Effects Of Tonsillectomy

The side effects of tonsillectomy vary in their severity and may also cause life-threatening complications in some cases. The most common side effects include:

  • Throat pain
  • Nausea
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Earaches
  • Fatigue
  • Slight fever
  • Nose bleeding

If any of these side effects continue to prevail after many days of getting your tonsils removed, you need immediate medical attention. Now that you know the consequences, think twice before deciding to get them removed. You can use the remedies and preventive tips mentioned above to treat tonsillitis at the earliest and prevent further complication.

If you or your loved ones have been suffering from tonsillitis, feel free to share this article with them to help them in their battle against this contagious condition.

Also, do let us know if any of these remedies were helpful by commenting in the box below.

If you enjoyed this article, please SHARE it with your family and friends!

Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Written by Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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