Tonsillitis is a viral or bacterial infection of the tonsils (glands on each side of the back of the throat). The tonsils are a great part of the immune system that protects and help our body to fight many infections. Tonsillitis is a common infection and can appear at any age. It’s most common in young adults and children.
Symptoms of Tonsillitis
The most common tonsillitis symptoms are:
- Pain when you swallow
- A sore throat and neck
- Drooling in children
- A loss of appetite
- Feel generally ‘unwell’
- Swollen and tender glands
- Red and swollen tonsils
- A change in the sound of your voice
Children may vomit and complain of tummy pain without having a sore throat.
What Causes Tonsillitis?
Most cases of tonsillitis are usually caused by a viral infection, as the viruses that cause influenza or the common cold.
Some cases of tonsillitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection, generally, a strain of bacteria known as group A streptococcus bacterium.
[alert-success]These kinds of infections spread very easily, so it is important to try to avoid passing this infection on to other people, by: Washing the hands before eating and after going to the toilet; Sneezing and coughing into a tissue, and Staying away from certain public places, such as school, nursery, or work, until your doctor says it is safe to return (usually after a few days after the symptoms have passed). [/alert-success]
Natural Treatments for Tonsillitis
Here are the most important home treatments for tonsillitis:
# BASIC REMEDIES
You can reduce the symptoms of tonsillitis by:
- Getting Plenty of Rest
When our body is under stress, we need lots of downtimes to help speed up the healing process. You should get a good night sleep, at least 7-9 hours. Also, you should give yourself a break from your exercise routine or the gym for a few days, and try doing everything to relax and reduce stress.
A swollen throat is common in people with tonsillitis, so reduce the pain by drinking warm water to decrease discomfort in the throat. There are people who also prefer drinking very cold water to soothe swelling or sucking on ice, so this is a personal matter of preference.
- Using a Humidifier or Vaporizer
Humidifiers and vaporizers help moisten dry air that can ease discomfort and pain in the throat and mouth caused by constantly breathing in treated air. This is especially important in winter.
# NUTRITIONAL REMEDIES
One of the best ways to prevent and treat infections and inflammation is to drink herbal teas and eat a nutrient-dense diet, which promotes a strong immune system. Here are some herbal remedies that will soothe your tonsils and provide you some essential vitamins and minerals:
- Licorice Root Tea
Even if a tonsillitis is not serious enough to warrant a trip to your GP, it is still painful and can interfere with a good cup of tea. Licorice root tea is a popular home remedy for treating sore throat. It can soothe the pain and irritation. This plant has long been used to treat different types of throat infections.
- Peppermint tea
How about a fresh breath and comfortable throat at the same time? Peppermint contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties that can help encourage healing. Peppermint tea is usually recommended for treating many throats and mouth infections. The America Cancer Society suggests sprays containing peppermint can relieve tonsillitis. The University of Maryland Medical Center also claims that peppermint contains menthol that helps thin mucus and soothes a cough and sore throat.
- Slippery Elm
We do not have much researches on slippery elm, but it is long been a folk remedy for a sore throat. In accordance with the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Native Americans were using it to relieve sore throats and coughs.
This plant contains a potent mucus-like substance. When mixed with some water, this substance creates a slick gel that soothes and coats. To use, pour a cup of boiling water over powdered bark, then stir, and consume.
- Salt Water
Gargling with salt water is a popular folk remedy. In accordance with Student Health Services at the University of Connecticut, gargling with warm salt water can break down secretion and soothe an infected throat. It is also known to help destroy bacteria in the throat.
The University of Puget Sound also claims that a salt water solution can help decrease swelling and keep your throat clean. Just make a solution by adding ½ teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water. Gargle a few times a day.
Honey mixed in some tea or taken straight up has long been a natural remedy for treating many throat infections. Many scientific studies have proved this natural wonder works. A research of 139 children with upper respiratory tract infections, for instance, found that this wonderful ingredient was even more effective at calming nighttime coughs than cough suppressants. Studies have also found that honey is a great wound healer that can speed healing for a sore throat.
- An anti-inflammatory- based Diet
You should boost your immunity to becoming stronger and keep circulation flowing, in order to destroy viruses and bacteria from the body more quickly.
You should focus on consuming a nutrient-dense diet. That means fewer chemicals and toxins enter your body and make pressure on the lymphatic system.
[alert-success]Foods to Eat[/alert-success]
You should supply your body with much-needed antioxidants and nutrients, including:
- cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, etc.);
- green leafy vegetables (and some other colorful produce);
- omega-3 fatty acids, like wild seafood and salmon;
- unrefined oils (like coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil);
- seeds and nuts (flax, pumpkin, hemp, flax, etc.), and
- spices and herbs (for example garlic, ginger, and turmeric)
Some essential oils and supplements can also be beneficial for reducing swelling in glands, including the tonsils. Lemon, oregano, myrrh, frankincense and cypress essential oils can be combined with a carrier oil (coconut or olive oil) and massaged into the throat area.
[alert-warning]Foods to Avoid[/alert-warning]
There are certain foods that you need to avoid for optimal immunity. These foods can upset your immune, circulatory, and digestive systems. Here is the list of foods that you should avoid:
- Common allergens like gluten, shellfish, nightshades, or dairy products;
- Low-quality animal products;
- Refined vegetable oils;
- processed foods that contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, and chemical toxins;
- snacks made with bleached and refined grains, and
- produces heavily sprayed with pesticides.
When to Visit Your Doctor
Tonsillitis is not usually a serious condition. You only need to visit your healthcare professional if your symptoms:
- last longer than 4-5 days and do not show any signs of improvement
- are severe – for instance, if you are unable to drink or eat due to the pain, or you experience difficulty breathing
Many people improve in 2-3 days. Approximately 9 out of 10 people will get better in a week. Home remedies along with a proper diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help you get rid of a sore throat and tonsillitis.