Tonsil stones refer to calcified material that accumulates in the fleshy pits located at the back region of the throat. The pits, commonly known as are made of calcium and minimal amounts of other minerals including magnesium, phosphorous and ammonia among others.
The stones develop when debris piles up in the throat and undergoes calcification resulting in hard white deposits. These deposits are responsible for the characteristic mouth odor and persistent sore throats.
Other symptoms of tonsil stones include infection of the tonsils, white visible deposits, swelling of the tonsils as well as difficulty swallowing. In some cases, tonsil stones may be accompanied by pain in the ear owing to the ENT (Ear – nose-throat) connection.
The stones are sometimes difficult to diagnose, so that the stones continue to harden unrecognized. In extreme cases, scanning and immediate medical attention is necessary for a proper diagnosis. Mild tonsil stones however, may be addressed using simple home remedies for natural treatment as listed below. As a general guide, the treatment of the stones is directly proportional to the size of the stones as well as the amount of pain and discomfort experienced. if you experience difficulty in swallowing that impedes normal feeding, make sure you get medical attention to prevent complications.
1. Warm Salty Water:
Time Required: 15 Min
What you Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of salt and 1 glass of warm water.
One of the most common symptoms of tonsil stones is persistent sore throat that does not seem to get better over a long period of time. To counter these symptoms and provide relief from the discomfort, it helps to use warm salty water. Warm water is preferred to cold water because it soothes the affected tonsils and this reduces the pain. the salt on the other hand, prevents infections from spreading by killing the bacteria that lodges in the crevices of the tonsils. Use this simple remedy as indicated below.
- Add the salt to the glass of warm water and stir for complete dissolution.
- Sip some of the water and gargle to let the remedy come into contact with the tonsil stones. This also helps dislodge the stones over a period of time, effectively treating the condition.
- Spit the water and repeat step 2 above severally over a 15-minute period.
- Use the remedy thrice daily until the discomfort eases.
2. Raw Garlic and /or Raw Onions:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Medium sized onion/ 4 cloves of garlic, pestle and mortar, clean cloth and fresh lemon juice.
Garlic and onions belong to the same botanical family, and this explains their healing properties in the treatment of tonsil stones. Thanks to their potent sulfur-based active compounds, the two are a simple way of getting rid of tonsil stones. Both garlic and onions are antibacterial in nature and this helps kill the bacteria present in the accumulated debris. The two also have the advantage of preventing additional accumulation of debris in the tonsil pits. Fresh lemon juice is included in the remedy to help get rid of the pungent smell that the onion family is known for.
- Peel both the garlic cloves and onions and wash well
- If you can stand it, eat the garlic and onion raw. Chew on the onion/garlic to release the juice and swallow. This allows the juice to find its way to the tonsils at the back of the throat for quick recovery.
- If this is a tall order, simply crush the garlic/ onions using a pestle and mortar. The idea here is to get a paste that is easy to use during the application of the remedy.
- Transfer the crushed onions and garlic to a clean cloth and tie the opposite ends. This ought to make it easy to squeeze the juice out of the crushed remedy.
- Collect as much juice as you can and drink it as slowly as you can.
- Finish off this remedy by drinking lemon juice to ward off the smell of the garlic/onions.
3. Fresh Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: 1 Medium sized lemon, juicer and raw honey (optional).
Lemon juice is a perfect addition to the natural arsenal used for the treatment of tonsil stones at home. The juice is rich in Vitamin C which is known for its ability to improve the immune system and boost its action against any potential infections in the throat. What’s more, lemon juice is rich in citric acid. This increases the acidity around the tonsils, thus coming in handy in the removal of tonsil stones. Fresh lemon juice is both easy to prepare and effective. Raw honey is added to sweeten the lemon juice as the latter is very bitter. Avoid using processed sugar because this only makes the sore throat worse.
- Gently press the lemon between your hands to trigger maximum juice production.
- Wash the lemon well and cut in half to extract the juice.
- Collect as much juice as you can.
- Add raw honey to the juice and stir before drinking. While at it, try to swirl the juice at the back of the throat for easy access to the tonsils.
- Drink lemon juice daily to keep tonsil stones at bay and get relief from the symptoms thereof.
4. Essential Oils
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: Choice essential oil (lemongrass or myrrh), toothbrush, toothpaste and warm water.
Essential oils make up one of the most diverse home remedies across the world. This is attributed to their excellent healing properties that include anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and soothing traits. When added to the daily brushing routine, the oils come into contact with the tonsils and act on the stones lodged so as to improve the process of recover. You may use lemongrass or myrrh essential oils for this purpose. Avoid swallowing the mixture because the oil may cause irritation of the internal organs.
- Put a pea-sized amount of the toothpaste on the brush.
- Add a few drops of the choice essential oil to the toothbrush and brush as you normally do.
- Spit and rinse your mouth.
- Repeat this procedure thrice daily.
5. Ripe Apples:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Ripe apples.
Tonsil stones are often accompanied by a foul breath which is a byproduct of the bacteria and debris accumulated in the tonsils. Apples, just like lemons, are acidic in nature and this is what makes them perfectly suited for the treatment of mild tonsil stones. The acidity, coupled with the fruit’s astringent properties makes this a befitting remedy for the management of the stones. Apples also have the advantage of cleaning the teeth and getting rid of the debris often found stuck between teeth and which contributes to the bad breath.
- True to the adage ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, munch on fresh apples as often as you can, especially to deal with the bad breath.
6. Fresh Carrots:
Time Required: 10 Min
What you Need: 3 raw carrots daily.
Carrots are often synonymous with excellent eyesight owing to the high concentration of beta-carotene. Did you know, however, that chewing raw carrots is good for you if you suffer from tonsil stones? The very action of chewing stimulates the production of saliva which helps eliminate bacteria from the mouth. Consequently, increased saliva production helps with quick recovery from tonsil stones. Other benefits of munching on carrots include the increased fiber intake as well as the instant source of energy, which makes it a healthy snack.
- Eat carrots on a daily basis. Celery is also an excellent substitute for carrots as far as this remedy is concerned.
7. Gargle Apple Cider Vinegar :
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup each of Apple cider vinegar and warm water for dilution purposes.
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most popular home remedies for the treatment of different medical conditions. It is recommended for treating tonsil stones because the presence of the vinegar chips away at the stones until they are completely dislodged from the tonsils. This simple remedy is pretty efficient if used regularly over a period of time. Remember to dilute the vinegar before gargling to avoid irritation.
- Dilute the Apple cider vinegar by adding the water and mixing the two.
- Gargle using the solution for about 10 minutes.
- Use this remedy daily.
8. Probiotic Yogurt:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Cup of probiotic yogurt.
The purpose of using probiotic yogurt to treat tonsil stones is to provide the ‘good’ bacteria that helps the stones and fight off the bacteria that causes the infection in the throat area. Regular consumption of probiotic yogurt also helps prevent the recurrence of the tonsil stones.
- Enjoy a cup of probiotic yogurt at least once daily.
Other remedies recommended for the natural treatment of tonsil stones include using cotton swabs, lime juice which works similarly to lemon juice as well as a balanced diet. It is also important to observe proper oral hygiene to avert the formation of tonsil stones. Regular brushing of the teeth (at least twice daily, in the morning and at bedtime) goes a long way in preventing the calcification of debris in the tonsils. Remember to change your toothbrush regularly, and using the right oral products.