Tonsils refer to a pair of tissue masses found at the back of the throat. Each of the tissues is made up of cells that resemble those found in the lymph nodes.

The characteristic appearance of the tonsils is quite similar to that of the inner lining in the oral cavity and is therefore pink in color. More importantly, tonsils function as part of the lymphatic system whose primary function is to keep infections at bay.

girl with open mouthThere are different tonsil conditions, and the most common is tonsillitis. Tonsillitis presents itself in two forms: acute and chronic tonsillitis. Both refer to the infection of the tonsils. The only difference between the two is that acute tonsillitis develops rapidly and may result in a white coating while chronic tonsillitis occurs persistently, often as the result of acute tonsillitis.

Some of the common symptoms of tonsillitis include sore throat, difficult swallowing, persistent coughing and visibly swollen glands on the tonsils. There are several natural remedies that you may use to treat tonsillitis at home as indicated below.

NOTE: Tonsillitis and sore throat are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but actually refer to different conditions. Tonsillitis refers to inflamed tonsils while sore throat actually refers to the inflammation of the area around the tonsils at the rear of the throat.

1. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Fresh lemon, juicer, a glass of hot water, a pinch of salt, and a dash of pepper (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Fresh lemon juice is one of the easiest yet most effective home remedies when you have tonsillitis and would like to deal with the symptoms. Lemon is packed with Vitamin C that improves your body’s capacity to ward off infections thus improving the overall function of the lymphatic system. In addition to this, lemon also has excellent antiviral and antibacterial properties that make it perfect for getting rid of potential infection-causing organisms. The juice’s anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Salt is added to this remedy for its excellent healing properties while the pepper works as an anti-inflammatory.


  1. Rub the lemon on the kitchen surface gently. This is done to ensure that the fibers release the juice more readily.
  2. Clean the lemon and cut it into half.
  3. Using the juicer, extract the juice and transfer to a glass.
  4. Add the warm water, a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper.
  5. Stir the resulting mixture and sip on it slowly while it is still warm. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the tonsillitis heals.
  6. Alternatively, sprinkle the pepper and salt on the lemon and suck on it.
  7. This not only soothes the inflamed tonsils, it also helps get rid of the sore throat.


2. Turmeric:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh turmeric herb (this may be substituted by turmeric powder), a pestle and mortar, a glass of hot water, a strainer, a pinch of salt, and gloves (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Turmeric is a popular remedy for a host of diseases, thanks ‘to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. When administered in the home treatment of tonsillitis, turmeric helps fight the infections present while reducing the inflammation. The benefits of turmeric include relief from the discomfort associated with tonsillitis. Note that the gloves are included in the list of things you need because turmeric herb has a distinct deep orange color that easily stains. Using the gloves therefore is simply a protective mechanism.


  1. Put your gloves on then set out everything you need to prepare this remedy.
  2. Peel the turmeric carefully then wash it.
  3. Chop the herb into small pieces and place in a the pestle and mortar pin order to crush it adequately.
  4. Transfer the crushed turmeric to the glass and pour in the hot water.
  5. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes for you to get the most benefits from this home remedy.
  6. Pass the mixture through the strainer and discard the used herb.
  7. Add a pinch of salt to the mixture and stir once more before sipping slowly.
  8. Use this remedy thrice daily until you get relief from the tonsillitis.


3. Gargle Salty Water:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A glass of warm water and a teaspoon of table salt.
Difficulty: Easy


Warm salty water gargle is one of the time-tested home remedies for the management of tonsillitis. The warm water soothes the throat and tonsils, thus reducing the pain. Salt on the other hand, fights off the infection by killing the causative virus or bacteria. Salt also has the advantage of giving you relief from the inflammation, and this prevents the discomfort that comes along with symptoms of tonsillitis.


  1. Place the teaspoon of slat in the glass containing warm water and stir to ensure the salt dissolves completely.
  2. Gargle the salty water for 5 minutes at a go.
  3. Do not swallow this water as it contains the very toxins that you are trying to eliminate. Instead, spit the water.
  4. Use this remedy thrice daily until the inflammation of the tonsils clears.


4. Cinnamon:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon powder, a glass of hot water, and two teaspoons of honey.
Difficulty: Easy


Cinnamon is used to treat tonsillitis thanks to its rich anti-microbial properties. These properties not only prevent the proliferation of the microorganisms, they also help prevent swelling of the inflamed tonsils while ultimately reducing the pain. Honey is added for its excellent benefits in soothing the throat while complimenting the cinnamon’s antimicrobial properties. Hot water on the other hand allows complete dissolution of the ingredients while it soothes the tonsils in the throat region.


  1. Place a teaspoon of the cinnamon powder in the glass and pour in the hot water.
  2. Follow this up by stirring in the honey until it dissolves completely.
  3. Drink this mixture while it is still hot, and use the remedy at least thrice daily.


5. Mint Leaves to Prepare Tea:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Mint leaves, a glass of water, a strainer, a teaspoon of honey, and a stove.
Difficulty: Easy


Mint leaves are a refreshing option if you are looking for an effective remedy against tonsillitis. These leaves are not only rich in antimicrobial properties, they are also able to kill any potential bacteria and virus in the throat region. The best part about using mint leaves, however, has got to be the menthol present. The oil soothes the inflamed tonsils and offers you much-needed relief from the aforementioned symptoms. Honey as indicated in previous remedies, is used for its ability to soothe the irritated mucosal membrane around the tonsils.


  1. Place the mint leaves in the pan and add a glass of cold water.
  2. Let the mixture boil until the water left is just about half of the original amount you put in.
  3. At this point, turn down the heat and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture and add the honey.
  5. Stir and drink this while it is still hot at least thrice daily.


6. Basil Leaves:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: A handful of Basil leaves, two cups of water, a strainer, 1 lemon and, a teaspoon of honey (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Basil is a simple yet effective way to treat tonsillitis, thanks to its excellent anti-inflammatory properties. By reducing the inflammation of the affected tonsils, the leaves are also able to reduce the swelling and thus manage the pain. These, in addition to the leaves’ soothing properties makes the leaves a must-have in your pantry if you suffer from tonsillitis every now and then.


  1. Sort the leaves and wash them before placing in a pan.
  2. Add the water and boil for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture and place aside.
  4. Rub the lemon on a hard surface to allow the fibers release the juice more readily.
  5. Wash the lemon and juice it before adding the lemon juice to the basil mixture.
  6. You may add the honey at this point before drinking the mixture.
  7. Use this remedy at least thrice daily until the symptoms subside.


7. Fenugreek Seeds:

Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of fenugreek seeds, 2 cups of water, and a strainer.
Difficulty: Easy


Fenugreek seeds, popularly known as methi seeds in certain parts of the world, are an ideal home remedy for the natural treatment of tonsillitis. The seeds are antibacterial in nature, and this is what enables them to fight off the bacteria that causes tonsillitis. When you prepare these seeds using the directions provided below, you will get almost instant relief from the pain that is characteristic of inflamed tonsils.


  1. Place the basil leaves in a pan and add the water before allowing to simmer for half an hour.
  2. Turn off the heat before straining the mixture and placing aside for it to cool.
  3. Once cooled, use this mixture as mouth gargle.
  4. Gargle for about a minute and spit.
  5. Do this three more times at any one given time.
  6. Use this remedy thrice daily until the tonsillitis heals.


8. Figs:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 3 Figs, a cup of boiled water, and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Figs are loved for their healing powers in the natural treatment of tonsillitis. By simply making a paste from boiled figs, you are able to get quick relief from the discomfort of this condition. Figs are also ideal in the treatment of sore throat, undoubtedly one of the most obvious symptoms of this condition.


  1. Place your figs in a pan and add water before bringing the mixture to boil.
  2. Allow the mixture to boil until the water remains just enough to create a paste.
  3. Let the two cool so that the resulting mixture is warm enough to make the paste comfortably.
  4. Mash the figs until you get your desired paste consistency.
  5. Dip the cotton wool into the paste and carefully apply it on the inflamed tonsils.
  6. Let the paste remain on the tonsils.
  7. Repeat this procedure thrice daily for best results.


9. Mullein Herbal Tea:

Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Mullein herbal tea and strainer. Other options you may choose from include the following: tonics, tincture or extract.
Difficulty: Easy


Mullein is an integral addition to your set of home remedies for the treatment of tonsillitis. This remedy has a high concentration of sulfur. Sulfur builds the immune levels in your body thus powering your lymphatic system to fight against infections. If you prefer to use the mullein oil, you should be able to get relief from a stuffy nose as the oil helps loosen the mucous, thus making it easy to expel and reduce discomfort.


  1. Prepare the mullein flowers according to your desired remedy. These directions highlight the procedure of preparing the mullein herbal tea.
  2. Bring a cup of water to boil and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the dried mullein flowers and allow steeping for 15 minutes. Avoid boiling the flowers as this reduces their potency by distorting their structure.
  4. Strain the mixture and discard the used flowers.
  5. Sip the mullein tea slowly and drink twice daily.


Other home remedies that you can use include taking hot fluids which reduce the pain, onion juice gargle thanks to the antimicrobial properties of the onions as well as a mixture of carrot, beet and cucumber. You must also make effort to stay hydrated. In addition to these natural remedies, it helps to observe simple habits that make tonsillitis more manageable. For instance, always cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading the infection. Wash your hands frequently too to curb the spread of the infection. Until your tonsillitis heals, keep away from alcohol and tobacco products as these only aggravate the condition. The same goes for caffeinated drinks.