Contrary to popular belief, tonsils don’t hang in the middle of your throat. They reside in a pocket on either side of your throat. Tonsils are structures similar to glands. Their tissue contains the cells that prevent and fight pathogens and infections called lymphocytes. Normally, the tonsils trap incoming viruses and bacteria before the particles pass through, into the body. But sometimes, the tonsils, themselves, become infected. More children and adolescents suffer from tonsillitis than adults, but anyone at any age can get tonsillitis. Many people opt to have surgery to remove their tonsils because they get tonsillitis several times a year. However, there are essential oils for tonsillitis that work fast to restore the tonsils, provide relief and don’t require going under the knife.
- 1 What is Tonsillitis?
- 2 Tonsillitis Symptoms
- 3 Tonsillitis in Children
- 4 Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
- 5 What Causes Tonsillitis?
- 6 Best Essential Oils For Tonsillitis
- 7 Essential Oil Recipes for Tonsillitis
- 8 Other Tips For Tonsillitis
- 9 Ways To Help With Tonsil Stones
- 9.1 1. Throat Spray
- 9.2 2. Lozenges
- 9.3 3. Salt Water Gargle
- 9.4 4. Turmeric & Salt Water Gargle
- 9.5 5. Lemon Juice and Water Gargle
- 9.6 6. Cayenne Pepper Gargle
- 9.7 7. Apple Vinegar Gargle
- 9.8 8. Baking Soda Tea
- 9.9 9. Hydrogen Peroxide
- 9.10 10. Onions
- 9.11 11. Warm Compress
- 9.12 12. Steam & Humidifiers
- 9.13 13. Garlic
- 9.14 14. Cinnamon and Milk
- 9.15 15. Vitamin C
- 9.16 16. Goldenseal Herb
- 9.17 17. Ginger Root
- 9.18 18. Marshmallow Root
- 9.19 19. Licorice Root Tea
- 9.20 20. Pomegranate Tea
- 9.21 21. Slippery Elm Bark
- 9.22 22. Tonsillitis Tea
- 9.23 Conclusion
What is Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is simply the inflammation of the tonsils. While this inflammation is often times caused by an infection, it isn’t limited to bacteria and viruses. Certain foods can trigger tonsillitis as well as weather. Highly processed foods, an excessive diet of sugar and fats, extreme cold and damp weather conditions as well as sharp temperature changes can bring on tonsillitis.
According to WebMD, tonsillitis is mostly caused by infections and many of the tonsillitis symptoms are directly related to the virus or bacteria. Many people with inflamed tonsils will also experience swollen lymph nodes, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, cough, chills and fever, ear pain, and difficulty swallowing. Most of these symptoms could be any number of colds or flus. Other tonsillitis symptoms include actual inflamed tonsils to include the surrounding area, yellow or grey coating on the tonsils, bad breath, nausea, vomiting, and red eyes.
In severe cases, also known as acute tonsillitis, the sufferer may experience difficulty breathing because the airway is swollen shut, kidney failure, throat abscesses, rheumatic fever and disorders of a cardiovascular nature.
Tonsillitis in Children
In children, tonsillitis may go unnoticed in the shadow of an infection. Your child may be experiencing high fever, throat pus, difficulty breathing or swallowing, throat rash, swollen lymph nodes on the neck, or drooling in excess. In conjunction with the above mentioned symptoms, you can be sure that they are signs of tonsillitis and that your child needs medical attention immediately.
Is Tonsillitis Contagious?
Tonsillitis itself is not actually contagious. Sneezing, coughing or air particles can spread germs from a person with tonsillitis, but when the uninfected person comes in contact with the germs, their body may respond differently than the infected individual. They may get the flu, or a cold, or strep throat; but, it may not always end in tonsillitis.
What Causes Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is caused by anything that causes the tonsils to swell. This could be an allergic reaction to peanuts. It could be dehydration on a hot day. It could even be extreme cold weather that freezes and hurts your mouth with every breath. But in most cases, tonsillitis is caused by bacteria and viruses. Your tonsils are the first line of defense and the tissue is uniquely set up to aid in the capture and removal pathogens. But sometimes, tonsils do get infected in the line of duty.
Best Essential Oils For Tonsillitis
Essential Oil Recipes for Tonsillitis
Warming Roll – On Blend
- 4 drops ginger
- 2 drops thyme
- 2 drops lemongrass
- Fractionated coconut oil
- 10 ml roll – on bottle
How to do it:
- Remove the roller ball from the roll – on bottle and add the essential oils, drop by drop.
- Top with fractionated coconut oil and firmly push the roller ball back on.
- Shake the bottle gently to combine the oils.
- Roll over tonsils, throat, behind ears and back of neck.
Salt Water Gargle with Frankincense Essential Oil
What you need
- A cup of hot water
- 2 drops of frankincense oil
- Enough sea salt to make the water salty (about 3 – 4 tsp)
How to do it:
- Mix all the frankincense and sea salt in the water until the salt has dissolved.
- Stand in front of your bathroom sink, take a mouthful of hot water and tilt your head upwards so the water reaches your tonsils.
- Start gargling. Remember, don’t swallow the water.
- Repeat until the cup of water is used up.
- Do this several times a day for relief.
Homemade Vapor Rub with Essential Oils
- 1/4 cup of shea butter or coconut oil
- 5 drops clove oil
- 5 drops frankincense oil
- 2 drops black pepper oil
- 5 drops rosemary
- 4 oz jar
How to do it:
- In a bowl, mix up the shea butter or coconut oil together with the essential oils using a popsicle stick. Don’t use cutlery for risk of ingesting the oils.
- Transfer the mixture into a salve tin and flatten it down.
- To use, rub over tonsils, throat, behind ears, back of neck, shoulders, chest, back and feet before bed.
Other Tips For Tonsillitis
In the case of a bacterial infection, there are a number of treatments that consist of foods, teas, drinks, and oils that help fight bacteria and boost your immune system. Utilizing these foods, in conjunction with one another, delivers a multifaceted line of defense against bacteria and also helps to boost your immune system for a faster response time.
If the tonsillitis is viral in nature, the antibacterial properties of some foods may not offer much aid to fighting the infection. Your body will need to dispatch the virus on its own. This doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do. To help your body better fight viruses, there are types of food and drinks that boost your immune system, give you energy, supply your body with antioxidants, and provide relief for tonsillitis pain.
Ways To Help With Tonsil Stones
1. Throat Spray
Throat spray is a wonderful way to administer treatment to your swollen tonsils. There are a few different throat sprays that are worth a mention.
Echinaforce Throat Spray
This throat spray is infused to potent Echinacea extract and sage. Both have been shown to produce antimicrobial activity and that dual activity is what makes the throat spray highly effective in the elimination of tonsillitis.
Organic Elderberry Throat Spray
It contains marshmallow root, manuka honey and elderberry, creating a superb antimicrobial front for battling tonsillitis while also producing anti-inflammatory effects. Organic elderberry throat spray can be used in 5 full sprays of the treatment, up to four times daily. For children between the ages of 6 and 12, only administer 2 full spray of treatment, 2 to 4 times daily. It is all natural, organic, safe, and tasty. And, it works to eliminate infection and provide relief.
Lozenges are a great way to get relief, anesthetics, and a nutrient boost to your infected tonsils. You can find lozenges with peppermint, menthol, or spearmint oil. This added ingredient to your lozenge will help you to breathe easier by opening up your airways. Some lozenges contain eucalyptus oil and benzocaine, which they use as anesthesia. Lozenges are perfect for soothing the throat, getting nutrients into your body, and suppressing coughs.
Echinacea lozenges are worth a mention as long as the lozenges retain their echinacoside content. Echinacoside is believed to be the antibacterial and antiviral active ingredient in Echinacea.
Zinc Lozenges have shown themselves to be a viable way to eliminate bacteria and viruses from the body. It is effective and natural. The only drawback of zinc lozenges is that too much zinc in the body can damage the immune system. Limit your usage of zinc lozenges to 5 days at a time.
3. Salt Water Gargle
There are a number of solutions that you can use to gargle. Gargling helps to draw out phlegm and flush the area. When you prepare a gargle solution, use a new cup every time to avoid re-contamination.
When you mix up a salt water gargle, add salt to 1 cup of water, just until you can taste the salt. Too much salt in your gargle solution will dry out your throat and cause even more inflammation. Salt has been used for ages in traditional medicine because it prevents the growth of bacteria
4. Turmeric & Salt Water Gargle
Add a ½ teaspoon of turmeric to your salt water gargle to boost your antioxidants. Turmeric is antimicrobial, and you can send that germ fighting power right to the site of the infection: your tonsils.
5. Lemon Juice and Water Gargle
Make a lemon juice and water gargle that hinders germ growth. You can amend this concoction by adding 1 teaspoon of honey and ginger to boost the potency. You don’t have to stop with these ingredients, either. Honey soothes and coats the throat. Ginger is antibacterial. The lemon juice is acidic and helps to kill germs. You can concoct a pretty tasty gargle; but, remember that it is a gargle. The gargling action helps clear out your throat. You can always prepare extra of your concoction, to drink and to gargle.
6. Cayenne Pepper Gargle
Cayenne Pepper contains a pain-relieving property called capsaicin. To use, add at least a teaspoon to one cup of water. Stir well and gargle. Cayenne pepper works wonders at eliminating infection and providing relief at the same time. It does sting the tongue and sensitive tissue, but that is a telltale sign that the concoction is working. Take this concoction at least four times a day, up to gargling every 15 minutes to prevent the infection from ever gaining a foothold.
7. Apple Vinegar Gargle
It has natural antibacterial properties and can be safely ingested. To use it, all you need to do is add 1 teaspoon per cup of water. Gargle with the solution and make sure that it makes it all the way to the back of your throat as well. You can even sip the concoction. It will help to kill bacteria all the way down your throat.
Take 1 tablespoon every 1-2 hours. Apple cider vinegar is an acid and as such, can erode the teeth. To avert this, some people will rinse their mouth out with plain water after the use while others brush their teeth before and after using apple cider vinegar.
8. Baking Soda Tea
Baking soda has long since been used around home for everything from cleaning to basic first aid. With the hottest water you can bare to use, add 1 teaspoon of both salt and baking soda to 1 cup of water and mix in. Gargle with the solution to help pull excess moisture from your throat, it will help clear out mucus and phlegm while acting as a natural antiseptic.
9. Hydrogen Peroxide
It may not be the tastiest of mouth gargles, but one thing you can be sure of is that it is effective. Hydrogen Peroxide is antiseptic, antibacterial, and safe to use. It is not recommended for consumption at all. Mix 1 cup of warm water with 1 cup full of hydrogen peroxide. Gargle and spit it out.
Onions have been known for their antiseptic and antibacterial nature. It works well with bacteria but won’t do much for a viral infection. Onion is most effective when consumed raw. If you must cook it, reduce the amount of water to the bare minimum to help prevent the loss of nutrients and antibacterial power.
11. Warm Compress
Keeping the throat moist will help prevent inflammation. You can create your own compress by lining a towel with salt and wetting the towel with moderately in hot water. Apply the compress onto your throat, the salt and heat combined will reduce swelling. This works well to help soothe the pain of tonsillitis with viral infections.
12. Steam & Humidifiers
Tonsillitis and a dry atmosphere is a bad combination. Keeping your tonsils and throat from drying out really helps to relieve the pain and inflammation. With a humidifier, your work is cut out for you. Humidifiers add moisture into the air. Keep the humidifier in the same room with you, especially while you sleep.
If you don’t have a humidifier, create the same effect using a steam treatment. Make a boiling hot bowl of water for yourself and lean over it. Put a towel over your head to help trap in as much steam as possible. The steam doesn’t have to be plain water. You can add peppermint oil or eucalyptus oil to open up the passage ways. You can also add thyme or even lavender and honey. As you lean over the bowl, breathe deeply, letting in the steam. Another way to do a steam treatment is by taking a hot shower with the door shut and inhaling as much steam as possible.
Garlic has been around for ages as a remedy for all types of infections. You can eat the garlic raw or add it to your soup or tea. Garlic contains allicin which is responsible for its potency. Many people, between gargles, soups, and teas, will suck on a clove to keep the antibacterial nutrients flowing.
14. Cinnamon and Milk
When dealing with tonsillitis, food may be a luxury that you can’t have. When your throat or airways are swollen, you have to take nutrients any way that you can. Contrary to popular belief, dairy products do not increase phlegm production, although it may thicken the phlegm. With a concoction of cinnamon and milk, the cinnamon can help to open your airways and reduce the amount of phlegm production. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that boost your immune system. Milk will coat your throat and soothe it at the same time. You can even add honey which will make the drink even tastier and it’s naturally antibacterial. Note that honey is not suggested for children 1 year old and younger due to botulism bacteria.
15. Vitamin C
Especially for viral-based tonsillitis, the best thing you can do is strengthen the immune system, drink lots of water and get rest. By eating foods high in beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin C, you are pumping up te defenses to help your body fight infections, harder and faster.
Foods like green tea and cinnamon are packed with antioxidants that help your body to function better and to a fuller capacity. Cantaloupe, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes are all packed with beta-carotene and vitamin C.
For foods high in beta-carotene, eat fruits and vegetables such as carrots, corn, mangoes, apricots, and asparagus.
Vitamin C can be found in foods such as oranges, kiwi, bell peppers, strawberries, and cauliflower. And you can be sure to find vitamin E in foods such as nuts (almonds, sunflower seeds, and peanuts), peanut butter and corn oil.
16. Goldenseal Herb
This herb can be used as a powder, extract, cream, ointment, lozenge, or as a daily supplement. It is effective and versatile. Goldenseal herb can be added to a gargle solution or added to tea. It works by negating the effects of a particular enzyme used by germs when they invade the body. Goldenseal herb prevents entry and infection. Note, however, that Goldenseal herb is not suitable for use in excess of 3 consecutive weeks.
17. Ginger Root
Ginger root is the jackpot when it comes to antimicrobial activity and relief. Ginger is a natural anesthetic, numbing the mouth and providing relief. It is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. It is safe to be consumed and tastes great when combined with other powerful infection fighting agents. You can add ginger root to any number of teas get to feeling better sooner. For pregnant women, medicinal ginger root is cautioned and you may need to speak to your primary care doctor for more information.
18. Marshmallow Root
This herb has been around for centuries in traditional medicine and it is accepted as a viable source of anti-inflammation power. You can create your own anti-inflammation compress simply by adding marshmallow root. Mucilage is a gummy substance found within the marshmallow plants leaves and roots. When added to water, the mucilage becomes more gel-like. You can use it to soothe your throat. Marshmallow root can come in extracts, tincture, dried, peeled/unpeeled, or in fluid. Marshmallow herb has potential to lower blood sugar. So, for diabetics, talk with your primary care doctor for safe usage of marshmallow root.
19. Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is a demulcent meaning that it soothes inflamed or damaged tissue. This provides relief to anyone suffering from tonsillitis. This herb is also an expectorant which means that it helps pry mucus and phlegm away from the esophagus so that it can be ousted. Many licorice products are actually licorice flavored products. Check to make sure that your product has the actual licorice root ingredients in the product or tea before purchase. Also, know that the use of licorice root tea is generally not recommended for any period of time longer than 2 weeks. For actual licorice root preparation, boil the herb in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.
20. Pomegranate Tea
Pomegranate tea is especially tasty and can be used in conjunction with other herbs to create an elixir guaranteed to boost your body’s immune system. Pomegranate fruit is known for its incredible antioxidants. Antioxidants can turn the tide in a tonsillitis infection because they help rebuild your immune system that free radical molecules work to tear down.
Free radical molecules are the body’s response to stress. Antioxidants zero out the effects of free radical molecules, stabilizing and strengthening your immune system. Pomegranate tea is a great way to enhance the immune system, especially if you are dealing with a viral infection. It also releases astringents which causes tissue shrinkage and reduces inflammation.
For pomegranate tea, you can boil pomegranate rinds in 3-4 cups of water for about 15 minutes. You can also drink organic pomegranate juice or something that at least contains a percentage of actual pomegranate juice.
21. Slippery Elm Bark
While this herb is thicker than a lot of other teas, slippery elm is every bit as potent and beneficial. Slippery Elm coats the throat and protects it from the dryness and inflammation of tonsillitis. It is an expectorant and helps to remove mucus and phlegm from the esophagus.
How to treat swollen tonsils with Slippery Elm?
Use a raw honey and slipper elm bark in powder form. Mix the two together to get a thick past. You can add peppermint oil for taste or eucalyptus oil; but both work to open your airways. Keep the concoction stored in a closed lid container and refrigerate it. When you are ready for a lozenge, eat 2-4 spoons daily or until the symptoms go away.
22. Tonsillitis Tea
This tea has all the heavy hitting ingredients for antimicrobial activity and pain relief. Boil enough water for a cup or mug. Add 1 wedge of lemon juice, a pinch of salt, 1 garlic clove – minced, a dash of cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey.
There are many tonsillitis home remedies that bring you relief, reduce suffering, and help your body fight infection but that is not all you need.
Check out our other detailed post on how to get rid of tonsil stones naturally.
Remember to get plenty of rest. That’s when your body does most of its healing. Drink plenty of fluids. Sports drinks have electrolytes in them and are a great to give your body nutrients, if the throat is too swollen to eat food. Try not to speak to allow your tonsils and throat muscles some down time and remember to stay away from irritants. Irritants will only aggravate the tonsillitis even more and could increase the inflammation.