An inflammation of the tonsils, tonsillitis is painful, debilitating and can lay you low for a while. However, the infection and subsequent symptoms can be treated with easily accessible home remedies so full recovery occurs sooner rather than later.
The tonsils, situated at the back of the throat to either side, are lymph glands and, although once thought to be useless thanks to human evolution, it’s now known that they function as a defense mechanism. As a filter for viruses and bacteria trying to enter the body and a producer of antibodies, their job is to keep us healthy. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, as part of the immune system, they are the body’s first line of defense.
Thus when they become infected, it’s doubly annoying.
What are the Symptoms of Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is most frequently seen in children from preschool age to mid teens, and is quite a common illness. Being contagious, it’s wise to keep your children, or yourself, if you come down with it, away from the classroom or workplace. Not that you’ll feel like working if you’re suffering from tonsillitis.
The symptoms can include:
- Swollen painful tonsils
- A whitish coating on the tonsils
- Sore throat
- A fever
- Swollen lymph glands in the neck causing pain and stiffness
- Croaky voice
Home Remedies for Tonsillitis
Keeping up your fluid intake is an important first step in the battle against tonsillitis, and warm drinks can ease a sore throat, and calm inflamed tonsils. A spoonful of honey, especially if it’s manuka honey, dissolved in a drink can ease irritation and help to fight the infection, whilst frozen ice cream or yogurt can numb the discomfort, bringing temporary relief.
It’s a good idea to avoid hard or scratchy foods, such as cereal or toast as these are painful to swallow.
Gargling as often as possible with warm salt water not only soothes any soreness, but will also fight the inflammation behind the tonsillitis, although be careful not to swallow, and you may benefit from using a cool mist humidifier, such as this one from TaoTronics:
Dry air can irritate a sore throat, so even if you use a bowl of hot water and breathe in the steam, it can help.
With these simple home remedies, your tonsillitis will soon go, and you’ll feel much better.
But if the symptoms do get worse, please be sure to visit your doctor or pharmacist.