Swollen Tonsils: Natural Remedies and Medical Treatments

Tonsils located at the back of the throat work as filters, trapping microorganisms which might have entered your organism through the respiratory system, potentially causing infections. Tonsils also produce antibodies when fighting an infection is necessary. In certain cases, the tonsils can get infected due to various viruses or bacteria. In such cases, the inflamed tonsils become swollen, a condition commonly known as tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is a common medical condition, especially during childhood. How to deal with it?

How to Reduce Tonsil Swelling?

Tonsillitis is a condition which can occur occasionally. However, some people have recurrent episodes of tonsillitis. Here are some self-care tips:

  • Drink plenty of water. Keeping yourself well hydrated is always a must, especially when fighting an infection such as tonsillitis. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can only make you dehydration get worse.
  • Gargle with saltwater. In order to reduce tonsil swelling, you can gargle with salt water every hour. For this purpose mix ½ teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water. Gargle a couple of times a day, the swelling will be reduced as the bacteria from the throat will be removed. In order to help fight bacteria, you can add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to the mixture.
  • Hard candies sucking hard candies while having tonsillitis can help you eliminate the swelling. This will increase the saliva production, keeping your throat moist. Try this method as a way how to reduce tonsil swelling.
  • Honey is known for its antibacterial properties. One tablespoon of honey will help soothe your throat and relieve the pain and discomfort due to tonsillitis.
  • Drink warm liquids such as chamomile tea, ginger, apple cider vinegar, etc., can help reduce the swelling of your tonsils. You can always add honey to your tea for a better effect. Chamomile is known for its antibacterial properties. It will also calm your pain as it is a natural painkiller. Drink plenty of chamomile tea until the swelling reduces and your infection resolves. Ginger, on the other hand, is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. How to reduce tonsil swelling? Use a ginger root, peel and cut it into small pieces. Crush it and boil the ginger into 2 cups of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Apple cider vinegar will help you sooth the throat and kill the bacteria. You can mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey and a cup of warm water.
  • Chicken soup is a good source of nutrients, necessary when fighting an infection. The sodium in the chicken soup will help you fight the infection due to its anti – inflammatory properties.
  • Ice cream will help you sooth the throat due to the fact it’s something cold. Also, it is easy to swallow and helps you get some nutrients when swallowing other food becomes impossible or painful.
  • Eat garlic. Allicin in the garlic is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
  • Chew on cloves. Eugenol in the cloves is known for its antibacterial properties. It is also a painkiller.
  • Get rest at home. Depending upon the severity of your infection, you should take some time off and get plenty of rest at home. This will help you fight the infection and recover faster. Also, avoid speaking too much and loudly during the recovery.
  • Use room humidifier. Humidifying the air at home will help you recover faster. A dry environment will just increase your throat irritation, making your infection get worse. How to reduce tonsil swelling? Try this way!
  • Don’t smoke and avoid second-hand smoking as they will irritate your throat making your infection worse.


If your sore throat lasts longer than 10 days and is accompanied by a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, you should seek medical help. If you have severe pain, a rush or difficulties breathing you should immediately consult your healthcare provider, as this may indicate a serious illness.

Medical Treatment for Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis usually requires no medications as it resolves on its own. However, its symptoms can be quite annoying.

  • In cases of viral tonsillitis, no medications are necessary. The treatment will be focused only on relieving the pain and reducing the fever by using over-the-counter painkillers and fever-reducing medications such as Tylenol or Advil.
  • Bacterial tonsillitis requires antibiotics such as Penicillin or Amoxicillin. In cases when there is an allergy to these first-line antibiotics or there is a resistance, other antibiotics such as Erythromycin can be prescribed. After the treatment with antibiotics is started, the signs and symptoms of tonsillitis usually start to resolve within 24 hours.
  • Oral corticosteroids can be prescribed in cases when the tonsils are large interfere with the breathing. Corticosteroids will help reduce the size of the tonsils.
  • In cases of recurrent and chronic tonsillitis, tonsillectomy is recommended. Recurrent and chronic tonsillitis will have an impact on the quality of life. There are various surgical options such as electrical cauterization, ultrasonic scalpels, high-frequency plasma scalpels or traditional surgery.
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