Home Remedies for Swollen Tonsils

Best Ways to Prevent and Treat Tonsillitis Naturally

Learn How Can You Treat Swollen Tonsils at Home

Swollen tonsils (tonsillitis) can have a negative effect on your body, causing fever, headache, throat pain and even obstructive sleep apnea.

Being very uncomfortable and painful, you will want to treat tonsillitis as soon as possible. Luckily, natural remedies can be useful in your journey to healing.

 The good news is that simple acute tonsillitis can be easily treated with natural methods in 3 to 10 days. (5)

Unfortunately, chronic enlarged tonsils can take much more time to heal with natural remedies.

Without treatment, you can experience serious complications (1), such as:

  • rheumatic heart disease,
  • damaged kidneys (glomerulonephritis),
  • rheumatic fever,
  • peritonsillar abscess,
  • trismus (difficulties open the mouth),
  • displacement of the uvula,
  • sleep breathing disorders (sleep apnea, snoring, UARS),
  • pneumonia.

The best way to avoid these complications is to treat the swollen tonsils as soon as possible.

Your doctor has effective ways to treat you (penicillin is one way), and you should see him when you feel mild throat pain and fever.

However, if for some reason, you are not able to get conventional treatment, don't panic. This article will teach you all you need to know about alternative ways to treat the enlarged tonsils.

Why Do I Have Swollen Tonsils?

  Your tonsils and adenoids are designed by nature to act as filters for bacteria, viruses, and toxins.

They’re also sensitive indicators for your body health.

So if you have some bacteria or toxins in your body, the tonsils may become enlarged and infected.

Tonsillitis is caused by a bacteria (usually streptococcus pyogenes). Sometimes, a throat culture or throat swab is necessary to properly diagnose it. Your doctor takes this decision.

Different bacteria causes different grades of severity with different ways of treatment.

As a standard treatment, your doctor may give you Penicillin V potassium or cefuroxime axetil, which are both useful. Erythromycin and Azithromycin are an effective alternative to penicillin.(4)

How Can a Bad Diet Makes Your Tonsils Enlarged

The toxins that cause the tonsils to swollen come usually from improper diet, and poor liver, kidney, bowel or stomach function.

For example, children can get a lot of recurrent tonsil infection just because has a bad diet, with high milk and carbohydrate content, but low in green vegetables.(5)

The dairy foods (such as cheese and milk) and grainy foods (bread) can cause a high acidity and toxicity in the body.

 If these toxins are not properly eliminated by an healthy digestive system backed up by cleansing elements from the green vegetables, the body’s vitality become weak and unable to defend.

How Milk Can Hurt Your Body?

Food allergy may cause the tonsils to swollen, especially if the food is milk or wheat. If you take even a small amount of these foods, your tonsils can get enlarged and you start to suffer from them.

Milk allergy is very common in children. If the child’s body doesn’t produce the enzyme lactase to completely digest the milk, the sugar lactose from this milk can cause gastric irritation and mucus production - which leads to tonsillitis.(5)

The Damage Caused by Gluten

Eating wheat that contains gluten can cause the tonsils and adenoids to enlarge.

This gluten causes intestinal irritation and loss of small villi, which are vital for proper nutrient absorption.

Gluten can really damage your intestine! It makes the walls thinner, it blocks the assimilation of important nutrients, it causes gastric irritation and toxic absorption. This leads to swollen tonsils and other disorders.(5)

It’s no wonder that a diet without dairy products and gluten is the first course of natural remedy.

Why Constipation Can Be a Signal For Tonsillitis?

Diet comes again to explain the situation. There are foods that cause your body to lose it’s abilities to eliminate toxins. These foods come from a highly refined diet, such as:

  • White bread,
  • White rice,
  • Refined sweets,
  • Low fiber content,
  • Overcooked vegetables.

Without the ability to eliminate the toxins, your body will have serious health problems, including swollen tonsils and adenoids.

Back to Top

The Best Diet for Swollen Tonsils

It's always recommended to follow a diet that contains only fruits and fruit-juice, especially if the person who has tonsillitis is a child.

If the throat is so painful that no solid food can enter, you could try fruit-juice fasting until you can start to eat to fruits.

Usually, 7 days of fruit and juice diet should be enough to treat tonsillitis.

All Fruit Diet

Eat only one type of fruit every one or two hours. Even better, alternate one fruit and one fruit juice every hour. This will help your body to eliminate the toxins and also improve your immunity system.

Avoid banana, which is considered too starchy for a cleansing diet.

With this fruit diet, it's also recommended to do an enema nightly(5). However, I believe you need some education in this type of cleansing. There are some side effects if you don't know how to do it.

Mucus Cleansing Diet

This diet is very helpful for the conditions that causes excess of mucus (colds, ear infections, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis), including tonsillitis.

During the 7 days of fruit diet mentioned above, you can alternate it  with the mucus cleansing diet (3 to 5 days).


Consume only grapefruit. If not available, use oranges.

1 Hour Before Lunch

Drink fresh carrot juice.


Eat a plate of steamed onions. Add natural soys sauce for flavor.

Before Dinner

Fresh carrot juice again.


A large plate of steamed onions, same as lunch.


Drink a portion of fresh carrot juice.

Back to Top

Herbal Medicine for Swollen Tonsils

Herbs With Essential Oils

Some herbs contain contain antibacterial oils which can help treating tonsillitis, such as:

Sage (Salvia officinalis), Hyssop, Thyme, Camomile, Calendula.

Sage is the main herb for gargle than can alleviate sore throat and large tonsils.

Pour a cup of boiling water over 2 teaspoons of sage leaves and let it sit for 15 or 20 minutes. Then add a little salt. Gargle as needed.

Tanin Herbs

These herbs contain tannin, which has the ability to treat tonsillitis:

  • tormentil,
  • raspberry,
  • oak,
  • agrimony.

Herbs containing mucilage

These herbs contain a gelatinous substance secreted by plants that can soothe a sore throat:

  • marshmallow,
  • aloe vera,
  • liquorice.

Therapeutic Herbs

Many of the drugs used in modern medicine are extracted from plants.

However, some herbal products can be very toxic (Comfrey), so it's important to discuss with the herbalist what are the side effects of the herbs that you're using.

  • Comfrey - has been used to treat many health problems, including tonsillitis, bronchitis, whooping cough, ulcers, diarrhea and kidney stones. (2)
  • Echinacea - was originally used by Native Americans to treat snake bites and infections. Today it is promoted as an immune stimulant, antiseptic, antiviral and with peripheral vasodilator properties. Traditionally, echinacea is used to treat tonsillitis.(2)
  • Pokeweed - has many medicinal uses, including treatment for conjunctivitis, syphilis, scabies, rheumatism, ulcers, dyspepsia, edema and tonsillitis. Today, pokeweed is popular for its antimicrobial activity.(2)

Use 25 drops of Pokeweed tincture in water 3 to 4 per day. Highly toxic plant - use only under professional supervision. (5)

Vitamins And Minerals For Tonsillitis

Because enlarged tonsils mostly appear due to the response of the immune system to bacteria and viruses, it is important to strengthen the immune system.

Children may be helped by taking multivitamin and mineral supplement, thus increasing the nutrient levels.

Vitamin B1, B2 and C

A clinical study revealed that patients with enlarged tonsils had low levels of vitamins B1, B2 and C. Read the study here.

Doses for Vitamin C and bioflavonoids: 250 to 500 mg chewable six time per day.

Doses for Vitamin B complex: 25 to 50 mg three times daily.

Vitamin D and E

Another study found that vitamin D is also low in children with swollen tonsils and OSA. Read more about the study here.

Vitamin E can also protect the body against infection.

Zinc, Selenium and Magnesium

Consult your doctor before trying zinc or vitamin C with antibiotics.

Minerals, such as zinc, selenium and magnesium also have low levels in patients with recurring tonsillitis. More info about the study here.

Adapted from: New Medicine (DK Complete Family Health Guides)

Back to Top

How To Help Swollen Tonsils to Treat Faster

Supportive Care For People with Swollen Tonsils

Here are some tips to help soothe the swollen tonsils while the illness recedes during your treatment:

  • Bed resting,
  • Raw Manuka Honey with Onion - slice a large onion in thiny pieces, place in a bowl and cover it with 1 or 2 tbsp of manuka honey. Cover the content and let it soak for almost 8 hours. Mash, strain and then take 1 tsp four to eight times per day.
  • Drinking more fluids than usual,
  • Mouthwashing with warm salt water,
  • Gargling with honey can reduce tonsil swelling (3) - dice the garlic and allow it to sit in 1 tsp of manuka honey for 4 to 8 hours. Then mash and strain. Take 2 to 4 times per day (dose: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.) (5)
  • Medication to reduce the fever (liquid paracetamol, but avoid giving your child aspirin for the risk of having Reye's Syndrome),
  • Eating soups where vegetables and meat are simmered or drinking warm tea calms the body,
  • Cold fruit drinks may help with sore throat pain.

Back to Top

How to sleep with enlarged tonsils

During sleep, your body muscles relaxes, including those from your throat. This can cause obstructive sleep apnea in people with severe tonsillitis.

Sleeping on the side can prevent your tongue to fall back obstructing the airway. Falcon sleeping position is a useful way to sleep when you have obstruction in your airways, such as swollen tonsils or large tongue:

  • For right sleeping position: The face should be on the upper-right edge of the pillow. The pillow should be angled at about 30 degrees, so the left edge of the pillow would be under the left shoulder and left torso.
  • For the left sleeping position, you just have to make everything in the opposite way.
  • To increase the comfort, use also a pillow under the right half of your chest and abdomen (if you sleep on the right), or under the left half of your chest and abdomen, if you sleep on the left position.

For more info about benefits sleeping on the side, see Positional Therapy.

Gargling: before sleep, gargling your mouth with warm salty water will clean the mucus from your mouth necessary for easy breathing during sleep.

Moreover, a paracetamol and warm camomile tea will ease the headaches that may appear while sleeping.

Back to Top

How To Prevent Enlarged Tonsils?

The best way to prevent tonsillitis is to protect yourself or avoid anything that can cause this inflammation:

Increase your immunity against bacteria and viruses

 Swollen tonsils is very common in children, because their tonsils become exposed for the first time to many infections.

The adenoids and tonsils are part of the immune system whose main purpose is to protect the body against bacteria and viruses. Because children are exposed to many new bacteriological agents, the immune system starts to react, thus the glands, lymph nodes, tonsils or adenoids can swollen.

Tonsillitis is caused by a streptococcal bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. The doctor can discover this bacteria by sending a throat culture (passing a cotton swab across the tonsils) to a laboratory.

A blood test may also be done to check if the person with swollen tonsils has kissing disease (glandular fever or mononucleosis) which also causes the tonsils to be enlarged.

Clean your house from mold and dust mites

Permanent or recurrent enlarged tonsils can be due to an allergy, mostly from mould or dust mite from the house. Children are mostly affected by them.

Eliminate dairy products

Clinical studies found that tonsillitis is also caused by having sensibility or intolerance to dairy products, such as yogurt, milk, cheese or ice cream.

Once discovered, the food problems can be eliminated, avoiding the recurrence of swollen tonsils.

Back to Top

Last Update: 14/08/2018

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


1. First aid pediatric boards.
2. Pharmacodynamic Basis of Herbal Medicine
3. Honey in traditional and modern medicine
4. Current medical diagnosis and treatment 2014
5. Better Health Through Natural Healing: How to get well without drugs or surgery, by Ross Trattler N.D. D.O.

› Swollen Tonsils

Share this page:
Enjoy this sleep apnea page? Please pay it forward. Here's how..

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.