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What are tonsils?

Tonsils are glands situated in your throat, at the back of the mouth. If you open your mouth wide and say 'aaah' out loud, you should be able to see your tonsils. Tonsils help prevent bacteria and germs from entering your body, and hence play a major part in increasing the body's immunity to diseases. 

What is tonsillitis?

At times these glands themselves get infected. A throat infection that targets the tonsils is called tonsillitis. Children are especially prone to tonsillitis, but it can affect adults too. If your child gets tonsillitis often, his tonsils should preferably be surgically removed. 

The symptoms of tonsillitis are:

  1. Sore throat
  2. Voice change
  3. Pain on swallowing
  4. Ear ache
  5. Pus, white spot, redness or soreness of the tonsil glands
  6. Slight swelling of the tonsils
  7. Chills
A tonsillitis patient may or may not have temperature. The causes of tonsillitis are dry air, allergies, contact with a tonsillitis patient (yes, it is highly infectious and spreads through contact), cold, cough, sinusitis etc.

Home Remedies

Lubricate your throat

  • Tonsillitis dries out the throat. It thus makes sense to lubricate your throat in order to sooth it. Have plenty of warm liquids. Steer clear from cold drinks. Drinking a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of honey helps lubricate the throat and sooths glands. You could also add a little lemon juice to this water. 
  • Drinking warm water reduces the pain on swallowing. So keep sipping warm water through the day.
  • Place a humidifier in the room to add some moisture to the dry air. 
  • Crush a garlic clove and mix it with a little honey. Have a teaspoon of this mixture once a day. 

Inhale steam

Inhale steam for at least 20 minutes. Keeping your mouth closed, instead of sucking in air from your nose, suck in air from your throat. If you can stand the smell, crush a garlic pod and place in boiling hot water. Inhale the steam. This will immediately kill the infection.  Be sure to have plenty of garlic in some form or the other, as garlic will help you fight the infection. 


Haldi also helps fight infection as it is a natural antiseptic. Gargle at least thrice a day if not more, with warm water, to which some haldi and salt has been added. Make sure the haldi is pure, and not something you picked up in a masala form off the shelf of your neighbourhood supermarket. It is not easy to get hold of pure haldi, unless you know someone who is selling it or growing it. 

Turn on the heat

Warm soaks help reduce the swelling. Soak a cloth in warm water, squeeze out the excess water and place it on your throat. Alternatively, place a hot water bottle on your throat and hold on to it as long as you can before falling asleep. 

Apply Ghee

  • Ghee works wonders. Apply warm ghee to your neck, massaging the tonsils from the outside. Apply warm ghee to your throat and cover it with a cloth before turning in for the night. 
  • Swallow a teaspoon of warm ghee in the morning. 

And -

Stay away from spicy food. Stick to bland meals during the duration of tonsillitis. Get plenty of rest, even if you are not running a temperature. If you take care of yourself during this time, you could recover within a week without having taken yet another antibiotic course.

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