Home remedies for tonsillitis? The most important questions and answers

Hausmittel gegen eine Mandelentzündung? Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

As with colds, there are also home remedies for tonsillitis that are passed on from generation to generation and are often in the eye of the beholder. The use of home remedies for tonsillitis has developed through traditions and different cultures. It is not always scientifically proven whether these self-chosen home remedies such as gargling with salt water, neck compresses, lemon, honey or quark help.

This article introduces various home remedies and explains which ones really help and which ones you can do without. You can also find out here how tonsillitis can be prevented and when it is necessary to see a doctor.

the essentials in brief

  • Home remedies to combat tonsillitis have been around for many years and are based on traditions passed down from generation to generation. However, there are not enough scientific studies on these topics to confirm or refute them.
  • Honey, lemon, onion, and ginger help relieve pain from tonsillitis. This also applies to the popular remedies of neck wraps, gargling and inhaling. In addition to medication, these can promote the healing process.
  • Since home remedies entail little risk, most of them are also suitable for children and pregnant women. Note that children under the age of 12 months are not allowed to consume honey and during pregnancy it is advisable to always consult a doctor before using home remedies.

Home remedies for tonsillitis: what you should know

Fighting tonsillitis with home remedies is a popular method because they are easy to use. In addition, they contain no unknown chemicals and have fewer side effects. Furthermore, in most cases the use is not associated with any risk and you can simply use it yourself without a doctor's certificate.

Are home remedies effective for tonsillitis?

For tonsillitis, the use of home remedies is common and actually effective. However, since tonsillitis can also have subsequent damage and is contagious, it is advisable to take these home remedies in combination with medication prescribed by the doctor. Home remedies such as neck wraps, gargling solutions or others can relieve the pain and discomfort and support therapies.

What home remedies help relieve tonsillitis?

Whether a home remedy is effective or helpful often depends on the symptoms. Since these are not the same for every person and can vary, there are home remedies that you can use for the respective symptoms.

In this section we will show you some home remedies that can help you relieve tonsillitis. These types of home remedies to combat tonsillitis includes foods, teas and the like.


Vitamin C is one of the vitamins that help the body protect itself from diseases. Since lemons are high in vitamin C, it is advisable to drink the juice of one lemon to build up your vitamin C balance and reduce your symptoms. This also shortens the course of the disease.

Lemons should be included in the diet.

Since lemons can be purchased almost anywhere and are also on the lower price side, it's an easy and affordable home remedy for tonsillitis. Popular ways to drink lemon juice are to mix it with warm water or a tea. If the taste is too bitter or sour, you can sweeten it with honey, which in turn helps to combat tonsillitis.


Honey is one of the remedies that many swear by when it comes to a sore throat or a sore throat. The use of honey as a home remedy for throat and throat ailments comes from the traditional healing medicines of the Egyptians, Chinese, Romans and Greeks.

Honey has scientifically proven health-promoting properties and was initially used mainly in the intestinal area. However, due to its anti-inflammatory and antiviral effect, honey is also recommended for use in inflammation of the throat to treat a sore throat and cough. (1)


Honey is an effective home remedy for tonsillitis as it reduces pain in the throat with its antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. (Image Source: Alexander Mils / Unsplash)

Honey is one of the most popular and effective home remedies when it comes to soothing neck and throat pain. Several studies have found the effect of honey in reducing cough and pain in both children and adults. (2) It was also recorded that the quality of sleep was improved, which in turn benefits the healing process.(3)

  • antiviral and anti-inflammatory
  • good for cough and sore throat
  • good taste
  • high calorie content
  • special types of honey are expensive
  • You can easily ingest honey. Either directly with a spoon or in a glass of milk or tea if that is more comfortable. However, caution is advised because children under the age of one year must not be given honey as this can be life-threatening.


    Onions, like garlic and lemons, are high in vitamin C and can therefore be used to boost the immune system and help with a sore throat. Onions contain alliins that act on disease-causing germs as they act like a natural antibiotic. Therefore, the consumption of onions and also the onion juice is worth a try.

    No side effects were listed, but there are also no scientific studies that support the use of onions. However, you should not consume too many onions and consume large amounts of onion juice as this can cause stomach irritation and bloating.


    In the past, ginger was mostly used to treat nausea. However, studies have shown that ginger can help prevent tonsillitis and manage painful inflammation (4,5). Ginger is also antibacterial and useful in boosting the immune system. It is therefore not harmful to drink ginger tea, although there are not enough studies on this topic.

    What home remedies are used to combat tonsillitis?

    Aside from the foods mentioned above, there are other things you can do to help fight tonsillitis. We have explained to you in the following part which of these home remedies are effective.

    neck wrap

    Wraps also help as a simple and quick home remedy for tonsillitis, as they fight inflammation. (6)

    If used correctly, you should not experience any side effects. However, it should be noted that the wraps must not cover the spine. A cotton inner cloth is used for a wrap, which in turn is wrapped in a cotton cloth and then covered with a silk or wool cloth.

    Neckwraps can have different contents. Quark is a useful home remedy that also helps with tonsillitis because it can pull inflammation out of the body.

    kind Application
    Wrap with cottage cheese Put some quark in the middle of the cloth and fold in the cloth. Make sure the wrap is not too cold. When the quark is hard or warm, the wrap is removed.
    Wrap with lemon Place thin slices of lemon on a kitchen towel and fold in. Then walk a little so that the juice escapes. After that, put the wrap around your neck and remove it after half an hour. If it itches, the wrap is removed immediately.
    Wrap with salt Dissolve 30 grams of salt in one liter of cold or warm water, soak the cloth in it and wrap it around your neck for 30 minutes. Then treat the neck with a drying towel.

    There are no supporting scientific studies for the effect of the neck wraps. So the wrap is worth a try but don't rely on a neck wrap only treatment.

    gargling salt water

    If you have tonsillitis, you can also gargle with salt water or tea. (7) Just gargling with a warm glass of water and a teaspoon of salt can relieve your sore throat (8). Pain relief is attributed to the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and disinfecting effects of saltwater gargling. You should do the salt water gargling process for 5 minutes and ideally repeat this every two to three hours.

    Be careful not to swallow the saline solution, as this can irritate the mucous membranes. This method is popular because it is almost free and also has no side effects.


    Inhaling is a popular way to soothe airways and sore throats. In the case of tonsillitis, moistening the irritated mucous membranes by inhalation has a beneficial effect. Several additives such as herbal teas, sea salt or essential oils can be used for inhalation.


    Inhaling is one of the home remedies for tonsillitis that helps soothe the mucous membranes. (Image source: Jopeel Quimpo / Unsplash)

    This can be done with an electric inhaler or with a saucepan. The process of inhaling with a saucepan is as follows:

    • Boil water: The water is heated to produce enough steam and any additives are added.
    • Inhalation: The head is bent over the pot or bowl so that the vapor can be inhaled with the mouth open. To prevent the steam from escaping, a cloth is placed over the head and pot.
    • Duration: Now inhale and exhale deeply for 10 to 15 minutes.

    What home remedies can be used to combat tonsillitis in children?

    Most of the home remedies presented help with tonsillitis in children just as they do in adults. However, the temperature should always be checked before applying a neck wrap. If your child also likes to drink tea, herbal teas are a good place to start.

    Not every home remedy is suitable for children and requires adult supervision

    You always have to keep in mind that children cannot gargle and inhale or can hardly gargle, which is why this type of home remedy is not suitable. With older children, it is quite possible to try these home remedies, but an adult should always be present. There may be a choking or burn hazard. To relieve pain and moisten the inflamed throat, candy or honey milk is a preferred option.

    As already mentioned, children under the age of 12 months should not consume honey as it contains life-threatening bacteria.

    How safe are home remedies for tonsillitis during pregnancy?

    Since most medications are not allowed during pregnancy because they can be harmful to the unborn child, home remedies are a good solution to relieve pain and promote the healing process. Nevertheless, you should always make sure that not every remedy is tolerated during pregnancy. It is best to discuss with your doctor which medications are possible and which home remedies work best and in what dosage you should take them.


    Home remedies can be used for tonsillitis during pregnancy, as these mostly consist of natural substances. Always pay attention to what your doctor says and follow the dosage so as not to endanger yourself and your baby. (Image source: freestocks / Unsplash)

    During pregnancy, you should otherwise only use home remedies that are compatible with you and have no side effects. Since most home remedies consist of natural substances, there should be no side effects. Wraps and teas should not lead to any side effects, as far as they are tolerated.

    When should you take home remedies to prevent tonsillitis?

    There are no measures that can be used to prevent tonsillitis. Nevertheless, there are some ways to strengthen the immune system and in this way prevent tonsillitis or reduce its progression.

    A strong immune system is the best protection.

    Most studies show that a balanced diet, good sleep and exercise help to strengthen the immune system. Other ground rules or factors to consider are not smoking and avoiding stress.

    Which home remedies help with viral or bacterial tonsillitis?

    In cases of tonsillitis, it depends on whether it is of viral or bacterial origin. If the tonsillitis is purely viral, the course is usually harmless and only lasts a few days. In this case, home remedies help to relieve the pain. In the case of bacterial tonsillitis, the doctor usually prescribes antibiotics to combat them and prevent any complications.

    In the case of bacterial tonsillitis, a doctor's visit is essential

    All of the above home remedies can be used for viral tonsillitis. Furthermore, the home remedies listed above also help in addition to the prescribed antibiotic therapy.

    What should you consider when treating tonsillitis with home remedies?

    Since home remedies and their effects are not covered by scientific studies, you should pay attention to a few things. That said, home remedies for tonsillitis may improve the healing process and thus give you some relief, but you should not rely solely on these remedies.

    If the symptoms persist for a long time and there is no improvement in sight or the tonsillitis gets worse, it is urgently advisable to consult a doctor. If fever occurs during treatment of the inflamed tonsils with only home remedies, you should consult a doctor.

    What are the side effects of taking home remedies for tonsillitis?

    Although the risk of taking home remedies is low because they are mostly based on natural substances, side effects can still occur. This depends on the medication used and the individual health situation.

    • Honey: Children under the age of 12 months should not eat honey as it contains life-threatening bacteria. The high calorie and sugar content can cause problems if consumed in large quantities.
    • Lemon: The side effects of lemon are very minor, but a lemon wrap can cause an allergic reaction.
    • Onion/Ginger: Consuming large doses of this vegetable and root can cause stomach irritation and bloating.

    What alternatives to home remedies for tonsillitis are there?

    Since home remedies to fight tonsillitis are mostly based on traditions and their effect has not been scientifically proven, there are alternatives that may be more suitable for you.

    • Homeopathy: This states that the body can use various plants and minerals to promote its own healing process
    • Drinking: In the case of tonsillitis, it is important to drink a lot
    • Sleep: As with the common cold, sleep serves to give the body a chance to focus on healing
    • Drugs: The classic way of treating an illness is drugs

    In the following paragraph you will learn more about the alternatives mentioned if this is necessary.


    There are studies that state that the use of homeopathic remedies can shorten the healing process and also reduce the use of medicines. (9) When choosing homeopathic remedies, it is advisable to consult a doctor or expert to find the right dose and type of homeopathic remedy. Since each remedy has a different special effect. For example, globules may help you on top of your other medication.


    It is only too well known that drinking is difficult in the case of tonsillitis and a sore throat because this is associated with pain and difficulty swallowing. Nevertheless, one should always make sure to drink enough and make sure to drink warm drinks, as these promote the healing process. You should also avoid drinking acidic drinks and juices.


    Even today, the classic means of combating tonsillitis are drugs from the pharmacy. You can easily buy many medicines without a prescription in the pharmacy. These should provide sufficient help if the disease is mild.

    In the case of bacterial tonsillitis, an urgent visit to the doctor and therapy with antibiotics is planned, as this can cause subsequent damage. When taking medication, it is strongly advised to read the leaflet and listen to the advice of doctors and pharmacists.


    Now you have an overview of the various home remedies that can be used to combat tonsillitis. You now know that simple home remedies are helpful and that they also have a very low risk of side effects. But even if the specified home remedies can be used to relieve the pain, you have to make sure that there are not enough scientific studies on this.

    However, you should always make sure that children and pregnant women have to be careful that they can tolerate the home remedies. If you have bacterial tonsillitis, you should always consult a doctor. In any case, note that these home remedies can also be used alongside medication therapy to relieve pain and promote the healing process.


      Pasupuleti VR, Sammugam L, Ramesh N, Gan SH. Honey, Propolis, and Royal Jelly: A Comprehensive Review of Their Biological Actions and Health Benefits. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:1259510. doi: 10.1155/2017/1259510. Epub 2017 Jul 26. PMID: 28814983; PMCID: PMC5549483. Source S Miceli Sopoa M Grecoa S Monacoa G Varrasib G Di Lorenzoc G Simeoned for the Milk Honey Study (M&HS) Group: Effect of multiple honey doses on non-specific acute cough in children. An open randomized study and literature review. doi.org/10.1016/j.aller.2014.06.002 Source Paul IM, Beiler J, McMonagle A, Shaffer ML, Duda L, Berlin CM Jr. Effect of honey, dextromethorphan, and no treatment on nocturnal cough and sleep quality for coughing children and their parents. Arch Pediatric Adolesc Med. 2007 Dec;161(12):1140-6. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.161.12.1140. PMID: 18056558.) Source Goto F, Asama Y, Ogawa K. Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko as an alternative treatment for chronic tonsillitis to avoid surgery. Complement Ther Clinic Practice. 2010 Nov;16(4):216-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.02.006. Epub 2010 Mar 19. PMID: 20920806 Source Wijesundara NM, Sekhon-Loodu S, Rupasinghe HV. Phytochemical-rich medicinal plant extracts suppress bacterial antigens-induced inflammation in human tonsil epithelial cells. peerJ. 2017 Jun 22;5:e3469. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3469. PMID: 28652934; PMCID: PMC5483044 Source Monika Fingado: Therapeutic wraps and compresses: Handbook from the Ita Wegman Clinic, Verlag am Goetheanum, 2012 InformedHealth.org [web]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Tonsillitis: Overview. 2013 Mar 27 [Updated 2019 Jan 17] Source Moyad MA. Conventional and alternative medical advice for cold and flu prevention: what should be recommended and what should be avoided? Urol Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;29(6):455-8. PMID: 20088240 Source Thinesse-Mallwitz M, Maydannik V, Keller T, Klement P. A Homeopathic Combination Preparation in the Treatment of Feverish Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: An International Randomized Controlled Trial. Research Complement Med. 2015;22(3):163-70. doi: 10.1159/000430762. Epub 2015 May 12. PMID: 26335189 Source
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