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Readers Respond: Remedies for Tonsillitis

Responses: 27


Updated May 20, 2009

From the article: Understanding Tonsillitis
We've all had a sore throat or tonsillitis at some point in our lives. Some people recommend drinking tea with honey to relieve the pain, others rely on cough drops, my husband's parents recommended a tablespoon of vodka every once in a while when he had mono. What do you do when you have a sore throat?


Use a mix of warm salt water, and gargle it around your mouth and back of your throat like mouth wash. May not taste the best but will kill any bacteria. then do a mix of warm water and honey and lemon to sooth the soreness. I get a small case of tonsillitis every now and then and this remedy works for me :)
—Guest Jeesss

Things to avoid

I found out that dairy is an awful idea as it makes you phlemgy and therefore swallow more. Best to stick with non-creamy, non-syrupy drinks like ice water and warm tea (no sugar, but honey works for me). Cold numbs the throat, and when I need a break from drinking, I hold an ice pack to my throat/swollen glands, feels heavenly people.
—Guest ErikW

Do's don'ts

Honey is the best remedy. Do not drink acidic things like lemon, vinegar, or any thing like that because it will just irritate it. You shouldn't drink milk either because it will soothe it but it will cause more phlegm. The best thing for your throat is warm water with honey but don't let the honey melt because it won't do its proper job of coating your tonsils. Mint and ginger are good tea's too! I got this off of my doctors list of Do's & Don'ts for my chronic tonsillitis! Good luck!
—Guest Taren

A few choices...

Cup of warm water with table spoon of honey and tiny bit of lemon juice soothes a sore throat! You can add more honey if you want to cut the acidity of the vinegar cuz this mixture doesnt taste the greatest... Gargling with sea salt and wAter does wonders And....some orange sherbet doesn't hurt ! :)
—Guest Erika


I always boil ginger for about 15 minute, allow to cool a little, chop up 1-2 lemons and add to water, still in a couple of tablespoons of honey to soothe. Don't put it in when it's too hot because destroys the vitamin C in the lemon and B vitamins in honey, but drink whilst still nice and warm. Add Brandy or vodka for extra kick if needed.
—Guest Sharon c

Honey and Milk

Warm up some milk ( any type will do) until it is luke warm and stir in 1 tbsp of honey. The oil in the honey soothes the pain and the milk also soothes the throat. It works wonders on me!!
—Guest Jess

tried and tested

So I've been suffering for days now, I've tried pretty much everything recommended here apart from the root beer. The best remedy I've used is lemon honey and mint in hot water, but even with that I'm now in the hospital, feeling pretty crappy.
—Guest smithy953


Gargle with warm water and cayenne. The cayenne is not as hot as you might fear, even my kids handle it fine (there is some sense of it of course but no fats in the water to connect to and hold in mouth with just the water). The cayenne fights the bacteria and numbs the throat. Better yet a super delicious tea of hot water, fresh squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It's very soothing, medicinal and tastes delicious.
—Guest Herbie Mom

A variety...

I have tonsilitis now and I use orange luice with 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice in it. It works for 2-4 hours and tastes good.
—Guest Hayley


My auntie used to swear by eating salted chips, or crisps. Stay away from anything too processed or refined, all you want is salt, oil and potato as your ingredients on the packet ;) Gargling 1/4 cider vinegar with 3/4 warm water usually helps immensely. Good luck - currently suffering from this at the moment, I get recurring tonsillitis twice yearly!
—Guest Lauren

Home Remedy

I swear I had the most annoying case of tonsillitis ever. I was just about ready to get a tonsillectomy but then I tried something first. Take a cup of hot water and pour just a few teaspoons of vinegar in it. Then add a bit of sea salt. Stir it up and gargle for about a minute. Remember that tonsillitis has the annoying habit of making you constantly swallow, so try to resist swallowing this. The hot water helps to numb your mouth while the vinegar irritates the tonsils (but you shouldn't feel it) and the salt absorbs the bacteria. After gargling, spit into the sink and rinse the taste out of your mouth with fruit juice, veggy juice or soda. This seems to help to cure the sickness as well as make it easier to sleep at night. Hope this helps.
—Guest Tony

a tip about salt water

When using salt to gargle, I suggest sea salt. Typical table salt is iodized, the iodine burns a bit. maybe non-iodized table salt would work, but sea salt seems to be the way to go.
—Guest hoarse of coarse

Slippery Elm is an ancient remedy

Google it: Slippery Elm is an ancient remedy for throat problems.
—Guest mucha-a nothing

Celestial Seasonings: sleepytime Tea

i like this tea very much, it tastes great and it works wonders! it's an ALL NATURAL herbal tea that has NO caffeine in it. but remember it's called Sleepy- time. you can probably get it at your local grocery store, or health food store, it's not anything super special so it shouldn't be that hard to find. Oh, and because you would have a sore throat, it's a tea that makes you tired and so it'll help you sleep. I have a sore throat now and I'm just drinking it all up! I like to add some honey to mine. Honey is very good for sore throats because it helps coat and soothe the throat. it tastes best when hot though, so try and make sure it's hot, but don't burn yourself! hope this helps!
—Guest Morgan


Gargle salt water, take cough drops, DRINK MANY FLUIDS. A humidifier really helps. Especially in the winter because if you have sore throat the dry air will only make it feel worse. Trust me, I remember I had sore throat 4 times during the winter because of the dry air. Sleep, even if your'e not tired. Just rest, peace and quiet. Whenever I get sore throat, it always follows with migraines and headaches. Even the smallest sounds really set me off! After a while, if nothing else is helping try some over-the-counter medication. Hope this helps.
—Guest Misti

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