Tonsillitis is a common childhood ailment, but you don’t have to treat it with antibiotics. Pediatricians are less likely to prescribe antibiotics for minor ailments, as the overuse of antibiotics is creating “superbugs” that are resistant to antibiotics. You can use natural remedies to soothe your child’s sore throat and to prevent occurrences of tonsillitis. The following eight remedies or treatments are all drug-free and provide natural relief from the agony of tonsillitis.
Remedy 1 – Chiropractic Care
You might be surprised to see chiropractic care on this list of natural remedies for tonsillitis, but chiropractors do far more than simply “crack backs”. Qualified chiropractors can offer solutions for many childhood ailments, including tonsillitis. Chiropractors offer holistic solutions, restoring the entire body to better health by restoring the way the nervous and lymphatic systems communicate with the rest of the body. Tonsils form part of the lymphatic system, which eliminates toxins and helps the immune system. Often, the tonsils will enlarge if the immune system is not working properly, causing recurrent infections, or tonsillitis.
Chiropractors have significantly reduced the number of infections in children by ensuring the lymphatic system, connected via the nervous system, works properly. As the spinal cord is the major communications route for all messages from the brain to the body’s muscles and organs, it is essential that the spine is straight and allows all the messages to pass through properly. Unfortunately, many children have minor misalignments in the spine, caused by birth trauma, or falls that could seem minor at the time, but can affect a developing body.
The misalignments or ‘subluxations’ cause numerous health problems, such as tonsillitis, as pressure on parts of the nervous system can prevent organs working properly. A chiropractor can correct the subluxations by gentle adjustments, which can relieve the pressure and provide the body with clear communications pathway, and therefore restore overall health to the nervous system, the lymphatic system, and the immune system. If your child suffers from recurrent tonsillitis, try consulting a chiropractor.
Remedy 2 – Lime and Honey Water
Warm drinks, such as lime and honey water, can soothe the sore throat and can help to alleviate the symptoms of tonsillitis. Heat one or two cups of water. Add the juice of a fresh lime, 4 teaspoons of honey, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Drink this mixture three or four times a day to soothe the infected tonsils. The warmth helps to soothe the throat, while the honey provides a sweet smooth coating for the infected parts. The limejuice and the salt combine to reduce infections and help to prevent further infections.
Remedy 3 – Drink Plenty of Fluids
While this may seem like common sense, many people forget to drink plenty of fluids when feeling sick. A child who finds swallowing painful will be likely to develop dehydration, which can complicate the illness and prevent your child from recovering quickly. Encourage your child to sip continuously at a drink using a straw. Avoid carbonated drinks, as the bubbles will irritate the sore tonsils. Liquids include lukewarm broths, such as chicken broth, gelatin (jelly), yoghurt, ice cream, custard, and applesauce. Avoid hard, crunchy, and spicy foods that will irritate the tonsils and sore throat.
Remedy 4 – Tumeric in Milk
Grandmothers love this home remedy. Tumeric is a spice that many people believe has healing properties. It can boost the immune system and reduce the effects of a sore throat when added with some freshly ground pepper to hot milk. If the tonsillitis is particularly severe, you may like to grind some tumeric root and mix with water to make a paste. Rub the paste around your mouth and throat to eliminate germs.
Remedy 5 – Echinacea and Goldenseal
Echinacea and Goldenseal are two herbs that many people believe help to boost the immune system and provide relief from pain. You can buy both from vitamin or health food shops. Some vitamin pills will include these two herbs as key ingredients, although using the fresh herbs will be more beneficial than taking a vitamin pill. If you can procure fresh or even powered Echinacea or Goldenseal, you can brew it like a tea. Gargle some of the mixture first to encourage the herbs to reduce the infection around the throat and the tonsils. Drink the mixture to gain the full benefits of these effective herbs.
Remedy 6 – Use a Humidifier
If your child has congestion, while suffering from tonsillitis, it will be difficult for your child to breathe properly. Placing a vaporizer or humidifier in the room can help to open the nasal passages, encouraging the child to breathe through his or her nose instead of the mouth. Adding moisture to the atmosphere can soothe a dry, sore throat. If you do not have a humidifier, you can achieve a similar effect by having your child breathe over a bowl of steaming warm water for a few minutes. Some people like to add eucalyptus oil to the bowl of warm water or the humidifier to help the nasal passages open further.
Remedy 7 – Gargling Salt Water or Onion Juices
Gargling salt water is a common home remedy for tonsillitis. The idea is that the salt, which has natural preservative properties, will prevent and reduce infections. Onions have similar properties. Roast two onions and squeeze the juice out of the warm onions. Gargle this with some warm water. Alternatively, you can add a small amount of salt to warm water and gargle that around your sore throat.
Remedy 8 – Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is becoming a popular herb in many natural therapies. Simmer two large tablespoons of fresh fenugreek seeds for half an hour in a litre of water. Drain the seeds out and gargle the water when it is cool.
Most of the remedies above treat the symptoms of tonsillitis. However, the first remedy of chiropractic care can help to prevent further bouts of tonsillitis by treating the cause of the problem. Combine several of the remedies to treat both the cause and the effect of the problem of recurrent tonsillitis.
By Dr Maria Ananakis (Chiropractor)