Tonsillitis, or tonsil stones is an infection of the tonsils. These are the two tissues located at the back of your throat. They function as filters. Their duty is to trap germs that try to get into your body through your airways.
This is how your tonsils protect you from infection. However, they can get overwhelmed by these bacteria and viruses they are trying to protect us from.
Your tonsils are similar to your lymph nodes. They have various spaces just like the kidneys. Bacteria and other debris can accumulate in these holes. They are part of the immune system.
They become swollen and inflamed when this happens. This condition is common in little children and some adults experience it also. It can happen once in a while or repeatedly in a short period of time.
Types of Tonsillitis
- Chronic tonsillitis: This type is long-term
- Recurrent tonsillitis: This type can happen several times a year
- Acute tonsillitis: This can last for 3 to 4 days and it can also last up to 14 days
Symptoms of Tonsillitis
Swollen tonsils and inflammation are the main symptoms of tonsillitis. This can be so severe at times that the patient finds it difficult to breathe through their mouth.
Other symptoms are also present, some of them are:
- Stiff neck
- Muffled voice or scratchy voice
- Bad breath
- Chills and fever
- Swollen glands in your jaw and neck
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain
- Loss of appetite
- Ulcers or painful blisters on your throat
- A yellow or white coating on your tonsils
- Red and inflamed tonsils
- Throat tenderness or pain
Children who have tonsillitis might also have:
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Upset stomach
Causes of Tonsillitis
Viral and bacterial infections are the main causes of tonsillitis. Streptococcus bacteria are the leading cause of this. This can lead to a strep throat.
Common microbes that cause tonsillitis are:
- Herpes simplex virus
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Influenza virus
What Makes Microbes Overpower Your Tonsils?
Your tonsils like you’ve seen above are made to overpower microbes and trap them. However, certain factors can weaken them and make them unable to carry out this function.
Toxins, wrong diet, and excess intake of refined sugar can also play a role in this. I believe our diets have a great role to play in tonsillitis.
Years back, I suffered from recurrent tonsillitis among the other health challenges I was having then. Then I decided to take my life in my hands and take responsibility for my health.
I noticed I stopped having this immediately I stopped consuming milk and refined sugar. This recurrent affliction just went away like that. When I started my research, I noticed that some foods we eat can weaken the tonsils.
Tonsillitis and Dairy
Most health experts are beginning to realize that tonsil stones are simply sensitivity to dairy and dairy products. Diary forms mucus in your body, this weighs down your immune system and overpower your tonsils.
In Chinese Traditional Medicine, diary is regarded as a cause of phlegm and mucus. In natural medicine, it is a cause of inflammation, osteoporosis, gastrointestinal issues, and even food allergies.
Dairy is the main culprit for tonsil stones or tonsillitis. I read on mayo clinic that milk is one of the most common food allergies we have today and it is responsible for a lot of health problems.
When you take in commercial milk and products containing milk, your body will produce more histamine and immunoglobin E. This will increase the amount of inflammation and swelling in your throat.
This excess mucus will fill your sinuses and cause a post-nasal drip. This will constantly drip at the back of your throat and lead to bad breath. You will notice a lump in your throat and your throat will be sore.
The Nature of Tonsil Stones
Many people think tonsils stones are non-living things. I got the shock of my life when I got to discover from research that they are living beings.
They are breathing biofilms that needs oxygen and nitrate. They are heavily composed of anaerobic bacteria. Many health professionals have even compared tonsil stones to sea corals.
Tonsil stones feed on sugar and food particles in the mouth. This biofilm is made up of thick living microorganism. Underneath this film, the tonsil stones are made up of dead bacteria and collagen.
How do I Reverse Tonsillitis?
First and foremost, remove sugar and milk from your diet. You should also remove processed foods and drinks because they contain sugar and some might contain milk.
Also, cut out wheat or gluten from your diet. They create a lot of mucus in your body. They also cause inflammation. All these cause tonsil stones.
Imbibe and maintain a good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth but don’t forget to floss also. Do coconut oil pulling daily. And then you need to fortify your immune system.
You can do this through healthy eating, moderate exposure to gentle sunlight and being physically active.
Effective Home Remedies for Tonsil Stones and Tonsillitis
You have to increase your intake of probiotics. Probiotics boost a healthy gut. This, in turn, would boost your immune system. Probiotics have less impact in the mouth.
However, they greatly impact the colon/intestines and gut. An effective way to increase the population of probiotics in your gut is to increase your intake of fermented fruits and vegetables.
You can make pickled fruits and vegetables in the comfort of your home and take but do not add sugar.
How to Make Pickled Fruits and Vegetables
Get a clean glass jar with a tight cover. Get any fruit and vegetable of your choice. Wash them properly under running water and slice them so that they can fit into the bottle.
Arrange them in the bottle, add some garlic, seeds, and nuts and even some herbs like ginger and turmeric. Make sure you wash these root herbs very well because you would soak them with their skin on. Slice or grate them before adding them.
Pour warm water over these fruits and vegetables in the jar. You can also use coconut milk. Do not add sugar. Cover it and leave it alone on your kitchen slab for three days.
After that, you can start taking it. Take as many tablespoons as you can in a day. Use it before 21 days and you can always do a new one when it finishes.
Apart from tonsillitis, this drink can also treat other types of infections. It boosts your immune system by increasing the friendly bacteria in your gut. It boosts mental performance and many other benefits.
Every day, swish coconut oil around your mouth for at least 10 minutes. Coconut oil has powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
This helps to kill the microbes and relieve the condition.
Tonsil stones are caused by anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria can only thrive in an oxygen-deficient environment. They can also be found in the environment low in oxygen and dry places.
If you have tonsillitis, I would advise you to increase your intake of clean water. This will keep your mouth and throat moist and help flush out these unwanted bacteria from the body.
You will also make your mouth and throat an oxygen-rich environment by doing so. These anaerobic bacteria can’t thrive there and tonsil stones won’t form.
Always carry a bottle of water with you. Sip it regularly throughout the day. This would even save you from dehydration. It will also reduce bad breath as well. Bad breath is one of the symptoms of tonsillitis.
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables
If you are battling tonsillitis, you have to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. They prevent the formation of tonsil stones with their rich nutrients and phytochemicals.
They contain antibacterial and antiseptic compounds. They also fight inflammation in the body and increase the oxygen content of your body. Eliminate processed foods, sugar, and dairy, and replace them with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Take them raw to make them more effective. This can be done through the intake of green smoothies. They also contain the purest form of water on earth and this would also hydrate your body.
Fruit juices that are well known as powerful home remedies for tonsillitis are onion juice, cucumber juice, pineapple juice, carrot juice, and beetroot juice.
Do an elimination diet
Dairy and sugar are responsible for tonsillitis in many people including myself. However, other foods have been implicated in causing tonsillitis.
You have to sit down and study your diet and how your body reacts to what you eat. Try experimenting by eliminating certain foods and drinks for at least a couple of weeks. This will help you know the foods that are behind your tonsil stones.
Some other foods that have been implicated in the formation of tonsil stones are:
- Alcohol (it causes dehydration and dry mouth)
Try your and you might find something in your diet responsible for this.
Warm herbal teas and raw honey
Herbal teas helped me to overcome the symptoms of tonsillitis when I didn’t know of milk and sugar as a cause of tonsillitis. They have powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
They also help in treating other types of microbial infections apart from tonsillitis. They are one of the most effective home remedies for this condition. Herbs you can boil and drink as tea are:
- Holy basil
- Fresh figs
- Slippery elm
- Carom seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Mustard seed powder
Take them warm and not hot. Make sure you stir the honey so that it dissolves.
Add ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt to warm water and stir properly. Rinse your mouth with this and also gargle with this solution. This will reduce the pain and sore throat caused by tonsillitis.
It also treats throat infections. Make sure you spit out the water. Don’t swallow it. Gargle and swish it in your mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out.
Afterward, you rinse your mouth with clean water.
Lime juice is a powerful home remedy for tonsillitis. It contains many powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory compounds. Lime also fights odor and can help eliminate mouth odor associated with tonsil stones.
Mix fresh lime juice with equal amounts of water and drink this regularly throughout your day. You can carry it with you in your water bottle. This will relieve the pain and inflammation.
It will heal your swollen tonsils and break the stones. This makes the elimination of these stones easier.
Apart from oil pulling with coconut oil, you can also take in two tablespoons of coconut oil daily. This superfood contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and powerful nutrients.
It makes your teeth and gums healthy and also soothes and heals your tonsils. Coconut oil removes pathogens from the surface of the tonsils. It gives instant relief from pains.
This will make eating, drinking, and speaking easier.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
This is a storehouse of probiotics and antibacterial compounds. It is a powerful home remedy for tonsillitis. Add two tablespoons of this to a glass of warm water.
Stir properly and drink. You can do this thrice daily. It will relieve the pains and inflammation of your tonsils.
- Tonsillolith: not just a stone but a living biofilm; NCBI
- Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths); WebMD
- Tonsil Stones: Causes, Removal & Prevention; LS
- Garlic counteracts virulent bacteria; SD
- Dry Mouth; NIH
- Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic; NCBI
- How Oil Pulling Can Change Your Life; MBG