There is nothing more annoying than getting that tickle-y itch at the back of your throat to keep you up all night, only for it to develop into a full-on sore throat the next morning.
I had tonsillitis over the summer (tragic), and Lawd knows it wasn’t because of the cold. I figured it was because I was exerting my body and wasn’t resting enough, and I know that because I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had tonsillitis in my whole life. It was my body’s way of telling me if you don’t slow down, Imma shut you down woman!
Ultimately the best remedy is to prevent illness in the first place by eating a balanced healthy diet with immune-boosting foods and taking good quality supplements to support your diet. Another important factor is to reduce your stress levels and get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis. We all know this don’t we??
Those of us that live in the real world have plenty of stress to deal with (werk, deadlines, werk, bills, werk, kiddy tantrums - sometimes all in the same day), and let’s not even talk about sleep when you have littles. With all that going on, it can also be challenging to always have healthy meals prepared due to time constraints. It’s no surprise that our immune systems give way with all that we have to juggle! (By the way, if you're looking for quick and/or easy recipes to simplify your life, you can check out some of my recipes here).
Please do yourself a favour, don’t beat yourself up about it, you’re just adding to the stress. We all know the struggle, be kind to yourself and just stop whatever it is you’re doing for a bit, and allow yourself to rest.
So what causes sore throat or tonsillitis?
A sore throat can either be caused by a viral infection or bacterial infection (which is usually referred to as strep throat). The same goes for tonsillitis, but in most tonsillitis cases a strain of bacteria called streptococcus pyogenes is the main culprit.
Why bother with home remedies? Aren’t they old wives tales?
Now you may already know that viral infections can’t be treated (said the health experts), and that bacterial infections are usually treated with a dose of antibiotics. And although antibiotics can zap the bacterial infection outta your body, they actually aren’t good for you in terms of your overall health and long term health. Let me explain...
Chemotherapy is a good example to use since it’s a treatment that can be effective in killing cancer cells, but it also leaves the patient weak and susceptible to infection as the strong chemicals that are injected into the body can leave the patient with a very poor immune system.
Antibiotics kinda work the same way, but more so in our gut. Antibiotics don’t only target the bad bacteria that is causing the infection, it also tampers with the gut flora balance in our digestive tract meaning our gut health is compromised.
Several studies have shown the adverse effects of antibiotics use on the gut and overall health. I personally have even experienced an increase in infections immediately after taking a dose of antibiotics.
So if there is an alternative way to treat yourself using effective natural remedies without affecting your health adversely then why not?
I’m not anti doctors or conventional medicine by any means, I just prefer natural treatments and remedies where appropriate. And if I or any member of my family suffer anything that requires medical attention or hospital treatment, then you will find me there yo. #TeamAintNoFool
I put together a list of my 3 go-to natural remedies to help relieve the symptoms of sore throat or tonsillitis. The best thing about them is that you most probably have the ingredients in your kitchen cupboard or pantry already, and since they are natural you can give your body a break from unnecessarily being dependant on over the counter painkillers (paracetamol, Lemsip, etc...).
3 remedies for sore throat and tonsillitis
1. Lemon and ginger tea with cinnamon and Manuka honey
Ginger is an ancient remedy that has an endless list of medicinal properties including being antibacterial, antiviral and an antioxidant while lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C to help boost your immune system.
Cinnamon is another great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial spice, whereas Manuka honey is one of nature’s finest antimicrobial sources, having a nutritional profile that’s 4 times that of normal honey. That sore throat ain’t got nothin’ on Manuka.
When purchasing Manuka honey, make sure you get the powerful stuff, so any honey with a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) of 10 or above is ideal to support natural healing.
Pour some freshly boiled water over a fingernail sized chunk of crushed ginger.
Add a good pinch of cinnamon and a tablespoon of Manuka honey to the tea and allow it to steep for 10 mins.
Finally add a slice of lemon.
Drink twice daily or more until your symptoms improve.
Better yet, if you want to save yourself time, you can grab a smallish glass jar with a lid (I like to recycle nut butter or honey glass jars) and slice 1-2 lemons and couple of thumb sized pieces of ginger (also sliced), and layer them in the jar and just pour manuka honey to the top. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and you can keep it in the fridge for months! Just take a tablespoon of the lemon/ginger honey and add to hot water and sip your sore throat away.
2. Apple cider vinegar solution
Apple cider vinegar in its raw, unprocessed form has incredible cleansing and nourishing properties.
Add 2 teaspoons of ACV to 250ml (1 cup) of warm water and gargle a mouthful of the solution for a few seconds, spit it out and repeat until the glass is empty.
3. Onion, garlic, ginger and chilli infused lemon solution
I know this sounds insanely pungent but it’s not as bad as you think! The first time my husband tried this a few years back, his sore throat totally disappeared the next morning.
Chop 1 small onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 chilli and a thumb sized piece of ginger and place in a small jar or flat Pyrex dish with a lid (the flatter the better so they can infuse the lemon juice, see next step).
Juice 1-2 large lemons (depending on how often you want to use this solution) and pour the lemon juice into the Pyrex dish and cover. Leave it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.
Strain the solution and gargle a mouthful 2-3 times a day until symptoms improve.
Thankfully, the lemon juice has a way of toning down the pungent smell of the onions and garlic, so your breath won’t stink afterwards. It doesn’t taste great though, let’s be real.
I reckon if you try combining some of the remedies mentioned above, you would get even better results.
Oh by the way, I am not a doctor. So if your symptoms persist for over 3 days, or if you have any long term health issues please speak to a health professional.
What natural remedies do you use for treating a sore throat?