Although there is not a lot of specific research to confirm it, the nutrients in lemons may be beneficial for those with sore throats, especially when paired with a soothing, warm liquid.

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Tonsillitis or inflammation of the tonsils is a common problem that results in 1.3% of outpatient doctor visits. Many people experience an extremely sore throat due to tonsillitis and are willing to try almost anything to feel better.

Though only a little research has been done to prove the effectiveness of lemons in easing the pain of tonsillitis, there are reasons this home remedy might be worth considering. Here’s more information about the possible benefits of lemons for tonsillitis.

Learn more about tonsillitis.

There is not a lot of research on the use of lemon to treat tonsillitis. However, it is known that staying hydrated when one has tonsillitis is important, so consuming liquids with lemon in it may be beneficial if it increases a person’s water consumption. The taste of lemon may also make drinking lots of water more palatable for some people.

Also, lemon is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which may be beneficial for building the immune system and controlling inflammation. The citric acid in lemon may also help break up mucus.

Because lemon juice is acidic, drinking it can cause a stinging or burning sensation if it’s not diluted. If it’s uncomfortable, stop using it.

You can squeeze fresh lemon into hot water or tea using lemons to help with your tonsillitis. Not a fan of fresh lemons? Lemon juice can be used instead, and you can also add a bit of honey to your tea.

Also, lemon is often found along with other soothing ingredients in cough drops and lozenges. Sucking on these can help keep the throat moist, too.

When to see your healthcare professional

Reach out to a healthcare professional right away if:

  • your sore throat suddenly becomes much worse
  • swelling occurs in the mouth or throat
  • you can’t swallow or have difficulty breathing
  • you have difficulty opening your mouth or speaking
  • signs of abscess develop
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If you have tonsillitis, your doctor may recommend ibuprofen to help reduce fever and inflammation. They may also recommend throat sprays, lozenges, and antiseptic sprays to help with throat pain.

If you have tonsillitis caused by bacteria or develop a bacterial infection related to the tonsillitis, your doctor may recommend antibiotics. In making this determination, they will weigh risks of developing a resistance to the antibiotic with the potential benefits of it.

In most cases, you won’t experience complications from tonsillitis.

Rarely, an abscess may form between the tonsils and the wall of the throat. Some people may also experience frequent recurrences of tonsillitis that require surgery.

Symptoms of tonsillitis typically last only 3 to 4 days.

With antibiotics, even if people develop complications from their tonsillitis, they tend to have good outcomes. When people require surgery because of frequent tonsillitis, their long-term outcome is also good.

There’s no way to eliminate the possibility of developing tonsillitis. Still, to reduce your risk, you can:

  • wash your hands frequently
  • avoid sharing food, drinking glasses, and utensils
  • keep physical distance from those with sore throats

How do I know if I have tonsillitis?

Symptoms of tonsillitis can include a sore throat, pain when swallowing, fever, coughing, and bad breath. To diagnose tonsillitis, your doctor may check your throat for swelling and use a throat swab to test for bacterial infections.

Do I need antibiotics for my tonsillitis?

Most cases of tonsillitis are viral and clear up on their own. If you have a bacterial form of tonsillitis, antibiotics may be needed.

What other home remedies might help with my tonsillitis?

If you have tonsillitis, consider using a humidifier while sleeping to ensure you breathe in moist air. Gargling with salt water, sucking on popsicles or ice chips, and drinking tea with honey may also help.

Tonsillitis is a common condition that can result in a sore throat for several days. Treatment focuses on relieving uncomfortable symptoms, especially when tonsillitis is due to a viral infection.

Research on the use of lemons for tonsillitis is limited, but drinking a soothing liquid may help. If you are diagnosed with tonsillitis, discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional.