Conditions and illnesses surrounding the tonsils (such as tonsillitis) are some of the more important health problems that school-age children face. These conditions can have a significant impact on physical health and social wellbeing. In a lot of cases, medical response is treated with antibiotics and painkillers. This is aimed at eliminating the infection and reducing the pain and inflammation.

Tonsillitis Symptoms and Duration

The main symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat, a very sore throat that makes it difficult for children to eat during the infection. A feature that it shares with many other illnesses, including the cold and the flu.

The main differentiating factor is hoarseness and nasal stuffiness. Difficulty swallowing, due to the swollen tonsils, is also often present. Symptoms typically last 1-2 weeks, although reinfection may occur in some cases. Chronic cases, or cases with frequent reinfection, may also occur. 


Managing tonsillitis with herbs often has the following objectives:

  • Modulation of the immune response
  • Aiding the body, and immune system, to fight off the infection
  • Reducing inflammation, swelling, and pain
  • Improving lymphatic drainage/flow Long term immune support to reduce the risk of chronic reoccurrence

Herbs that are used to help meet these goals include:

  • Infection management: Thyme, Sage, Myrrh, Baptisia, and Goldenseal
  • Improve immune function: Echinacea
  • Reduce inflammation: Licorice and Marshmallow
  • Rebuild the immune system: Astragalus and Siberian ginseng

Nutritional Support

  • Zinc: support immune system function and increase resistance to infection.
  • Vitamin C: reduction in oxidative stress which is high for anyone with tonsillitis
  • Vitamin D: improves immune function and helps to inhibit inflammation of the respiratory tract.
  • Vitamin E: antioxidant support.

Ruth Griffiths

Ruth has had a lifelong interest in and passion for nature, natural medicine, and the human experience. She began her studies in Health Science, Aromatherapy, Remedial Therapies, including Manual Lymphatic Drainage, in Melbourne over 25 years ago. On completion of these studies, Ruth operated a clinic for 8 years in the Grampians region, specializing in […]

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