Include fever, chills, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and tender, swollen lymph nodes.

What are Tonsilitis and Adenitis?

From Modern Western Medicine

The infection and subsequent inflammation of the tonsils and adenoids. The condition occurs mainly in children. The tonsils are lymph glands, and part of the lymph system. Inside these glands are immune cells that help to protect the upper respiratory tract against infection. When the lymph system becomes overburdened, the tonsils become infected by the microorganisms they fight. Tonsillitis, or the swelling of the tonsils, is most common on children under nine.

Consult a physician if the above symptoms continue for more than 24 hours. Among the most common treatments are bed rest, plenty of fluids, pain-killing drugs, antibiotics, and the surgical removal of tonsils.

From Traditional Medicine

The tonsils and adenoids become inflamed when the blood or lymph vessels become overburdened with toxic waste or bacteria, caused by an imbalanced diet that includes excesses of artificial ingredients, refined foods, sugar, and dairy products. The lymph system tries to eliminate these waste products, but when they are in excess—and temporarily overwhelm the lymph and immune systems—they cause the swelling of the lymph glands. Especially important in the treatment of swollen tonsils and adenoids is to encourage bowel elimination (see Constipation in Part II and the Lymph System in Part IV). Other causes include the overuse of drugs to suppress the common cold, and antibiotics, which eliminate friendly flora and weaken large intestine and immune functions.


Food to Eat

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables, especially the green leafy variety
  • Carrots and carrot juice, which clear acidic blood conditions such as tonsillitis
  • Miso soup
  • Seaweed
  • Vegetable protein, such as beans and tofu
  • Hot water, lemon, and honey tea
  • Citrus fruit
  • Boiled or steamed onions with natural soy sauce (a few drops) for flavor

Foods to Avoid

  • Sweets
  • Highly processed foods
  • Dairy products
  • Flour products
  • Oily foods, such as fried foods and nut butters
  • Refined foods
  • Wheat (in the case of food allergy)


Herbs to Treat Tonsillitis

  • Baptisia: ½ oz. of the root boiled for 10 minutes in a pint of water. Take 1 tbsp. every three or four hours. If nausea or sick feelings result, lower dose. For children, give half or less according to size and age. Standard infusion, 3 – 9 g.
  • Gotu kola: 6 – 15 g per day
  • Garlic: 2 capsules, three times a day



Try the following remedies. If there is no improvement within 24 hours, consult a physician or homeopath. Give every two hours for up to 10 doses during an acute attack:

  • Belladonna 30C for raw throat, high fever with delirium, staring eyes, and bright red tonsils
  • Apis 30C for sore throat without thirst, tender neck region and sensitivity to pressure, and swollen and shiny uvula
  • Hepar sulph 6C for chilliness, irritability, and unreasonableness, for someone who hates undressing or leaving warmth of bed, says pains in throat feel like splinters or fish hooks, or pus from tonsils tastes unpleasant  
  • Mercurius 6C if tonsils are dark red, swollen and sore, if tongue is swollen, if glands in neck are swollen and tender, if breath smells foul, or if there’s copious saliva
  • Phytolacca 6C if throat pain extends up to ears, neck glands are swollen, tonsils are dark red, hot and swollen, or if throat feels rough and constricted
  • Lycopodium 6C if infection start in right tonsil and moves to left, or if child had high fever and feels most ill between 4 and 8 a.m.



  • Gargle with:
    • Hydrastis (goldenseal), myrrh, and glycothymoline (mix 1 oz. if the two herbs
      [as alcohol tincture] with 16 oz. of glycothymoline). Gargle daily four to six times.
    • Hot water, lemon, and salt: gargle three times daily
    • Lemon juice
    • Chlorophyll
  • Throat sprays or swabs:
  • Hydrastis
  • Myrrh
  • Throat pack: Soak a small towel in ice-cold water. Wrap around throat and pin. Leave on 1 – 3 hours. Repeat 2 times per day and at night.



  • Beta-carotene: 15 – 30 mg daily
  • Vitamin B complex: 25 – 50 mg per day
  • Vitamin C: 100 – 500 mg per day
  • Zinc: 15 – 30 mg, three times per day