Tonsillitis/Sore Throat Treatment

by Jeanne Rose
04/21/01, updated 11/20/06
(pdf version)

INTRODUCTION: Tonsillitis is a very painful condition with fever and chills, swollen lymph glands in throat and neck, headache, sinus blockage, earache and nausea. Typically, it affects children and is usually caused by a streptococcus infection. Chronic tonsillitis is a sign of an overloaded lymph system. The lymphatic system is responsible for removing from the body the various toxins we are exposed to. If the lymphatic system is overloaded, an infection can occur.

The standard of care for a bout of tonsillitis is a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics do treat the bacterial infection, however they also play havoc on the body. Since they kill all types of bacteria, the bacteria that line the gut and aid in food assimilation are also destroyed. Anyone taking an antibiotic should supplement with an acidophilus/bifidus type supplement to replace what is lost. There are several alternative therapies for tonsillitis.

We have been experimenting with A. ludoviciana in the hopes of finding out a variety of uses for this new and interesting hydrosol and essential oil. Because it is so full of esters (85%), it was originally assumed that its most potent uses would be in skin care. However, on researching its American Indian roots, it was found that the herb used as a decoction or infusion was used primarily to treat respiratory infections, in particular sore throat.

For further information review chapter 14 of the Herbal Studies Course by Jeanne Rose regarding herbs for the respiratory system. The index of will also be a help using the aromatic oils. And donít forget the value of studying either the Aromatherapy Studies Course or The Herbal Studies Course both by Jeanne Rose.

HYDROSOLS: On 11/14/00 Owyhee Hydrosol was tried by EC for her sore throat. She had taken 2 aspirins at 7:25 am. E. and Jeanne Rose discussed her throat. It was decided to try the Owyhee hydrosol. At 9 am the throat was still scratchy and sore, the aspirin has given no relief. Two sprays of the Owyhee were used successively. Immediately relief. The sore throat was barely noticeable.

We have also found that Bay Leaf hydrosol as an alternate to the Owyhee is useful because it seems to be a potent killer of bacteria, analgesic and an effective aid as a spray in the throat when it begins to scratch itch and is on its way to becoming sore and inflamed. Another powerful antibacterial and antiviral spray would be a combination of Tea tree and Melissa hydrosol. Oregano can be used as an inhalant or the hydrosol throat spray.

ESSENTIAL OILS: If you cannot get any of these hydrosols, you may, as an alternative, use the essential oils of Owyhee, Tea tree and Melissa. Add 10 drops to 2 ounces of water, shake each time you use it and spray directly into the throat.

You can also use the various essential oils that are in the Aromatherapy Kit for Colds & Flu. These oils can be used in gargles, nasal lavage, and by inhalation for all sorts of problems of the respiratory system. They include, Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Black Spruce and others.

EXTERNAL MASSAGE: A gentle massage of all your sore spots when you have cold/flu/throat problems would be a good alternative treatment. Use essential oils of Juniper berry (diuretic), Rosemary (stimulating to mind, eases muscle pain), Cedarwood (Cedrus) and Lavender (relaxing), would be a good blend. 10 drops of the mixed oils per ounce of carrier oil is about right.

   Eucalyptus radiata 1.5%
   Pine (any kind) 1.5%
   Lavender (spike) 1.0%
   Cinnamon 0.75%
   Peppermint 0.75%
   Rosmarinus pyramidalis 0.5%
   Origanum 0.5%
   glycerin 93.5% or sugar and alcohol and glycerin

This equals 6.5% essential oil and smells and tastes like it. This is therapeutic and cleansing when sprayed into the throat.

Another bronchial/sinus cleanser would be any mixture of respiratory oils (Aromatherapy Colds & Flu Kit) dissolved in alcohol and with glycerin/or honey added and sprayed frequently into the mouth.

HERBAL AND AROMATHERAPY BATHS: Use a variety of herbs, particularly Rosemary, Violet leaves, and just about any other herb you have available. Use 4 oz by weight of the herbs, infused in 2 quarts of just under boil water. Infuse for 20 minutes and then strain the liquid into a very warm bath. You can also add Epsom salts to the bath to detoxify your skin and body. Soak for at least 20 minutes. Rinse with clean warm water, put on a pair of clean pajamas and go to bed. Use the warm leftover herbs as a fomentation or compress around your neck.

DIET: Often a short fast is recommended; the throat is very swollen and inflamed, making swallowing very painful. Warm vegetable and meat broth and vegetable juices are good sources of nutrition. Fruit juices contain lots of sugar that can interfere with white blood cells, and should be used sparingly.


HERBS: Herbal medicine can help with the infection and secondary symptoms as well. Gargling Sage or Echinacea, with a little bit of Lemon juice and honey can soothe a swollen throat and provide antiseptic therapy directly to the tonsils. Echinacea can also be taken internally to boost the immune system. Chamomile or Peppermint tea can help alleviate nausea, headaches and fever. Mullein and Cleavers tinctures are good lymphatic tonics. A Mullein fomentation can also provide some relief from swelling and pain. Prepare a strong mullein tea and soak a cotton or wool cloth in it, wring and wrap around the throat. Apple cider vinegar can be used in the same way. Both should be made as hot as can be tolerated, and left on as long as you would like. Thyme tea and gargle can also help reduce throat pain, fever, mucous and headaches.


1/2 lb freshly picked Violet flowers (picked February-April)
2 cups water

Pour just at boil water over the flowers using a small glass pot. Cover, and steep the flowers overnight, Strain through silk or cheesecloth Heat honey in a double boiler, slowly adding the strained Violet flower liquid Simmer gently until it has formed a syrup consistency. Add the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon changes the color from blue to purple and the taste becomes perkier. Take a Tablespoonful, as many times a day as needed. Intermix this treatment with a spray of Niaouli/Tea tree to the inside of the mouth as close to the tonsils as possible. * Jeanne Rose.

VITAMINS: Vitamin A aids tissue repair and had antibacterial properties. Take 100,000 IU a day for 3 days, then 25,000 IU a day until the infection clears. Make sure you are taking Vitamin A, not beta-carotene. Vitamin C stimulates the immune system and also has antibiotic properties; take 5 - 15 grams a day. B-complex vitamins help maintain throat health and aid in the production of antibodies, take 50 mg/twice a day. Zinc lozenges have antiseptic and immune stimulating properties; take 1-15 mg. lozenge every 3 to 4 hours, until the condition improves. Please note all these dosages are for adults and children weighing over 100 pounds. For children 70 - 100 pounds, and over age 6, use three-quarters the dosage. For children less than 70 pounds and over age 6, use half the dose. If the child is under 6 consult a healthcare professional for the optimal dose.

HOMEOPATHY: Homeopathic Belladonna and Aconite may be useful in the early stages of the infection. A general aid for tonsillitis is Phytolacca. If there is pus present, Hepar sulph. is used. Recommended dosage is 6C potency, three times a day. The tissue salts Ferr. Phos. and Kali Mur is effective against tonsillitis as well. Use 6X potency, 3 to 4 tablets each under the tongue every 2 hours.

EMOTIONS: When you are ill, depression is always a possibility. Keep Palmarosa in the diffuser as an antiviral and to cleanse the air. Inhale any of the anti-depressing scents such as Bergamot, Spearmint and spray with Melissa or Lemon Verbena hydrosol on your pillow as an antiviral and to cheer you up. Watch silly cartoons so that you can laugh and help cough up any congestion.

ALWAYS USE baths, essential oils, hydrosols, dietary supplements and anything that you can possibly think of that will help with your condition. Read! Magazines, books and only the best and most non-new age common sense info. EX: if something is beeping and it doesn't have an electric cord attached, then you know that it works on batteries, therefore disconnect by removing the batteries, don't bash it against the wall!

NETI POT: Finally, do not forget cleansing daily with the Neti pot. This will cleanse the throat by removing old mucus debris in the nose and throat. Use an aromatic salt. Sea salt with Thyme and Tea tree e.o. added. A good formula is 2 ounces by quantity of sea salt. Grind or with a mortar and pestle, mash 6 drops of essential oil into 1 teaspoon of the salt. Then mix this with the balance of the salt. Store in an airtight glass jar. Use ∂ t. salt to 8 oz warm water.

ACUPUNCTURE: Acupuncture can be used to relieve the sore throat pain; it can also assist the body in overcoming the infection that is causing the tonsillitis. If the condition is chronic, acupuncture can also be used to boost the body's immune function and prevent recurrence. Chinese herbal medicine has many antibiotic herbs at its disposal, as well as herbs to help with inflammation and irritation; a qualified practitioner that will match your particular symptoms can devise a formula. Find a good acupuncturist that will really work with you.

SYNERGY: Violet leaves and flowers as a compress on the throat. Inhalation of Frankincense. Spray of Bay Laurel or Owyhee hydrosol down the throat.

RESOURCE: Jeanne Rose, 219 Carl St., San Francisco, CA 94117, PH 415-564-6785
375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols by Jeanne Rose Colds & Flu Kit

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Jeanne Rose, Consultation Notes beginning in 1970 Stephen Byrnes, N.D, R.N.C.P. from Healthy & Natural, Vol. 7, Issue 4 Rose, Jeanne, The Herbal Studies Course, 1992, part II, Chapter 14 Rose, Jeanne. Herbs & Things (general reference work)

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Author Bio: Since 1969, Jeanne Rose has also authored over 20 books including the well-respected
375 Essential Oils & Hydrosols, a complete reference book of plant extracts and hydrosols with
phyto-chemical, clinical and botanical indices. Recently, she has produced a workbook on Blending Essential Oils and another transformative book on Natural Perfumery. Jeanne has a unique and mindful approach as she reaches out into the hearts of thousands of readers through her Jeanne Rose News-Online email forum and seminars. In addition to teaching through books and her three home-study courses, Jeanne travels throughout the United States and Canada during the Fall and Spring of each year to teach weekend Seminars on various aspects of aromatherapy and herbalism.

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Essential Herbal - Jan 2007

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