Tonsillitis & Sore Throats

Sore throats and mild bouts of tonsillitis can respond really well to homeopathic treatment if caught early. However, recurrent or chronic tonsillitis will require constitutional treatment for a satisfactory and long term resolution.

Some children have naturally enlarged tonsils without too many problems and these days removal is much rarer than in the past. Resolution of enlarged tonsils can be slow, as with enlarged glands. My view is that if a child is well, despite enlarged glands or tonsils and your GP is happy that nothing else is going on, then just hang in there with your homeopath!

As always, I do recommend removing cow’s milk from the diet and limiting other forms of dairy, particularly while a child has an acute illness, as generally I don’t believe it’s good for health. Giving some form of immune support such as our Immune Boost or perhaps vitamin C can also move things along.

Here are some of the main remedies for tonsillitis and as always if your home prescribing is not effective, see your GP and contact your homeopath. And just a heads up, you can still use homeopathics, even if you have to resort to antibiotics.

Remember to pick the remedy that covers most of the case for best results. You may need to give your remedy reasonably frequently to start with, perhaps as often as every 10 minutes for a maximum of five doses if symptoms are very intense. If there is no change after these initial five doses, then consider another remedy or contact your homeopath.

Main Remedies

Belladonna – Acute tonsillitis with rapid onset, mainly right sided inflammation and burning. Worse slightest touch of throat, worse for swallowing and cold air. Tongue red or with a “strawberry” appearance. High fever, flushed face, cold hands and feet.  Often low thirst.

Hepar Sulph – More advanced pharyngitis and tonsillitis often with pus on the tonsils or ulcerated throat. Pains radiate to the ear on swallowing. Very painful as if a splinter or fish bone in the throat. Worse for cold air, cold drinks or food, swallowing. Better for warmth and warm drinks.  Patient wants to be covered up and kept warm, especially the throat.

Lachesis – for everything from mild sore throats to serious inflammation or abscess. Lump or sense of constriction. Worst left side or inflammation begins on the left and goes to the right.  Tonsils swollen, deep red or even purple. Swollen uvula, abscess. Worse night in sleep or in the morning on waking, worse for swallowing yet a constant desire to swallow. Worse for sweets or acids, warm drinks, coughing or clearing the throat, touching the throat, tight collars. Better for cold drinks, easier to swallow solids than liquids or saliva.

Lycopodium – right-sided pharyngitis or tonsillitis, or begins on right side. Worse afternoon from 4 to 8pm, better for warm drinks.

Mercurius (Merc Sol) – Acute or recurring symptoms. Suppurative (that’s with pus!), dirty pharynx and tonsils, often right sided. Sensation of an apple core lodged in the throat. Worse night, heat of the bed, hot or cold (like a barometer). Tongue is coated and dirty-looking. Metallic taste on tongue. Tongue swollen and teeth leave imprints, offensive breath. Increased saliva especially at night.

Other Frequently Indicated Remedies

Aconite – with sudden onset after exposure to cold or cold, dry winds.  Painful swallowing though intensely thirsty for cold drinks (opposite Belladonna). Pharynx and tonsils bright red without pus; burning and mildly swollen.  Patient may have high fever and be very restless often with anxiety or fear.

Apis – keynotes of Apis is are swelling, shininess of affected area and burning so these will be obvious symptoms.  Patient will be worse for heat and hot drinks and in a warm room, and better for cold food or drinks, though low thirst.

Arsenicum Album (Ars Alb) – burning pain in throat often with small ulcerations or vesicles. May have right sided burning pain which is better for heat and warm drinks, and worse for cold or cold drinks.  Tongue almost always has a milky white coating and patient is usually chilly, anxious or restless.

Baptisia – Painless inflammation of pharynx and tonsils.  Enlarged tonsils and uvula, deep red or even purple. Breath horribly offensive, tongue dirty and often ulceration. Face may be flushed and heavy, dull and confused (compare Gelsemium). Septic states.

Bryonia – sore throat after catching cold. Tongue is dry and may be brown or dirty in the middle. There is usually marked thirst, irritability and a desire to be left alone.  Patient is worse for any motion, ie swallowing, coughing, speaking.

Chamomilla – Pharyngitis or tonsillitis associated with ear pain or teething, especially in infants and toddlers. Irritable, flushed, especially one cheek or the other.  Better warmth and warm drinks, worse for swallowing or examining the throat.  Consider our ABC combination (Aconite, Belladonna, Chamomilla 30c) if you’re not quite sure what to give.

Gelsemium – Slow onset of throat inflammation, coming on over several days. Pain extends to the ear on swallowing, throat feels too weak to swallow. Patient feels week, chills up back, thirstless, droopy eyelids and generally heavy. Feels worse for warm food.

Lac Caninum – One of the remedies in past times for diphtheria! Inflamed tonsils and pharynx to point of ulcers and suppuration. Pains alternate sides or location. There is a lump sensation often distinctly on one side. Feels better for cold drinks. Worse around the period. An old keynote is that the membrane on the throat is pearly white and shiny, which we are unlikely to see these days!!

Phosphorus – Rawness of throat with marked hoarseness. Swelling of tonsils or uvula.  Colds often descend to chest and throat and patient is very exhausted. Worse for cold air, talking, coughing or sneezing, yawning, better for cold drinks.

Phytolacca – Burning or soreness in throat, tonsils or root of the tongue. Pain is often described as a “burning ball of iron” stuck in the throat. Dark or purple inflamed tonsils, peri-tonsillar abscess.  Pain extends to ears on swallowing. Hard and painful cervical glands (in the neck). Worse right side, worse by turning head to the left, at night and for touch. Much worse for hot drinks and cannot swallow them. Better for becoming cold and for cold drinks.

Pulsatilla – Pharyngitis from catching cold with thick greenish nasal discharge. Sensation of swelling or fullness in the throat. Patient will often be weepy and clingy.

Rhus Tox – Sore throat begins on the left and extends to the right. Associated hoarseness and laryngitis. Tongue coated white, red tip to tongue like a triangle. Pain on first swallowing, better after several gulps are down. This is one of our big musculoskeletal remedies, so there will usually become achiness and restless with symptoms. Better for motion and warmth.  Also better for warm drinks and swallowing and worse for cold, damp weather.


Melanie Creedy originally trained in the UK in the early 1990s and holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Homeopathy. She is registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH) and is a member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association.
 She was Vice President and Professional Development Coordinator of the Australian Homoeopathic Association from 2011 to 2015 and is editor of the AHA National Newsletter.
 
Melanie has used homeopathy for 30 years and has been in practice since 1998. For many years she ran The Children’s Ear Clinic in Western Australia, but since her tree change to Tasmania, has a special interest in women’s and children’s health generally and helping individuals manage their journey on the spiritual path with homeopathy and her range of essences. Melanie has developed her own methods of dealing with complex cases over the years and offers distance consultations via phone and skype to allow people Australia-wide to access her services.
Homeopathy is a traditional medicine. It may be used in conjunction with other medicines. For any ongoing chronic condition, it is important to be assessed or examined by your healthcare professional or specialist.
Always seek medical advice in emergencies. The information provided in this blog does not constitute medical advice but is for information only. If in doubt as to the appropriateness of a  suggestion or treatment seek advice from your homeopath.