Tonsillitis Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Home Remedies

Tonsils are two lymph tissues located deep in the oral cavity. The inflammation of tonsils is called tonsillitis. Though it is comprised of 4 different tissues, the palatine tonsils are the most famous. They are located at the root of the tongue.

When we ingest or inhale infected (full of virus, bacteria etc microbe) containing air or food substances, tonsils act as the first line of defence of our immune system. M cells of the tonsils identify and capture the germs. M cells alert B and T cells in the tonsils. This stimulates an emergency immune response in the body.

So, tonsils are the first soldiers to attack pathogens entering from mouth and nose. They also alert the whole immune system about the incoming threat.


During its fight against the germs, sometimes it undergoes swelling and gets red and inflamed. This is often worsened by patient’s food habits such as – excess intake of cold / fried foods etc.

When there is severe infection, patient feels throat pain, swelling in the nearby area, difficulty in swallowing food etc, followed by fever.

In Ayurveda, the condition is referred as ‘Tundikeri’ in Susrutha Samhitha . Acharya Vagbhatta included the disease under diseases of throat, whereas Acharya Susrutha grouped it under the diseases of palate.



Symptoms of of Tonsillitis :
Throat pain with redness,
Swelling inside the throat, near the palate
Burning sensation
Ulcers, blisters
Difficulty in swallowing etc
A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
Hoarseness or loss of voice
Headache, Ear pain
Loss of appetite,  Difficulty swallowing
Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
Fever, chills,  Bad breath.

Causative factors

Reasons for Tonsillitis according to Ayurveda:
Tonsillitis can be caused / worsened due to
1. Intake of cold water or cold food stuff such as ice cream, cold drinks
2. Cold climate
3. Exposure to cold breeze
4. Excess intake of oily food

Involvement of Doshas

All the three Doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha is observed here. Indulgence on cold foods and activities (such as cold exposure, excess talking), causing Vata and Kapha Dosha imbalance worsens the condition further.

Line of treatment

Line of treatment for Tonsillitis according to Ayurveda:
1. Managing the local pain, redness and swelling (inflammation)
2. Treating the fever / infection caused due to the infection
3. Lifestyle adjustment / diet restrictions to avoid further damage to tonsils and to get it back to its healthy, original shape
4. Surgery – if tonsillitis is occurring very frequently, if the tonsils are so swollen that it is making it difficult for the patient to breath or swallow or if there is huge pus collection.

Sushruta has recommended incision and drainage method of surgical treatment, where needed.
Whereas in modern surgical practice, excision is recommended in the severity of the illness.

In cases where surgery is not necessary, treatment module of Oedema (Shotha Chikitsa) is applied.

In allopathic method, a throat swab is taken to test the type of bacteria which is causing the tonsillitis and antibiotics are prescribed according the the bacteria. If no bacteria is detected, then local treatment such as vaporiser, lozenges are prescribed.
If the symptoms are worse, then surgical measures are adopted.

Following are the herbs, medicines and home remedies used in treating tonsillitis. Note that, if symptoms do not improve within 1 – 2 days of the below measures, then it is best to consult an allopathic physician for further advice.

Single drugs

Single drugs useful in tonsillitis:
Dronapushpi – Leucas cephalotus – widely used in treating liver disorders, jaundice, asthma, cough cold etc.
Daruharidra – Berberis aristata – used in treating eye, ear, nose, throat disorders, skin disorders with itching, diabetes, urinary tract diseases, etc
Tejohwa- Toothache tree – Zanthoxylum alatum Roxb. – one of the herb used for brushing teeth, useful against infection, pain and burning sensation.
Katphala- Myrica esculenta Buch. – useful in relieving excess thirst, pain and swelling
Pippali –Long pepper- Piper longum – Useful in cold, viral infections, cough, reduces local inflammation and swelling
Pushkaramoola – Inula reacemosa – useful in respiratory disorders, bronchitis, asthma. cold, cough
Shunthi – Dry ginger-Zingiber officinale – very good anti inflammatory, useful in cold, cough etc
Maricha – Black Pepper –Piper nigrum – useful in throat infections
Karkatakasringi – Pistacia integrima – Useful in hiccups, cough, fever and upper respiratory tract infections

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations recommended in Tonsillitis:
Shringyadi choornam – Simple combination of three herbs, used in treatment of cough, fever and vomiting in children.
Pushkaramoolasava –  used in treating Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, Bronchitis etc.
Pippalyasava –  It is used in the treatment of anaemia, piles, digestive complaints, sprue, liver disorders, lymph tissue disorders etc.
Katphala kashaya.
Dashamoola katutraya kashaya – It is widely used in the treatment of respiratory conditions.
Sithopaladi choorna – widely used Ayurvedic medicines for cough, even for kids.
Thalisadi choorna – used in the Ayurvedic treatment of respiratory and digestive conditions.
Shwasakuthara rasa – used in treatment of cough, cold, asthma, bronchitis, anorexia, indigestion.
Kaphakutara rasa -used in Kapha type of fever, with heaviness in body.
Kanchanara Guggulu – Used in lymphatic system disorders, fever, cough, cold, etc. Useful to reduce pain and inflammation
Nimbadi Kashayam – Useful even in early stages of bacterial infections.
Khadiradi Vati – It is advised to keep this tablet in mouth and swallow its pieces slowly, Used in Ayurvedic treatment of stomatitis, bad breath, diseases of teeth, dental caries, diseases of throat, tonsillitis etc
Gorochanadi Gulika – used in cough, cold, bronchitis, asthma, diseases of throat, tonsillitis, chronic fever.
Nirgundyadi oil – Applied locally over the inflamed area to reduce pain and swelling

Ayurvedic home remedies

Simple home remedies for Tonsillitis
1.  25 ml of lemon juice is added to 100 ml of water and boiled. While boiling 5 gram each of salt, pepper and turmeric powder are added. When the amount of water is reduced to 50 -60 ml , it is filtered. This is used for mouth gargling. Two to three days of gargling gives good relief from pain and swelling caused due to tonsillitis.

2. The thorns of Tejohwa (toothache tree) -Zanthoxylum alatum Roxb. is collected. It is rubbed well with lemon juice and fine paste is made. This is applied to the neck, nearby the swelling caused due to tonsillitis. 1 to 2 pinches is taken internally also. It helps to pacify redness and swelling effectively.

3. Take a cup of water, add two pinch (1 pinch = quantity that you can hold between your thumb and index fingers) of table salt, four pinches of turmeric powder and four pinches of neem powder. Heat it for 2 minutes. When it is still warm and tolerable to your mouth, use it for gargling. Once prepared, you can use it for 4 – 5 hours. Then prepare afresh and use it again. Do it for 5 – 6 times in a day

Wholesome food and habits

Wholesome food and habits in Tonsillitis: 
Get enough rest
Warm food and beverages
Use only warm water for drinking
Green tea added with tulsi, pepper, ginger,
Intake of Pomegranate
Use of lemon
Use of black pepper in diet

Unwholesome food and habits

Unwholesome food and habits in Tonsillitis – Avoid these – 
Day sleep – if you have fever, you can take rest, but if it is just beginning stage of tonsillitis, it is best to avoid day sleep. As per Ayurveda, it causes Kapha build-up, leading to worsening.
Exposure to cold breeze, water etc
Intake of cold foods such as ice creams, aerated drinks, cold water
Intake of oily food
Milk and dairy products – causes increase of Kapha and leads to worsening
Fruits and vegetables which cause cold

Tonsils are the organs which contribute in the immunity of the individuals. It prevents several kinds of upper and lower Respiratory Tract Infections by giving alarm and by fighting the infection directly.
Proper and in time treatment helps to prevent the surgical intervention of tonsils.
Article by Dr Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar

25 comments on “Tonsillitis Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Home Remedies

  • Maah

    24/02/2015 - 5:56 am

    Thank you. In the case of small children who cannot gargle, what simple remedy is to be given to reduce inflammation and reduce pain? When i was five my tonsils were removed. The doctors told my mom to give me ice cream for infected tonsils. And this is why we need to know something about Ayurveda.

    Reply to comment
  • A. K. Kapur

    24/02/2015 - 12:10 pm

    very good basic information for all parents.

    Reply to comment
  • Sudha

    24/02/2015 - 4:07 pm

    Great article! This will help a lot of parents. Is it right to remove tonsils since its the first line of defence ?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      24/02/2015 - 4:50 pm

      If the tonsillitis is very recurrent, say, more than 7 times in a year, making it difficult for the child to go through day-to-day activities,
      If it is causing air way obstruction, with symptoms like voice change, choking, gasping for air during sleep, difficulty in nose breathing, difficulty in swallowing, loud snoring, noisy breathing,
      If the infection is spreading to ear, nose, throat and if the infection is turning chronic
      Long term swollen lymph nodes, throat glands, despite all precautions and treatment
      In these above conditions the risk to the health of the patient over-weighs benefits of normal functions of tonsils. Hence, surgery is indicated.

      Reply to comment
  • k sureshbabu

    24/02/2015 - 6:56 pm

    Thanks. Most of the childrensuffer for tonsillitis. Most useful remedies. Now most of the people think how to avoid influenza and swineflu .please give valueble information about swineflu remedies.

    Reply to comment
  • Asha Shivaram

    25/02/2015 - 3:00 pm

    Hello doctor, thanks for the informative article. Can you give similar information on adenoiditis and fluid buildup in the middle ear..

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      26/04/2015 - 5:55 pm

      Treatment for adenoiditis is quite similar to tonsillitis.
      Will write about middle ear fluid buildup in future.

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    27/09/2015 - 8:08 pm

    Thank you very much for your feedback and for finding my articles useful. 🙂

    Regarding your queries –
    1. Salt turmeric and neem powder gargle – you need to prepare on your own.
    2. Pomegranate fruit can be consumed as it is. If you wish to take juice, avoid taking it from the market. prepare by yourself, without adding sugar or without using ice or cold water. Boiled and cooled water is preferable in tonsillitis.

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    11/07/2016 - 4:53 pm

    If it is not acute tonsilitis and if fever is not there, and surgery can be delayed by a month time, then Ayurvedic treatment can be tried.

    Reply to comment
  • Samskar Ebyaha

    26/12/2016 - 11:33 am

    Will having Chavanaprash in the morning daily help children in developing a defence mechanism against chest and throat ailments so that the tonsils does not have to swell up to do the job?

    Reply to comment
  • Sameer

    13/03/2017 - 4:51 pm

    Hello Doctor – Your article actually hits the nail. Thanks.

    I had my Tonsils removed in my childhood.

    But from almost 8-10 years, I have been facing the problem of Bad Breath. I have to cover it up using Cloves or some sort of chewing gum / mint / toffee etc. This is really getting embarassing, and if I don’t chew such things, the smell is felt and the person talking to me can sense it.

    My digestion is also very poor and I get a lot of burps with or without food. I have an unusual tummy just below the chest.

    I’m sure my Tonsils are not functioning correctly, and they are in turn not allowing the Thyroid Gland to perform well, which eventually impacts my metabolism.

    But since I already have my Tonsils removed while I was a kid, how do I remediate my Tonsillitis? Do I have to undergo another Tonsillectomy? Would that fight my Bad Breath?

    Please help.


    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    28/07/2017 - 4:23 pm

    That is wonderful to know Arvind. All the best with your studies 🙂 In most of the cases of tonsillitis, surgery is not needed.

    Reply to comment
  • Vadim Poletaev

    02/03/2018 - 2:18 pm

    Namaste Doctor, is it good idea to use taila gandush if tonsillites with pus & necrotic tissue (to take away pus & clear tonsill tissue)?

    Reply to comment
  • Ishwarya

    21/03/2018 - 9:42 am

    Hello Doctor,
    I had tonsillitis before four months and got cured. I’m afraid to take any cold stuffs and also fruits that are sour. Do I get affected if I eat these things even after getting cured? Should I avoid these types of foods lifelong to avoid getting affected again? Please advise.
    Thank you

    Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    26/03/2018 - 11:12 pm

    Hi, you can use the tonsillitis medicines again. But better to consult the same doctor again, before taking any medicine.

    Reply to comment
  • Jijo

    27/03/2018 - 7:42 am

    Does the tonsillitis cause cough with phlegm

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      28/03/2018 - 12:33 am

      An infection episode causing tonsillitis may also cause cough and phlegm.

      Reply to comment
  • Saweera

    30/04/2018 - 9:56 am

    Hiii dr im hving hypersensitivity pneumontis n im hving tonsils i need sumthing for my throat plzzz help

    Reply to comment
  • Erik

    03/05/2018 - 6:52 pm

    Can use of licorice root aggravate kapha and lead to tonsil stones. I had use about 450 mg. licorice powder per day for about 1.5 months and i think it caused me some mucus congestion and snoring while sleeping, and seems to cause abdominal distention if i use more than a little, making the stool hard to pass. I noticed a few white patches on my tonsils and took one off with a swab, and it bled a little bit. I seem to get high kapha, but don’t gain much excessive weight. Licorice root may not be an herb most suited for my constitution perhaps. I also used it in the past and it seemed to make non stop clear mucus run out of my nose for about 2 weeks, i felt foggy headed in the am, and years ago a licorice tea made me look puffy for a day or so.

    Reply to comment
  • Affan Zafar

    15/06/2018 - 11:14 am

    Hello sir ! I am 16 yrs old. Since childhood I m having my tonsils swelled up , and till now I have suffered from recurring tonsilitis in a month or two and now some pits have developed in my tonsils, and when I eat food the debris get strucked in the pits which causes a lot of frustation and sometimes I vomit out the food . Though I have salt water gargels at night and the tonsils have reduced in swelling to some extent that tonsilitis now doesn’t occurs but the problem of strucking of food has not been stopped. I have consulted an ENT doctor who advised me to have tonsillectomy .
    Sir, I am aware of the risks after tonsillectomy , so I request you to please tell me the best treatment to cure my tonsils’ pits .

    I will eagerly wait for your reply.
    Affan Zafar.

    Reply to comment
  • Erik

    09/07/2018 - 1:08 am

    Thank you! It resolved itself after stopping the licorice root.

    Does/can turmeric aggravate vata in general?

    Reply to comment
  • Nutan

    25/08/2018 - 3:14 pm

    Thank you doctor for the article. I would like suggestions on my son’s tonsillitis. He has both palatine and lingual tonsil. He is on Tonsilaid , Septilin and liv 52 for the last seven months. Please advise

    Reply to comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Easy Ayurveda Video Classes

Buy Online Video Courses

Buy Easy Ayurveda Books