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Heather Hanks
Written by Heather Hanks

Reviewed by Physician Anita Pee and Dr Angelica L Dumapit on September 20, 2022

Tips For Soothing Your Child’s Tonsillitis Symptoms at Home

Tonsillitis symptoms are easy to mistake for other infections during cold and flu seasons. Here's how to correctly identify them and help your child recover fast.

Children tonsilitis min scaled

Tonsillitis symptoms can be very hard to identify during cold and flu season. Children are prone to numerous infections that may affect their throat or cause fever.

However, when left untreated, tonsillitis can turn problematic fast, causing your child unnecessary pain and suffering.

In this guide, we’ll explain common tonsillitis symptoms to help you identify them in your child. Our experts also provide tips for managing the condition at home.

What Is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the infection of the tonsils, a pair of oval-shaped tissues located at the back of the throat, one on each side. They are a part of the lymphatic system and work to protect the body against infections.

Their position in the mouth gives them a unique advantage in attacking microorganisms that enter the body through the mouth and nose.

Severe inflammation causes the tonsils to exude a fluid made of cells and proteins as they work towards killing the organisms causing the infection.

Tonsillitis Symptoms And Causes

Tonsillitis symptoms may include a fever, chills, sore throat, and ear pain.

The most common cause of tonsillitis is viral or bacterial infections that cause the throat to become inflamed.

When bacteria or viruses enter the nose or mouth and infect the lining of the oral cavity, they cause irritation, inflammation, and redness in the area, and can cause the secretion of tonsillar exudates.

Tonsillar exudates are also seen following viral throat infections. In addition to tonsillitis, children may also suffer from fever, sore throat, ear pain, and throat redness.

Other common symptoms of tonsillitis are:

  • Difficulty or pain while swallowing
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Neck pain

Young children who are unable to explain how they feel may refuse to eat food, drool due to difficulty in swallowing, and be fussy in general. 

Tonsillitis Symptoms, According To TCM

Physician Anita Pee at Eu Yan Sang TCM clinic says in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the etiology and pathology of throat pain can involve multiple pathogens. These are Wind, Cold, Fire, Damp-Heat, Blood Stasis, and Phlegm.

Throat conditions can also be due to Yin Deficiency of the Lungs, Spleen, Stomach, Heart, small intestines, and Kidneys. All these collectively arise from stress, an unbalanced work-rest lifestyle, and unhealthy eating habits

How To Manage Tonsillitis Symptoms

Most forms of tonsillitis usually last for three to five days. One form of tonsillitis that is associated with mononucleosis can take weeks to recover from. Streptococcal pharyngitis needs treatment with antibiotics to kill the infectious organism and prevent disease complications. 

Hence, it is important to diagnose and treat the infection early. Consult your pediatrician if your child has a sore throat with fever, a sore throat that persists for more than 48 hours, pain while swallowing, or extreme weakness.

For other causes of tonsillitis, treatment should focus on controlling the symptoms and making the patient more comfortable. 

Symptomatic treatment 

Lots of warm fluids and rest are key. Ensure your child drinks plenty of water. Warm and soothing herbal teas like chrysanthemum tea will help ease throat pain and enhance their immune system to fight infections.

For severe throat pain, they may use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or acetaminophen. Saltwater gargles also help to fight throat infections and relieve discomfort. 

Herbal remedies 

Several Chinese herbal medicines are efficacious in treating tonsillitis and sore throat. These include the following: 

  • Pu Ji Xiao Du Yin  
  • Yang Yin Qing Fei Tang 
  • Bai He Gu Jin Tang 
  • Jin Sang Qing Yin Pian  
  • Watermelon frost  
  • Seaweed
  • Danshen root
  • Honey 
  • Figwort root

If one of your child’s symptoms is a cough, you can give them an herbal cough powder to help reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation. To reduce throat pain, try Loquat Compounds leaves, which are often used in TCM to soothe the throat.

Before giving your child any herbal remedies, it’s advised that you consult with a registered TCM practitioner for an assessment to find the right medicine for your child’s condition and body composition. 


Acupressure is an easy self-help remedy that can help relieve the symptoms of mild tonsillitis. Real Medical Senior Physician Brandon Yew says that the therapy is largely free of side effects and can be easily performed at home.

Place your fingers or blunt object like a massage stick on certain acupoints and apply pressure until you feel soreness or tenderness at the site. Massage clockwise and anticlockwise directions 20 times each. Repeat for at least three minutes per acupoint.

The acupoints that might help are:  

  • Yu Ji (LU10)
  • Chi Ze (LU5) 
  • Tian Tu (RN22) 
  • He Gu (LI4) 
  • Lie Que (LU7) 
  • Zhao Hai (KI6) 

Tonsillitis can be a very painful condition that can disrupt your child’s schedule and makes them cranky. Try these natural remedies to reduce pain and hasten their recovery. 


  1. Osmosis. Tonsillar exudate 
  2. Mayo Clinic. Tonsillitis  
  3. Cochrane Library. Chinese medicinal herbs. 2012.  

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