How to save your child’s tonsils

How to save your child’s tonsils

I would say we generally need all the bits we were born with.

We don’t tend to have spare parts.

Tonsils, adenoids, appendix……they all serve a purpose in our body.

If we remove them, there are consequences down the track.

Tonsils will sometimes be removed because they are chronically inflamed, or because of recurrent infections.

Once you go to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor (ENT), you will find yourself signing consent forms for surgery, with little pursuit of the root cause. 

It is always better to find the root cause, not just remove the symptoms. 

You have to listen to what your body (or your child’s body) is trying to tell you.

Why avoid surgery?

Key reasons to avoid surgery and focus on finding the root cause are:

  • Avoiding painful surgery.  Tonsillectomies are not pretty.  Seeing your child in pain is not pretty.
  • All surgery / general anaesthetics carry risks. Avoid unless essential.
  • Surgery is expensive
  • Waiting lists for subsidised surgery are long.

When you see the ENT doctor (or any surgeon for any surgery), ask these 3 questions:

  • Do I really need this surgery?
  • What will happen if I don’t have this surgery?
  • Are there any alternatives to surgery?

Chronically inflamed tonsils

If your child has chronically inflamed / swollen tonsils, but not having infections, the best first step is to do an allergy test.

You can ask your GP for IgE allergy tests for pollen, dust etc.  You can organise IgG food allergy testing with me using this link.  I have had many young clients with chronic inflammation of their tonsils who did this allergy test. They had complete resolution of their symptoms, in a very short time.

Chronic tonsil infections

If you child is having infections, these can be viral or bacterial. 

There is a 50/50 chance of the infection being bacterial. 

If it is viral, antibiotics are useless.

I explain in depth in this article why you should avoid antibiotics unless entirely necessary.

Get your doctor to swab the throat, and they can find out if it is bacterial or viral.  This will also help choose the right antibiotic, if this is deemed necessary.

Remember: viral infections will not benefit from Antibiotics.

Foods to focus on during an infection

You really want to focus on healthy, nutritious foods when your child is sick.  Avoid the temptation to feed ice cream and treats.  Sugar suppresses your immune system, so every time you give your child a bowl of ice cream, you are extending the length of their illness.

Great foods are fruits high in antioxidants like berries.  You could make a healthy ice cream, ice blocks or sorbet using berries with coconut cream.  This is how I smuggle supplements in to my sick children – you dissolve the powder into the mix before you freeze.

Jelly also goes down a treat, but make one yourself with gelatin and berries.

Solid foods should be avoided, and instead broths and soups should be offered.  Try my tonsil saving soup recipe.  Get your child a stainless steel straw to help them drink broth.

Many herbs and spices are useful like sage, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger and garlic, so incorporate these into soups.

Foods to avoid during an infection.

Sorry to say, dairy is out.  Dairy is mucus forming, and this is the last thing you want for a sick child. Sugar, white flour and processed foods should be avoided as they are highly inflammatory and will fan the flames of inflammations.


A sick child needs rest.  They don’t need to be rushed back to school, day care or activities.  Lots of naps, sleep ins, and relaxing activities like crafts or colouring are perfect.

Keep windows open, as long as you live in an area which isn’t too polluted.

Lots of fluids help clear out the gunk from the throat and keep mucus thin.

And throw out their tooth brush to stop reinfecting.

If you can get your child in the sun every day for a little while, this tops up their vitamin D.  Children with chronic tonsillitis have been found to have lower vitamin D.


As well as the allergy testing, a hair analysis can be helpful to determine your child’s zinc levels,  Children with recurrent tonsillitis were found to have significantly lower zinc and higher copper levels.

Consider these factors before you consent to tonsillectomy

  • Does my child have allergies?
  • Is my child deficient in key immunity nutrients like vitamin D or zinc?
  • Could my child’s diet be improved?

I can help with all of these things, get in touch to find out how!

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