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Chinese Medicine: Shosaiko-to-kakikyo-sekko For Treatment of Tonsillitis

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It’s highly likely that you’ve never heard of a Chinese herbal formula that sounds more Japanese than Chinese: Shosaiko-to-kakikyo-sekko. This remedy is made up of nine herbs including ginger rhizome, Glycyrrhiza root, ginseng radix, jujube fruit, Platycodon radix, Scutellaria root, Pinellia tuber, Bupleurum radix, and gypsum. This formula has been used for over a millennium in various Asian cultures.

Tonsillectomy is the second most widely performed surgery on children, based on findings of the National Institute of Health; however, from time to time, this surgery is also performed on adults. Repeat tonsillitis is typically the most common reason that a tonsillectomy is done. Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils is overcome with infection. It often leads to fever and a severe sore throat and when you swallow it becomes painful and difficult.

Tonsillectomy may be a rather common procedure but it does not come without risks. The International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology has stated that about 20% of people report of bleeding or hemorrhage from the surgery. Due to the risks involving surgery, some patients not keen on tonsillectomy opt for alternatives such as herbal therapies.

A study was done involving seven subjects to assess the efficacy of herbs. The participants had to have experienced acute tonsillitis at least twice a year for more than 2 years to qualify for the study. All patients took Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko for at least two months. Some patients already had decided to get surgery for their condition. The journal Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice published the results.

The rate of acute tonsillitis lessened in the seven patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis after taking Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko. Right after taking this formula, the sore throat of all the subjects either was reduced or totally disappeared. Patients whose condition remained the same after being treated with standard medication (NSAIDs, cephem-derivative antibiotics, antibiotics, penicillin derivative, etc.) responded well to the herbal treatment. All patients did not suffer any adverse effects associated with Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko.

The potency of Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko has been attributed to its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. A number of immunomodulatory actions were marked as B cell activation to promote the production of antibodies, macrophage activation to boost function of phagocytosis, enhance the efficiency of IL-6 and interleukin (IL)-1 production, and uplift monoxide production.

The authors conclude, “The results of the study indicate that the Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko is effective for the safe treatment of chronic tonsillitis that oftentimes necessitates surgery to cure. Lowering the number of acute tonsillitis incidences can help patients avoid tonsillectomy. Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko works superbly in the treatment of chronic tonsillitis. It also lowers the risk of acute tonsillitis. In certain instances, patients taking Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko can help you avoid surgery for the removal of your tonsils.

Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.

Written by Valerie

March 21st, 2017 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Acupuncture

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Acupoints Used To Relieve the Symptoms Associated with Tonsillitis

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The tonsils are lymph nodes that are found on each side at the back of the throat. Their job is to prevent harmful pathogens from infecting the body. However, from time to time, the tonsils can be overrun by viral and bacterial microorganisms and when this happens they themselves can become inflamed and infected leading to a number of flu-like symptoms. This condition is known as tonsillitis and is an illness that all too often affects children.

Signs and Symptoms

-Sore throat
-In certain instances specks of white discharge on the tonsils
-Tenderness and/or soreness in the glands of the throat and jaw
-Pain when swallowing
-Chills and fever

Western Modes of Treatment

In order to identify tonsillitis from illnesses that produce similar symptoms (like strep throat and the flu) the doctor may request a throat culture. Over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin and rest and sometimes antibiotics (for sore throat due to bacterial infection) are the most common forms of treatment for this condition. If you have bacterial tonsillitis, you need to continue taking antibiotics per your doctor’s orders, even if you start feeling better. This is to make sure that re-infection does not occur.

Your doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy to remove the diseased tonsils if your infection is severe or if the glands become infected three or more times per year. Tonsillectomies used to be the most common treatment for tonsillitis but now most doctors believe that the tonsils is an important organ that protects the body against infection, and so should only be removed only when it is absolutely necessary. People should understand that if the tonsils are removed, this will not guarantee anyone a life free of sore throats since the same microorganism that infect the tonsils can also infect the throat. It is also worth mentioning that individuals who have had their tonsils taken out tend to experience fewer sore throat infections.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese Herbal Therapy – Herbal remedies commonly used for tonsil infections include Sore Throat Powder Spray and Laryngitis Pills. They both can be bought without prescription.

Acupressure – Acupoints used by practitioners to treat tonsillitis-related throat pain and swelling and throat pain associated with tonsillitis Stomach 9 and 36, Lung 11, Large Intestine 4. Acupoints Governing Vessel 13 and Conception Vessel 17 can be treated to relieve swallowing difficulty.

Acupuncture – This treatment can help relieve tonsillitis-related sore throat and swelling. The acupuncturist mainly targets the Large Intestine 4 and 11, Lung 1, and Bladder 10 and 12 as well as ear acupoints with associated with the tonsils and pharynx.


Dr. Jeda Boughton is a licensed Vancouver acupuncture physician and the medical director of BodaHealth in Vancouver, BC.

Written by Valerie

March 26th, 2015 at 3:48 am

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Tonsillitis Prevention

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It is virtually inevitable to come into contact with individuals who possess bacteria or virus from which it spreads. Children interacting with other children who may be infected with a pathogen will usually get infected themselves especially if they have a weak immune system. Therefore, a strong immune system to resist diseases due to the eating of nutritional and healthful foods can prevent you and your child to be infected by pathogens like the ones causing tonsillitis. Try to immerse yourself with lots of vitamin c supplements or juices that at the same time possess grapes, zinc and anti-allergic qualities to prevent the rise of tonsillitis. Avoidance of other people’s body fluids (sneeze droplets, saliva and other bodily fluids) is very important in preventing tonsillitis since the pathogen that cause tonsillitis can be spread through saliva droplets and other bodily kinds of body fluids.


Another great way to prevent tonsil infection is by having good hygiene. Always make it a point to keep your hands clean by frequently washing them with soap especially just before eating a meal. If you have a family member who has tonsillitis, you and other members of the family should avoid using the toothbrush, soap, clothes, utensils, plates and spoons of the infected family member.  Drinking copious amounts of nutritional fluids and fruit juices can likewise serve as a good preventive measure particularly if one member of your family is infected.

Home Remedies

Certain home remedies can help you prevent getting tonsillitis as well.  Some of these include apple cider vinegar which you use as a mouthwash or regular tooth brushing using herbal non-fluoride toothpaste. Both these remedies can kill tonsillar bacteria in your mouth and shield you from tonsillitis infections. You can also use hydrogen peroxide for mouth gargling but you should never ever swallow the hydrogen peroxide.

Tree of Life Acupuncture
1215 120th Ave NE #206
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 732-3201

Written by Valerie

February 18th, 2014 at 4:01 am

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Definition of Tonsillitis

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Tonsillitis is the swelling and inflammation of the tonsils. The tonsil swells due to a strep throat infected by a virus or bacteria. The tonsils are the organs found in the back of the mouth. Tonsils are lymph nodes that usually prevent germs and bacteria from infecting the body. Some other parts of the throat may also be infected when one has tonsillitis. One related infection is the inflammation of the pharynx termed as pharyngitis.

Children are especially vulnerable to tonsillitis.

Pharyngitis which is also throat inflammation caused by viruses can lead to sore throats. Sore throats can also be caused by tonsillitis although the pathogen causing this can be bacteria or instead of a virus. It may be difficult to identify what may be causing sore throat in the patient but usually tonsillitis entails the inflammation of the palatine tonsils. Teenagers and children are especially at risk in developing tonsillitis compared to adults.

Acute tonsillitis can develop all of a sudden and typically resolves itself in about a week or two. It can develop many times in a year and for certain reasons may turn into a chronic condition. In recurrent and chronic tonsillitis, bacteria have resided in the tonsils making the tonsils consistently inflamed albeit slightly. An acute infection can be accompanied by severe symptoms that can recur at any time. The worst thing about a chronic infection is that it can lead to complications that aggravate the already painful tonsil condition.


Kine Fischler is a licensed acupuncture physician and the clinical director of Willow Tree Wellness Clinic in Portland, OR.

Written by Valerie

December 29th, 2013 at 4:20 am

Posted in Acupuncture

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