The tonsils are a pair of small almond-shaped structures on either side of the throat, just behind and above the tongue. The structures act as a defence against infections that invade the body through the nose and mouth. Tonsils are a part of the body’s protective lymphatic system, which dispatches cells that literally gulp down bacteria. Adenoids are structures located at the back of the nose, above the tonsils. They too help keep away respiratory tract infections.
Occasionally, bacterial infections overwhelm the tonsils. This infection, known as tonsillitis, is often one that children come down with between the ages of three and six. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, and so it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. The primary symptom is a sore throat that makes it difficult to swallow. Others are headache, ear pain, fever and chills. The tonsils become swollen and red. You may also notice specks of white discharge on the infected tonsils. Occasionally, the adenoids swell too, giving a nasal quality to the child’s voice.
Earlier, the only known cure for recurrent throat infections was tonsil surgery. Medical opinion has changed, however, and now this procedure is less common. More often than not, having tonsillitis, even when it recurs up to seven times a year, does not mean that the tonsils should be removed (in a surgical procedure called tonsillectomy). You don’t have to pressurise your child’s doctor to remove tonsils just because this was commonly done years ago or on the basis of any of these misconceptions:
Tonsils are useless. This is not true. Medical scientists continue to report new evidence that shows tonsils are a valuable part of our defense mechanism against invading germs and viruses.
My child is always sick. Chances are your child is going through a normal stage of growth, irrespective of the condition of his tonsils. Before a child can build up antibodies to fight off bugs, he must be exposed to them. Therefore, it is not unusual to expect a certain number of mild respiratory diseases during a child’s early years.
My child will be healthier with them out. It is a myth that a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy make a child less susceptible to colds, sore throats and other respiratory diseases. Nor does the operation relieve an allergy or a chronic problem such as asthma.
They are enlarged. What you observe as swelling may be the tonsils’ normal size. Tonsils are very small at birth, and then enlarge gradually, reaching maximum size at age six or seven. Thereafter, they usually shrink to walnut size. Adenoids grow between the ages of three and five and then shrink, eventually disappearing altogether during puberty. Unless a medical problem is diagnosed, enlargement alone is no basis for surgery.
In Ayurveda, tonsillitis is called as galaayu. Ayurvedic physicians consider recurring infection and inflammation of the tonsils to be a key factor in illness in later life. Therefore, the entire immune system is treated, aiming to eliminate the risk.
Tonsillitis is the one of the common diseases of the respiratory tract. It is the inflammatory condition of the tonsils. Tonsils lie on each side of the throat. The inflammation of tonsils occur due to infection. There are various ayurvedic treatments available for tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis affects people of all ages, but it mostly occurs in the growing children. The common cause of tonsils infection is bacteria Streptococcal haemolyticus. Chronic tonsillitis, when not treated properly, can also lead to various other diseases such as nephritis, rheumatic fever and various other complications.
There are following symptoms of tonsillitis –
- Fever – high fever around 103-104 degrees Fahrenheit
- Enlargement of tonsillar glands leads to unspeakable condition
- Pain on swallowing
- Pain in the ear on the affected area
- Oozing pus
- Sore throat
Herbal and Home Remedies for Tonsillitis:
- Fenugreek Seeds – Gargle made from fenugreek seeds is very effective for tonsillitis.
- Vegetable Juices – Raw vegetable juices of carrot, beet, and cucumber in the ratio of 3:1:1 combination are also very beneficial for the treatment of tonsillitis.
- Stay Hydrated – Drink lots and lots of liquids. Especially, frozen liquids help numb the throat. You may also try hot teas with honey, and clear soups. For some people, warm beverages help relieve the pain of tonsillitis better than cold ones do.
- Salt Water – You may gargle with luke warm salt water many times in a day. ( one forth teaspoon of salt would be enough in half a cup of water) several times a day.
- Lemon, Blackpepper and Salt – Take a lemon and cut it into two pieces. On one piece, put some salt and black pepper. Now press it with a knife s o that salt-pepper penetrate into the lime. Put the lemon on heat to make it warm. Slowly lick this lemon squeezing it until no juice remains. You may do this daily two or three times.
- Hygiene – If you are suffering from a disease like tonsillitis, you should keep good hygiene.
Avoid Acidic Drinks, Spicy Food and Soar Substances – Don’t drink acid drinks and try to avoid spicy food as it may irritate your throat. Sour substances like curds, buttermilk, and fried foods should also be avoided.
Rest – Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk.
See a Doctor, if condition is serious – If you are have difficulty in swallowing, breathing or talking, or have any other concerns you should see a doctor immediately, or the condition may turn more serious.
The common and easy medications are gargling and hot fomentation. Moreover, the Ayurvedic means of curing tonsillitis are a powdery mixture of the three ingredients of Kulanjana, Vacha, and Yashti madhu; Agastya rasayana; and Khadiradi.
Regular gargling not only provides immediate relief but also cures tonsillitis in a week’s time at the most. The best results can be obtained by mixing the bark of Babula tree with rock salt in the lukewarm water that is to be used for gargling.
2. HOT FOMENTATION
The front side of the patient’s neck must be accorded hot fomentation, externally. Besides, all steps should be taken to keep the neck warm. It should not be kept exposed.
3. POWDERY MIXTURE
Another effective Ayurvedic treatment is a powdery mixture of three ingredients; viz., Kulanjana, Vacha, and Yashti madhu. The patient suffering form tonsillitis simply needs to lick the paste made from them mixed with honey.
This medication cures the throat inflammation and also soothes the throat.
4. AGASTYA RASAYANA
This Ayurvedic prescription is recommended for the patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis. It prevents future attacks of tonsillitis.
Prescription: The dose is one teaspoonful of Agastya rasayana mixed with honey. It should be taken twice daily for six months.
Recommendation: Even if the tonsillitis symptoms disappear, keep on taking the medication. It will shield the throat from any possible attacks of tonsillitis.
Khadiradi comes in a tablet form that needs to be sucked gradually. One can daily take six such tablets.
Ayurvedic herbs as remedy for tonsillitis
- Holy basil
- Fenugreek seeds
These can be consumed by themselves, in cooking or as by-products of other foodstuffs.
Ayurvedic supplements as remedy for tonsillitis
- Kasamrit Herbal
- Khadiradi Bati
- These are both available from Ayurvedic retailers and should be taken as per instruction.
- Gargle every few hours with a solution of quarter teaspoonful of common salt or yavakshaara dissolved in half a glass of warm water or decoction prepared from the bark of Acacia (Babul) tree, if your child is older than eight years.
- Drink plenty of warm beverages such as tea (with or without honey) and corn soup, if tolerated.
Eat foods that are soft and easy to swallow.
- Avoid spicy foods, chocolates, milk-based sweets, sour substances, curds, butter milk, cool drinks and fried substances.