Tonsillitis is an acute inflammation of the tonsils. Chronic tonsillitis refers to the condition in which there is enlargement of the tonsils accompanied by repeated attacks of infection.
Many respiratory diseases begin with sore throat caused by streptococcus germs. It is the work of the tonsils and adenoids to destroy these germs, but sometimes they multiply so rapidly that they cannot be overcome by those organs.
Tonsillitis is one the most common ailments encountered at childhood. Its incidence is especially high among children in the age group between five and 10 years. It is indicative of a toxic condition of the system and is a continuous source of distress both for the child and his parents.
The tonsils are two almond-shaped small glands situated one on each side of the throat. They can be seen just at the back of the mouth between two folds of membranes running up to the soft palate. They are tiny at birth but show a spurt of growth and activity during the early months of life. They can become very large when severely infected. They protect the throat against disease germs.
In early childhood, especially in the first months at school. Children meet a wide variety of infections, most of which are transmitted through the nose and mouth. So, the tonsils are ideally situated to attack and destroy these germs before they can enter the respiratory tract to set up a serious infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia. In fulfilling this protective function, the tonsils become red and swollen.
The main symptoms of tonsillitis are sore throat, fever, headache, pain in various parts of the body, difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness of voice and general weakness. The tonsils are seen to be inflamed and red when the mouth is opened wide. In many cases, spots of pus exude from them. Externally, the tonsillar lymph glands, which lie just behind the angle of the jaw, are tender and enlarged. In several cases, there may be pain in the ear.
The children suffering from this disease are often listless and pale. They may vomit frequently due to the irritation of large tonsils. In case of chronic tonsillitis, the children may lose weight. They may be irritable, lethargic and weak in studies.
Inflammation of the tonsils is usually due to infection by streptococcus pyogenes. This infection is fecilitated by the toxic condition of child's system generally, resulting from wrong feeding and unhygenic condition of living. It is precipitated by a sudden lowering of vitality due to exposure and sudden chill. Overeating consumption of refined foods like sugar, white flour and products made from them, fried foods, condiments, excessive tea and coffee all contribute to this disease. Other predisposing factors are cold, dyspepsia, loss of sleep and constipation.
The treatment of tonsillitis by means of painting and spzaying is both harmful and suppressive. It does not help to rid the system of toxins, which at the root of the trouble. In fact, it forces these toxins back into the system, which may cause more serious trouble later on. The removal of tonsils by surgery, in case of chronic tonsillitis, may appear as a simple measure. But it is responsible for serious ill-health in later life, as the system of the child concerned will be working at a permanently impaired level of efficiency.
The correct way to treat the disease is to cleanse the system of toxic waste through proper dietary and other natural methods. The child should be kept isolated in bed. The bedroom should be well- ventilated. He should not be given solid foods and should be encouraged to take sufficient fluids and juices. Orange and lemon juices, diluted with water and mixed with honey, will be especially beneficial. If the child shows reluctance to take juices, he may be given fresh juicy fruits such as apple, grapes, orange, pears, pineapple, peach and melon. In no circumstances, he should be given foods which produce or increase acidity. He should be persuaded to take warm-water enema to cleanse the bowels for the first few days of the treatment. If he is reluctant, he may be given glycerine suppository.
A heating compress should be applied to the throat. It is a very valuable measure to relieve sore throat and reduce swelling and inflammation. The procedure for this application has been explained in the Appendix. The patient will feel warm within a short time and this will have a soothing effect on the throat. This compress should be changed every eight hours.
The throat may be gargled with hot water mixed with a little salt and lime juice several times daily. This will help draw out fluids from the inflammed throat, thereby relieving discomfort. Gargling with solutions made from the fenugreek (methi) seeds is effective in severe cases. To make such a gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be allowed to simmer for half an hour in a litre of water and then set aside to cool. The entire quantity should be used as a soothing gargle in a day with beneficial results. Hot packs may be applied to the neck. A warm-water bath will also be helpful.
After the acute symptoms of tonsillities are over, the childpatient may be allowed to gradualy embark upon a well-balanced diet, according to his age. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits, raw vegetables , whole grain cereals and milk.
Certain home remedies have been found beneficial in the treatment of inflamed tonsils. One of the most effective of these remedies is the use of lime. Half a freshlime squeezed in a glass of warm water , mixed with two teaspoons of honey and little salt, should be sipped slowly in such cases.
The use of milk has been found valuable in this disease. A glass of pure boiled milk, mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder and pepper powder, should be taken every night for three nghts. It will provide great relief.
Raw vegetable juices are also beneficial in the treatment of tonsillitis. The juices of carrot, beet and cucumber, taken individually or in combination, are especially valuable. Formula proportions found helpful, when used in combination, are carrot 150 ml. beet 50 ml. and cucumber 50 ml. to prepare 250 ml. of combined juice.
Massage of the throat is also very valuable intonsillitis. The procedure for this massage has been explained in the Appendix. Fresh air, deep breathing and other exercises should all form a part of the daily health regiment of the patient.
Tonsillitis can be successfully treated by the natural methods outlined above. Surgery for the removal of the tonsils will be necessary only in very rare cases, when tonsils are seriously diseased, rugged and contain hopelessly incurable pus pockets.