A condition that leads to inflammation of the tonsils is termed as tonsillitis. The two oval-shaped glands that recite at the back of the throat are called tonsils. The main role of tonsils is to fight against bacteria and viruses that affect your body through the nose and mouth.
Tonsils act as filters, which traps germs that cause infection through airways and leads to infection. Antibodies to fight against infection are also formed. Sometimes, they get attacked by bacteria or viruses. A swollen and inflamed condition arises.
About 15-30% are affected by a bacterial infection but mostly are affected due to a viral infection.
Tonsillitis can affect anyone but commonly affects children.
There are three types:
Acute tonsillitis. These symptoms usually last 3 or 4 days but can last up to 2 weeks.
Chronic tonsillitis. This is when you have a long-term tonsil infection
Recurrent tonsillitis. Repeated his is when you get tonsillitis several times in a year.
The usual symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation of glands and swollen tonsils, which make it difficult for someone to breathe through your mouth. Other symptoms include:
- Tenderness or pain in the throat
- A white or yellow layer present on your tonsils
- Blisters or ulcers on your throat are formed which causes pain
- Tonsils become red
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in ear
- Difficulty in swallowing
- In your neck or jaw, there are swollen glands
- Fever with chills
- Mouth stinks
- A scratchy, hoarse or muffled voice
- Neck become stiff
Symptoms in children include:
- Stomach gets Upset
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Loss of appetite or not wanted to eat or swallow
- Pain in stomach
Causes of Tonsillitis
- Viral and Bacterial infection causes tonsillitis. Commonly responsible bacteria is Streptococcus (strep) bacteria, which leads to strep throat. Other common causes include:
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Influenza virus
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Herpes virus
Tonsillitis and Strep Infection leads to
- Rheumatic fever
- Glomerulonephritis or a kidney infection
- Swelling or inflammation of the tonsils from ongoing (chronic) or frequent tonsillitis can cause complications such as:
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Breathing is disrupted during sleep which is known as obstructive sleep apnea.
- Infection that may spread deep into the surrounding tissue which is known as tonsillar cellulitis.
- Infection that can cause a collection of pus behind a tonsil which is known as peritonsillar abscess
- Middle ear infection
- Collection of pus around tonsils
Risk factors for tonsillitis are:
- Tonsils at Young age: Tonsillitis mostly occurs in children, but rarely occurs in children younger than age
- Tonsillitis which is caused by bacteria is most common in children ages 5 to 15, while viral tonsillitis is more common in younger children.
- Frequent exposure to germs: School-age children are more susceptible to close contact with their peers and frequently exposed to viruses or bacteria that can cause tonsillitis.
WHAT IS THE AYURVEDIC VIEW OF TONSILITIS?
In Ayurveda, tonsillitis is correlated to Tundikeri. Tundikeri is a disease that is mentioned in the Urdhvajatrugata roga; mentioned in Talugataroga (diseases of the palate) as well as Kanthagataroga (diseases of the throat).
The common cause is mentioned in the context of Mukharoga is for Tundikeri as well. These etiologies can be divided into Aharaja hetus i.e. dietary causes.
10 Home treatments for relief from tonsillitis
1. Gargling with salt water
To soothe, your sore throat do gargles and rinse with warm saltwater. one can also get relief from pain caused due to tonsillitis. It helps to reduce inflammation, and also acts against infections.
In about a warm glass of water add ½ teaspoon of salt and stir it. the salt should be dissolved properly. Do gargles and swish through the mouth for several seconds and then spit it out. After that rinse with regular water.
2. lozenges with Licorice
To soothe the throat one can use lozenges. Lozenges possess ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties or ingredients that provide relief from pain.
Lozenges with licorice as an ingredient act as a strong anti-inflammatory agent which provide a soothing effect in discomfort and swelling caused due to tonsils.
3. Hot tea with raw honey
Beverages like hot tea provide relief in discomfort due to tonsillitis. In tea, raw honey is often added to tea due to its anti-bacterial properties, which helps to treat the infections causing tonsillitis.
Drink warm tea instead of hot, and stir it properly. one can use ginger tea and fennel tea to strengthen the immune system.
To relieve the sore throat one can use Humidifiers which makes the air dry.
The mouth becomes dry as a result of tonsillitis. Dry air does irritation in the throat, and with the use of humidifiers, one can soothe discomfort in the throat and tonsils by adding moisture back into the air. When viruses are the cause of the tonsillitis cool mist humidifiers are commonly used.
5. Eating cold foods
- Eating cold, soft foods, cold such as ice cream or yogurt to make throat numb for temporary pain relief.
- Sucking on popsicles
- Chilled smoothies can be taken
- Drink ice-cold water
- Chew hard candies or chewing gums containing mint or menthol. These ingredients provide a cooling effect and provide numbness in the throat.
6. Proper rest
Tonsillitis patients should take proper rest. Resting provides strength to the body to fight against viral or bacterial infection.
7. Use of Sprays
Gargles and throat spray act as an anesthetic that has anti-inflammatory action, and antiseptic to the throat.
Active ingredients for throat sprays:
Tulsi is known as Holy Basil, commonly used home remedy for tonsillitis because of its anti-inflammatory or antiviral properties.
It helps to reduce swelling and pain and make healing process faster., “Consuming a decoction made by boiling tulsi leaves and adding about 2 grams of black pepper to it provides relief. This drink helps to build up the immune system and, acts as an antibacterial agent.”
Cinnamon possesses an antimicrobial property, which represses the growth of bacteria and other micro-organisms in the tonsils, hence reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation.”
- Take a glass of hot water, add one teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
- Add and mix two teaspoons of honey.
- Sip it slowly
- Drink this two or three times a day for one week.
Turmeric possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities, which fight against bacterial infection and relieve the symptoms like irritation, sore throat.
Take 1 cup of hot water to add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and salt in it. Take this mixture and do gargles with it in the morning and evening time. Use this before going to bed. It will help to treat symptoms like inflammation and soreness.
Alternatively, you can add one teaspoon of turmeric powder and a pinch of ground black pepper to a glass of warm milk.
Its antibacterial property makes it an excellent remedy for tonsillitis which helps to fight against the bacteria that cause tonsillitis. Plus, the anti-inflammatory properties present in fenugreek will give you instant relief from pain and inflammation.
- Add two tablespoons of methi seeds to two to three cups of water.
- Allow simmering for 30 minutes.
- Strain and let it cool and do gargle.
- Do it twice daily
For More – Ayurvedic Herbs for Tonsillitis Treatment
Vaidya Karanvir Singh is the younger Vaidya in Chandigarh Ayurved & Panchakarma Centre. He is the fourth generation in his family who is practicing as a general consultant in Ayurved & Panchakarma treatment at Chandigarh. In his practice, he had treated more than 1000 plus patients worldwide.