By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 5, 2014, Last updated November 17, 2016
Before we try to understand what tonsillitis is, we need to know what tonsils are and the function they serve in the human body. Tonsils are two round bodies at the back of one’s throat and are easily visible to the naked eye on opening the mouth. These two bodies, which are actually lymph nodes are known as tonsils and serve an important part in the human body. They are part of the body’s immune system and act as bodyguards or doorkeepers. They act as filters and prevent small germs like bacteria and viruses from entering the system. At the same time, they produce some antibodies which fight against the germs or some antigens that are present in the air or the food or drinks that we take. Therefore, tonsils are an important integral part of our body’s defence mechanism. Most of the times, these tonsils keep performing their task in an efficient and silent manner and we do not even come to know of their presence. At times, these tonsils get overwhelmed by the infections that they are fighting. Under such conditions, they become inflamed. This condition is known as tonsillitis. Once they get inflamed, there is pain and redness in the tonsils. One can easily look into the throat and see the redness as if they are angry at some reason. Young children are quite commonly affected by this trouble.
As the tonsils are part of the body’s defence mechanism, it is highly desirable that they should keep performing their task in an efficient manner so that infectious bacteria and viruses don’t enter the body and the whole of the body remains fit and healthy. Therefore, it is much better to cure the inflammation of these tonsils rather than getting them removed in a surgical manner as then the human body will remain exposed to a lot of viruses and bacteria with no protection against them.
Symptoms of tonsillitis
The common symptoms of tonsillitis are pain in the throat, which is aggravated on swallowing things. This makes it difficult for the child to eat or drink something. Redness and swelling in the throat accompany the pain. There may be irritation in the throat region and this causes cough which is usually dry. At times, the infection spreads to the larynx and the voice becomes hoarse. Some patients have fever accompanying the pain, redness and swelling of the tonsils. At times, the pain may spread from the throat to the ears also. There may be tenderness in the throat and jaw region. Occasionally pus formation is also there and patches of pus can be seen in the tonsils.
It has been observed that some children are more likely to have this trouble as compared to others and it is a matter of one’s own individuality why some are affected more than others. A tendency to have frequent tonsillitis may be observed in certain families though there is no particular cause or deficiency observed.
It has been observed that young children are more likely to have tonsillitis and this tendency decreases as age progresses. This happens as the immunity of the body is not fully developed in young age and it improves with passage of time. The body is able to develop more and more antibodies agains the common antigens that it keeps coming across and this offers some protection against further infections.
It has always been the philosophy of Homeopathic system of medicine that such infections need to be treated with medicines and surgery should be avoided. Removal of the tonsils is no solution to the problem as it exposes a person to a lot of infections which can cause a lot of trouble in the lower respiratory system and also the gastrointestinal tract. Here surgery is like killing the dog that is supposed to bark and protect. Rather than disabling the protector, the endeavour should be to strengthen the protector and this is what the homeopathic medicines do. They enable the tonsils to fight off infections in an efficient manner without getting overwhelmed and thus prevent any infection from reaching deep inside the body.
Homeopathic treatment of tonsillitis
It is worth mentioning here that some common measures can help reduce the pain and swelling of the child. One should avoid taking cold food or cold drinks. At the same time, sour things should also be avoided. Taking warm water and gargling with warm salt water can also help in reducing pain and swelling. I have had great success in the treatment of acute tonsillitis with homeopathic medicines like Arsenic, Merc Sol, Belladonna and Hepar Sulph. Later on, it is followed by other medicines which help in avoiding recurrence of the problem.