Acute inflammation of the palatine tonsils, usually due
to streptococcal or, less commonly, viral infection.
Tonsillitis may be either an acute or chronic inflammation of the tonsils,
located near the back of the tongue. (The adenoids, lymph glands located
behind the nose, are often simultaneously inflamed.) Tonsillitis, which
usually develops suddenly as a result of a streptococcal infection but may
also be caused by a viral infection, is characterized by sore throat, fever,
chills, headache, poor appetite, and weakness. The tonsils become swollen
and red, with streaks of pus often visible on their surface. Acute tonsillitis
usually clears up in about a week, but antibiotics may be prescribed to
prevent complications such as middle-ear and sinus infections, formation
of deep abscesses, spread of infection to other organs, and chronic tonsillitis.
In chronic tonsillitis the tonsils tend to flare up in episodes of acute
infection. Tonsillitis is more common in children than in adults.
Actions indicated for the processes behind this disease:
Lymphatics are of primary importance as this is an infection
of lymphatic tissue.
Anti-microbials help the immune system combat the infection (whatever
the `causal' organism might be) and help avoid secondary infection
Anti-catarrhals are indicated if there is associated sinus congestion
or middle ear involvement.
Diaphoretics will help the body cope with any associated fever.
Expectorants are called for, in one of their varieties, if there
is the development of secondary problems in the lower respiratory system.
The lymphatic system is the focus for tonic support, but if there is a recurrent
pattern of infections, the immune system calls for strengthening.
The lymphatic alteratives usually have a local reputation as specifics in
tonsillitis. In Britain the most famous would be Galium aparine.
One possible prescription:
Galium aparine --- --- --- 2 parts
Echinacea spp. --- --- --- 2 parts
Baptisia tinctoria --- --- --- 1 part
Calendula officinalis --- --- --- 1 part to 5ml of tincture three
times a day. Treat for fever if indicated.
In Herbal Home Health Care, Dr Christopher recommends a fomentation
of the following:
Verbascum thapsus --- --- --- 3 parts
Lobelia inflata --- --- --- 1 part of dried herb. Make a strong infusion.
Dip cloth in fomentation and wrap around the neck at night. Do this each
night until the condition clears up.