Ayurvedic treatment for Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis

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  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Tonsillitis Ayurvedic treatment

WHAT IS TONSILLITIS?

The inflammation of tonsils due to an infection is called tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is most commonly caused by viral infection and less commonly by bacterial infection. People from all age groups are prone to it; however, it occurs most commonly in children.1

Tonsils are two masses of tissue present at the back of the throat, which act as filters, trapping germs which could enter our airway and cause infection. Tonsils are also capable of producing antibodies to fight infection. Tonsillitis is a condition in which the tonsils tend to swell and become inflamed due to an overwhelming bacterial or viral infection2

 In Susrutha Samhitha (Ayurveda classic book), this condition is called ‘Tundikeri’. Acharya Vagbhatta identified these conditions as diseases of throat, while Acharya Susrutha identified them as diseases of the palate.3

Causes

Tonsillitis

TONSILLITIS CAUSES

According to Ayurveda, tonsillitis may be caused or worsened due to:3

  • Consumption cold food such as ice cream, cold water or drinks
  • Cold climate
  • Exposure to cold breeze
  • Excessive intake of oily food

Symptoms

Tonsillitis

TONSILLITIS SYMPTOMS

Pain and swelling of tonsils are the major symptoms of tonsillitis. Sometimes the swelling may be severe enough to block the airways. Other symptoms of tonsillitis include:4

  • A sore throat and pain when swallowing
  • Redness of the tonsils
  • High temperature (fever) over 38C (100.4F)
  • coughing
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain
  • Bad breath

Diagnosis

Tonsillitis

TONSILLITIS DIAGNOSIS

There are a number of ways in which your doctor may diagnose your tonsillitis. These include:5

  • A lighted instrument to look at the sites of infection, which include the throat, the ears and nose
  • Examination for a rash, which is associated with some cases of strep throat
  • Gentle palpating of the neck to check for swollen glands (lymph nodes)
  • Listening to breathing with a stethoscope
  • Checking for enlargement of the spleen
  • A swab from back of throat may be taken to check for streptococcal infection

Management

Tonsillitis

TONSILLITIS AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

Tonsillitis is often caused by constipation. In Ayurveda, the cure for tonsillitis is such that it fights the condition from its roots and fortifies the body against further attacks. Management of diseases in Ayurveda involves a combination of a variety of herbal medicines (aushadhi), diet changes (ahar), and lifestyle changes (vihar).6-7

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Avoid dairy products, sugar and animal products for a week
  • Avoid spicy food as that may irritate your throat.
  • Avoid sour foods like curds, buttermilk, and fried foods
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Consume hot lemon with honey, honey with cidar vinegar, herbal teas, ginger juice, carrot juice, apple juice, elderberry juice, and blackcurrant tea or juice, as they are effective during infection and help improve immunity and relieve sore throat
  • Daily supplements of teaspoon of cod liver oil, 100 mg vitamin C tablets every 2-3 hours or 2 garlic capsules every two hours can be taken until you feel well again

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk
  • Avoid day sleep since it may lead to Kapha build-up
  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze and water
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene
  • Gargle every few hours using a solution of quarter teaspoonful of common salt or yavakshaara dissolved in half a glass of warm water or concentrated liquor prepared from the bark of Acacia (Babul) tree
  • Avoid frequent head baths and rain showers

Avoid passive cigarette smoking and atmospheric pollution

FAQS

Tonsillitis
  1. How Can Toothaches Be Prevented?

Ayurveda suggests simple diet and lifestyle changes to prevent toothaches. They are as follows:

Diet

  • Sticky substance which may adhere to the teeth should be avoided
  • Food containing sugar and other sweets should be avoided
  • Fruits like guavas, oranges, pomegranates and other fruits of the citrus family are beneficial as they contain vitamin C which strengthens gums
  • Amla must form the part of the diet since it contains the largest amount of vitamin C and is easily available

Lifestyle

  • Maintain a good oral hygiene. Good oral hygiene practices consist of brushing regularly and frequent rinsing of the mouth
  • Make a habit of rinsing the mouth after every meal
  • Use natural oils and extracts from clove oil for toothache. Dab a cotton ball in clove oil on the affected tooth and gently bite down. The natural properties of clove oil can help relieve tooth pain and prevent future cavities and bad breath
  • Using saline water to rinse the mouth after meals helps in curing toothache and even other tooth-related problems
  • Mix equal amounts of pepper, salt and few drops of water to form a paste. Apply this paste on the affected area to relieve toothache
  1. What causes teeth to hurt?

Some of the common causes of toothache includes:

  • Dental decay
  • Dental cavities
  • Swelling of the pulp
  • Tooth infection
  • Broken tooth
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Crack in the tooth
  • Consumption of food rich in carbohydrates and sugar like colas, candies, cakes, etc
  • Consuming hot and cold food together
  • Gum disease
  1. What is plaque?

Plaque is the sticky film or mass of bacteria that grows on the surface of the teeth. It is most noticeable when teeth are not brushed and makes teeth feel rough/fuzzy to the tongue.

When food containing carbohydrates and sugars such as soft drinks, raisins, cakes, or candy are frequently left on the teeth, it leads to the development of plaque. Mouth is full of bacteria which thrive on these food particles producing acids. These acids destroy tooth enamel over a period of time resulting in tooth decay. The development of plaque on the tooth under gums may cause breakdown of the supporting bone present underneath.

In Ayurvedic literature, dental conditions are referred as Danta sharkara, since the appearance of plaque is similar to the sugar coating over the teeth with a granular shape. It is a disease characterized by, hardened accumulation of mala on tooth surface which destroys the teeth and its surrounding structures and is accompanied by bad odour. Vitiated vata takes the form of thick adherence like the thick sugar syrup causing the manifestation of Danta sharkara.

  1. How do I keep my teeth and gums healthy?

Following tips can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy

  • Avoid sugar rich food, hard food, non-vegetarian diet food which will cause the built up of tartar and worsen the problems of dental plaques.
  • Green tea, intake of easily digestible and foods with less fat and carbohydrate prevent the formation of tartar.
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Regularly practicing flossing, proper tooth brushing, oral rinsing and regular oil pulling helps to get rid of the plaque efficiently and further prevents the formation of tartar
  • Herbs such as nutmeg (Jatiphala), Triphala (Hareetaki, Vibheetaki and Amalaki) and Saindhava lavana can be made into a fine powder and rubbed well to the teeth. This helps to clear the tartar
  • A mixture of ashes of ginger, long pepper, black pepper and salt can be used for brushing the teeth. Turmeric can be added to this mixture in case of bleeding gums
  1. Can side effects of medications cause dry mouth?

The causes of dry mouth can be attributed to the following:

  • Certain medications
  • Aging
  • A blocked nose
  • Stress
  • Cancer therapy
  • Nerve damage
  • Other health conditions such as immune disease (Sjogren's syndrome) or HIV/AIDS.
  • Tobacco use
  • Drug abuse
  1. What types of foods and beverages should I avoid if I have dry mouth?

Avoid spicy foods and avoid excess coffee, tea, sodas and alcoholic drinks

  1. What’s causing my sore throat?

Sore throat may be caused by the following:

  • Viral infection
  • Bacterial infection
  • Fungal infection
  • Smoking
  • Shouting
  • Allergies
  1. What can I do to make my throat feel better?

Ayurveda recommends the following:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids, such as teas, soup, and water
  • Hot lemon and honey, honey and cidar vinegar, herbal teas, ginger juice or carrot and apple juice, elderberry juice, blackcurrent tea or juice are all effective during infection which also improve immunity and helps relieving sore throat
  • Daily supplements of teaspoon of cod liver oil, 100 mg vitamin C tablets every 2-3 hours or 2 garlic capsules every two hours can be given until the patient is well again
  • Give plenty of rest to your throat and try not to talk
  • Avoid day sleep since it may lead to Kapha build-up, leading to worsening according to Ayurveda
  • Avoid exposure to cold breeze, water etc.
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene
  • Gargle every few hours using 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
  1. Is triphala churna an effective remedy for the treatment of mouth ulcers?

Yes, as mouth ulcers are most commonly associated with constipation.  In case of such a situation, use of a mild laxative such as Triphala choorna is advised which will give some relief.

  1. Are there other steps I can take to prevent tooth cavities?

Ayurveda recommends few tips as follows:

  • Decrease intake of sugary foods and drinks
  • Consume foods that are rich sources of calcium
  • Make a mixture of turmeric, salt and mustard oil to make a paste and rub it on teeth and gums
  • Consume plenty of raw vegetables
  • Maintain a good oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums clean.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive drinking since they may cause dental problems
  • Chewing on fresh herbal sticks in the morning as well as after every meal to prevent diseases. These herb sticks should be either ‘kashaya’ (astringent), ‘katu (acrid), or ‘tikta’ (bitter) in taste. The method of using these sticks is to crush one of its end, chew it, and eat it slowly. The neem (margosa or the Azadiraxhta indica), liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), miswak (miswaak, siwak, sewak) etc. are some examples of herbal sticks
  • Use of an herbal tooth powder madeup from neem powder and salt

References

Tonsillitis
  1. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Tonsillitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  2. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/tonsillitis-symptoms-causes-and-treatments. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  3. Tonsillitis- Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Home Remedies. Available at: http://easyayurveda.com/2015/02/23/tonsillitis-ayurvedic-treatment-home-remedies/. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  4. Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/tonsillitis#Symptoms3. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  5. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tonsillitis/basics/definition/con-20023538. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  6. TONSILLITIS AND AYURVEDIC TREATMENT. Available at: http://www.muralimanohar.com/Articles,%20English/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/Tonsillitis.htm. Accessed on: 29 August 2016.
  7. Mishra LC. Scientific Basis for Ayurvedic Therapies. 2004: MA; CRC Press
  8. McIntyre A. Herbal treatment of children: Western and Ayurvedic perspectives. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2005.

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