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The tonsils are a pair of small almond-shaped structures on either side of the throat, just behind and above the tongue. The structures act as a defence against infections that invade the body through the nose and mouth. Tonsils are a part of the bodyís protective lymphatic system, which dispatches cells that literally gulp down bacteria. Adenoids are structures located at the back of the nose, above the tonsils. They too help keep away respiratory tract infections.

Occasionally, bacterial infections overwhelm the tonsils. This infection, known as tonsillitis, is often one that children come down with between the ages of three and six. The symptoms are similar to those of flu, and so it may be difficult to distinguish between the two. The primary symptom is a sore throat that makes it difficult to swallow. Others are headache, ear pain, fever and chills. The tonsils become swollen and red. You may also notice specks of white discharge on the infected tonsils. Occasionally, the adenoids swell too, giving a nasal quality to the childís voice.

Earlier, the only known cure for recurrent throat infections was tonsil surgery. Medical opinion has changed, however, and now this procedure is less common. More often than not, having tonsillitis, even when it recurs up to seven times a year, does not mean that the tonsils should be removed (in a surgical procedure called tonsillectomy). You donít have to pressurise your childís doctor to remove tonsils just because this was commonly done years ago or on the basis of any of these misconceptions:

bulletTonsils are useless. This is not true. Medical scientists continue to report new evidence that shows tonsils are a valuable part of our defense mechanism against invading germs and viruses.
bulletMy child is always sick. Chances are your child is going through a normal stage of growth, irrespective of the condition of his tonsils. Before a child can build up antibodies to fight off bugs, he must be exposed to them. Therefore, it is not unusual to expect a certain number of mild respiratory diseases during a child's early years.
bulletMy child will be healthier with them out. It is a myth that a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy make a child less susceptible to colds, sore throats and other respiratory diseases. Nor does the operation relieve an allergy or a chronic problem such as asthma.
bulletThey are enlarged. What you observe as swelling may be the tonsils' normal size. Tonsils are very small at birth, and then enlarge gradually, reaching maximum size at age six or seven. Thereafter, they usually shrink to walnut size. Adenoids grow between the ages of three and five and then shrink, eventually disappearing altogether during puberty. Unless a medical problem is diagnosed, enlargement alone is no basis for surgery.

In Ayurveda, tonsillitis is called as galaayu. Ayurvedic physicians consider recurring infection and inflammation of the tonsils to be a key factor in illness in later life. Therefore, the entire immune system is treated, aiming to eliminate the risk.


bulletGargle every few hours with 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, if your child is older than eight years.
bulletDrink plenty of warm beverages such as tea (with or without honey) and corn soup, if tolerated.
bulletEat foods that are soft and easy to swallow.
bulletAvoid spicy foods, chocolates, milk-based sweets, sour substances, curds, butter milk, cool drinks and fried substances.
bulletSuck a piece of hard candy or medicated lozenge such as licorice extract occasionally (if your child is five years of age or older).
bulletAvoid passive cigarette smoking and atmospheric pollution.
bulletApply hot fomentation externally on the front side of the neck twice or thrice a day.
bulletTake the powders of mulathi, vacha, and kulanjan after mixing together in equal quantities along with honey. This soothes the throat and cures inflammation.
bulletMake a solution with half gram of sphatika (alum) in 100 ml warm water and gargle with it many times a day.
bulletAvoid frequent head baths and rain showers.

Ayurvedic Remedies

Your Ayurvedic doctor may recommend Khadiraadi vati. It is to be kept in the mouth and chewed slowly. Sitopalaadi choorna is another common medicine that is usually prescribed in a dose of three grams, to be taken thrice daily along with honey and ghee to minimise the symptoms. To develop immunity against any future attack of tonsillitis, you can give your child Agastyarasaayana lehya in a dose of one teaspoonful, twice daily mixed with honey.

Kanchanara guggulu in the dose of 2 tablets twice daily with warm water or Kapha ketu ras 2 tablets thrice daily or Tundikeri ras 1 tab thrice daily for 4-6 weeks, give permanent relief.


As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually formulated. This article is intended only for information. It is not a substitute to the standard medical diagnosis, personalized Ayurvedic treatment or qualified Ayurvedic physician. For specific treatment, always consult with a qualified Ayurvedic physician.



Dr. Ch. Murali Manohar, M.D. (Ayurveda)

Ayurvedic Specialist

Raksha Ayurvedic Centre,

Opp. Directorate of Women Development,

Yousufguda Main Road (Sarathi Studio Road),

Ameerpet, Hyderabad - 500073.,

Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Phones: Land: +91 (040) 23742146; Mobile: 09246575510

Consultation Hours  (by phone appointment)

Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.



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