Ayurveda for Tonsillitis

Galatundi is the name given to tonsils and tundikeri is a condition of inflammation of galatundi. Tundikeri or tonsillitis has been described as a localised swelling adjacent the base of the tongue having its resemblance to cotton seed fruit. When swollen it is covered with mucus, painful and hard to touch. There is oedema, increased size, pricking pain, burning sensation and suppuration.

Tonsillitis is one of the commonest diseases of the upper respiratory tract which affects all age groups particularly the growing children. The commonest cause of infection is streptococcal haemolyticus. The disease spreads quickly by way of dust particles. Poorly ventilated and overcrowded spots are the breeding grounds of these pathogens.

Chronic tonsillitis might lead to rheumatic fever, nephritis and many other systemic complications.

Symptoms include high fever of 103-104 range, with considerable pain on swallowing, painful enlargement of tonsillar glands in the neck, referred pain in the ear on the affected side, sore throat and exudation of pus.

Sphatika’s use in treating tonsillitis has been referred in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Ayurveda describes sphatika as an astringent, haemostatic, antiseptic. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic and antibiotic properties.

A study was conducted in Jammu, India to test the efficacy of sphatika on both acute and chronic tonsillitis cases. [See: JRAS Vol XVII No. 3-4 (1996) pages 149-156].

Fine powder of purified sphatika was used for local application over tonsils and fauces thrice daily before meals. Similarly 1 gm of sphatika dissolved in half cup lukewarm water was taken internally.

It was found that the disease is more frequent among the male children (11 – 20 years). Sphatika had a marked effect on treatment of tonsillitis. The various symptoms started regressing just after a day or two of commencement of therapy.

Sphatika being kasaya, katu, tikta, usna and jwara-hara in action, reduces the inflammation of the tonsils thereby regulating the increased body temperature. Its antibiotic activity inhibits further spread of the pathogens. This was confirmed by throat swab tests done before and after treatment.

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