Improve the immunity of children and get away from recurrent tonsillitis
Cases of repeated infections are more common these days in day-to-day practice. Perhaps it may be a result of changing life pattern of the parents, environmental factors and prevailing medication. Child with strong immunity would usually remain free from frequent childhood diseases. Weak immune children usually report with one or the other problem frequently. Tonsillitis is one among the commonly encountered frequent infections. Homoeopathy is known to act medicinally in different stages of tonsillitis and prevent recurrences by enhancing immunity. Perhaps because of this reason many parents turn to homoeopathy for managing their children’s tonsillitis which would also improve their immunity. This article discusses about the tonsillitis in general, effectiveness of antibiotics, causes for weak immunity, ways to improve the immunity and the drugs to manage tonsillitis.
Tonsils and tonsillitis – at a glance
Tonsils form a part of a ring of lymphoid tissue which is situated in the upper air passages working as first line of defence against infection entering either by respiratory or digestive tracts. The second line of defence consists of cervical glands, which drain it. In chronic conditions the inflammation can spread to surrounding organs like ear, pharynx, etc. Normally it is advisable not to remove tonsils because of the above function. Acute tonsillitis is a common painful condition mostly in children. It starts with sore-throat, difficulty in swallowing associated with malaise, fever, headache and pain in limbs. In most of the cases it is accompanied with Group A β haemolytic streptococcus, staphylococcus aureus, etc. If allowed to move to other body parts may create havoc. It should not be neglected because of the serious subsequent complications which sometimes occur like rheumatism and glomerulonephritis. It may have the tonsil involved as general inflammation of the pharynx or it may be follicular which is a very common form where the tonsil is red and swollen and becomes filled with pus. This painful condition sometimes extends to the ears. Tonsillitis is most of the time abrupt in onset. Chronic tonsillitis may occur in persons who had repeated acute attacks.
How antibiotics are becoming ineffective in tonsillitis?
It is a known fact that antibiotics develop resistance in microorganisms and diminishes immunity. The frequently quoted example is that of Penicillin which destroys bacteria by entering the bacterium and binding to proteins on the bacterial cell wall. Over a period of time resistance develops when the bacteria modifies the proteins in its cell wall so that penicillin can no longer bind effectively to the bacteria cell wall. This resistance has become more common now and is called as antimicrobial resistance, shortly AMR. According to WHO “this resistance is increasingly being detected and is spreading rapidly. In some parts of the world, once powerful medicines against many diseases have now become virtually useless.” Homoeopathy cures different stages of tonsillitis by employing a suitable medicine as per the presenting pathology and directly or indirectly improves the immunity.
Causes of weak immunity
Certain foods and environmental influences may affect the normal function of immune system. Many microorganisms, toxins and drugs can cause the impaired immunity directly or indirectly. It is known fact that antibiotics develop resistance in microorganisms and diminishes immunity as mentioned above. Obesity can lead to a depressed immune system. Reports alarming that childhood obesity is increasing. It can affect the ability of white blood cells to multiply, produce antibodies, and rush to the site of an infection. Activation of the immune system can be suppressed due to adverse reaction of some drugs to treatment of other conditions.
How to maintain the healthy immune system
After the child is born, it has to face the challenge of a new environment and unhealthy things like pollution, change of weather and avoidable toxic drugs. The childhood exposure to environmental pollution, food toxins and medications are obstacles for the healthy later life. Too much of antibiotics, other harmful drugs, artificial and junk foods are to be avoided. Children are to be encouraged to play well and do exercises in school. Watching the correct weight, balanced and healthy diet and taking care of the teeth are some of the ways to keep the system healthier. Apart from this, proper sleep and rest are to be maintained because the immune system is strengthened by sleep and rest. Too much of stress to the children is to be avoided. If it is observed, stress-relieving-measures and proper medications are to be followed, because the immune system is impaired by stress. Fresh fruits and vegetables are found to foster a healthy immune system. Likewise, foetal undernourishment can cause a lifelong impairment of the immune system. So care is to be taken in this sense during pregnancy. Some home remedies like garlic and honey are known to stimulate the immune system.
Drugs to manage tonsillitis and the weak immunity simultaneously
Atropinum sulphuricum: It is the main alkaloid of Belladonna and has been reported to give immediate relief of enhanced quantum expected of the drug Belladonna. Inflammations are relieved, pain is lowered and circulation improved. It covers pulsating pain, redness, warm swelling and dry throat.
Baryta carbonica: Specially indicated in infants and children, who always have swollen tonsils. Submaxillary glands and tonsils swollen. Takes cold easily, with stitches and smarting pain. Quinsy. Suppurating tonsils from every cold. Tonsils inflamed, with swollen veins. Smarting pain when swallowing; worse empty swallowing. Feeling of a plug in pharynx. Can only swallow liquids.
Baryta muriatica: It has a great relationship to the throat region, as such helpful in pharyngeal tonsillitis. Brings down the swelling of the tonsils and allows the secretion to flow. Symptoms are headache, giddiness, and humming in the ear. Conditions are worse in cold and damp weather.
Belladonna: Enlarged tonsils, with feeling of constricted throat; difficult deglutition; worse, liquids. Sensation of a lump. Acts better in 3x.
Calcarea carbonica Hahnemanni: It suits children who apparently look healthy, well-nourished but are sluggish both mentally and physically, are slow at school and games, have weak muscles and are liable to sprain their ankles or catch cold easily. It covers areas like enlarged tonsils, enlarged cervical glands which are common in children with low immunity.
Calcarea fluorica: Poor assimilation of calcium often leads to delays in dentition and this drug along with Calcarea phosphorica covers the problem efficiently. Indication also covers problems related to weak defences like follicular tonsillitis, sore throat, head colds, ineffectual desire to sneeze, stuffy cold, dry coryza, hacking cough from tickling in larynx or frequent hoarseness of voice after crying or reading loudly.
Calcarea phosphorica: It is indicated for swollen tonsils, child cannot open mouth without pain. It is also useful in associated adenoid growths.
Cinchona officinalis: A drug for tonsillitis with debility, nervousness especially recurring in nature, it suits in the homoeopathic dosage when anaemia is marked. It is a well verified remedy for debility, irritability, throbbing headache, exhausted feeling due to loss of vital fluids, anorexia (loss of appetite), etc. Fever is commonly associated.
Echinacea angustifolia Q/1x: The drug is used to increase resistance functions versus invasion of pathogens (micro-organisms). It is called as the antibacterial drug of homoeopathy with advantage of acting via increase of biological immunity. It is also a blood purifier.
Ferrum phosphoricum: In the first stage of inflammation. The tonsils are enlarged, hyperemic and painful. A febrile condition may be present.
Hydrastis canadensis: It is effective for all kinds of mucous membrane inflammations, watery coryza, excoriating with burning, smarting and rawness in nose, throat & chest. Its discharges are scanty indoors and profuse outdoors. Sneezing, dull frontal headache, tickling in nostril with constant discharge of thick, white, tenacious mucus are also covered.
Hepar sulphuris: Sore throat, scraping and shooting pain in the throat and even into the ears, as from splinters on swallowing, coughing, breathing and turning the head. Difficulties in speaking and in swallowing are lowered. Hawking up of mucus and dryness in the throat are alleviated. 3x works better in follicular tonsillitis.
Kalium bichromicum: It covers erythema of soft palate, bright or dark red, uvula relaxed, edematous - bladder like, with sensation of a plug in throat which is not better by swallowing. It helps lower the discharge from mouth and throat which tends to be tough and stringy. It is indicated for chronic tonsillitis and sinusitis.
Kalium muriaticum: It is especially indicated for follicular tonsillitis, tonsils are inflammed and enlarged to an extent that breathing becomes difficult. It covers grayish patches or spots in the throat and tonsils, adherent crusts in pharynx and sore throat as accompanying symptom. It also covers Eustachian catarrh.
Mercurius iodatus flavus and ruber: Both are indicated in tonsillitis covering individual symptoms. Mercurius iodatus flavus (Mercury proto-iodide) is a right side remedy whereas Mercurius iodatus ruber (Mercury bin-iodide) is a left side remedy. In the former only the superficial part of the tonsil is involved, whereas in the later the parenchymal part is involved in the inflammation.
Phytolacca decandra: It has organ affinity towards tonsils and other glands and lymph nodes. It is indicated for focally, sore throat, shooting rheumatic pains, disposition to boils, mastitis, and restlessness.
Silicea: It covers sore throat with accumulation of mucus in the throat, severe tonsillitis, pain as from excoriation and pricking, swelling of palate and uvula with difficult deglutition. Expectoration of little granules like shot, which when broken smell very offensive, is also covered by this medicine. It stimulates healing process in general.
Source: Dr. R. Valavan, Improve the immunity of children and get away from recurrent tonsillitis, Homoeopathy For All, Vol. 14 No. 04 (160) April 15 2013