One of the most common ailments of childhood, mumps is caused by a viral infection in the saliva glands. It may only affect one side of the face, but often spreads to the opposite gland a day or two later. Along with swollen glands, mumps may cause earache, particularly when eating.

Although adult men who catch mumps may suffer swelling and inflammation of the testicles, this rarely leads to sterility, contrary to common belief. In women, inflammation of the ovaries can cause abdominal pain, but again, is unlikely to result in permanent damage. Mumps is infectious and often occurs in epidemics, particularly in spring and summer.

Chinese Medicine regards mumps as an invasion of wind damp heat which has become lodged in the facial area and therefore causes the painful swelling of the glands. Chinese herbs like honeysuckle flowersisatis root, dandelion, skullcap root or rhubarb can all be used in Chinese Medicine treatment.

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