Tonsillitis can be an extremely painful complaint, causing a very sore throat as the tonsils, which are situated at the back of the throat, become inflamed and swollen. The neck glands are also affected in many cases, and there may be a dry cough. Children get tonsillitis more often than adults, because it is often caused by a virus that they have not had time to develop resistance to. It can also be the result of bacteria.

Chinese Medicine will diagnose tonsillitis as due to Wind and Heat or, sometimes, to fire poison. Heat and fire can be treated internally by a Chinese Medicine practitioner, for example with Jin Yin Hua (Flos Lonicerae) and Lian Qiao (Fructus Forsythiae) drunk as tea.

A salt-water gargle can also be used to sterilize locally. The diet can be modified – tonsillitis sufferers should not eat too much spicy food, as that will aggravate the problem. Three-sided acupuncture needles to prick the top of the ears can also be effective.

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