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ACUTE TONSILITIS. (Follicular Inflammation of the Tonsils). Causes
Category: Infectious Diseases
Authors regard this as an infectious disease. It is met with more
frequently in the young; infants may take it. Some authors state it can be
communicated either through the secretions or by direct contact, as in the
act of kissing (Koplik). It is frequent in children from the second to the
fourth year, but it is more common after than before the fourth year. Sex
has no influence. In this country it is more common in the spring. The
predisposing causes are exposure to wet and cold and bad hygienic
surroundings. One attack renders a person more susceptible. It spreads
through a family in such a way that it must be regarded as contagious. The
small openings (Lacunae) of the tonsils become filled with products which
form cheesy-looking masses, projecting from the openings of the (Crypts)
hidden sacs. These frequently join together, the intervening tissue is
usually swollen, deep red in color and sometimes a membrane forms on it in
which case it may look like diphtheria.
Symptoms. Chilly feelings or even a chill and aching pains in the back
and limbs may precede the onset. The fever rises rapidly and in the young
child may reach 105 degrees in the evening of the first day. The infant is
restless, peevish and wakeful at night; it breathes rapidly, and there is
high fever and great weakness. Nursing is difficult, not only on account
of the pain in swallowing, but because in the majority of cases there is
more or less inflammation of the nose. The bowels are disturbed as a
result of swallowing infectious secretions from the mouth with the food.
The tonsils are enlarged and studded with whitish or yellowish white
points. The glands at the angle of the jaws may be enlarged. In older
children the tonsils are enlarged and the crypts plugged with a creamy
deposit. The surface is covered with a deposit and the pillars of the
fauces, uvula and pharynx may all be inflamed. The tongue is coated, the
breath is bad, the urine high colored, swallowing is painful; the pain
frequently runs to the ear and the voice sounds nasal, as if one had mush
in his mouth when talking. In severe cases the symptoms all increase, and
the parts become very much swollen. Then the inflammation gradually
subsides, and in a week, as a rule, the fever is gone and the local
conditions have greatly improved. The tonsils, though, remain somewhat
swollen. The weakness and general symptoms are often greater than one
would suppose. The trouble may also extend to the middle ear through the
Diagnosis Between Acute Tonsilitis and Diphtheria. Follicular form. "In
this form the individual, yellowish, gray masses, separated by the reddish
tonsilar tissue are very characteristic, whereas in diphtheria the
membrane is of ashy gray and uniform, not patch."--Osler. A point of the
greatest importance in diphtheria is that the membrane is not limited to
the tonsils, but creeps up the pillars of the fauces or appears on the
uvula. The diphtheric membrane when removed leaves a raw, bleeding, eroded
surface; whereas, the membrane of follicular tonsilitis is easily
separated as there is no raw surface beneath it.
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Tonsilitis, Raw Onion and Pork for. "Take a raw
onion and some salt pork, chop together, make a poultice on which put a
little turpentine and wrap around the throat." This is a very good remedy
and should be used for some time. Change as often as necessary.
2. Tonsilitis, Peppermint Oil Good for. "Apply peppermint oil thoroughly
on the outside of the throat from well up behind the ear nearly to the
chin, also just in front of the ear. This will soon penetrate through to
the tonsils; apply freely if the case is severe and later apply hot cloths
if relief does not follow without."
3. Tonsilitis, Borax Water for. "One-fourth teaspoonful borax in one cup
of hot water, gargle frequently." This may be used for ordinary sore
throat not quite so strong.
4. Tonsilitis, Salt and Pepper Will Relieve. "Apply salt pork well
covered with pepper to the swollen parts; will often give relief."
5. Tonsilitis, Peroxide of Hydrogen Will Cure. "Tonsilitis and contagious
sore throats are just now extremely popular. Persons having a tendency to
them will seldom be sick if they gargle daily with a solution of peroxide
of hydrogen and water in equal parts for adults. Peroxide diluted with
five parts of water and used as a head spray will prevent catarrhal
colds." Children, are often sent to school immediately after an attack of
tonsilitis, when they should be at home taking a tonic and building up by
a week of outdoor play.
6. Tonsilitis, a Remedy Effective for. "Rub the outside of the throat
well with oil of anise and turpentine, and keep the bowels open." Care
should be taken not to take cold. The anise is very soothing and the
turpentine will help to draw out the soreness. This would be a good remedy
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Tonsilitis. 1. First Home Treatment. Put the
patient to bed alone in a pleasant room, comfortably warm; for this
disease is recorded as contagious in this form. Cold applied externally
around the sore spot is good. Use an ice bag if you have it; or wring
cloths out of cold water and put just under the jaw and a flannel over
that, bound around the neck. It must be changed often to keep cold.
2. Smartweed. Cloths wrung out of smartweed tea are very good when
applied under the jaw.
3. Salt Pork. Salt pork, well salted and peppered, sewn to a cloth and
applied on both sides, if both are diseased, directly to the lumps is very
good. These can be kept on indefinitely. I have used them.
4. Liniment. A strong blistering liniment applied externally where the
lumps are is also good. These applications tend to withdraw some of the
blood from the sore tonsils, and of course, that relieves them. There are
many such that can be used. Poultices should not be applied for this form
as they tend to hasten formation of pus.
5. Internally. Dip your clean moistened finger tip into dry bicarbonate
of soda (baking soda), rub this gently on the sore tonsil and repeat it
every hour. You can also put one teaspoonful of it in one-half glass of
very hot water and gargle if you do not use it locally.
6. Hot Water. Gargling frequently with very hot water is splendid. If you
wish you can use one teaspoonful of some antiseptic, like listerine, in
7. Thyme. You can make a tea of the common garden thyme and gargle or
rinse your mouth and throat with it every half to one hour. This is not
only healing and soothing, but it is also antiseptic. This is a
constituent of many of the antiseptic preparations.
8. Steaming With Compound Tincture of Benzoin. Tincture of benzoin is
splendid. Put one tablespoonful in a quart of hot water and inhale the
steam. Put a sheet over your head and pitcher; or put it in a kettle, and
roll white writing paper into a funnel, tie one part over the spout and
put the other end in your mouth if possible; or you can inhale simple
steam in the same way. I know this is excellent and often recommended;
everyone has it, and it costs literally nothing, except to heat the water.
9. For the Pain. Dissolve two drams of chloral hydrate in an ounce of
water, use a camel's hair pencil if you have it, or a soft piece of cloth
tied on a smooth stick, and apply directly to the diseased parts. This is
for older persons, relieves the pain very much. There are many other
simple remedies that can be used in this way.
10. MEDICINES. Parke, Davis & Co., Anti-Tonsilitis Tablet No. 645 is very
good. This can be bought at any drug store. For a child give one-half a
tablet every two hours for four doses, then every three hours. An adult
can take one to two every one to three hours according to the severity of
11. Aspirin. Aspirin is another good remedy; five grains every four hours
for an adult; but used only under doctor's directions.
12. Dr. Hare of Philadelphia, uses 1/200 grain mercurius biniodide (pink
powder) every four to six hours to abort tonsilitis. I would recommend the
following:--Give one-tenth drop dose of a good tincture of aconite and
1/200 grain of the mercury biniodide (one to two tablets a dose) every
hour, alternately, one of them one hour and the next, etc. If there is
much deposit I would put ten tablets of mercury protoiodide (one-tenth of
a grain in a tablet) in one-half glass of water and give two teaspoonfuls
every hour until the bowels move freely, then every three to four hours.
The aconite can be used if there is much fever, with hot, dry skin,
alternately everyone-half hour. I prefer the pink powder when there is no
deposit or membrane. These I have used for years, and know them to be
excellent. For children the dose is about one-half. After twelve hours the
remedies should be given only every three to four hours.
Next: QUINSY. (Suppurative Tonsilitis)
Previous: LARYNGEAL DIPHTHERIA, Formerly Called Membranous Croup