The tonsils are formed of lymphoid tissue, and lie in the upper part of the throat (pharynx). In common with the spleen, thymus and lymphatic system they form part of our defence against infection. Like the thymus, they are larger in childhood, and dwindle in adulthood, possibly because antibodies to a great number of illnesses are formed during childhood as the child progressively comes into contact with the various bacteria and viruses responsible for infection.

Tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, is due to infection of these organs themselves, often by streptococci. Steam inhalations at frequent intervals will both relieve the pain and help to combat the infection. Thyme is one of the best essential oils to use, as it is not only a very powerful antiseptic but also has a mild local anaesthetic effect which reduces the discomfort. Lavender and Benzoin are other good oils.

Repeated attacks of tonsillitis indicate a low state of resistance, and steps need to be taken to improve this. An improvement in diet, garlic tablets or capsules taken every night, massage with essential oils and large amounts of Vitamin C are all indicated.

The practice of removing the tonsils, particularly during childhood, is now fortunately far less common than it was 20 or 30 years ago and if natural treatment with essential oils, plus nutritional measures, are followed, it should only very rarely be necessary.

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