If you are diagnosed with tonsillitis, or any other "itis" for that matter (the suffix "itis" is derived from Greek and refers to inflammation), here are a few steps you can take before you rush off to have your precious bits removed.

Remember that natural remedies will often take a little longer to work, so be patient and enjoy the process of integrating healthier practices into your life. Illness can be our best teacher.

  • Try to omit sugar from your diet. Give yourself a week off it, and see if you experience any changes. As well as depleting the body of vital minerals and vitamins, sugar consumption has also been shown to reduce the body's ability to fight viruses and infection. If you need your sweet fix, take a spoonful of manuka honey, as it is said to have many health benefits, including antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • If you enjoy fizzy drinks or sodas, try instead to reach for a glass of pure water when you're thirsty. Alternatively, you can drink fresh vegetable juice—made from carrots, cucumbers, beets and celery—with a little fresh ginger, which will alkalize your body and is an excellent tonic for tonsillitis.
  • Cut out (or at least cut down on) dairy products. Many people lack the enzyme to digest lactose, and because of their high fat content, milk, cheese and other dairy products can cause a buildup of mucous in the throat and lungs, creating conditions for infection and inflammation.
  • Cut out all processed and refined foods as well as fast foods. Try to find time to cook wholesome meals, focusing on whole grains, vegetables and proteins such as fish and legumes.
  • Take an echinacea and goldenseal tincture. Echinacea boosts the immune system, while goldenseal has antibiotic, anti-catarrhal, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Turmeric and ginger are powerful anti-inflammatory spices and can easily be integrated into your diet or taken in capsule form. For more serious cases, it's probably a better idea to take 400 to 600 mg daily of the dried spice as a supplement in capsule form. You can also use them to spice up your dishes or use the fresh ginger to make tea.
  • If you're unwell, take time to rest and stay out of stressful situations. Often, sickness is our body's way of letting us know we need to slow down and smell the roses. Take deep breaths, invite in some healing energy and, if possible, take walks in nature. You might get some strange looks, but there's nothing like hugging a tree to give you some renewed strength and energy.
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