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Adenoids

General characteristics

General characteristics

The adenoids (or pharyngeal tonsils) are considered to be a part of the immune system and consist of a patch of lymphatic tissue, packed with antibody making cells, situated at the back of the nose where it joins the top of the throat. They work alongside the tonsils and function by filtering out viruses, bacteria and allergens that are breathed in through the nose to help prevent infections in the throat and chest.
Swollen adenoids are more common in early childhood as they normally shrink with age and often disappear completely by adulthood. Problems can arise when they become inflamed during the normal immune response and for various reasons (persistent infection, allergies or faulty diet) remain enlarged causing difficulty in breathing through the nose, sore throat, pain on swallowing and earaches. It can be particularly uncomfortable during the night as the child is forced to breathe through the nose, often snores and has disturbed sleep generally.

 

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

If swollen adenoids have become more chronic and long term then it is vital to look at overall diet and lifestyle. The whole vitality of the body needs to be improved in order to prevent further episodes. A good diet based on plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will go far in helping to raise the level of health and therefore limiting the chances of infections taking hold. Read the section on 'immunity' in this section of the site for more tips on diet and herbs.
Include garlic in the diet as much as possible, either in food or by giving pieces of fresh garlic in a capsule before bed.
Avoid foods containing white sugar, processed oils and fats, preservatives, colourings and other additives.
Laying off dairy foods has helped many children with swollen adenoids.
Keep the child away from smoke filled environments.
Foods and herbs containing Vitamin C, zinc and calcium are particularly helpful. Drink plenty of fluids to keep the body hydrated - water, fresh fruit juices and herbal teas. Check that your child's adenoids are not enlarging in response to an allergy of some sort ( see 'allergies' in the common ailments section of this site for ideas in this case).

 

Useful herbs

Useful herbs

Herbs that feed the immune system and cleanse the lymph tissues thereby easing inflammation include echinacea, myrrh, cleavers, wild indigo, red sage, thyme, bayberry bark, elderflowers, marigold, turmeric and golden seal.

 

Natural healing

Natural healing

Get plenty of rest to support the growing bodies efforts to heal itself.
Give a drink consisting of a teaspoon of honey, lemon juice and a pinch of black pepper twice daily.
Gargling morning and night with fresh lemon juice with a pinch of golden seal added can bring speedy relief.
A pinch of turmeric powder in a small glass of warm milk before bed can also help.
Practice deep breathing exercises for 10 minutes a day. Begin by lying comfortably and breathing in deeply, through the nose, making sure the tummy rises with each inhalation. Breathe out deeply through the nose and watch the tummy go down as you do so. Continue this pattern for a few minutes. Next switch to breathing in deeply whilst the chest rises and the tummy goes in and on exhaling the chest falls and the tummy rises. Practicing this for a few minutes each day will give strength and vigour to the lungs, chest area and abdominal muscles and benefit the adenoids.
Use something like Olbas oil in a burner or as drops on the child's pillow to ease breathing and fight infection while they sleep.
Ensure the child has plenty of fresh air and exercise. Gentle exercise such as walking encourages breathing through the nose which is considered helpful in shrinking enlarged adenoids.

 

 

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