Tonsillectomy is the second most common surgery performed on children; however, sometimes it is also performed on adults.
You probably never heard of Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko. It's a Chinese medicine formula composed of 9 herbs (gypsum, Bupleurum root, Pinellia tuber, Scutellaria root, Platycodon root, jujube fruit, ginseng root, Glycyrrhiza root, and ginger rhizome) and it has been used for more than a 1000 years by Asian cultures.
According to the National Institute of Health, tonsillectomy is the second most common surgery performed on children; however, sometimes it is also performed on adults. The most common reason that a tonsillectomy is performed is due to repeat tonsillitis. Tonsillitis is an infection in the throat that occurs in the tonsils. It usually causes a severe sore throat and fever with swallowing becoming difficult and painful.
Although tonsillectomy is a common procedure it is not without risks. According to the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngol hemorrhage, or bleeding, has been reported to be as high as 20%. Because of the risk associated with surgery some patients who refuse tonsillectomy seek alternatives such as herbal treatments.
Seven patients were asked to participate in a study to evaluate the effectiveness of this herbal treatment. To qualify for the study all patients had to have experienced acute tonsillitis at least 2 times a year for more than 2 years. Some patients had already decided to undergo surgical treatment for their condition. All patients took Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko for at least 60 days. The results were published in Complimentary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
"In the 7 chronic tonsillitis patients who took Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko, the incidence of acute tonsillitis decreased. In all patients, their sore throat disappeared or decreased soon after taking Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko. Some patients who were intractable to conventional therapy (e.g. penicillin derivative, antibiotics, or cephem derivative antibiotics and NSAIDs) responded well to the herbal medicine. No adverse events were associated with Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko in any of the patients."
The effects of the herbal combination are believed to be produced by its anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory actions. Several immunomodulatory actions have been identified as "activation of B cells to facilitate antibody production, activation of macrophages to enhance phagocytosis function, increased efficiency of interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 production, and increased monoxide production."
The authors conclude, "Our open-label results suggest that the herbal medicine Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko is safe and effective for treating chronic tonsillitis, which typically requires surgery to control. Decreasing the incidence of acute tonsillitis can keep patients from undergoing tonsillectomy. The herbal medicine Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko is effective for the treatment of chronic tonsillitis and for reducing the incidence of acute tonsillitis. In some cases, patients taking Sho-saiko-to-ka-kikyo-sekko can successfully avert planned surgery to remove their tonsils."
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