ZocdocAnswersWill Figwort help swelling from tonsils go down?

Question

Will Figwort help swelling from tonsils go down?

I have had very swollen tonsils for the past couple of months, I went to the doctor and he gave me antibiotics and steroids, I took all of them it didn't help that much and I don't want to have to have a tonsillectomy. But I heard from someone that figwort will help the swelling go down a lot is that true? and do you know anything about it?

Answer

I am sorry to hear that you have been dealing with swollen tonsils for a number of months and that both antibiotics and steroids have not resulted in them decreasing in size. I am happy to answer your question about Figwort as best I can, and also give you some more information about what further evaluation you should have. Let me first off start out by saying that I am an otolaryngologist, or ENT (Ear Nose Throat) physician, who practices western medicine. I deal with tonsil problems all the time and have done lots of tonsillectomies, but I will be the first to admit that I am not the worlds expert on Figwort or other herbal medicines. The reason for this is that very rarely are there any good scientific studies proving the effectiveness (and lack of potentially serious side effects) of herbal medicines. That isn't to say that they don't work necessarily. Nonetheless I was curious after your question, and did a little research on the subject and I could not find any publications on studies correlating Figwort to tonsil problems (tonsillitis, tonsillectomy, tonsiloliths, etc). It looks like Figwort is being studied in some different plant genetic models, and also its effect on the rabbit intestine, but I could not find anything relating to tonsils. Tonsillar swelling is not necessarily an indication for tonsillectomy however in and of itself. Rather tonsils are generally taken out because they are large and causing sleep apnea, or because of recurrent strep (meaning strep test positive) tonsillitis (like 7X in a year). There are some other reasons to take out tonsils in adults, like asymmetric tonsils which can be a non specific sign of a lymphoma developing in a tonsil. I would recommend that you make an appointment to be evaluated by an ENT, even if you don't want to get your tonsils out. They may examine you and tell you that you don't need to. Best of luck.

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