In continuing to look at the remedies that you might want to have on hand for the upcoming cold and flu season, here are twelve tried-and-true remedies for patients with sore throats.  I based this list on the one in my book Practical Homeopathy.  Which causes me to ask:  if you steal from your own work, is it still plagiarism, or are you just being lazy?

As is always the case when using homeopathic remedies for the treatment of everyday emergencies in the home, choose the remedy whose actions best match the patient’s symptoms.  The remedy that best mirrors the symptoms associated with the patient’s unique experience of the sore throat will most swiftly and effectively work to aid the patient’s own immune system in the restoration of health.  I suggest that these remedies not be used in any potency above a 30C unless you are told otherwise by a medical professional.

First, two remedies for sore throats that come on after exposure to cold air:

ACONITE: Think of ACONITE first for a sore throat that comes on quickly, most especially if that sore throat begins after exposure to cold, dry wind.  Look for the throat to look red and swollen and for the patient to feel chilled, even during an accompanying fever.  Patient’s face will be bright red, hot to the touch and dry.

CHAMOMILLA:  This is the remedy for sore throats that come on after you go out into cold air while perspiring.  Singing and burning pains in the throat.  There is a sensation that you should be able to cough something up from the throat and then you will feel better.  Often the remedy for children’s sore throats, especially when the child is cross.

Now two remedies for sore throats that are often associated with tonsillitis.  (Although, note, they may be used for other cases of sore throat as well, so don’t limit their use in your thinking.)

BELLADONNA:  This is the best remedy to think of in cases in which the pain is associated with tonsillitis, but it may be useful in other sore throats as well.  The pain comes on quickly.  The tonsils and throat will be bright red.   The pain is burning in nature, and—look for this, it is a good indicator—the patient swallows constantly, even though it hurts for them to swallow.  They may have trouble swallowing food or water.  They want lemons or oranges.  Look for a fever to accompany the sore throat.  The patient wants to rest in a quiet cool place, often in a half sitting position.  In the same way, the patient may seem half asleep, half awake much of the time.

FERRUM PHOSPHORICUM:  The other remedy to think of in cases of tonsillitis.  Think of this remedy when the pain does not occur as suddenly as it does with BELLADONNA, but comes on slowly, and starts out rather mildly, usually in the middle of the night or just before bedtime.  Usually the symptoms will not reach the point of severity or drama as they do with BELLADONNA.  In fact, FERRUM PHOS  is often given for fevers and sore throats that are notable for their lack of specific symptoms.  They simply are there.  Sore throats where pain is accompanied by fever and hoarseness.  NOTE:  FERRUM is also a good remedy to have on had for people who lose their voices from overuse, especially from straining due to singing.  Think of this remedy if the patient feels better from drinking cold water.

Now some general sore throat remedies:

APIS:  Think of the general APIS picture and apply it to a sore throat.  In other words, think of a bee sting, how it feels and how the skin at the point of the sting looks and feels.  The sore throat is red and swollen; it feels stung and burning.  The pain is made worse by drinking warm things, and is better for drinking very cold things.  The throat is dry; the patient is thirsty.  The throat may look to be shiny as well as red.  In ACONITE, the throat looks swollen.  In APIS, it feels swollen as well.  Patient will say that the throat hurts whether or not they swallow.

PHOSPHORUS:  This is a great remedy patients who lose their voice from overuse; for what they used to call  “Preacher’s throat.”  Think of it in terms of the patient having given over too much of himself or herself, and now they are exhausted.  The patient loses his voice because he has nothing left to say.  This sore throat demands cold drinks, ice, and ice cream.  Patient may become nauseous as these things warm in the stomach but he still needs to have them for the sake of his throat pain.  The PHOSPHORUS patient wants to be made to laugh, even if that makes the throat hurt worse.  This sore throat may involve the ears as well and may hurt into the ears on swallowing. Look for the patient to experience tightness of chest and for the sore throat and cold to move down into the chest as well.  The PHOSPHORUS patient usually will experience discomfort in ears, throat and chest during illness, as opposed to symptoms in the sinuses.

RHUS TOXICODENDRON:  This is a great remedy for those patients who lose their voices often, due to overuse.  It is the best friend to all actors and singers whose voices are in doubt.  Consider this remedy first if the patient’s pain is worse on initial swallowing, but better from continued swallowing. This is the keynote symptom for RHUS TOX. The patient is made worse from cold in any form and is better from warm drinks.  The patient will, in general, feel better from warmth, especially the damp heat of a hot shower.

SULPHUR:  Think of this remedy as a general tonic for the throat.  It can be used for any situation in which the patient has a mild sore throat in which the pattern follows the general SUPHUR symptoms:  a hot, sweaty lazy patient.  The sore throat pain is better from cold drinks, worse from warmth in any form.  The pain is made better by salt and from eating salty things. The patient will want to eat potato chips–things that are both greasy and salty.   The pain in the throat is burning in character.

CAUSTICUM:  Think of this remedy for the hoarse and rough sore throat that is accompanied by a hoarse voice.  When the pain is always worse in the morning.  This is a very good remedy for obstinate cases, especially with pain in the chest as well as the throat, so this remedy often follows PHOSPHORUS well when that remedy fails to totally heal the condition.  CAUSTICUM is usually an emotionally-related remedy, for cases in which emotional upset is involved with the onset of pain.  The CAUSTICUM patient may lose his voice when shouting out about causes that excite him—as with PHOSPHORUS and RHUS TOX, overuse of the voice may be involved, but the CAUSTICUM speaks in anger before losing his voice.  NOTE:  In a flip-flop from the other remedies, the CAUSTICUM patient will actually feel better in cold, wet weather.

LACHESIS:  Everyone knows that LACHESIS is made from snake venom, and so it goes to follow that the throat, the most snake-like part of the body, will be most vulnerable to sore throat pain.  The pain is usually on the left side, or begins on left and moves right. (NOTE: if the pain begins on the right and moves left, choose between ARSENCUM and LYCOPODIUM.) Look for the left side of the throat to be more swollen or deep red/purple in color.  The sore throat pain is worse from swallowing any liquids, especially warm liquids, better from swallowing solid food.  The patient’s throat is overly sensitive to touch.  Nothing can cover the throat and no one can touch it.  The patient will be very protective of his or her throat.

Two remedies to think of when the sore throat is severe:

HEPAR SULPHURICUM:  Think of this remedy when the pain feels as if there were a stick caught in the throat.  As with ACONITE, the pain begins usually after the patient is exposed to cold air, although this may not be the case in all instances, so don’t rule this remedy out needlessly.  The sore throat will ache into the ears, especially on swallowing.  The sore throat pain is made better by drinking hot drinks.  This is a remedy to think of in cases of more severe sore throats when an infection is suspected.  NOTE:  the HEPAR SULPH patients will not want to be touched or bothered and may become quite irritable.

MERCURIUS:  Think of this remedy in cases of very severe sore throats in which some sort of infection is present.  Usually, when MECURIUS is called for, the ailment is not a simple sore throat, but is usually a case in which a cold has settled into the throat.  Therefore, MERCURIUS is not a remedy for a simple sore throat, or one that has just begun, but is instead to to be considered when a throat continues to be sore for a period of time.  Look for swollen glands under the jaw.  Look for a swollen tongue and for the patient’s mouth to have  a great deal of saliva in it.  The patient drools at night.  The patient’s pain is raw; the throat is constricted.  The patient’s throat will be visibly swollen. Tonsils will be swollen.

These aren’t the only remedies that can be used for patients with sore throats, of course, although they are among the most commonly used remedies.  For more information on these remedies and others, give a look at my book Practical Homeopathy, of, if you have young children in the home, consider Household Homeopathy.

 

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