Tis the Season for… Sore Throats
Tis the season for… Sore Throats.
Sore throat complaints are keeping me busy this month! Some have the dreaded Covid, some have the flu, some may have strep throat and some people just have a sore throat.
What to do about this pharyngitis? (Pharynx is the part of the throat behind the mouth and nasal cavity and “itis” for inflammation.)
Well, at the first sign of feeling unwell, I like the Banerji protocol of Aconite 200c mixed with Bryonia 30c. Taking this right away can often nip things in the bud and send the yucks away before they can settle in.
Another option for those who are quick on the draw is Ferrum phos 6x. This, too, can often turn things around in short order.
Once the yucks have made themselves at home and one is definitively feeling unwell, let’s look at a few homeopathic remedies which may help. (Note: There are many remedies which can be helpful for sore throats, these are just a few of my favorites.) See also: Calming the Cold; Some Flu Remedies to Consider and Tis the season for the crud.
Extremely painful, dark red throat, where swallowing liquids is the only option and even that is very difficult, despite being thirsty; tiny bites of food gags them. They may have swollen glands and/or bad breath.
The sore throat appears suddenly and generally hurts more on the right side with burning or throbbing pain. The throat and the tip of the tongue may be red. Pain is worse from turning the head, touching the throat and swallowing, especially liquids. Face will often be red and hot but the hands and feet tend to be cold.
Burning and rough sore throat with pain that extends from the throat to the ear. May feel like there’s a painful lump in the throat that cannot be swallowed. Pain in the sternocleidomastoid — the long muscles on either side of your neck. Paralysis of the vocal cords. Swallowing solid foods is difficult.
Homeopathic Hepar is known for a sticking sensation in the throat, like a splinter or a bone. Pain extends to the ear on yawning and swallowing. May hawk up thick, yellow, sticky mucus. Wrapping up the external throat feels good. Cold drinks or becoming cold makes them feel worse but warmth in general and warm drinks can help. There may be a pulsation felt in the throat and they may feel worse in the evening and at night. Very sensitive to the pain and sensitive to everything else, too, actually and they may be irritable and impatient.
A purple throat, often on the left side (or starts on the left and moves to the right) and feels worse when swallowing liquids — even saliva is difficult — empty swallowing makes the throat hurt even worse (though they may have a constant desire to swallow). Swallowing solids may be easier. May have a disturbing constricting sensation, causing them to loosen clothes around the throat. Ear pain with sore throat. There may be a sensation of breadcrumbs or a painful sensation of a lump or plug which is not relieved by swallowing. They may choke easily, especially on falling to sleep and may have a suffocative feeling. Often feel worse on waking.
Often on the right side with a dryness in the throat and they may not be very thirsty. A stitching pain on swallowing which is better with warm drinks and worse with cold drinks. Choking on swallowing. They may feel like there is a lump or a plug in the throat. They are chilly but they also want fresh air but are worse becoming cold or eating/drinking cold things. May have digestive issues at the same time as the sore throat.
Lots of saliva and a raw, rough and burning feeling in the throat. Lots of slime gets stuck in the throat and there may be drooling while sleeping. Swollen glands. A bad or metallic taste in the mouth and may have bad breath. The throat may be copper colored. Throat pain on coughing. The throat may be worse at night and they may also experience night sweats. Finding the right temperature is often difficult.
Body aches and restlessness may accompany the sore throat. The tip of the tongue may be red. The throat becomes irritated and the voice becomes hoarse and is often worse from talking. The pain is worse from swallowing at first, but improves with more swallowing. Warmth is helpful and moving around may help, too — feeling worse when they are resting. Like the swallowing, they may feel worse when first moving around but better as they keep moving.
When to see a doctor?
According to the Mayo Clinic, see a doctor if:
A few quick notes relating to tonsillitis. (Note on type: Most highly indicated, highly indicated and indicated.) Again, there are many homeopathic remedies for tonsillitis and I am just focusing on the throat remedies already mentioned.
Tonsillitis, in general — in order of importance: Belladonna, Ferrum phos and Mercurius. Hepar & Lachesis. Baptisia and Lycopodium.
Tonsillitis with pus: Hepar, Mercurius. Belladonna, Lycopodium, Lachesis
Hardness of hearing with tonsillitis: Hepar, Lycopodium and Mercurius
Chronic, recurring tonsillitis: Hepar, Lachesis and Lycopodium
Painless tonsillitis: Baptisia
Burning pain in tonsils: Belladonna and Mercurius
Purple tonsils: Hepar and Lachesis
Bright red tonsils: Belladonna and Ferrum phos
Dark red tonsils: Baptisia and Lachesis
Tonsillitis in children: Ferr-phos, Lachesis, Lycopodium and Mercury
Sharp pain in tonsils: Belladonna, Lachesis, Lycopodium and Mercury
Tearing pain in tonsils: Belladonna
Throbbing pain in tonsils: Belladonna
Strep throat is another possibility and can lead to long term problems in rare cases. Unlike most sore throats, strep is caused by bacteria. Strep A is big in the news this year, especially in the UK, but there are other strains of strep which can cause throat problems, too (A, C & G are the primary throat culprits).
I never messed around with strep throats when my kids were little because I know two people who suffered terribly as a result of untreated strep. “Untreated strep throat can cause an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its own tissues and may lead to rheumatic fever, chorea and kidney damage” (Berkow et al. 1995).
How can you tell the difference between a sore throat and Strep throat?
Ultimately, for a full diagnosis of strep throat, you need to see a doctor and get a throat culture.
According the the Merck Manual and the Mayo Clinic, strep throat symptoms typically appear suddenly and include:
In very young children (under 4), the only symptom may be a runny nose. (When my kids were little, I learned that strep infections in littles may present with only stomach problems, so keep that in mind.)
“People with strep throat generally get better in 2 weeks, even without treatment. … antibiotics can shorten the duration of symptoms in young children and prevent serious complications such as rheumatic fever” (Berkow et al. 1995). (Note: There are homeopathic remedies which can be helpful in strep throat, but that is beyond the scope of this article.)
If you are suffering from a sore throat, try one of these homeopathic remedies so you can get back to some painless Fa La La-ing before the festive season is behind us.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Berkow, R., Beers, M. and Fletcher, A., 1995. The Merck Manual Home Edition. Merck Research Laboratories.
Mayo Clinic, 2018. Strep throat - symptoms and causes [online]. Mayo Clinic.
Some Flu Remedies to Consider
In my last post, I mentioned 7 remedies which may be good to have around as the cold & flu season approaches.
Here’s a quick rundown of why they’re good to have nearby, focusing especially on fevers.
Baptisia for fevers with profuse sweat, intense thirst; fevers with lethargy — no energy. Those who may benefit from homeopathic Baptisia may be suffering from bad breath or other foul smelling discharges. The bed may feel too hard and going outside and getting some fresh air does not sound like a good plan to them. There may be some mental confusion or they may even feel as if they are intoxicated. There may be copious, (often) smelly stool. Throat may appear dark red.
Bryonia. Homeopathic Bryonia may be an excellent remedy for a flu that creeps up on you… when you haven’t quite been feeling yourself but you wouldn’t necessarily call yourself “sick” yet, either. A dry fever with a great thirst for a lot of liquid; chills are more likely not a part of this picture. Dryness, however, is a key part of Bryonia… you may see constipation or a dry cough or dry eyes, dry skin, dry mouth. Someone benefitting from Bryonia may prefer to be still and quiet with movement resulting in discomfort, including when moving their eyes. They may prefer to be by their grumpy selves.
Eupatorium feverish people may find themselves shivering, especially after drinking any liquids. Aching pain anywhere in the body, but specifically pains in the legs - terrible pains in the bones themselves and may even feel as if one is broken. Big chills. Unquenchable thirst. Pulsating pain in the back of the head.
Gelsemium has little or no thirst at all and the 4 Ds: Droopy, drowsy, dizzy and dull. They feel their eyelids are too heavy to keep them open. Shivering and weak with coldness down the back. May feel faint. They may feel a dull, bruised pain all over and are worse from physical exertion. There may be a headache, beginning in the neck and moving up to the top of the head and feel as if there were a band or hoop around the head. Headaches may be relieved to some degree when urinating.
Mercurius sol is often worse in the night, where a fever may drive them from their bed. There may be shivering and shuddering with this fever. There may be bone pains, but more so at night. Discharges from the ears and the eyes. Fevers with profuse perspiration, again, worse at night or diarrhea at night. Headaches may be worse on the sides of the head and extend to the ears and the teeth.
Nux vomica flus may have pain in the lower back during fever. Shivering with perspiration. Thirsty but not wanting to drink anything. Very chilly and worse for cold air or drafts and may have a cough which starts when becoming cold. Nux vomica is well known for its digestive issues and may experience stomach pains during fever. They may find themselves oversensitive and emotional during a fever.
Rhus tox is most likely mentally restless during a fever. Chill plays a big part in a Rhus tox fever: chill, followed by heat and perspiration; thirsty during the chill; they feel worse when chilled and may develop a tickling cough during the chill. Drinking cold drinks may bring on stomach pains. They may feel they have a lump or plug in their throat and swallowing may feel good on the throat. They may feel better lying on their back and worse lying on the sides.
Here's wishing you have a happy and healthy winter season!
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Thankful for a yeast infection
Who in their right mind would be thankful for a yeast infection? The person who discovered the life changing possibilities of homeopathy, that’s who!
(Too much information, I know, but this is how the story goes.)
I used to suffer these ridiculous symptoms not infrequently and after many years of not suffering from anything of the sort, I had a yeast infection that would not go away. I had the cleanest diet of my life at that time (I was eating the Paleo Autoimmune diet). I had completely removed any source of sugar (including all fruit and even balsamic vinegar!) and was basically eating meat and low carb vegetables. Still, this yeast infection would not budge. I had a prescription of Diflucan from my gynecologist, but was hesitant to take it after reading the side effects despite having used it “successfully” many times before. I knew there had to be another way through this problem.
I began searching the internet for a natural answer. That’s when I found Joette Calabrese’s article and I learned at that moment that perimenopause was a likely culprit.
I looked around for a little more information. This sounded too good to be true. None of the other "natural" yeast infection cures helped at all.
I purchased a tube of Boiron’s Mercurius solubilis 200c. Actually, I purchased a couple of tubes of Merc sol, because her article did say it may take 3-5 months to fix this problem.
I was hesitant. I don’t know why I was hesitant. I had successfully used homeopathy to fix my migraines a few years prior. Maybe the hesitancy was because this was something I was doing on my own — and not under the guidance of my MD/homeopath.
I eventually, hesitantly, took the Merc sol.
I think it was the next day that all the symptoms were gone. I kept waiting for the symptoms to return. They never did. I never needed that second tube of Merc sol. Heck, I never even needed a second dose of the Merc sol. It has now been years, and I still haven't required a second dose.
That was in the month of September of 2015. I followed Joette’s blogs for a few more months to see what she was all about. By January, I had learned all I could learn from her blogs and I then booked an appointment with her to address my other long-standing, frustrating conditions.
Within 2 weeks of following the Banerji protocols she suggested, I felt so much better that I enrolled in my first of Joette’s webinars. By April, just 4 months later, I was completely hooked on the idea of homeopathy and began investigating a formal education in this new discovery of mine. My life was now set to take a completely different track than I had ever possibly imagined. By the 1 year anniversary of this glorious yeast infection, I had devoured everything Joette had to offer and was officially enrolled in Homeopathy School International, which was at that time, the only fully accredited US on-line program available.
I didn’t set out to become a homeopath. I only wanted to learn homeopathy — to know homeopathy as a “grand hobby” as Joette once termed it. But, because to get to the next level of classes I had to take the tests, I eventually earned my certification. Once that ended, I still wanted to learn more and that’s when I happened upon CHE/Middlesex University program and I have now earned my BSc in Homeopathy. (By this time, I knew I was absolutely on the right path. I now wanted to be the homeopath I had become.) Because I still want to learn more, I am once again enrolled in HSI, this time for the Advanced Clinical Studies.
I am so immensely grateful to Joette Calabrese (and that darned yeast infection!) and all she has taught me. My life now is nothing that I had ever dreamed it would be. Helping people to feel better is an honor and a privilege and one of the most rewarding things imaginable and I am thankful daily for the wonders of this amazing medicine known as homeopathy.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical homeopath
Throat or Tongue?
A few weeks ago, I had a nagging sore throat for days. The sore throat wasn’t enough to interfere with my life, but it was annoying. I didn’t feel ill in any other way. I had no other symptoms pointing to allergies. I tried a few remedies and had no success. I was stumped.
Then, I bit my tongue and that was the ticket!
One of the beautiful aspects of homeopathy is taking all the symptoms into consideration at one time to find the best remedy.
Mercurius sol is one of many remedies for sore throats, and I didn’t think of it right off the bat. But, when I kept biting my already bitten tongue, the penny finally dropped. Merc sol is also well known for aphthae (small ulcers in the mouth or on the tongue) and aphthous stomatitis, a.k.a. canker sores. Aha!
The niggling pain in my throat was lessened significantly in very short order and the tender little lump on the tip of my tongue was gone. By the next day, the re-injuring of my tongue was a thing of the past and my sore throat was just a ghost of itself.
When looking for the best remedy, remember to include all the relevant information in the case. My generic, not terribly painful sore throat didn’t give me enough information to quickly find the remedy needed. In this case, I had to bite my tongue to fix my throat!
Photo by Merch HÜSEY on Unsplash
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.