see also Adenoids, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis, Colds
A blanket term for inflammation or infection involving the adenoids, tonsils, pharynx, larynx and vocal cords. Infection may be generalised, involving the mucous membranes of the pharynx or larynx, or localized, affecting only the tonsils or adenoids, glands specifically designed to defend the upper respiratory tract against invading organisms. Offending microbe is usually a virus, as in Colds, Influenza, Mumps, and Glandular Fever, but it can also be a bacterium as in streptococcal infections (Rheumatic Fever usually begins with a 'strep throat'), or a fungus, as in Oral Thrush. Inflammation can also follow heavy smoking or drinking, abuse of gargles, general vitamin deficiency, or food Allergy; alternatively, inflammation can be a symptom of blood disorders such as agranulocytosis, aplastic Anaemia, or leukaemia, or of Cancer, Tuberculosis, syphilis, or AIDS (see Sexually Transmitted Diseases). If any of these conditions is suspected or diagnosed, turn to the relevant entry for description and homeopathic treatment.
If sore throat is accompanied be high Fever and generally feeling very unwell, for children: consult a doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours, adults: consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 48 hours; depending on the diagnosis, antibiotics or analgesics may be prescribed. Antiseptic lozenges and gargles should be used with caution, as some of them contain a local anaesthetic which can trigger off an allergic reaction or simply prolong infection. A recurrent sore throat deserves constitutional treatment.
Specific remedies to be given every 2 hours for up to 10 doses
- Sudden onset, made worse by cold dry winds, throat dry, tonsils swollen, great thirst, throat looks red, rough, and dry, and also feels constricted, burning, and numb or tingly, hoarse voice Aconite 30c
- If person suffers from chronic nasal drip and lumbago or earache, acute sore throat comes on after exposure to cold and damp or after great exertion, throat raw and burning, saliva thick, voice hoarse, cold sores around mouth, red itchy skin as in nettle rash, person thirsty for cold drinks and feels better moving around Dulcamara 30c
- Pain and soreness right-sided, throat feels as if there is a lump in it, neck glands swollen, lips dry, person thirsty but not hungry Baryta mur. 30c
- Horrible taste in mouth, pain in neck and ears made worse by swallowing, person unwilling to drink because swallowing hurts so much, comes over hot and cold by turns, feels heavy, exhausted, weak, and shaky Gelsemium 30c
- Front of mouth normal, back of throat yellowish and coated, person craves fresh air, tonsil abscess threatening Calcarea sulph. 30c
- Sore throat due to allergy, back of throat bright red, swollen, and shiny, with uvula also swollen, pain burning and stinging, person depressed and irritable Apis 30c
Self-help: Take plenty of Vitamin C and a course of garlic pills, and increase intake of zinc. Make up a Hypericum and Calendula solution gargle (5 drops of mother tincture of each to 0.25 litre [½ pint] boiled cooled water) and gargle every 4 hours.