For many people a sore throat is the first sign they have of a lowered immune system and the onset of a cold or flu. The tonsils are the first line of internal defense acting as the lymphatic waste disposal system and removing bacteria from the blood. They also stimulate the immune system to produce infection-fighting antibodies.
Tonsillitis may be simply an inflammation of the throat or may be more complex and involve the glands making them swollen and tender. When the tonsils swell it can be an indication that the body has become overloaded and is working hard to eliminate waste. Rather than kill the bacteria directly the remedies stimulate the immune system to do the healing.
The following information may be helpful and relates to homoeopathic remedy pictures and information available in traditional homoeopathic texts. Homoeopathic principles should be applied when using any homoeopathic remedy. Always read the product label. If symptoms persist consult your health care practitioner promptly.
Chronic and recurring problems with your throat and tonsils are best treated constitutionally by your homoeopath. Meanwhile it is important to act immediately at the first sign of recurrence with indicated remedies such as Ferrum phos and Aconite. Intermittent doses of Anas barbariae in cooler months improves resistance as does a healthy diet including Vitamin C rich foods.
Repetition of the indicated remedy depends on the person’s own vitality and the intensity of symptoms. Usually you would start with frequent repetition reducing as improvement is noticeable. If after 3 or 4 doses there is no change then review the symptoms and look for a ‘more similar’ remedy.
The first remedy to think of is Ferrum phos for an inflamed, right-sided, red throat where the person is feverish and sensitive but not anxious. Aconite has sore, dry throat with fever, anxiety and thirst. Symptoms often come on after exposure to cold, dry wind. Use Belladonna when the throat is red and shiny especially on the right side, it’s painful to swallow and the face is flushed with dilated pupils and bright lips. Sore, swollen throat and palate with burning, stinging pains that may travel up to the ears suits Apis. The tonsils are purple red and glazed and it may feel as though there is a fish bone caught in the throat.
The Hepar sulph throat has white pits full of pus and has stitching, splinter like pains that can run into the ears or glands on swallowing. The symptoms can come on after cold food or drinks and are better from warm drinks. The person is extremely sensitive to drafts and cold air. If the throat is dry and burning and there is thirst for warm drinks and aggravation from cold drinks consider Arsenicum.
If the throat is red, raw and burning with foul breath, excessive saliva and offensive perspiration that is worse at night consider Mercurius, there may be alternating heat and chills. When Kali mur is indicated the tonsils are swollen and there is difficulty swallowing and a white coated tongue. There may be white or grey spots on the tonsils.
If the sore throat symptoms are accompanied by a lump sensation in the throat, pain on empty swallowing, hoarseness, sighing and a recent emotional upset think of Ignatia. It is as if the grief, sadness or upset is stuck in the throat.
Additional Immune Support
When unwell with a sore throat or cold symptoms eat plenty of garlic, ginger and onions, as the sulphur in these vegetables helps improve lymphatic waste removal and the immune system’s ability to fight off an infection. Decrease acid forming foods such as dairy, sweet foods and wheat and concentrate on an alkaline diet full of vegetables, fruit and broths.
Gargling 2 – 3 times a day with salty water with added herbs such as olive leaf, sage and Echinacea can help relieve pain and you can also include some Vitamin C powder. Alternatively you can mix a pinch of turmeric and a spoonful of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink slowly.