A sore throat, one of the most common physical complaints, is a painful throat irritation. It can range from mild itchiness and dryness to severe pain and difficulty in swallowing.
Commonly, pain is a symptom of a cold but may also indicate other infections, either localized or systemic. If left untreated, a sore throat can lead to complications, including rheumatic fever.
Sore throats accompanied by a fever should be brought to a doctor's attention. Treatments are primarily directed at the underlying cause and symptoms. These include nasal decongestants, cough suppressants, sucking on sour, hard candies to stimulate saliva production, and gargling with warm salt water every half hour.
Dry throat (also a symptom)
Secretions which drain into the throat
Irritating environmental substances or allergies to:
Swallowing hot liquids or fluids
Bacterial infections of the throat, middle ear, nose or sinuses
Signs & Symptoms
Dry throat Edema of the throat Red throat Pain when swallowing Itchy throat
If infection is the cause, the following symptoms may also be present:
Fever Anorexia Aches Redness of the mouth Fatigue Enlarged and reddened tonsils Headache Malaise
Yellow and white spots on the throat and mouth
Structure & Function:
Multi Vitamin/Multi Mineral Formulas &
Immune System Support
Adult Child/Adolescent Bee Propolis* Beta-carotene 10 - 20 mg 5 - 10 mg Garlic* Magnesium 200 - 600 mg 100 - 300 mg Niacin 25 - 100 mg 10 - 30 mg Vitamin C 1,000 - 3,000 mg 1,000 - 3,000 mg Zinc Lozenges 10 - 40 mg 10 - 30 mg
* Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.
Note 1: Bee Propolis may be conveniently taken in the form of: Lozenges.
Chewable Vitamin C may be included, sometimes together with zinc in the same lozenge possibly with herbs as well e.g. Echinacea.
Note 2: A natural food source is garlic, which may be especially useful if accompanying chicken soup or broth! It is also available as a food supplement.
Note 3: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.
A sore throat can cause pain on swallowing which may make difficult the ingestion of sufficient calories and nutrients. A Full Liquid Diet or a Mechanical Soft Diet will minimize the chewing and irritation associated with eating, while providing healthful nourishment.
Throat lozenges can be taken for the relief of sore throat irritation.
Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
Echinacea and Goldenseal have almost become standard defenses against bacterial and viral infections. To spare resources, diversify to other berberine sources e.g. Oregon Grape.
A Fenugreek gargle is reputed to relive sore throat and reduce the pain of swollen glands.
Horseradish and similar "hot" foods can relieve irritation.
A Mullein poultice is reputed to soothe sore throats.
Slippery Elm (or Marshmallow root) soothes a scratchy, itchy throat.
Hoffmann, D: The New Holistic Herbal. Element, 1983. Third edition 1990.
1.* Aconitum Napellus tinct. - 30C
2.* Ferrum phosphoricum - 30C
3.* Spongia tosta - 30C
4. Arum triphyllum - 30C
Advanced by symptom:
1. Red throat, dry and burning - Belladonna tinct. or Dulcamara.
2. Coated tongue, halitosis, excessive salivation, sweating, hot and cold - Mercurius Vivus.
3. Scratchy throat (fishbone stuck in throat feeling) - Hepar sulphuris calcareum.
4. Slight soreness - Baryta muriatica.
5. Acute, painful - Aconitum Napellus tinct..
6. Pain up to the ears - Gelsemium sempervirens.
7. Swollen, red, allergic reaction - Apis Mellifica.
Doses cited are to be administered on a 3X daily schedule, unless otherwise indicated. Dose usually continued for 2 weeks. Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose. Solid preps are usually 3 pellets per dose. Children use 1/2 dose.
X = 1 to 10 dilution - weak (triturition)
C = 1 to 100 dilution - weak (potency)
M = 1 to 1 million dilution (very strong)
X or C underlined means it is most useful potency
Asterisk (*) = Primary remedy. Means most necessary remedy. There may be more than one remedy - if so, use all of them.
Boericke, D.E., 1988. Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Coulter, C.R., 1986. Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines.
Kent, J.T., 1989. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.
Koehler, G., 1989. Handbook of Homeopathy.
Shingale, J.N., 1992. Bedside Prescriber.
Smith, Trevor, 1989. Homeopathic Medicine.
Ullman, Dana, 1991. The One Minute (or so) Healer.
4 tablets every half an hour.
Aching glands Calc. Phos. Burning sensation in pharynx, chronic catarrh Calc. Phos. Choking when swallowing Mag. Phos. Constricted feeling in throat Mag. Phos. Closing of larynx by spasms Mag. Phos. Dry, red, inflamed throat Ferr. Phos. First stage: pain, heat, redness Ferr. Phos. Inflamed mucus lining of throat Nat. Mur. Inflamed tonsils Ferr. Phos. Inflamed tonsils with white-grey patches Kali Mur. Larynx: burning, sore Calc. Phos. / Ferr. Phos. Larynx, closing by spasming Mag. Phos. Loss of voice Kali Mur. Loss of voice from strain Ferr. Phos. Lump in throat from swallowing Nat. Sulf. Pain while swallowing Ferr. Phos. Pharynx, burning, sore Calc. Phos. Plug in throat Nat. Mur. Raw feeling in throat Nat. Phos. Redness and inflammation Ferr. Phos. Relaxed throat Calc. Fluor. Scraping feeling, when talking Calc. Phos. Sticking pain on swallowing Calc. Phos. Shrill voice, while speaking Mag. Phos. / Kali Phos. Sore, raw feeling, creamy coating Nat. Phos. Sore, singer / speaker Ferr. Phos. Sore, excessively dry or wet Nat. Mur. Spasm in throat Mag. Phos. Spasmodic cough Mag. Phos. Stinging sore throat when swallowing, tender neck Silicea Suppuration of throat Calc. Sulf. Swallowing pains Ferr. Phos. Thirst with dry mouth Calc. Phos. Tonsillitis after pus has formed Calc. Phos. Ulcerations, thick yellow discharges Silicea Ulcerated throat, fever and pain Ferr. Phos. Ulcerated, white-grey patches Kali Mur. Windpipe, spasmodic closure Mag. Phos.
Aromatherapy - Essential Oils
Benzoin Essence, Cajeput Essence, Clary Sage Essence, Ginger Essence, Hyssop Essence, Lavender Essence, Lemon Essence, Myrrh Essence, Pepper Essence, Sage Essence, Sandalwood Essence, Tea Tree Essence.
Related Health Conditions
Ache Influenza Allergy Laryngitis Cough Pain Edema Pharyngitis Fatigue Rheumatic fever Fever Strep throat Infection
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Biesel, W.R. Single Nutrient Effects on Immunological Functions. Journal of the American Medical Association, 245. 1981.
Bland, Jeffrey. Nutraerobics. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1983.
Bland, Jeffrey. Medical Applications of Clinical Nutrition. New Canaan, Conn.: Keats, 1983.
Chasroff, I.J. & J.W. Ellis. 1983. Family Medical Guide. William Morrow and Company Inc., Pub. 594 pp.
Chicago Dietetic Association and the South Suburban Dietetic Association of Cook and Will Counties. 1981. Manual of Clinical Dietetics. W.B. Saunders Co., Philadephia.
Dagnelie CF et al., Do patients with sore throat benefit from penicillin? A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial with penicillin V in general practice. Br J Gen Pract, 1996 Oct, 46:411, 589-93.
Dobbs F: A scoring system for predicting group A streptococcal throat infection. Br J Gen Pract, 1996 Aug, 46:409, 461-4.
Hamilton, H.K. ed. 1982. Professional Guide To Diseases Intermed Communications Inc. Pub, Springfield, Massachusetts. 1323 pp.
McIsaac WJ et al., Reconsidering sore throats. Part 2: Alternative approach and practical office tool. Can Fam Physician, 1997 Mar, 43:, 495-500.
Murray, M.T., & J.E. Pizzorno. 1991. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, Ca; Prima Publishing.
Perkins A: An approach to diagnosing the acute sore throat. Am Fam Physician, 1997 Jan, 55:1, 131-8, 141-2.
Pichichero ME: Sore throat after sore throat after sore throat. Are you asking the critical questions? Postgrad Med, 1997 Jan, 101:1, 205-6, 209-12, 215-8, passim.
Ruppert SD: Differential diagnosis of common causes of pediatric pharyngitis. Nurse Pract, 1996 Apr, 21:4, 38-42, 44, 47-8.
Sakaguchi M et al., Acute pharyngitis, an unusual complication of intravenous hyperalimentation. J Laryngol Otol, 1994 Feb, 108:2, 159-60.
Subak-Sharpe, G.J. 1984. The Physician's Manual For Patients. Times Books Pub, New York. 607 pp.
Thomas, W.R. & P.G. Holt. Vitamin C and Immunity. Clinical And Experimental Immunology, 32, 1978.
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