Sore throat is a condition in which there is inflammation of larynx, pharynx or tonsils that is laryngitis, pharyngitis or tonsillitis respectively.
Soreness in throat is typically associated with painful swallowing and inflammation of pharynx that is the most common form of sore throat.
It is a painful inflammation of the passage from the mouth to the pharynx or of the pharynx itself.
A sore throat may be a symptom of influenza or of other respiratory infections, a result of irritation by foreign objects or fumes, or a reaction to certain drugs, infections are often caused by a strain of streptococcal bacteria and viruses are often the primary cause of sore throat.
Generally the throat reddens and, the tonsils may secret pus and become swollen. Microbial agents producing soreness may remain localized or may spread and produce such serious complications as rheumatic fever.
Homeopathic Treatment of Sore Throat
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach.
This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering.
The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat the disease condition but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several homeopathic remedies are available to treat sore throat that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.
For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following homeopathic remedies which are helpful in the treatment of sore throat:
Calcarea Carbonica Hahnemanii
Hepar Sulphuris Calcareum
Mercurius Solubilis Hahnemanni
Mercurius Iodatus Flavus
Mercurius Iodatus Ruber
Silicea, Silica Terra
Belladonna –This remedy corresponds to many sore throats and is very often prescribed. Its symptoms must be carefully followed to secure the best results. It is indicated by great dryness and brightness of the throat; it has a glazed appearance, the fauces are inflamed, the tonsils are swollen and enlarged, worse on the right side; constant desire to swallow. There is constricted sensation in the throat, worse from swallowing when liquids and even food are ejected through the nose. There is great soreness from the swelling and hyperaesthesia of the fauces. Sore throats of catarrhal origin, rapid in progress and having dryness as a prominent symptoms are promptly relieved by Belladonna. A great aversion to drink with the sore throat is characteristic. Cistus Canadensis has great dryness of the throat; so dry that there is a sensation of sand in the throat and the patient drinks often to moisten the parts. Wyethia has great dryness in the pharynx and posterior nares, an elongated uvula and burning of the epiglottis.
Arsenic album – burning pains in throat relieved by hot drinks. Although the patient is thirsty, he or she sips only small amounts of liquids.
Aconite – usually given in first stage of sore throat which comes on violently, especially after exposure to dry, cold wind. Burning, dry, very red throat.
Bryonia alba – great dryness of throat, dry lips, constricted feeling worse by coming into warm room. White coated tongue; very thirsty for large amounts of water.
Cantharis – A very useful throat remedy; it has a highly inflamed throat covered with a plastic lymph. there is spasm of the throat with a feeling of intense constriction. The throat feels as if on fire, the pain seems to be at the back of the throat. It has been found most useful at the conclusion of inflammatory and the commencement of catarrhal sore throats. Apis. Stinging pains in the throat, with oedema; the throat feel constricted , and the pharynx has a shiny appearance . Blisters in throat, with much swelling inside and outside. Capsicum. Useful in sore throats of smokers and drinkers, with burning and relaxed uvula, throat sore and contracted even when not swallowing; the fauces are dark red. There is excessive smarting and burning; cold aggravates.
Ferrum phos – throat sore, dry, red, inflamed, with much pain. Throat burning with pain, associated with fever.
Kali bi –Sore throat, with swelling of the tonsils, and ulcers which exude a purulent discharge; there are diseased follicles which exude a caseous matter; the coating of the tongue is yellow at the base; there is an accumulation of sticky tenacious mucus in the pharynx and pains in the Eustachian tubes. There is with Kali bichromicum a sensation of dryness, of burning and of rawness, or a scraping feeling as if something were sticking in the throat. Ammonium muriaticum has sore throat with viscid phlegm, so tough that it cannot be hawked up. There is rawness in the naso-pharynx and hoarseness. Calcarea phosphorica, according to Cooper, is almost specific for adenoid vegetations in the naso-pharynx. Sanguinaria nitrate. In chronic follicular pharyngitis Ivins considers this remedy a sheet anchor, where there is burning, soreness and rawness in the pharynx.
Hepar sulph –Sharp splinter-like pains in the throat indicate this remedy, or a sensation as if there were a lump in the throat. Suppurative throat troubles, tonsillitis and retropharyngeal abscess will call for Hepar. The sensation of a fish bone in the throat is quite characteristic. The 3rd centesimal potency is doubtless the most efficacious strength in these conditions. Nitric acid has splinter-like sensations in throat, but due to ulcerative processes. Argentum nitricum. Sensation of a splinter in the throat when swallowing; secretion of clear tenacious mucus, rawness in pharynx and larynx with altered tone of voice. Natrum muriaticum. Sensation as of a hair in the throat, uvula elongated, feeling of a plug in throat, tobacco user’s sore throat. Ignatia. Sensation of plug in throat, worse when not swallowing. Nervous symptoms, marked prostration and slow recuperation. Valeriana. Sensation as of a string hanging down into the throat. Kali carbonicum. A fish bone sensation in the throat, with hawking; no other remedy has this hawking and sensation combined.
Merc sol – The preparations of mercury are all great sore throat remedies. Mercurius has dryness and great soreness of the throat, the patient is obliged to swallow constantly and there is much soreness and swelling of the glands ;this is characteristic of the remedy. The throat is raw and burning and also red and swollen. It is useful in sub-acute or torpid anginas and in affections of the throat appearing on every change of the weather. An offensive breath is a guiding symptom. Mercurius corrosivus. Here the uvula is swollen and there is intense burning, worse from pressure; constriction of the throat, throat feels dry and stiff, swelling causes spasm. The external and glands are enormously swollen. Mercurius protoiodide. Great swelling of the glands and accumulation of thick, tenacious mucus in the throat mark this remedy. The tongue is coated yellow at the base, the tips and sides being red. It is more valuable in chronic troubles with less swelling than discharge. Diphtheritic deposits beginning on the right side. Mercurius biniodide. This remedy is similar to the protoiodide, except that is more acute and worse on left side; there is more glandular swelling and more fever than in the protoiodide, thus partaking more of the features of Iodine. It is especially useful in chronic follicular tonsillitis.
Lachesis –Sensation of a lump in the throat, which seems to go down when swallowing, but returns again; constriction of throat and difficult breathing, worse arousing form sleep or after sleep. Empty swallowing is painful and fluids escape from the nose; the throat is sensitive externally, and though the throat is bluish-red the discomfort is much greater than the appearance of the parts would warrant. Its field embraces also irritable and nervous sore throats. Shuldham remarks that Lachesis has not that deep-seated chronic inflammation of the glands of the pharynx that makes Kali bichromicum, Mercurius and Hepar come tripping along to the memory.
Nux vomica –This is a remedy often overlooked in throat troubles , but it comes in more frequently than many others. It suits the irritated throats of smokers, drinkers and preachers; there is a follicular rawness and scraping in the throat which is usually caused by irritation from tobacco smoke, liquors or overuse of the voice. It is a chronic pharyngitis, and there may be atrophic white patches in the throat. There is also supra-sternal sensitiveness and a dry cough. Alumina. Useful in relaxed conditions of the mucous membrane of the throat, as in clergymen’s sore throat. The throat is dark red and the uvula elongated. Dryness is also a prominent symptom; it has a glazed look. Ferrum phosphoricum. Dry, red, inflamed and painful throat, sore throats of singers and speakers. Gelsemium. Fauces dry and irritated and burning; the tonsils are inflamed. Senega is a most useful remedy in simple sore throats or when there are rheumatic complications. The 3rd potency is preferable. Sanguinaria nitrica. Chronic form of granular pharyngitis with a sensation of heat in the throat, and a thick,yellow or muco-sanguinolent expectoration.
Phytolacca –In throats that are dark in color where the tonsils are dark red, the parts feel sore, and the pain on swallowing is at the root of the tongue, accompanied by a general aching in the back and limbs. It suits chronic follicular pharyngitis where there is present a constant desire to clear the throat of phlegm or a sensation of a hot ball in the throat worse from hot fluids. The right side is more frequently the seat of the trouble. Graphites. Chronic sore throat, with the sensation of a lump in the throat. Baptisia is useful in ulcerated sore throat, with excessively offensive odor from the parts. Excessive putridity marks the remedy. Natrum arsenicosum. Dissecting room sore throat.
Baptisia – useful remedy for ulcerated sore throat, with excessively offensive odor from the parts.
Guaiacum – This remedy is considered almost specific in ordinary pharyngitis, when it is worse on the right side, where the tonsils are swollen and throat is so dry that the patient must drink to assist deglutition, the throat is less red than under Belladonna and the follicles are involved, stinging pains in the throat or a burning like a pepper worse in warm moist air. Aching in the throat and neck, holds neck when talking. Pulsatilla. Fauces dark red or purplish and having the appearance of a varicose condition of the blood vessels; scraping, rawness, and dryness in the throat, without thirst.
Kali mur – One of our best remedies for follicular pharyngitis where there is a gray or white exudation, the tonsils are swollen and inflamed, and there is grayish spots or ulcers on them. It is almost specific for the form of ulcerated sore throat which results from gastric disturbances. The glands about the throat are swollen.
Sabadilla – there is sensation of lump or foreign body in throat with a constant inclination to swallow, better by hot drinks.
Magnesia carb – ulceration of the throat at the time of menses. Swelling and ulceration shift from left to right or vice versa and disappear after menses.
Common causes of sore throat
- Streptococcal pharyngitis (group A, beta-hemolytic)
- Infectious mononucleosis (Infectious mononucleosis, also known as glandular fever, is an infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Symptoms include fatigue, fever, rash and swollen glands. )
- Herpangina (Herpangina, also called mouth blisters, is a painful mouth infection caused by coxsackieviruses. It is characterized by small, blister-like ulcers on the roof of the mouth and in the back of the throat.)
- Viral Pharyngitis
- Apthous Stomatitis
Less common causes of sore throat
- Peritonsilar abscess
- Acute epiglottitis
- Retropharyngeal abscess
- Gonococcal pharyngitis
- Diphtheric pharyngitis
- Vincent angina (acute and painful infection of the tooth margins and gums that is caused by the symbiotic microorganisms Bacillus fusiformis and Borrelia vincentii.)
- Ludwig angina (infection that occurs on the floor of the mouth, underneath the tongue. This bacterial infection often occurs after a tooth abscess.)
Other causes of sore throat
- Legionella pharyngitis
- Mycoplasmal pharyngitis
- Non infectious causes
- Foreign body
- Post nasal drip
- Postoperative (tonsillectomy)
- Mouth breathing
- Allergic reaction
Symptoms of sore throat
- Sensation of burning and painful scratching the throat
- Painful swallowing
- Tender neck
- Mild fever
- Swelling of lymph nodes
- General fatigue
- Hoarseness in the throat, hoarse voice
Local signs – include
- Pus on surface of tonsils
- Redness of larynx, pharynx
- Flu like symptoms
Investigations in case of sore throat
Throat swabs cannot distinguish commensal organisms from clinical infection, are expensive, and do not give instant results, so are rarely used. Rapid antigen tests give immediate results but have low sensitivity, limiting usefulness.