A client sent me a message on a Sunday morning in November 2020 to enquire whether I could help, as she had woken up with the early stage of tonsillitis. I know this client well as I have consulted for her periodically over the last 10 years.
The client is a lovely 41year-old lady with a history of developing tonsillitis and laryngitis, particularly when she is overworked, stressed and worn out. She was worried that if she didn’t take remedies in the early stages, the tonsillitis would progress and she would be unwell for a week or more.
The client did not feel well enough for a phone or video consultation so we conducted the appointment through messages. This worked well enough because this lady is familiar with the homeopathic consultation. She is also very in tune with her body and able to accurately describe her symptoms.
The first symptom was a sudden, intense headache on falling asleep the night before. The pain was piercing in character and towards the back of the head.
In the morning the headache had gone but the client awoke with a dry, sore, raw throat.
As the morning progressed, she developed a thick saliva (not copious). She explained that the thick saliva seemed to coat the whole of her throat and felt like a protective barrier.
The lymph glands in her neck were swollen and tender. Her tonsils were enlarged and bright red. She had yellowish white spots on her tonsils on the right side and a long, sore red streak on the left side surrounded by yellow discolouration. There were some blisters towards the back of her throat. She was also experiencing a grating/scraping pain in her throat.
She felt hot and sweaty (hot sweat) but with cold hands and feet. She was also a bit achy all over. She does not feel thirsty but prefers warm drinks to cold drinks. Drinking does not aggravate or relieve the symptoms.
She explained that swallowing is not painful because of the thick protective coating of saliva over her throat and tonsils. She commented that she would struggle without this protective barrier. Her breath is normal and does not have any particular odour.
She is prone to laryngitis, especially when the tonsillitis is left untreated. However, currently the symptoms are all located around her tonsils and have not progresses to her larynx.
Yesterday she had used a strong solvent to remove paint from her garage doors. She wore a mask but she believes she still inhaled the solvent and that this may have triggered the symptoms.
She is also exhausted as the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic means that she is juggling her job, which now involves working from home, whilst home schooling her children and studying for a diploma.
Belladonna 200c every 30 minutes for 90 minutes
Update after 90 minutes:
Swelling of her tonsils has reduced, pain has eased and she feels less sweaty.
Prescription: Repeat Belladonna in another hour and before bed.
Update the following morning
“My throat is almost completely better today!”
I checked in with her a few days later and she felt completely better.
Conducting a consultation via messages was undoubtedly more difficult than a video call as a lot of information can be missed. For example, I could not see for myself whether she has a red or pale face and I was not able to examine her tongue, mouth and throat. However, I feel that I was able to perceive the essence of the remedy required from the symptoms that the client described and from my questioning.
I felt that the following points were particularly important: the sudden and violent onset of the symptoms, the thick coating of protective saliva and the fact that the patient was hot but with cold hands and feet (usually she is very chilly). These symptoms resonate well with Belladonna.
The following rubrics for Belladonna are found in the Concordant Repertory by Frans Vermeulen:
Violence of attack and suddenness of onset
DRYNESS, BRIGHT REDNESS, streaked
Dry, as if glazed; angry looking congestion
Raw and sore
Food & Drink:
Tonsillitis; thirstless. Desire for warm drinks.
Swelling of glands of neck
HOT HEAD & cold limbs
The action of Belladonna in this acute case was rapid and complete. It would now be beneficial for me to consult with the client again to prescribe a deeper acting remedy to strengthen her constitution so that she is not as susceptible to tonsillitis. I believe that her comment “I feel I would struggle without this protective barrier” may have wider implications than just the tonsillitis and would be worth exploring on a deeper level.