By Dana Ullman MPH, CCH
(Excepted from Homeopathic Medicine for Children and Infants, Tarcher/Penguin)
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The information provided here is not only applicable to children but to most people with sore throat.
REMEDIES LISTED IN CAPITAL LETTERS REPRESENT MORE FREQUENTLY INDICATED REMEDIES
Homeopathic medicines are often effective in treating the acute symptoms of a sore throat, though professional constitutional care is usually necessary to cure chronically recurring sore throats. Children with much pain from a sore throat or those who have difficulty opening their mouth or swallowing should receive a culture to determine if they have strep.
ACONITUM (monkshood): Consider this medicine during the initial onset of the sore throat. The symptoms come on suddenly, often after exposure to a cold air. There may be some burning in the throat and a red, dry, swollen throat.
APIS (crushed bee): These children have a red, inflamed throat with swollen tonsils, which is aggravated by warm drinks or food and relieved by cold drinks or sucking on an ice cube. This remedy should be considered when the throat hurts even when the child isn’t swallowing. The throat not only looks red, it looks shiny. There is dryness in the throat with a burning, stinging pain. They have constrictive feeling in the throat. The inner and outer throat is swollen, and the uvula which hangs from the upper throat is also swollen. These children may have a sensation of a fishbone caught in the throat and may have difficulty swallowing. They may experience hoarseness in the mornings and cannot stand to have anything around their neck.
Arsenicum (arsenic): When children have a burning pain in the throat that is relieved by warm food or drinks and aggravated by cold food or drinks, this medicine should be considered. The child’s condition may begin with a nasal discharge and then go into the throat. The pains are usually worse on the right side. There may also be dryness of the mouth with a great thirst for frequent sips of water.
BELLADONNA (deadly nightshade): This medicine is the most common remedy for acute tonsilitis. It is also commonly given at the early stages of other types of sore throat. The tonsils are noticeably red, usually scarlet red. There are burning pains and a constant desire to swallow, despite the fact that it hurts to do so. There is a constricting feeling in the throat, which causes difficulty even swallowing water. They have a tendency to desire lemons or lemonade. There is a tickling in the larnyx. If these children have a fever, it will usually be a high one. Characteristically, their head is hot, though their extremities are cold.
Ferrum phos (iron phosphate): This remedy is common for acute, non-violent tonsillitis. The inflammation does not begin suddenly, and the pain is not severe. The throat is red and swollen, especially on waking. They have pain on swallowing, usually a burning pain, which is better from cold applications. They may also have hoarseness. This remedy should be considered for sore throats in children who sing a lot.
Hepar sulph (calcium sulphide): When children experience a sensation as though there was a stick in the throat, or when a sore throat starts after the child is exposed to cold, this medicine should be considered. The tonsils are enlarged, and they have throbbing pains. There is usually a radiating pain to the ears on swallowing. Hot drinks provide some relief. These children are hypersensitive to touch and cold and are highly irritable.
Ignatia (St. Ignatius bean): The distinguishing symptom of children who need this medicine is sore throat pain that is relieved by swallowing foods and is aggravated by empty swallowing (Lachesis children also have this symptom). These children may experience throat pain even when they don’t swallow. They tend to have a lump in the throat, sometimes related to the suppression of some strong emotion. They sometimes have hoarseness or a complete loss of their voice. An emotional state is also evidenced by their tendency to take deep breaths or to sigh frequently.
LACHESIS (the venom of the bushmaster, snake): When children have a sore throat that is worse on the left side, this medicine is often indicated. The left gland in the throat is more swollen, and inside the throat the left side is more red, sometimes purplish. They tend to experience a constant tickle or a feeling of a fishbone caught in the throat. Their pains are worsened by empty swallowing (just swallowing saliva) or drinking warm or hot liquids, and the pains are eased when swallowing foods. Their throat particularly hurts when they try to hawk up mucus. The throat is hypersensitive to touch, which explains why these children do not like wearing clothes with a tight collar.
Lycopodium (club moss): This medicine should be considered when the child has a sore throat that is worse on the right side or one that has started on the right and moved to the left. Although the child may not notice the difference, the parent who looks in the throat will be able to see more inflammation on either side. The throat is aggravated by swallowing cold liquids and relieved by warm ones. The child may experience a choking sensation, as though a ball was stuck in their throat.
MERCURIUS (mercury): These children have colds that settle in their throat. They have a constant desire to swallow and much pain when they do so. In extreme cases they have a choking sensation on swallowing. There is much redness and swelling in the throat along with a raw burning pain. Their throat is dry despite much salivation in their mouth. They may have so much salivation that they need to swallow frequently, and they may wet their pillow with saliva. They have swollen tonsils and lymph glands, and their throat pain extends to the ear. Their throat can be ulcerated and tends to be worse on the right side. Another characteristic symptom is their noticeably bad breath. When a child has these symptoms along with a left-sided sore throat, give Mercurius iodatus ruber; when a child has a right-sided sore throat, give Mercurius iodatus flavus.
Phytolacca: There are two types of pains that are experienced when swallowing which are characteristic of the need for this medicine: shooting pain from the throat into the ears, and pain at the root of the tongue that causes pain when the child sticks out their tongue. They have a feeling of rawness and roughness in thethe throat, which is usually worse on the right side and while drinking hot fluids. The children feel a swollen, constricted feeling in the throat. The tonsils tend to be swollen and may have been swollen for a long time. The glands in their neck are also swollen.
RHUS TOX: These children have throat pain on initial swallowing but experience relief the more often they swallow.
Sulphur: This medicine is helpful for children who experience burning pains in the throat that are aggravated by warm food or drinks and relieved by cold drinks. They have swollen tonsils and offensive breath.
Wyethia: When children have a tickling sensation on the roof of the mouth or in the throat that stimulates coughing, this medicine should be considered. Another important indication for this medicine is a sore throat caused by an allergy. It is also commonly effective in treating sore throats in children who sing a lot or who irritate their throat from overuse. They usually have a dry, hot, and swollen throat with a constant desire to swallow saliva, despite having difficulty swallowing.