This season I have had an influx of patients with laryngitis, also known as inflammation of the vocal cords causing hoarseness or lost voice. The main cause is the common cold or upper respiratory infection, however, it can also be caused by overuse (singing, talking), and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
If you’ve lost your voice, don’t try to get it back by forcing yourself to speak. Resting your voice is the most important way to speed up healing. Whatever you do, don’t whisper—that is harder on your vocal cords than regular speaking. Try not to clear your throat either, since that causes irritation in the vocal folds, too; better to try to swallow instead, or cough, if you must. Sucking on a Zinc lozenge, drinking plenty of fluids, and using a humidifier can all help soothe irritated vocal cords.
Many homeopathic remedies have also been known to help acute laryngitis. Here are some that are used most often. Homeopathy works best when many of the symptoms of a remedy match most closely with the ones you are experiencing.
• Argentum nitricum: Laryngitis of singers or speakers; can become chronic. Sensation of splinter in throat on swallowing. High notes cause a cough. Thick mucus in airways. Continued, vain attempts to swallow; food lodges in throat. Anxious, nervous, impulsive; stage fright. Thirsty. Desires sweets. Better from cool air.
• Arum triphyllum: Hoarseness. Expectoration of much mucus; constant hawking. Throat feels swollen, constricted, burning. Voice uncertain, uncontrollable; cracks, goes to a high pitch, changes pitch. Worse talking, singing; “clergyman’s sore throat.”
• Causticum: Laryngitis from exposure to cold, from paralysis of laryngeal muscles, from overuse in singers, from anger or grief. One of the most commonly used remedies for laryngitis. Chronic hoarseness after acute laryngitis. Raw throat; dry cough makes chest sore; burning. Mucus accumulates that is hard to expectorate. Worse dry cold winds; better damp, wet weather. Worse 3–4 a.m.
• Phosphorus: Well known for its use in coughs and bronchitis, this remedy is also frequently indicated in laryngitis. Inflamed, sore, raw larynx; cannot talk due to pain. Loss of voice from prolonged talking. Violent tickling in larynx while speaking. Tickling in throat leads to cough. Worse cold air, emotions, weather changes, talking, laughing, eating warm things. Better cold food, washing with cold water.
• Spongia tosta: Larynx feels dry, burning, constricted, tickling. Early stages of croup. May be accompanied by dry barking cough. Worse at night, from touch, when swallowing, and during sleep. Suffocative feelings. Better warm food and drinks; lying with head low.
*If you experience Laryngitis chronically or haven’t been able to find a suitable cure, seeking homeopathic help is a wonderful option.