Sore throats & Tonsillitis

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Finding a good herbalist

Much of what's written in this article is entirely suitable for a person to work through themselves but, especially if things are quite bad, or you just know that you need further help, then there may be a great deal of benefit to you to go to whatever lengths necessary to find a good herbalist or truly holistic practitioner to guide you on to a safe and strong treatment program. There's a short write-up to suggest how you might go about finding such a person here


Our bodies, from a bug's point of view, are the microbial equivalent of 'heaven on earth'. We are a constant source of warmth, food and shelter -- and they definitely want in!

Thankfully our immune systems take a dim view of alien invasions and work tirelessly to keep the bugs out. Each and every day our digestive systems, lungs, skin, and our throats, are arenas of combat between 'them', and 'us'. For many people the throat is the most vulnerable point of entry and knowing how to use Nature to nip an infection in the bud can be the key to staying well and stopping sickness from spreading deeper in...

Sore throat formula

To rapidly resolve a throat infection and stop it going any further into the chest, the following formula has been seen to be effective for a great many people.

25mls Echinacea root                       
10mls Golden Seal tincture*     
10mls Licorice root
5mls Myrrh resin extract 
To make 50mls, double this amount to 100mls if you will need it more frequently

*Only use cultivated (not wild-crafted) Golden Seal or alternatively use the herb Barberry.

Dose: 4 mls (one tsp) as often as required, usually slightly diluted.
Gargle and swallow -- more info about that below.

Quality: This matters very much when it comes to herbal medicines. Ideally this medicine should be made from the best extracts available and in many parts of the world the way you can be sure of that is to get your herbs from a qualified and registered herbalist as mentioned at the beginning.

Echinacea angustifolia



The right way to take this formula is very important. To rapidly cure your infection you have to get the herbs to coat the back of the throat as much as possible and this requires some technique and training!

You must start with the right amount of liquid to do a successful gargle and you will need to do some experimentation to see exactly what works best for you. Too much liquid is just as unhelpful as too little. Some people will find that they do best with no further dilution at all, others will need as much water as herbs, i.e. about 4 mls water added to the 4 mls of formula. Many people find that about 2 or 3 mls is about right for them, try and see for yourself.

If you want the best results, commit to a long and fully engaged gargle! Tilt your head back and let the herbs (and water) swish around the back of your throat by making that classic gargle sound. Ideally you want the medicine to be in contact with your throat for a good 20 to 30 seconds, which is a lot longer than it sounds.

Most people will find it hard to gargle for that long without a pause so you may need to drop your head forward for a moment, try not to swallow yet if you have to take a pause before you have done your 20 seconds or so. As soon as you ready, tilt your head back again and continue on.

You must make some noise to do a good gargle and you will need to move the 'pitch' of your voice up and down to get the medicine touching all the parts of the back of your throat that it needs to get to. Yes, this will sound weird, but it beats the torture of a sore throat and you must not stop, even if you have an audience and they don't appreciate your efforts as much as they should.

Hydrastis canadensis (Golden Seal)


Swallow -- don't spit!

If possible, you should swallow the herbs after you have gargled them. The reason for this is, as well as the antimicrobial action that you get from putting these herbs in direct contact with your throat, you will also get significant benefits to your immune system from taking them internally.

If you have a lot of debris, mucus etc. from the infection then you may simply have to spit everything out when you've done the gargle. that's ok but In this case, take another dose of formula as soon as you can and try to swallow this next one after getting it into contact with the affected areas.

Frequency & other Q & A


This treatment can be repeated very frequently when needed. Listen to your body and to your symptoms. The medicine should make your throat feel at least somewhat better right away, don't hesitate to repeat the dose if it starts feeling worse again.

How long does it take to work?

Most people feel at least some benefit from the very first dose and, started early enough, you should be able to nip most infections in the bud before they get a chance to get established. However, if you have been sick for a while then you may need to frequently repeat the treatment to get well.

Ideally, the sooner you start treatment the better. People who tend towards recurrent infections involving their throats should have this formula ready and waiting to use as soon as they need it.

Is it safe for children?

This formula is entirely safe for children to use. I would give a child below 5 about 1 or 2 mls per dose, 3 mls up to ages 8 or 9 and then adult doses from 10 years old. Small children can be given the medicine as a simple internal dose until they are old enough to learn how to gargle.

Are further steps necessary?

If you, or someone you care for, is getting chronic or recurrent infections then you must consider the overall health of your immune system. This subjecct is covered in more depth here

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd