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 Herbal Medicine : Laryngitis 
 
Laryngitis is an acute inflammation of the larynx., or voice box, usually associated with a common cold or overuse of the voice. It is commonly characterized by swelling, hoarseness, pain, dryness in the throat, coughing, and inability to speak above a whisper, if at all. It is usually caused by bacterial or viral infection, which may be either restricted to the larynx or part of a more general infection of the upper respiratory tract. Where no clear cut cause is found, such as infection or following overuse, skilled diagnosis is called for.


Actions Indicated for the Processes Behind this Disease
Demulcent herbs will soothe the mucous linings and ease discomfort.
Anti-inflammatories will reduce the immediate cause of the distress.
Anti-microbial herbs are indicated if there is a causal microorganism involved. However they are not indicated if the inflammation is due to some other cause.
Astringents are often effective as a local gargle, especially when the problem has been precipitated by overuse of the vocal cords..
Bitters have a toning and stimulating effect upon the mucosal lining of the area.

Specific Remedies
The various herbal traditions of the world abound in herbs used for conditions of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. Osha (Ligusticum porterii) is an excellent specific, a small piece of the root being chewed to remove symptoms and promote the bodies' immune response. In Europe the approach has traditionally been to gargle with astringent herbs. They should not be drunk here as they will probably constipate - an unnecessary and unfortunate complication! Examples of reliable astringent herbs for such local usage include:
Salvia officinalis var. rubia (Red sage)
Potentilla tormentosa (Tormentil)
Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)
Geranium maculatum
(American Cranesbill)
Quercus spp. (Oak Bark)
Rubus villosus
(Blackberry leaves)
Rubus idaeus (Raspberry leaves)
Sambucus nigra (Elderflowers)
Polygonum bistortum (Bistort root)

One possible prescription for laryngitis:
Echinacea spp. --- --- --- 2 parts
Ligusticum porterii --- --- --- 2 parts
Hydrastis canadensis --- --- --- 1 part to 1ml. tincture every hour

A gargle for laryngitis:
Salvia officinalis var. rubia
Matricaria officinalis
--- --- --- equal parts of herb and gargle with a strong infusion often until symptoms subside.

Another gargle:
Malva neglecta or Malva sylvestris
infuse flowers and leaves in lukewarm water overnight, ensuring the best extraction of mucilage. Gargle as needed.


The supplemental and dietary advice given above for sinusitis should be followed. Aromatherapy provides some oils that ease the inflammation quite effectively. Oil of Cypress or Bergamot have much to offer. To use as a gargle, put 3 drops of the essential oil in half a cup of warm water. Gargle hourly.
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 About The Author
David Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMHWhilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary wholeness and responsibility for it......more
 
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