There are two types of sore throat: chronic and acute. Acute sore throat is usually caused by wind heat. This condition leads to symptoms such as a rapid floating pulse, yellow phlegm from coughing, and fever.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners often use a Yin Chiao Jie Du Pian herbal formula to treat a sore throat diagnosis. Once symptoms arise, the sooner this remedy is taken by the patient, the more effective and rapid the treatment works to resolve the condition. For a type of severe throat, the practitioner can add Chuan Hsin Lian Antiphlogistic Pills. If symptoms still persist or get worse, the patient then needs to see a doctor to determine if the sore throat is caused by a strep infection.
Sore throats that are acute often get resolved with acupuncture and Chinese herbs after a day or two. Needle points used by acupuncturists to treat acute sore throat include the LI (Large Intestine) 4 and LI 11 found on the arm and hand. For severe sore throat, the Lu (Lung) 10 point can be needled with extreme effectiveness. However, needling this point can be a little bit painful so if the patient is more than willing to experience a little discomfort to resolve his severe sore throat condition, this is the point that needs to be treated.
For chronic sore throat, the underlying problem is usually a deficiency of yin since when the yin is not adequately cooled, it can cause chronic inflammation. Other indications of yin deficiency include insomnia, irritability, night sweats, dry mouth, red tongue with no or minimal coating, and a rapid, thin pulse. The goal of the treatment for chronic sore throat is to use Rehmannia Teapills to clear the heat and tonify yin. The duration of the treatment might take a few months in order for it to have a long lasting effect.
Dr. Yelena Pakula is a licensed acupuncture doctor and the medical director of Vita-Health Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.