Sore throat

Sore throat is a common condition seen in the Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine clinic. Some acute cases can even be helped with simple food remedies or Chinese diet therapy treatment.

When treating all patents, including those with a sore throat, a Chinese Medicine practitioner approaches the case first to find the Chinese medicine diagnosis. Once a diagnosis has been made, the treatment is based on re-balancing the body.

The Classical Chinese herbal medicine style practiced at Metro Health, by Marie Hopkinosn is about enabling your own body to function as best it can. We don’t prescribe one herb to treat this or treat that a symptomatic way.

From a western disease perspective, sore throats can be diagnosed as pharyngitis, laryngitis, tonsilitis. Antibiotic treatment is often part of the protocol treatment, and while this can be needed in some cases, which can have it’s own side effects on the gastrointestinal system.

Acupuncturists and Herbalists often see patients who are wanting to either avoid taking antibiotics or supporting their body from the side effects of antibiotic use.

Whatever your choice of medicine system(s), we are happy to work with you at Metro Health.

In Chinese Medicine, throat pain is often a result of the invasion of what we call “external pathogens”. The nature of Chinese Medicine being observational, practitioners over time have observed how human bodies change in response to the elements and weather around us.

Concepts like “wind invasion” used in Chinese Medicine don’t mean that wind has actually invaded you but it means due to your body’s weakness, it was unable to cope with the external wind or cold in the environment.

Sore throats often start from influenza or a common cold. Your body got cold, then it heated up trying to expel the cold, you might have had a fever for instance…and some of that heat from your body started to dry up the fluids, causing throat dryness, pain, tightness. Herbs that regulate your bodies function and rebalance your intrinsic ability to regulate itself are chosen carefully based on the patients pulse diagnosis.

Sore throats can also occur as a flare up type problem. This is different to getting a sore throat from a cold or flu directly. There are specific herbal formulas for these types of sore throats as well as acupuncture strategies to address the root imbalance.

Acupuncture is a great tool to treat pain. People often seek acupuncture for pain relief to avoid using drugs or medications. For throat pain, it’s more common to use points on the hands or feet or forearm rather than points on the neck directly in the treatment of neck pain. This strategy is in line with distal needling or mirror needling and follows the Dr Tan acupuncture style that Marie often incorporates into treatments.

Your practitioner will be able to work out what’s wrong, formulate a strategy with you to use a one or a combination of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal MedicineMoxibustion and Chinese Diet Therapy to treat throat pain according to the Chinese Medicine diagnosis.

Chinese Herbs, acupuncture and diet can be used to promote the good function of the voice for people who overuse their voice – actors, singers, public speakers, teachers, and anyone who is using their voice at a higher volume or relying on their voice to be 100% can benefit from seeing a Chinese Medicine practitioner.

As a promoter of Chinese Diet Therapy, I often recommend Pears to my patients who are requiring their voice to be at 100% capacity. Pears are a fruit that is moistening but not too citrus that it would create phlegm (like oranges and more sweeter tropical fruits have the tendency to do). Stewed pears are a great food to eat as a snack to moisten the throat and voice.

If you feel your voice is loosing it’s power, waining quality, then a Chinese Herbalist can help as there are often internal organ connections that allow for good quality of voice that can become imbalanced. Sour foods and herbs are good for consolodating the power thats needed to promote a clear voice.

If you feel easily phlegmy, or have a raspy or hacking voice, remove all foods that are phlegm and damp creating (things like rich dairy, creamy, processed foods, sugary-sweet and too much raw juices).

Plumbs are another food that can help a sore throat, but once a sore throat has developed its’ necessary to see a practitioner for the correct Chinese herbal formula, and foods can be used as an adjunct to help things along and promote healing.


Marie Hopkinson is a Chinese Medicine Practitioner, Practicing from her clinic in North Perth, WA- METRO HEALTH AND MEDICINE. Marie can be consulted for appointments, while in-person is preferred, Email /phone consultations can be arranged. Marie has been practicing since 2000, completing initial 3-year course in Chinese Medicine at the Perth Academy of Natural Therapies in WA. Marie has been to China for additional training in the Hangzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital (Hangzhou Shi Zhong Yi Yuan) twice as well as completing a Master of International Health at Curtin University in 2006. Marie is passionate about the effective practice and understanding of Chinese Medicine and enjoys the opportunity to educate patients about the benefits of self-help aspects such as diet therapy, as well as teaching Chinese Medicine at the Endeavour College of Natural Health.

For more info about booking an appointment with Marie CLICK HERE.

For more info about conditions treated with Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbal Medicine CLICK HERE.

As with any health problem, we recommend seeking appropriate medical attention, professional diagnosis and immediate emergency help if you have undiagnosed pain or symptoms particularly if the symptoms are escalating (getting worse and worse). If you see a practitioner at Metro health and Medicine they may also refer you to a western medicine doctor (GP or hospital) as appropriate. This blog is not intended to replace a medical treatment or consultation.