Acute inflammation of larynx


A 37 year old woman complaining of the following symptoms:

  • a sudden, acute, right-sided pain in the right side of larynx aggravated by swallowing
  • sensation of swelling of larynx and tonsils, objectively the larynx was inflamed and swollen on the right side only
  • the whole complex of symptoms appeared suddenly after experiencing an emotional distress

Case analysis

The striking points of the case are of course the particulars of the symptoms as described by the patient. The most unusual and characteristic key point of the case was the sudden appearance of the symptom after experiencing emotional distress.

Locality: Larynx, right side
Sensation: the pain could not be described by the patient
Condition: inflammatory swelling
Modality: aggravation on swallowing
Causation: emotional disturbance


The repertory used for the repertorization was the P&W 2011 Edition of the Therapeutic Pocketbook. The symptoms were broken down into its components (as described earlier) and repertorized.


The remedies Pulsatilla, Phosphorus and Aconite were rejected immediately, as they did not correspond with the case picture with the striking one-sidedness of the complaint. The grade of all three remedies in the right-sidedness of the complaint is only 1. The remedies with the highest consistency of grades (and therefore belonging most likely to an already observed symptom complex) were Belladonna and Rhus Toxicodendron.

After studying Belladonna, I have found the following references:

Inflammation of the throat and fauces. Sore throat, with stitches, and pain as of an internal swelling during deglutition. Henry Buck, The Outlines of Materia Medica

Inflammation of the throat, with sensation of a lump, which induces hawking, with dark redness and swelling of the velum palati and tonsils. John Henry Clarke, A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica

Inflammation of throat and fauces.;Sore throat, stitches in the pharynx and pain as from internal swelling…;The throat is swollen internally. Samuel Hahnemann, Materia Medica Pura

Although Rhus Toxicodendron has similar symptoms (including the aggravation on swallowing), the causation of emotional distress is not a prominent symptom of this remedy.


Belladonna 200C in 2dl of water was given and the patient felt the disappearance of the pain immediately.

The next day the lain in the larynx has reappeared again (with lower intensity than before), so another does of Belladonna 200C in 2dl water was given and the symptom has disappeared completely.



Vladimir Polony
14436 Esterlee Ave.
CA 95070

taken from with permission

3 responses to “Acute inflammation of larynx

  1. George Dimitriadis

    Two things I would like to state:

    Firstly, the reason given for Calcarea not being a possible simillimum, i.e. because it is not listed in a rubric “sensation of swelling of glands”, is invalid for two reasons.
    First, that rubric is not applicable in this case because there was an actual swelling of the tonsils. The rubric sensatin of swelling refers specifically to a sensation of swelling without any evident swelling.

    Secondly, A remedy must never be dismissed or accepted based on repertory. The prescription must always be determined by referring to the materia medica.

    We must learn, and teach, that the repertory, any repertory, is merely an index, a pointer, to the actual symptoms of proving which must be matched to the symptoms of disease in each case – individually.

  2. George Dimitriadis

    I would like to respond to the comments of Pierluigi, which, in general are valid, but which evidence some misunderstanding.

    Firstly, the whole structure of Hahnemann’s pharmacographies is one which abstracts the components of (even paragraph-long) symptoms reported by the prover and places them within the schema of his RA/CK [MMP/CD}. This abstraction allows for their recombination into a case-specific variety. Hahnemnn is clear on this, and it has been re-iterated by Bonninghausen who used it as a basis for constructing his Therapeutisches Taschenbuch (TT).

    With this in mind, one can further recombine the elements of a proving found in other locations, for example the right sided appearances plentiful in Belladonna (by multiple provers) may be conjoined with the swellings of glands at the neck. So for this reason, Pierluigi’s fixaton on the sidedness is erroneous.

    But there is another, even more pressing reason – the consideration of ‘sides’ in this case is itself invalid. Every acute symptom must appear somewhere, and the fact it appeared here on the right side is not significant. Had it been a recurrent appearance, and always on the right side, or, in a fully developed continued chronic case, remained on the right side, then that may indicate a “right-sided” complaint. Not otherwise.

    It is important that a conclusion be not JUMPED into. We must weigh the evidence, and draw only the conclusions which are CERTAIN, not theories or speculations.

    Lastly, Belladonna most certainly affects the emotions, and when reading the whole of the remedy, and especially reading old reports of Belladonna toxicity, there is no doubt that it produces severe phsychological disturbances. These have been seen to translate into exacerbations of their symptoms in the clinical situation, and this drawn from inference of their mental state in the proving. Moreover, Bell. is clearly listed under aggr. from affectons of the mind, and from vexation in particular, with anger, fright, etc.

    The other thing that concerns me in Pieluigi’s posting, is the use of the term “characteristic”. It seems that this term is NOT understood correctly – so I would ask Pierluigi to send his definition, before I venture to explain my concerns.

    Lastly, it is to be remembered that a prescription is only as good as the outcome. IN this case, clearly, it was CORRECT. However, the explanation and presentation of the case, partly due to language difficulties, was, to my mind, less than adequate for example or teaching purposes.

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