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Loss of Taste and Smell

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

July 18th, 2021  |  70 Comments

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Joette Calabrese

Probably ever since mankind was, well, mankind, it’s been noted that one or another common cold or sinus infection will cause a loss of taste and or smell in some people. Sometimes it’s associated with a lessened ability concomitant with distortion of these senses.

Now, while we’ve been led to believe this is a unique symptom of one particular virus, in truth, it is prevalent among many different colds and flu. Sometimes the distortion or loss retreats quickly; other times, those senses may take weeks or even months to return to normal.

To be honest, I suggest patience. It’s not the end of the world. Most of us will be just fine letting nature take its course.

But for specific individuals, a loss of taste and smell can be more difficult. For instance, my thoughts go to Lucy, a chef here in Florida. Without her own reliable sense of taste and smell, Lucy had to hire a sous chef with a sophisticated and sensitive palate to stand by in her kitchen to taste her food!

Okay, I can certainly understand why Chef Lucy wants to find a solution sooner than later!

Months ago, I private spoke to my Mighty Members about this phenomenon (see Mighty Musing, “A Loss of Taste and Smell”). However, because so many folks are experiencing the common cold right now, I’d like to share my thoughts with you now as well.

So, summon your inner cheerleader and shout along with me,

“Give me an S!”

S is for Smell. Sniffer. Schnozzola. Sinuses.

And Sanguinaria.

Sanguinaria 200, twice daily, is a first-line remedy for the loss of smell and taste. For many, this may be the quick and easy answer.

It may encourage the senses of taste and smell to return, plus the Sanguinaria can clear sinuses to pre-sickness perfection.


However, it may not be a perfect fit for your experience. I’ve had it work beautifully for some clients, yet I’m aware of others who saw no improvement with Sanguinaria.

But as you know, in homeopathy, there is more than one way to skin a cat. If after several days or so of Sanguinaria with no improvement, Sulphur 30 (also used twice daily) is another good choice. I especially lean toward Sulphur if the sufferer has had the cold or sinus infection for an extended time.

Now, don’t tell me that you think having a cold for a week is an extended period — because it isn’t. Colds typically last for ten days and even two weeks! So, I would consider a cold to be extended after about three weeks.

But let’s say Sulphur doesn’t fit well with your symptoms either.

There are even more choices. For those with whom Sanguinaria and Sulphur haven’t provided improvement, I discussed Colchicum in a recent Facebook Live entitled Phantom Smells.

Colchicum is especially beneficial for a distorted sense of smell (where certain foods smell metallic, rotten or even smell like something else entirely). I’ve received several happy responses stating it’s worked well for those who didn’t respond to Sanguinaria.

Additionally, China may be an intelligent match for a loss or distortion of taste!

How did I discover that China might fit? Why, by using a repertory, of course.

Are you curious about using a repertory? Then I urge you to watch my Facebook live entitled, How to Choose a Remedy When You Don’t Know the Protocol. You can follow along with me as I peruse my repertory to discover the appropriateness of the remedy, China.

I bet Chef Lucy will be glad to release her sous chef as her own sense of taste returns to normal. (Can you imagine trying to cook without being able to discern if your dish is salted or seasoned correctly? Not fun at all.)

So, if you find yourself with a summer cold, first be thankful that you are rebuilding your body’s natural immune system.

Then, use your chosen homeopathic remedy to address any overwhelmingly burdensome symptoms.

Lastly, if you use the information in this blog post (or the Facebook Lives I’ve referenced), please report back to me in the comment section below. Your participation will help us all home in.

The next time the common cold passes between your family and loved ones, you can pass on the good news of homeopathy!



Joette Calabrese


P.S. In addition to knowing how to use a repertory, it’s essential to have a materia medica to learn about each potential medicine you are considering for a condition.

There are several available free online, but those materia medicas are often a bit more challenging to work with. So, I wrote A Materia Medica: Practical Homeopathy® for Busy Families in plain English — my English. I share stories and observations from my 30+ years of working with clients to help you discern which remedy best meets your needs.







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Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


70 thoughts on “Loss of Taste and Smell”

  1. Does this work for a loss of taste and smell due to COVID?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      If you read the article carefully, you’ll find the answer to your question.

  2. Bonnie says:

    Before becoming a homeopath, I worked with Orthomolecular (nutritional) medicine. The most common cause of loss of taste and smell is zinc deficiency. It is a symptom of Covid
    and colds because the body’s zinc supply is used up fighting viruses.

    1. Tammy Hesler says:

      Thank You!

  3. nan says:

    I have been interested in this field for years, and I’ve told my husband that someday I want to take the course. It just isn’t the right time for me. Thank you for all the valuable information!

  4. Jyl says:

    Thanks for this. Which of these work for being born without a sense of smell?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Etiology can be useful to determine a medicine but under the rubric “loss of smell” you’ll likely find that these medicines reside there as well.

  5. Nancy says:

    Thanks to you, Joette, Colchicum 30 was just the ticket when I had a sense of distorted smell, post-virus! I kept smelling cigarette smoke when there was none. Cleared it up in about five days!

    1. Kathy says:

      How often did you take it? The bottle says 3 times daily but I know some could take it more often than that.

      1. Nancy says:

        Just saw this, Kathy! I took the Colchicum 30 twice a day.

  6. Wanda Kaluzny says:

    Loss of smell is, sometimes, an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. Would these remedies still work in that case?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Using that rubric, look it up in your repertory.

    2. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Etiology can be useful to determine a medicine but under the rubric “loss of smell” you’ll likely find that these medicines reside there as well.

  7. Kathy Lenhart says:

    Not able to join Mighties at t his time and so grateful for the Facebook Live and blogs. Thank you!

  8. Christine says:

    Hi Joette! I just wanted to mention that Zincum Metallicum can also be useful in helping others who are experiencing a loss of taste and smell. I only needed 1 dose in 30C potency and my senses returned to normal after weeks of not being able to smell or taste. I was never diagnosed with the virus that’s going around but I suspect it’s what I had and dialed it down with Aconite 200/Bryonia 30 when I first became sick March 2020.

  9. Cinda Capone says:

    Would this also work for loss of smell and taste from a head injury 4 years ago? I heard that if those senses don’t come back within a year you most likely won’t get them back.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      If you have a repertory, this is an important rubric to consider.

  10. Kristina says:

    I watched this on your mighty a members and wanted to try it. If my loss of smell is from 8m ago and the smell I do have is distorted, should go with the colchicum over the singuinaria as you discussed on there?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      The length of time of the condition doesn’t matter.

  11. Heather says:

    My uncle had the virus a couple months ago. He had been told by someone that Pulsatilla was a remedy for loss of taste and smell. I looked it up in the Materia Medica for him. Sure enough! It was under the “Nose” and “Mouth” sections.

    1. Tara says:

      Yes, Pulsatilla worked well for me too when I had it two weeks ago.

  12. Nicole Lennox says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! This is EXACTLY what I need right now. This email was so well-timed. I’ve been suffering for 3 months and this is precisely the information I needed. Thank you.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      ‘Always happy to hear that I’ve struck a chord.

  13. Hanah says:

    Mrs. Calabrese
    Is this Banerji Protocol? I’ve noticed you don’t share Banerji protocols as much as you used to share? or is it just my imagination?
    You seem to be moving back to classical which I don’t mind at all. I just love your teaching!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      No worries; no classical here. This isn’t a protocol because there is no specific protocol for this condition. When there is a protocol, I use it.

  14. Donna Randazzo says:

    I suggested Sanguinaria to a friend after months of altered taste and smell after the C, she reported improvement after only a couple of days!

  15. Dinyar M. Dalal says:

    What are the potencies for Colchicum and
    Thank you.

  16. Anna says:


    Is this something safe to use during early stages of pregnancy? I had covid and developed severe parosmia. As I progress in the 1st trimester, I feel somewhat better but my sense of smell and taste are still dramatically different.

    1. Dorena says:

      From other blog posts and courses of Joette’s, I believe the remedies to use with caution during pregnancy are Apis, Sepia, and Pulsatilla.

  17. Deborah Redler says:

    I just wanted to add that loss or distortion of taste can also occur after a serious illness or operation. After septicemia a few years ago, all I could taste was salt. Now I am recovering from surgery, and bitterness predominates. Maybe hospital food isn’t so awful, it’s the patient’s distortion instead.

    1. Staci says:

      Although I am sorry that you’re taste buds are unpleasant but it would take more than that theory too convince me that hospital food is palatable! Lol
      Hope you’ve found the right remedy!

  18. Donna Propper says:

    After thyroid surgery 1 1/2 yrs. ago, my taste became very ‘distorted’. I did not lose my smell, just distorted taste. I’m praying for some relief/change soon. I was never low in Zinc. Can taste strong spices; cinnamon, cloves, ginger, etc. Also anything with a vinegar base like BBQ sauces, Dressings, Pickled veggies, etc. Any suggestions here?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Read the article again. I believe you’ll find the answer you’re looking for.

  19. Pavan says:

    Hi Joette, Can one take Sulphur at night? My homeopathy told me not to, would appreciate more insight about it.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I don’t know the reason why you were advised in this way. My guess is that it’s related to your specific condition.

  20. Gina says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for this information! I just placed my order. Much love and appreciation to you, Joette!!

  21. Jamey says:

    What potency of Sanguinaria do you recommend for trying to recover from smell due to Covid? I clicked the link you reference in the article but it give numerous options for potency and I have no idea which one to pick. Thanks in advance for you help.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      If you re-read the article you’ll find what you’re looking for.

    2. Jacqui Brown says:

      I didnt find that info either

      1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

        Please read the article carefully.
        I’m almost always specific with potencies.

  22. Leanne Spencer says:

    If I had a cold and took Zicam remedy melts and noted a loss of taste and smell (COVID test negative twice) are these the best options? Concerned they caused damage to smell/taste

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      You might be interested in my blog article titled “Stop It!”

  23. Cara says:

    Hi Joette, thank you so much for this much needed article!! could you advise what potencies for Colchicum and China? It wasn’t mentioned in the article. Thank you! Cara

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I only offered the protocols. The rest are without specific potencies and frequencies.

  24. Mairin Schuman says:

    Currently giving the Sanguinaria a try for distorted smell post-c19 (a year ago). I see that you mention taking it twice daily, but I’m not sure how many pellets (my bottle suggests 5 pellets, 3x daily). Thanks for this post!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I urge folks to follow the number of pills printed on the outside of the bottle to know what comprises a dose.

  25. JM says:

    Hello, would that be Sulphur 30 C or 30 X? I just don’t see a distinction in the article. Thank you.

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      No matter.

  26. Gennie says:

    Thanks for this post. Here I am using a long time after. I picked up the Omnicom variant down here in Australia and we all recovered in a week, thankfully. However, food suddenly tastes bland. And biggest surprise, this morning when i pulled some fresh mince out of the fridge to cook up a casserole for a friend who has it, the meat smells rotten. Thanks so much for including the other options because I sure don’t want anybody getting food poisoning.

  27. Kathy says:

    How many times a day can a person take this for paromisa?
    Also how long can it be taken

  28. Shaylynne says:

    Hi Joette!

    I am happy to report that China worked beautifully for restoring my daughters recent distorted taste of water. For the last month, water has tasted horrid to her. I gave 1 dose of China 200c, and within a day water tastes good to her again. Yay 🙂

    Many thanks for all of the wisdom you bestow upon us.



  29. Lauren says:

    I’ve had severe parosmia for about 8 weeks now from a mild case of COVID that I had in December 2021. I’m 21 weeks pregnant and losing weight because I can’t each much. Everything tastes and smells terrible. Is Colchicine safe to take during pregnancy? I’m desperate for a cure!

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Instead of looking at this as a response to a virus, I’d approach it as a condition of pregnancy. I urge you to meet with a homeopath or at least take my online course titled Feminopathy where I cover such.

  30. Lucy says:

    Sanguinaria Canadensis or Nitricum?
    Sulphur or Sulphur Iodatum?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Sanguinaria Can.

  31. Sara says:

    Is china and cina the same thing?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:


  32. Antoinette says:

    When the Materica Medica lists “second potency”, what does that mean, please>

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      Which materia medica are you referring to?

  33. Monica says:

    Hi Joette
    I was wondering if you get this new Covid variant what should you take if you have a high fever and terrible sore throat?
    I am using hepar sulph 200 twice daily with belladonna 3 is this a good plan and how often the belladonna 3 should I take ?
    And do you recommend to take thuja too?
    Thank you!

  34. Sandy C says:

    I thought I heard you say Mag Mur is also effective for loss of taste or smell. Do I have that right?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:


  35. My loss of smell and taste came on about three years ago without any cold or flu or other sinus infection. Not COVID related. An ear nose and throat specialist detected a slight deviated septum but I don’t know how that happens or why it would cause this issue. An acupuncturist recommended taking zinc, but that didn’t resolve the problem. I can taste salt, sugar, and some spices and a few other scents. I had the most sensitive olafactory system before this happened. Your recommendations seem targeted on cold and flu sufferers and mosr recent onset. Any suggestions?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

      I don’t offer personal advice here but I do indeed give you a wonderful springboard here.

      1. Barbara Steinberg says:

        I understand. You do offer supplement recommendations for cold and flu suffers who have experienced this loss. There aren’t any other homeopathic remedies you have used for olfactory maladies? Above I see you suggested Mag Mur – I have never heard of this.

        1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, CCH says:

          There are indeed homeopathic medicines for such a condition, but I’ve not written about this at this juncture.
          Meanwhile, I urge you to check a good homeopathic repertory, where you’ll find many entries on this condition.
          To learn more about MM, read up on it in a materia medica that you can find online for free such as Dr. James Tyler Kent’s.

  36. Judith says:

    My elderly mother lost her sense of smell after doctors cauterized her nose due to repeated nose bleeds. Is there any homeopathic remedy that might help with that?

    1. Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M says:

      I imagine it depends on the depth and breadth of the damage. You want to consider a homeopathic medicine that encompases ailments from a burn.

      1. Judith says:

        Bless you and thank you, Joette. Do you have any particular burn remedy in mind? I would dearly love to help her as this loss of smell and naturally taste too has significantly lessened her appetite and joy in life. I have a deep and real appreciation for just how much having lost my own taste and smell for almost a month after a virus earlier this fall. I am grateful that it fully recovered and praise God that he created our bodies to heal. Many thanks, Judith

  37. Kevin says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I have been on the SAN + HS protocol for nearly a week and it has significantly dialed back the sinus blockage. However, it is still back in there super thick and even though much much better I suddenly developed a total loss of smell, although I can breathe through my nose. Not sure if I should continue with SAN + HS or try something different. I find it tricky to know when to stop something and when try something new, and for the rubric of loss of smell that is new, and if it’s not SAN which I have been taking, then not sure which one to go with. Pusatilla, Calc Carb, Sulphur, Zincum, Mag Mur and Nat Mur all can used for loss of smell. None fit enough for me to choose.

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