Hoarseness & Laryngitis



Yelling, singing or speaking for a long time, or a cold are some of the causes of hoarseness and laryngitis. The end result is an inflammation of the larynx or the muscles in or around it, which interferes with proper functioning of the vocal cords. Yelling or speaking may cause a spasm of one of the vocal cords which will cause the voice to become deep and raspy. Hoarseness is the next step in the progression. Treating the parathyroid glands and any phosphorus/calcium imbalance will often correct this problem. The parathyroid glands produce a hormone that helps regulate the calcium levels in your blood. Without going into too much detail here, if there is too much phosphorus in your body, the parathyroid hormone causes a release of calcium from your bones in an attempt to balance the two minerals.

Smoking is a major cause of hoarseness. Smoke irritates the mucous membranes and vocal cords. Dust and strong vapors are additional possibilities.

A cold may give you laryngitis, which sometimes prevents you from speaking at all. Avoid raising your voice to be heard, for instance to overcome outside noise, traffic, kids yelling, etc., as your voice isn't accustomed to it.

A very dry environment may affect your throat, so drink plenty of fluids to keep your throat moist. Jet planes, very dry climates and many homes in the winter are examples. If you are in a place where you can add moisture, such as home or office, by all means use a humidifier to increase the relative humidity.

One overlooked cause of hoarseness is GERD or Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease. Researchers have found that many cases of adult asthma and hoarseness are caused by the regurgitation of stomach juices into the throat and lungs. If you are suffering from heartburn or digestive problems and are hoarse, work on improving the digestive imbalance and the hoarseness should go away, too.

An underlying medical problem can also be the cause. If your hoarseness persists for more than a few days, have your doctor check your throat. You may have a strep infection or some sort of growth on your vocal cords or larynx.

Many people who speak a lot develop hoarseness. We have found a product that may be of help - "Throat Coat," an herbal tea preparation. This tea was used during the 1996 presidential campaigns of both Bob Dole and Bill Clinton, who proclaimed that it was a big help.

Caution: Seek medical attention if your condition lasts longer than two weeks.


Don't talk, as this will strain your vocal cords even more.



Apple cider vinegar For laryngitis a folk remedy from Vermont uses one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to half glass of water, taken every hour for seven hours.

Cayenne pepper Pour one cup of boiling water into a cup; add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and a few drops of lemon juice; stir and sip slowly; the hotter the better.

DMSO Gargling with DMSO will relieve the symptoms of laryngitis.

Essential oils Boil a pot of water and remove from the stove. Add: 2 drops chamomile essential oil, 3 drops lavender essential oil and 2 drops thyme essential oil. Make a tent over your head and the pot and inhale.

Ginger Peel the skin from a small ginger root. Slice the root into thin coins and place the pieces into a small pot of water. Boil the pieces to make tea. The tea should turn a yellowish (straw) or tan color. Add three tablespoons of your favorite honey to sweeten the tea. Sip the hot tea slowly. The tea gives a sharp tingle to the throat after swallowing it. After you sip it, gently clear your throat.This tea also works for trying to get your voice back after a cold. This remedy compliments of Cathy Ekaitis.

Honey/lemon A mixture of honey and lemon makes a good gargle and is very soothing for the throat.

Ice Suck on a piece of ice. It will stop spasms in your throat.

Lozenges Suck on lozenges periodically throughout the day to moisten your throat.

Onion syrup Another excellent gargle is made from onion syrup, honey and lemon. To make the onion syrup: slice three large onions and put them in four or five cups of water; simmer until syrupy; strain. Next, put five or six tablespoonsful of the syrup into a glass of warm water, along with a tablespoon of honey and a dash of lemon. Sip slowly.

Sea salt Make a gargle of sea salt and water and use several times a day.

Tea Try one of these tea remedies:

  • Teas made from fenugreek, eucalyptus, horehound and marshmallow also can be used as a gargle.
  • Combine one teaspoon each of valerian root, skullcap and catnip with one cup of boiling water; steep for 10 minutes; sip while still hot.
  • Any hot tea will stimulate the throat and help relax the vocal cords.

Zinc Suck on zinc lozenges to ease throat discomfort.

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