Laryngitis is a condition that refers to the inflammation of the larynx, just as the name suggests. The larynx is the voice box, and is the part of the body that allows for the use of one’s voice.
This inflammation may be the result of an infection, the presence of irritants as well as straining one’s voice. The larynx houses the vocal cords. This cords are a pair of muscles and cartilage covered by a mucus membrane. Ideally, the normal opening and closing of the cords creates sound through vibration.
When inflamed, the cords do not function normally resulting in the production of distorted sounds when air passes over the muscles. This is what creates the hoarse voice that is associated with laryngitis. In extreme cases where the cords are inflamed and swollen, the voice can be so affected it ‘disappears’. In addition to the hoarse voice, other symptoms that accompany laryngitis include a sore throat and non productive cough.
In many cases, this condition is mild and can often be treated using a wide array of home remedies. In instances where the voice is hoarse for more than 72 hours (3 days), or is accompanied by fever, it becomes important to seek medical attention to rule out the possibility of other infections. Listed below are some of the home remedies that you can use to manage laryngitis. Note that since one of the side-effects of laryngitis is a sore throat, a number of the remedies tend to overlap for both conditions.
1. Fresh Ginger:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger root, 1 cup of water, a strainer, and 2 tablespoons of honey. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is optional.
Fresh ginger is recommended for the natural treatment of laryngitis because the ginger has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the swelling and inflammation. Warm water is added to this herbal remedy since it soothes the vocal cords and allows for quick recovery. Honey is added, both because it is a natural sweetener as well as the fact that it has excellent antimicrobial properties. You can drink the ginger tea prepared thrice daily, or more if you want to. You may also choose to chew on the fresh ginger root for a speedy recovery from laryngitis.
- Peel and clean the ginger root before cutting into small pieces.
- Transfer the chopped ginger to a pan and add 1 cup of water.
- Turn on the heat and let the mixture boil for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pass the mixture through the strainer and allow to cool to a comfortable temperature before drinking the tea.
- Alternatively, chew on the raw ginger. The taste is not that of candy, and certainly needs some getting used to, but the remedy will do you good.
Time Required: 15 Min preparation time and 4 hours for the remedy to settle.
What You Need: 2 Cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of raw filtered Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/2 cup of warm water, and a glass jar. 2 tablespoons of raw honey (optional).
Garlic is loved for its excellent antimicrobial properties which help get rid of bacterial infections. When used in the natural treatment of laryngitis, the garlic clears the infection and creates room for the full recovery of the cords as well as the restoration of their normal function.
Apple cider vinegar is added to this remedy because of its healing properties and ability to reduce the bacterial population in the voice box. Note however, that you need to dilute the vinegar before using. Avoid using cold water and opt for warm water instead in order to soothe the cords. If you are pressed for time, simply chew on the garlic cloves.
- Peel and cut the garlic cloves into small pieces before transferring them to the glass jar.
- Mix the water and apple cider vinegar in equal ratios and then pour over the chopped garlic.
- Shake the glass jar to ensure that the contents of the remedy mix well.
- Set the jar aside for 4 hours.
- Add raw honey to the mixture and take 1 tablespoon four times daily for the effective treatment of laryngitis.
- You may also chew on the raw garlic cloves. If you find the smell pungent,simply rinse your mouth with lemon juice.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 teaspoons of raw organic honey, and 1/2 cup of warm water. 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional).
Apple cider vinegar, as mentioned above, has great anti-inflammatory properties. This is what makes it a perfect remedy for the natural treatment of laryngitis. When mixed with honey and warm water, both remedies whose benefits revolve around soothing the voice box, the resulting herbal treatment is your go-to remedy. Cayenne pepper is loved as a home remedy, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties.
NOTE: When shopping for honey and apple cider vinegar, it is advisable to go for raw organic options as these have minimal (some products have none) additives.
- Add the Apple cider vinegar to the cup containing warm water and mix well.
- Stir in the honey and sprinkle the cayenne pepper.
- Once well mixed, drink this mixture thrice daily to get relief from the symptoms that accompany laryngitis.
4. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1 Medium-sized lemon, a glass of warm water, and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
The presence of citric acid in lemon juice makes it a reliable remedy for the natural treatment of laryngitis. This acidity creates a harsh environment within the voice box, making it impossible for bacteria to survive. The result is the elimination of bacteria allowing for quick recovery and relief from the symptoms of inflamed cords. Lemon juice also has the benefit of thinning the mucus, therefore allowing de-congestion. Salt effectively clears the sore throat, while the warm water has a soothing effect on the voice box. Follow the steps below to prepare the remedy.
- Roll the lemon on a sturdy kitchen surface to stimulate the fibers so that there is maximum release of the juice within the fibers.
- Wash the lemon and proceed to squeeze it, collecting the juice n a cup.
- Add the warm water and stir in the salt. In the absence of sea salt, table salt will work just fine.
- Gargle this lemon juice mixture at least thrice daily.
5. Anise Seeds:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of anise seeds and 2 cups of warm water in a pan.
Anise has long been used for the treatment of different ailments, thanks to its potent healing properties. When used to manage laryngitis, the seeds are preferred because of their powerful expectorant properties. When boiled in water and the solution drank, this remedy clears the voice box and helps reduce soreness of the throat. For added benefits, the solution may be applied topically on the chest.
- Place the anise seeds in the pan containing warm water and boil for 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and let the solution sit for another 10 minutes.
- Strain the solution and take 1 tablespoon every 2 hours.
- If you would like, you may soak some cotton wool in the solution and apply it on the chest for added benefits.
6. Eucalyptus Oil:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of eucalyptus oil, a dropper, a bowl with steaming hot water, and a clean towel to cover your head.
Eucalyptus oil has a refreshing aroma, and when used for the treatment of laryngitis, it is loved for its excellent antiviral properties. In cases where the voice box has a viral infection, this is the choice remedy. The other advantage of using eucalyptus oil is that it decongests the airways and allows you to get relief from the sore throat.
The most important thing to note about this remedy is that it is only intended for external application and MUST NEVER be ingested. When taken orally, the oil causes damage to the internal organs, a potentially fatal effect.Secondly, the remedy is categorized as moderate as it requires the user to add the eucalyptus oil to hot water and bend over the bowl as described in the steps below.
- Using a dropper, place 5 drops of the eucalyptus oil in the bowl containing steaming hot water.
- Drape the towel over your head. This is what you will use to trap the steam and inhale it for its healing effects.
- Carefully bend over the bowl and allow the draped towel to contain the steam.
- Inhale as deeply as you can and hold your breath for a few seconds before exhaling.
- Repeat this severally until the water stops steaming. Use the remedy thrice daily for best results.
7. Raw Organic Honey:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Raw organic honey
Raw honey is the perfect antidote for an inflamed larynx and sore throat. The viscosity of the honey coats the throat and reduces the soreness, while its antimicrobial properties helps clear the infection. You may use this remedy on its own or opt to combine it with warm water for quick relief. To get the most benefits out of honey, always opt for raw organic honey. If you can, get the honey direct from the source to avoid processing and in order to retain its integrity.
- Simply take a teaspoon of honey thrice daily.
- Alternatively, add 1 tablespoon of honey to 1 glass of warm water and stir before drinking.
Time Required: 30-45 Min
What You Need: 4 Medium sized onions, 3 cups of water, 1 glass of warm water, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 small lemon.
Onions are an ideal remedy for treating laryngitis, thanks to their expectorant properties. The onions also have anti-inflammatory properties that help manage the inflammation and reduce the swelling of the vocal cords. Use this common kitchen vegetable in order to get relief from the symptoms of laryngitis.
- Peel and chop the onions into small rings.
- Place the chopped onions in a pan and add the cups of water.
- Simmer the onion pieces in the water until the mixture thickens to create a syrup.
- Add 5 tablespoons of the onion syrup to a glass of warm water.
- Stir in a tablespoon of raw honey and squeeze in the lemon juice.
- Drink the mixture thrice daily for best results.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Dried licorice root (ground), a sieve, 1 cup of warm water, and honey.
Licorice root is a choice herbal remedy for the natural treatment of laryngitis. Its antiviral properties help clear the infection, while the anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation within the vocal cords. Licorice root has also been used for the manufacture of lozenges, as it acts as a natural expectorant. Due to the potential drug-drug interactions that arise from the ingestion of licorice, this remedy is not recommended for those who suffer from the following conditions: hypertension, heart conditions as well as disorders affecting the liver and kidney.
- Place the dried licorice powder in a cup of hot water and let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Sieve the mixture and drink the tea thrice daily.
Additional tips that come in handy when treating laryngitis include:
- Stay hydrated to allow for quick recovery and reduce the extent of the sore throat.
- Do not put additional strain on your vocal cords by shouting or screaming; speak gently instead. Contrary to popular belief, whispering does not offer relief and only causes more strain.
- Avoid smoking during this period to prevent further complications.