Lost your voice? Whether you were screaming too loudly at a concert or sporting event, or you’re feeling under the weather due to a cold or the flu, these natural laryngitis remedies are suitable for adults and children. From teas and essential oils, to salt water gargles and lozenges, we’ve also included a list of things to avoid to help you feel better sooner!
What Is Laryngitis?
Laryngitis is an inflammation of the vocal cords in the larynx (aka the voice box), which causes your voice to become hoarse. It usually comes on quickly and resolves within 2 weeks, but sometimes laryngitis can be chronic due to an underlying medical condition. Be sure to check in with your doctor if your symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.
What Are The Symptoms of Laryngitis?
- A hoarse, raspy voice that sounds deeper than usual
- Partial or complete loss of voice
- Throat pain
- Full feeling in the throat/neck
- Fever and swollen lymph nodes (if laryngitis is the result of an infection)
What Causes Laryngitis?
- Common colds
- Upper respiratory infections
- Overusing the vocal cords through talking, singing, and/or shouting
- Exposure to second-hand smoke
When To See a Doctor
While laryngitis is usually a short-term illness that clears within a couple of weeks (see below for 10 natural laryngitis remedies!), some medical conditions can cause chronic laryngitis. If your symptoms last longer than 2 weeks and/or you have recurring bouts of laryngitis, but sure to consult with your doctor.
10 Natural Laryngitis Remedies
1. REST YOUR VOICE
If you’re looking for natural laryngitis remedies, the best (and easiest) thing to do is to rest your voice. Since laryngitis is caused by an inflammation of the vocal cords, it makes sense to avoid talking as much as possible to give your voice a chance to rest and avoid further strain and irritation.
2. DON’T WHISPER
If you’re trying to rest your voice, you may opt to communicate by whispering instead, but this actually strains your vocal cords more than speaking normally. Try not to talk as much as possible, and when you must communicate, try to speak normally so you’re not irritating your vocal cords further.
3. DRINK PLENTY OF FLUIDS
Another easy tip if you’re looking for natural laryngitis remedies is to increase your fluid intake. This will help alleviate dryness and soothe any irritation you may be experiencing in your throat, and will also help loosen mucus and keep you hydrated.
4. GARGLE WITH SALT WATER
Of all of the natural laryngitis remedies I’ve tried over the course of my life, gargling with salt water is the one I swear by the most. I find it helps with the pain and discomfort that tends to accompany a hoarse voice, while simultaneously adding moisture into the throat. Research suggests it can also help remove bacteria and reduce inflammation. For best results, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt to 1/2 a cup of warm water.
5. SUCK ON LOZENGES
Throat lozenges are another easy way to soothe and moisturize your throat, and they can be helpful in reducing irritation that causes you to cough and/or clear your throat (both of which can further irritate your vocal cords). There are lots of different options you can buy at your local pharmacy, and if you’re looking for natural laryngitis remedies, I highly recommend these manuka honey lozenges!
6. SWEETEN WITH HONEY
Honey is a quick and delicious remedy for throat ailments. Mix with warm water or your favorite tea (camomile tea is a great option due to its anti-inflammatory properties), or lick it straight off the spoon for instant relief. Just be sure not to give honey to kids under the age of 12 months due to the risk of botulism.
7. SOOTHE WITH GINGER ROOT
Fresh ginger root is another great option to try if you’re looking for natural laryngitis remedies. It can help treat throat infections while also soothing and suppressing dry coughs that typically accompany a case of laryngitis. You can boil it in a pot of water to create your own ginger tea, or you can peel and chop it and add it to soups and smoothies.
Essential oils containing eucalyptus can be beneficial in soothing an irritated throat and vocal cords, with the added bonus of loosening mucus. You can’t ingest eucalyptus, but can diffuse them in your house and/or sprinkle a few drops on your pillow to help you sleep. Vicks VapoRub is another great option – I like to rub some on my feet and cover with socks for overnight relief.
9. USE A HUMIDIFIER
Another simple yet extremely effective tip for those in need of natural laryngitis remedies is to invest in a humidifier. Adding moisture to the air helps reduce inflammation and dryness of the nasal passages and throat. If you have young children, be sure to choose a cool mist humidifier, as warm mist humidifiers and vaporizers are not safe for use in a young child’s room. Also, be careful not to close the door to your child’s room when the humidifier is in use to ensure it doesn’t become too humid.
10. AVOID IRRITANTS
My final tip if you’re looking for natural laryngitis remedies is to avoid doing things that can further irritate your vocal cords, like whispering, smoking, and consuming anything that can dry out and dehydrate your body, such as decongestants, alcohol, and caffeine.
I hope this collection of natural laryngitis remedies proves useful to you! While resting your voice is the most important (and effective) treatment for inflamed and irritated vocal cords, all of these natural remedies should help you feel better sooner.