Have you lost your voice and are getting annoyed only being able to whisper, if even that? While some family and friends may appreciate the extra quiet time, laryngitis can be very irritating for the person who has it.

Read on to learn how to get relief from laryngitis and bring your voice back to full volume faster.

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how to get rid of laryngitis

Causes of Laryngitis

Laryngitis occurs when the vocal cords are inflamed. Some of the common causes are:

  • Upper respiratory viral infections, such as the common cold.
  • Bacterial infections.
  • Strained vocal cords due to yelling, speaking or singing for long periods.
  • Exposure to irritants. (1)

Laryngitis can be considered chronic if it lasts more than three weeks or recurs frequently. (1) It can also lead to the formation of nodules on the vocal cords. Chronic laryngitis can be caused by:

  • Frequent inhaling of irritants like smoke, allergens or chemical fumes.
  • Chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Ongoing excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking.
  • Chronic Sinusitis.
  • Regular overuse of your voice. (1)

Symptoms of Laryngitis

Symptoms can vary depending upon what’s causing your laryngitis. Some common symptoms are:

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Prevention of Laryngitis

  • Avoid smoking as well as exposure to secondhand smoke, as it leads to dryness and irritation of the vocal cords.
  • Keep your larynx hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids.
  • Curb your intake of alcohol and caffeine, as they contribute to dehydration.
  • Avoid spicy foods that lead to acid reflux causing heartburn or GERD.
  • Maintain a healthy diet by eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to keep the mucus membrane in your throat healthy.
  • Wash your hands frequently to avoid catching an infection. Also, avoid contact with people suffering from a cold or other respiratory tract infections.
  • Avoid clearing your throat too often, as it increases the mucus secretion and can irritate your vocal cords.

Home Treatment of Laryngitis

In a majority of cases, laryngitis is short-lived and improves within a few days. At times, it can last up to two weeks. (2) Some simple home remedies can come in handy to ease your discomfort and speed up the healing process.

Here are a few home remedies to deal with laryngitis.

Method 1: Use Apple Cider Vinegar and Cayenne Pepper

Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for a number of ailments, including laryngitis. Its acidic and antibacterial properties start working on the infection from the very first dose. (4)

You can also increase the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar by adding some cayenne pepper, which helps alleviate pain by blocking the pain signals from reaching the brain. (3)

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need for using apple cider vinegar and cayenne pepper to get rid of laryngitis

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  • Apple cider vinegar (antibacterial) – 2 tablespoons
  • Cayenne pepper (pain modulator) – 1 teaspoon
  • Honey (soothes throat) – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – ½ cup

Step 1. Add the apple cider vinegar, honey and cayenne pepper to water

mix apple cider vinegar, honey and cayenne pepper in water

  • Pour 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a ½ cup of water.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon of raw honey.
  • Stir all the ingredients to blend them well.

Step 2. Drink the solution twice daily

drink the solution

  • Drink the solution twice every day to alleviate the symptoms of laryngitis.
  • This remedy will provide instant relief from irritation and itching as it will break down the mucus accumulation. As a result, you'll have your voice back, but the inflammation may take a week to go.

If you do not wish to gulp it down, you can prepare a gargle solution by diluting apple cider vinegar with an equal quantity of warm water. Gargle with it 4 or 5 times daily until you get relief.

Method 2: Use Salt Water

Gargling with salt water is not just an old wives’ tale. It is truly one of the easiest and most effective home remedies for throat troubles. Saline water helps draw out the bacteria and soothe your inflamed throat and vocal cords.

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Single-Step Treatment: Gargle with salt water 3 or 4 times daily

make salt water for gargle

  • Add ½ teaspoon of table salt to 1 cup of warm water.
  • Stir until the salt dissolves completely.
  • Do not use too much salt, as it can irritate your throat and worsen the condition.
  • Gargle with the solution as long as you can before spitting it out.
  • Repeat 3 or 4 times throughout the day to get instant relief in irritation and itching sensations in the throat. But, you may need to follow the remedy for up to 1 week or more to gain complete relief in the inflammation.

fainal using salt water to get rid of laryngitis

Method 3: Use Lemon and Honey

The combination of lemon and honey is another effective remedy to cure laryngitis. Lemon has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties which can promote healing (6). Adding honey, further aids in soothing your throat (7).

Things you’ll need:

things you'll need for using apple cider lemon and honey to get rid of laryngitis

  • Fresh lemon juice (antibacterial) – 1 tablespoon
  • Honey (soothes throat) – 1 tablespoon
  • Warm water (soothes throat) – 1 cup

Step 1. Add lemon juice and honey to a cup of warm water

add lemon juice and honey to warm water

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  • Pour 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice into a cup of warm water.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of honey to the solution.

Step 2. Mix the ingredients and drink it 3 times a day

mix and drink

  • Stir well to incorporate the ingredients and drink up.
  • Prepare and consume the solution 3 times a day for 1 week.
  • If you've lost your voice with laryngitis, lemon and honey can help with instant voice recovery. Although, the swelling may take 1 week to go down completely.

Tips to get relief from laryngitis

  • Dry air can aggravate laryngitis. Use a humidifier, inhale steam or take a hot shower to keep your throat moist.
  • Sucking on lozenges or chewing gum can also help keep the larynx moist.
  • Give your vocal cords ample rest. Avoid talking or singing too loudly. Avoid whispering as it puts more strain on your vocal cords than normal speech.
  • Drinking turmeric milk twice daily can reduce inflammation. Simply mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk.
  • Drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea can also reduce inflammation.
  • Chew on a small piece of ginger or garlic. Both have antimicrobial properties that can help get rid of the infection. (5)
  • Eating marshmallows or drinking marshmallow root tea can also relieve the soreness.
  • Breathe from your nose as much as possible. Breathing through your mouth exposes your larynx to cold air that can agitate the vocal cords.

Resources:

  1. Gupta G, Mahajan K. Acute Laryngitis. StatPearls. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534871/. Published November 22, 2018.
  2. Reveiz L, Cardona AF. Antibiotics for acute laryngitis in adults. The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26002823. Published May 23, 2015.
  3. Anogianaki A, Negrev NN, Shaik YB, et al. Capsaicin: An irritant anti-inflammatory compound. Journal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5639468. Published February 2007.
  4. Gopal J, Anthonydhason V, Muthu M, et al. Authenticating apple cider vinegar's home remedy claims: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral properties and cytotoxicity aspect. Natural Product Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29224370. Published December 11, 2017.
  5. Bode AM, Dong Z, Benzie IF, Wachtel-Galor S. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22593941. Published 2011.
  6. Oikeh EI, Omoregie ES, Oviasogie FE, Oriakhi K. Phytochemical, antimicrobial, and antioxidant activities of different citrus juice concentrates. Food Science & Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4708628/. Published January 2016.
  7. Ediriweera ERHSS, Premarathna NYS. Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review. AYU: An International Quarterly Journal of Research in Ayurveda. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3611628/. Published 2012.

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