Make a Natural Home Remedy to Fix Strained Vocal Cords Apple Cider Vinegar vs Onion Syrup vs Salt ... and 13 more

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I'm not sure how it happened, or when it happened but I am living with an 8-year-old heavy metal fan and recently have been barraged with howling guitar riffs, marathon drum solos and shattering vocals. Not being a huge heavy metal fan myself I am often amazed by both the musical talent and the profundity of the lyrics. The stamina, range, and magnitude of the almost screaming low octave vocals astound me. As evidence of the difference in our household's musical taste and preference, my sister and I went to a Tim McGraw concert. About an hour into the concert Tim looked sweaty and sticky, the veins in his neck inflated and pulsating almost in rhythm to the music behind him. Between sips of my overpriced concert beer, I found myself wondering how singers can put such a strain on their vocal cords during a song, never mind an entire 2-hour concert. I wasn't performing, but I woke up the next day with my own vocal cords aching and sore, my voice hoarse and those around me slyly smiling at my concert induced silence. Singers and voice performers have training and techniques to protect their vocal cords, but strained vocal cords are common afflictions, and most of have experienced the strain. This article will show you some home remedies you can use to ease the strain.

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Structure and Importance

Your vocal cords are located inside your voice box or larynx. Your vocal cords are two bands that run along your larynx and vibrate with air when you talk. The air you exhale powers your vocal cords. When you strain your vocal cords, the soft tissue they are made of becoming fatigued, irritated or damaged (thinking of stretching an elastic), affecting your voice resulting in a hoarse, quiet voice.

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Possible Causes of Strained Vocal Cords

There are a few causes for strained vocal cords. Strained vocal cords are caused from:

  • Smoking.
  • A throat infection or cold.
  • Overuse (talking or singing).
  • A stroke.
  • Speaking too loud or screaming.
  • Aging.
  • Some prescription medications (inhalers for asthma or COPD).
  • More serious health condition such as polyps, nodules or contact ulcers on the cords.

Natural Home Remedies to Fix Strained Vocal Cords

There are various sore throat remedies to try to help you get overstrained vocal cords. Here are several methods you can use individually or combine to mend strained chords.

Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar

The acidity will kill bacteria that infect the throat area.

  1. 1
    Mix 4 ounces of warm water with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
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  2. 2
    If you find the apple cider vinegar too tart, add a teaspoon of honey
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  3. 3
    Consume the drink every hour for a day
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Method 2: Onion Syrup

This old folk remedy is an effective cure for the inflamed larynx. The name might scare you, but this remedy actually tastes better than you might think.

  1. 1
    Slice one large onion (red or white)
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  2. 2
    Add ½ cup of honey
    .
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  3. 3
    Place the onion with the honey in a pan with 2 cups of water.
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  4. 4
    Simmer until syrupy, then strain
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  5. 5
    Add 6 tablespoons of the syrup to warm water
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  6. 6
    Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.
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  7. 7
    Take a tablespoon every 2 hours
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Method 3: Salt

When combined with water, salt becomes an effective disinfectant and cleaner. Some people find gargling with salt intolerable, but for those who can tolerate it, salt is very effective in killing bacteria and healing vocal cords. Be careful not to swallow the salt. To make a powerful gargle solution:

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  1. 1
    Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water
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  2. 2
    To reduce the unpleasant taste, add a drop of honey or lemon as a sweetener
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  3. 3
    Use the mixture to gargle several times during the day to reduce throat swelling or to loosen the mucus
    .
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Method 4: Mouthwash

Believe it or not, it's possible to make your own alcohol-based mouthwash at home. Gargling with mouthwash will coat your throat and vocal cords and help kill bacteria and stave off infection. This will help your throat to heal more quickly. Here's a recipe for a homemade version, though you'll be fine to go with store brands like Scope or Listerine.

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  1. 1
    Add two cups of water, four teaspoons of vodka, 10 drops of pure liquid stevia, and 6-10 drops of food-grade essential oil (choose a flavor you enjoy) to a bottle
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  2. 2
    Cover and shake well
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    Shake before each time you use - the ingredients will separate when allowed to sit.
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Method 5: Honey & Cayenne Pepper

This sweet product from the beehive is regarded as valuable cough syrup and is effective in healing throat infection. It helps to reduce any inflammation of the vocal cords by breaking mucous build-up around the larynx. Cayenne pepper is a hot spice. Coating your throat and vocal cords with cayenne pepper make an inhospitable environment for bacteria to grow. Preventing your strained vocal cords from developing into a throat infection is key to a fast recovery. To prepare the concoction:

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  1. 1
    Squeeze out fresh juice from 1/2 lemon into 1 cup (16oz) of water
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  2. 2
    Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
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  3. 3
    Sweeten with 2 tbsp
    .
    of honey.
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  4. 4
    Mix well.
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Method 6: Ginger

Fresh juice from ginger reduces inflammation in the lining of the mucous membrane. You will also get a substantial reduction in pain after this treatment. Ginger has so many beneficial properties.

  1. 1
    Slice fresh ginger root thinly
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  2. 2
    Place in a covered pan and boil for 10 minutes.
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  3. 3
    Strain and allow to cool until to room temperature.
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  4. 4
    Drink the brew to obtain relief.
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  5. 5
    Alternatively, you may chew candied ginger or drink ginger tea with honey, but fresh ginger always gives the best result.
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Method 7: Tea

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Hot tea is a staple for cold winter evenings and effective for soothing vocal cords. Black, green, white, red, or any color of tea can bring about immediate soothing relief for strained vocal cords. Combine brewed hot tea with a teaspoon of honey for that extra boost in warding off infectious bacteria in the throat.

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Method 8: Hot Toddy

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If you drink alcohol, a hot toddy can provide relief to strained vocal cords and deliver warmth all over. The toddy has its roots in British colonialism while adding heat to create a hot toddy has its roots in Scotland. With whiskey being the most popular alcohol used, you can make toddies with most clear liquors.

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  1. 1
    Pour 2oz of whiskey or bourbon into a mug
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  2. 2
    Add 1 tbsp of honey
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  3. 3
    Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice
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  4. 4
    Add ¾ cup of boiling water
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  5. 5
    Stir
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  6. 6
    You can also add fresh sliced ginger, cinnamon sticks, sliced lemon or cloves.
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Method 9: Lemon Juice

The acid content of lemon juice is effective in killing bacteria infecting the throat. It also promotes the production of saliva and reduces mucus build-up.

  1. 1
    Squeeze out juice from one fresh lemon
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  2. 2
    Add a pinch of salt, then mix well.
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  3. 3
    Pour the mixture into a cup of warm water.
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  4. 4
    Use it as a gargling solution to relieve itchiness and pain in the throat.
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Method 10: Garlic

This pungent clove has antimicrobial properties that help get rid of bacteria and viruses in the body.

  1. 1
    Divide a fresh garlic clove into two pieces
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  2. 2
    Place one piece on the opposite side of the mouth.
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  3. 3
    Keep your mouth closed as you gradually suck the juice from the garlic.
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  4. 4
    Do this as often as you can withstand the smell and taste for fast relief of strained vocal cords
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Method 11: Cinnamon

The immune-boosting benefits of cinnamon make it ideal for treating damaged vocal cords.

  1. 1
    Place a cinnamon stick in two cups of water
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  2. 2
    Add a pinch of pepper, then boil for a few minutes.
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  3. 3
    Drain the water into a clean cup.
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  4. 4
    Add a teaspoon of honey before drinking the brew for instant relief of throat pain
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Method 12: Chicken Soup

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Just like what momma used to serve when you had colds, a bowl of warm chicken soup is not only sustaining, but it's also medicinal. Its sodium content can help the body fight the infection that caused your illness. It's easy to sip and will not hurt the throat when you swallow.

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Method 13: Marshmallow Tea

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Maybe you thought marshmallows are only those sweet puffy treat for kids. However, this is the real marshmallow. For hundreds of years, the sap from the marshmallow plant has been used in tea to treat coughs, colds, and throat problems. Make a cup of marshmallow tea as you typically would and sip it to ease strained vocal cords.

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Method 14: Green and Fruity Diet

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Consume lots of green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits rich in vitamins and minerals to keep the throat environment clean and to speed up the healing process.

Method 15: Steam Treatment

Remember at the beginning of the article about air passing through and over the vocal cords? Steam treatments restore moisture to the membranous tissues and relax the inner muscles in the larynx area. You can purchase a steamer or make your own.

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  1. 1
    Pour steaming hot water into a basin or big bowl
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  2. 2
    Cover your head with a large towel and then lean over the bowl.
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  3. 3
    Inhale gently through the mouth for 5-10 minutes.
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  4. 4
    Add essential oil such as eucalyptus or lemon
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Method 16: Water

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Water. A good way to help your body heal strained vocal cords is to keep the body hydrated. It seems basic, but this is the building blocks to good vocal cord health. Running water through the vocal cords regularly rinses the infected area removing possible food sources for the bacteria (collected matter, food & sugar). Maintain your water intake at six to eight glasses a day. Combining water with other ingredients known to have healing effects makes it a more potent solution against the condition.

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Additional Tips and Suggestions

  • Avoid speaking or whispering for at least 20 minutes after a steaming session. This will allow the vocal folds to absorb the soothing effects of hot steam fully.
  • Remain inside the house for at least 30 minutes after steam treatment. If you need to go outside, let an hour pass before doing so. Wrap the throat with a scarf and avoid breathing cold air too soon once you're out.
  • Avoid clearing the throat as this may further strain the vocal cords.
  • Avoid cigarettes, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. Excessive intake of these harmful substances will harden the exercises and tissues.
  • Over the counter sprays will do little to mend strained vocal cords but they may provide relief.
  • If your vocal cords are often strained, consider vocal training with a specialist.
  • Avoid dairy products because they tend to increase mucus production, resulting in throat itchiness and inflammation.
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Warnings

  • Garlic may cause a burning sensation depending on the strength of the garlic. If this occurs, you may want to hold the garlic between your teeth instead of on soft tissue.
  • If your vocal cords hurt or are strained, and you can't identify a cause, see your doctor.
  • If you lost your voice for more than four days, are hoarse for longer than a week, have difficulty swallowing, feel a 'lump in your throat' when swallowing or blood, see your doctor.
  • If your throat hurts because of the medication you are using, discuss this with your doctor or healthcare team. There may be solutions they can offer.

Questions and Answers

Natural remedies for hardened vocal cords damaged by smoking?

I need to soften them.

You can include honey in your daily diet as that will help to relieve inflammation that LED to hardened vocal cords. You may also want to indulge in hot drinks compared to cold drinks as that will help soothe your vocal cords. It would be good to take a lot of green tea as well as that is rich in antioxidants that will help get rid of any inflammation.

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See more questions like this: RE: Damage from Throat Infection

What is the best way to take good care of my vocal cords aside from drinking lots of water and hot tea?

I want to maintain the good health of my vocal cords

Not smoking or drinking alcohol and sodas is one of the best things you can do to take good care of your vocal cords. You can also help prevent strained vocal cords by always warming up before any performance, and making sure you cool down afterward. You can also reference our article on how to minimize voice damage. It has some great tips and suggestions you can follow.

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My vocal cords are strained, and I have to sing in 12 hours. What can I do to make my voice normal again?

I was sick last week, and my vocal cords have been strained for what's weeks now.

Herbal honey will help you, as will sipping a warm slippery elm bark tea between songs while you're singing. The problem, unfortunately, is that you should have been on a program of vocal cord care and repair since being sick. Singing at the last minute with strained vocal cords is not good, and can hurt your singing voice. Because it is so late for you, you'll likely want to mix a combination of the vocal cord therapies mentioned earlier in this guide and follow the steps advised above.

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See more questions like this: How Do I recover my voice within 1 hour

How will I bring back my vocal range?

Two nights before our concert we had our final rehearsal; together with our lead guitarist we had drunk few bottles of liquor/beer. The following day, I was suffering vocal cord pain.

This is common, particularly when celebrating. A singer who has a few drinks will end up singing a little too hard or putting a little too much into a rehearsal or performance. That is why you were suffering vocal cord pain. Think of it like this. Just like someone does not have the best motor skills and control of a car after a few drinks, they also do not have the best control of their singing voice. That is most likely why you strained it. Your vocal range will come back in time as your vocal cords relax, and are less strained.

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You can also use some of the steps in the articles linked in this Q&A section and elsewhere in to help you heal your vocal cords.

How can I make a homemade steam cup for myself?

I am a singer, and I sing a lot, but sometimes I can't hit the notes, I usually can. How could I improve my voice with a homemade steam cup? I have tried: I have tried gargling salt water, my head under a towel, vocal exercises. I think it was caused by: I think that I am singing quite a lot and that might cause it or all the arguments I have and I shout during them

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Take a regular glass mason jar. Add boiling water to the jar and if you are using any essential oils or mint leaves you would put those in the jar as well. You can use a funnel on the top of the jar and cup your mouth and nose around the funnel or use your hands directly.

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What to do for swollen or strained vocal cords from flu like cold?

I have been real hoarse since I had flu like cold, can't seem to recover?

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