Singers spend a lot of time and energy seeking out quick fixes and natural remedies for song-impairing ailments. I have compiled these remedies, some are my own, some are from other performing artists.
- At the first sign of a sore throat, suck on a Zinc Lozenge, preferably 20mg or more per lozenge. Ideally, you should use one lozenge every 4 hours or so. Zinc is wonderful at warding off a cold, if you treat it early!
- Throat Coat Tea - This was by far the most popular Remedy! A vocal teacher recommended that a singer that has a gig start early with bottled water - insert a "Singers Tea" bag into lukewarm water (NOT COLD!!) and sip on it all day. It looks a little odd - but will work wonders to hydrate those sensitive vocal chords.
- Hall's Vitamin C drops and drink lots of water!
- Gargle with salt water (lots of salt) every three to four hours.
- Consider the antibiotic properties of honey (not the supermarket types, but the varieties
straight from the aparies) and took one dessert spoon every three to four hours
- Use apple cider vinegar mixed in water to drink, add two teaspoons to a glass of water with just a bit of honey. Drink about three times a day.
- Chop up an entire bulb of garlic (or onion) and put it in a bowl. Cover the garlic (or onion) with honey and let the mixture sit overnight. In the morning, remove the garlic (or onion) and take two teaspons of the honey mixture. The honey is instantly soothing to the throat, and the garlic (or onion) has wonderful immune-boosting (and some say cancer-preventing)powers. It is, of course, very aromatic! Your loved ones should eat it too, so no one will mind the scent!
- Don't clear your throat audibly, it bangs the cords together and causes more swelling and inflammation. Whisper as much as possible to prevent the cords from banging together.
- Try to get in a shower, hot, and humidify your cords before a gig.
- You can boil up THYME (fresh or dried) and then use it as a steam... You know, head over the pot breathing the wonderful thyme vapors, towel over head to keep the steam in...
- If you have to sing, be sure to warm up, slowly, working with your low register first.... Try to ease into it.
- Pick up a can (or box) of lowfat chicken broth and 2 lemons cut up as much lemon as you think you'll be able to stand I use a whole one and boil it in enough chicken broth to fill a large coffee cup - microwaving doesn't do it- let it sit for just a minute and drink it as hot as you can stand it with the lemons in it then eat the boiled lemons.
- While you're raspy stay away from coffee or anything else you need to put milk in and nothing colder than room temperature.
- Hot green tea with lemon works!
- When you go onstage, make sure that your throat is COMPLETELY relaxed.You can get the feel of a relaxed throat when you yawn. Try to recreate that feeling when you sing. Don't do ANY singing with your throat. If you feel something when you sing, you are using your throat too much. Make sure your singing is supported with proper breathing.
- Try to get yourself to a health food store and see if they have the homeopathic remedy Phosphorus (use a 6X or 6C strength)
- Dr. Hand's Gargle
Mix together the following:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
mix in 8 ounces of warm tap water
gargle 1/3 quart 3 times per day
- pick up the liquid homeopathic version of Astragulus (instructions as per bottle) -- take up to 4 days on and 3 days off.
- Peppermint tea with honey.
- go to the grocery store and buy one of those plastic lemons. Shortly before you perform squeeze a couple squirts into the back of your mouth and swallow. It should get you through a show. Keep it handy for a booster if you have more than one set.
- One of the best recommendations I can pass on is to spray lysol in the air vents of your car. A mechanic who's son has asthma told me this. Particles that can irritate your throat lodge in the vent and as you're driving you're breathing them in. Do it at night before you go to bed so that you are not breathing the lysol fumes while driving.
- Turn off your cell phone (talking on it often forces people to overcompensate).
- Whispering is actually WORSE on your vocal folds. Speak softly if you must, but not an airy whisper. Cold water can cool inflammation (but not while singing) and of course rest rest rest.
- From a fellow singer: "In the zinc department, I have found ZICAM nasal gel extremely effective for olds and sore throats. I used to be chronic sufferer. Anecdotedly, it has
made a dramatic difference. Along with saltwater nasal irrigation...here
goes the 'ewww' again. It's better than the alternative. :) "