Last Modified on May 21, 2014
Are you suffering from a vocal cord disorder or have otherwise lost your voice? Do you suffer from acute or enduring voice issues? Certain home remedies can help soothe inflamed vocal folds and throat tissues so that you can get your normal voice back.
Singers in particular often have a treasure trove of various folk remedies for restoring a lost voice or repairing a sore throat or vocal folds. Some of these home remedies can be effective, some of them can do more harm than good.
Home Remedies: Hydration, especially with warm beverages, should be your first step to restore your voice. Honey, vinegar, and cayenne are traditional home remedies for both soothing and stimulating a sore throat or inflamed vocal tissues. For long-term or developing vocal issues such as the loss of speech that can come with Parkinson's, speech therapy and certain vocal exercises can strengthen the throat and mouth so as to improve vocal performance.
[YEA] 06/10/2011: Debi from Scranton, Pa: "Hi, I want to thank everyone for recommending Apple Cider Vinegar and Neti Pot for curing sinus infection. The unexpected bonus was helping me with a voice disorder/problem that I had since 2005. I would lose my voice for months at a time (sounding like Minnie Mouse) and get it back for a week or two. I went to 3 different ENTs and was told something different each time I went. Diagnoses ranged from a mental problem to getting the wrong kind of voice therapy. I have sinus/allergy problems since I was a child and tried taking OTC medications at the recommendation of my family Doctor for my Laryngitis but it never helped. I even tried Acid reflux meds. Nothing helped until this past March when I went online to look for a natural cure for a sinus infection I had, 2nd one in two months. I hate taking antibiotics. Never in my wildest dreams did I think Apple cider Vinegar would help my voice!!! I have had my voice for 11 weeks now and still counting!!! The longest I've had it since 2005!!! I take APV at least once a day, up to 3 times when I have a allergy/sinus problem and still have a voice!!! Thank you again! It's so great to talk normal again!!!"Replies
04/22/2012: Shafer from Paoli, Pa replies: "I am not clear about apple cider vinegar. Should I use apple cider vinegar with neti pot or drink the vinegar separately? Thanks!"
07/19/2012: F Ahmed from Dubai, Uae replies: "Dear Debi, I am suffering from vocal disorder since last 8-9 months. In the begining it started with throat viral infection/cold/cough; in fact it has take a bad shape by now.
I have tried lots of anti-biotics, it heals tempoarary. If in case, I take anything sour/cold, the next morning it's a disaster.
I'm presently on homeopath medicine, lets see how it helps. Further, I will try Apple cider vinegar with water/2 teaspoon.
In any reader/sufferer with same symptoms can suggest... please advice.
Thank you, Faiz"
07/20/2009: Barbara from Escalon, CA: "Acid Reflex Disease / PVFM
I was diagnosied with Paradoxal Vocal Fold Motion. I have been having Botox every three months to help my vocal cords to move more easily. Suddenly I am ready of have a trecheotomy. I have been scared to death. I know from what my doctor and some web sites have told me that part of the problem with vocal cord disorders is acid reflex. I just read you page so thought I would try the vinigar. I tried 2 T in a small amount of water. i tried the whol glas but couldn't drink that much so went to just about 2 oz of water and 2 T vinagar. I'm sitting here right now feeling amazing different. I don't know yet that it has helped but I believe it has. My throat seems cler and just the thought of not having a trecheomotry (can't spell) will make we try anything. I'm going to try this for awhile and see if it make a difference. I had surgery for Spasmodic Dysphonia (which took 30 years to diagnosis) also a vocal cord disorder. I had a horrible voice and Botox gave me back my voice right away for a few months. I had to go back every few months for Botox. Than I started having breathing problems. Actually I did have some breathing problems before this from a heart arythema. After getting that settled, I still couldln't breath. My vocal cords paralyzed and while on surgery table waiting for a trech surgery steroids started them to moving again so surgery was canceled, but still have sever breathing problems. Everything I read says that acid reflex is a major roll in Vocal cord disorders. Well, right this minute my throat feels clean and free for the first time in I don't know how long. I'm excited to see how this goes. Like I said I absolutely can't drive a whole class of water right down without throawith it back up, but about two inches of water and 2 T of apple cyder vinigar and I feel so different. I will let you know how this works as I try it for awhile. I haven't been taking acid reflex medicane but getting treated for vocal cord disorder. I believe in natural things and know that someone people got by without all this chemical medicine before we had it. I'll keep you posted. Thanks and feel free to email me.
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 04/23/2009: Zephyr from Chicago, IL: "I tried 2 tsp of unfiltered cider vinegar in 12 oz. of water 3 times a day because I was losing my voice, or at least finding it difficult to force out a high-pitched rasp, by mid-day every day. It worked immediately, even allowed me to speaker at a lower pitch than normal. But I've been doing it for two weeks, and the effect is wearing off. Maybe I'll try using it on and off."
02/19/2009: Peter from Manila, Philippines: "Been having problem with low voice. people are having hard time hearing what i am saying, and that really affects my self esteem. often times, i am not being paid attention especially when there are others who are speaking. they would never hear me. can ACV make my voice clear? or is there any better way of fixing it? I would really appreciate if you could provide me some help. thanks a lot."
[YEA] 05/12/2011: Hira from Dhaka, Bangladesh: "I'm a singer and having problems with my vocal and breathing for last few years. I was looking for a herbal remedy for acid reflux, laryngitis, sore throat, asthma, obese and excessive phlem problems. Earth clinic provided me the answer beside other folks around me.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
2. Hydrogen peroxide (I'm taking lemon for that, don't through away any part of lemon and eat whole thing)
3. Raw honey with black seed oil (1:4) etc.
4. Black bean (chhola in Bengali)
5. licorice root (joshThi modhu in Bengali) - add in your tea with ginger and lemon and you have a great soothing remedy for throat/vocal
Note: *avoid eating rice, wheat, and dairy products, instead try to eat more vegetable (tomato, carrots etc. ) and fruits (green apple, banana) in your meal **avoid salt ***Do as much as Yoga, exercise, jogging (I'm also playing soccer with my buddies and feeling great) as possible on daily basis and at same time ****If you are recovering from vocal problem, do light vocal warmup/practice each day at same time.. Increase practice time and try higher notes if you gain enough strength and comfort in your vocal.. Never over-do anything; I'm a sufferer and I know how it feels when singing is your life and you can't sing..
IN DHAKA, BANGLADESH, I found the all natural Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar in "MEENA BAZAR" super shop, RD. #27 (old), 16(new), Dhanmondi, Dhaka. You can try other branches of Meena Bazar or other super shops.
FYI, I couldn't find Hydrogen peroxide in Meena Bazar. So, I'm sticking with lemon (again I slice the lemon in 4 pieces and eat 1/4- the whole thing not just the liquid), coconut/coconut milk etc. to get enough H2O2.
I hope you will get well soon..
05/21/2014: Sujata from Gilbert, Arizona replies: "Dear Hira, For the vocal problems you listed so many things, but did not mention how you are suppose to take it, I am too a singer so if you could please help with details would really appreciate it.
04/27/2012: Pinku from Paoli, Pa/usa: "I have a voice disorder problem. I went to 3 ENT and a Gastro guy. They all told me I do not have any problem. They wanted me to take Prilosec. Since I had lost my beautiful sharp voice I was ready to take anything so I tried Prilosec for 3 months and nothing happened. I have a hard time starting a sentence, Once I start then I am ok. But my voice is not clear it is raspy and people have a hard time understanding me. If I leave a message on voice mail, it sounds like someone is crying. Can someone please help or advise. Thanks!"Replies
04/27/2012: Steve from Las Vegas, Nevada replies: "It is very possible that your cervical neck vertebrae #5 and #6 are out of alignment. This pinches on the nerves that go to the vocal cords. A chiropractor or good energy healer can get them back in alignment if they are out. The other possibility is laryngitis in which case gargling with 10ppm colloidal silver 3x per day would be effective."
04/27/2012: Mary from Toronto, Canada replies: "I used to lose my voice completely, each time I catch a cold or flu couple of years ago. It was really scary because what came out were like bear roaring noises, not one intelligible word or just a couple of letters. I didn't have the throat pain necessarily. This was happening in the morning when I wake up. The magic remedy for me was a mix of black radish with honey or sugar. You can either make a mixture - like a syrup - of let's say equal parts with your food processor, or make a pot out of a black radish, no need to peal it, cut a top as a lid, next, scoop couple of tea spoons of the middle out and add sugar or honey in place, cover it and leave it over night, or leave it for more than 6 hours if you choose to prepare it over the day. Take one or two tea spoons of the syrup as necessary, you can't drink or eat after for one hour so take the syrup after you ate. It really works and I could have a regular day with almost no signs of disturbing voice. I tried this remedy only for throat pain but it doesn't have the same results.
Hope it helps!"
02/03/2010: James from Syracuse, New York: "Please let me know how to deal with a change in singing voice in which it seems like I can't push out air as easily or hit high falsetto notes like i used to be able to. It's like my windpipe is more narrow and not able to thrust air and notes out as well anymore. Any natural remedies for this or feedback?"
10/01/2009: Laura from Westlake Village, Ca: "burned vocal chords
have suffered loss of voice for 7 months. 2 ENT's said it was acid reflux. tried acv with baking soda, but that burned it worse. i can whisper for a while, but later lose even that ability. afraid to use acid suppressants, because makes digestion worse. drinking even diluted acv makes the burn worse. tried aloe vera for a while, but didn't help. which direction should i go.... if i try to suppress acid until throat heals, won't it just be re-injured when i resume healthy diet for good digestion?"Replies
10/11/2009: Bunny from Santa Ana, Ca replies: "This doesn't seem like the usual cause of acid reflux-lack of acid. It sounds more like the little flap at the end of your esophagus isn't closing properly. Try B vitamins, a good quality green powder, smaller meals sitting up-don't recline while eating or directly after. Skip the ACV, and keep sipping small amounts (half a tablespoon at a time) of preserative free organic aloe vera several times a day between meals to help heal the tissues in your throat. Refrigerate the aloe-it spoils fast without preservatives. And don't take this as the final word. Do your own search, there may be other things to try. Also, try to think if there was any precipitating event, an illness, a move or change of workplace, any change that might give you a clue as to what set this off."
06/05/2009: Jane from Van Nuys, CA: "Does anyone have advice on how to remedy a lost voice/strained vocal chords? I have been slowly straining my voice the past few weeks due to tasks on my job (where I need to use my voice a lot) among other things. I have been trying to take it easy, but in the last few days it's gotten worse. Now it is turning into a dull sore throat. My voice is kind of soft as it is, so if I need to shout or express something loudly, it is a strain. I am drinking ACV regularly, but other than sore throat remedies I am curious what can aid the vocal chords or the voice? Is there anything I should be doing to truly rest my voice? Or is it really all a matter of soothing the throat?"
EC: Did you also look on the laryngitis remedies page? http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/laryngitis.html
06/25/2013: Jfm from London, Uk: "Hi, I have been a smoker for the last 25 years (female), approx 20 cigarettes a day. I have now given up (one and a half weeks) and am using an electronic cigarette.
The problem is my voice. I've had comments over the years such as you 'have you got a cold, you sound blocked up' when speaking to people I don't know on the phone, or 'haven't you got a deep voice', again, from someone I didn't know.
I assume it's the cigarettes that have done this to my voice but I don't know for sure. Can anyone suggest anything I can do."Replies
06/25/2013: Cecile from Cape Town, South Africa replies: "Hi JFM, A TELLTALE sign of SULFUR DEPLETION is when the voice drops in pitch and it will go lower and deeper each day if not remedied. You probably also do not tolerate fats, dairy and oils very well... Thats the way it OFTEN goes but can change for the better once your sulfur is up! Smoking is known to significantly deplete sulfur stores. My suggestion would be, now that you have made a serious health choice by quitting smoking, to also go one further and address correcting any damage done. Luckily sulfur it is found in many foodstuffs. Juicing is a fabulous way, use vegetables and fruit in combinations you like... Carrots and red cabbage, cucumber, watercress, sorrel, cauliflour, spinach, apples, cranberries, peaches, blackberries, figs.... GARLIC, onions, radishes. If you don't want to juice, try eating as many of the above as possible. Eggs will be a great choice as sulfur's effectiveness is diminished by insufficient protein. Also get a good multivitamin in the beginning of your program as sulfur is more effective when taken with B complex. Best wishes!"
06/26/2013: Mama To Many from Middle, Tennessee, Usa replies: "Hi JMF! Congratulations on quitting smoking! Apple Cider Vinegar is something people have used for voice problems with success. It is helpful for many things and inexpensive. Definitely worth a try. Give it some time to work... it took a long time for you lungs and voice to get to this point.
Here is what to do: 2 T. Raw Unpasturized Apple Cider Vinegar (at health food stores and large grocery stores. ) in a mug of water with 1 T. Honey. Add 6 oz. hot water. Drink twice a day. You might need to start out with less- maybe 2 t. at a time and work up to 2 T. You may notice other health issues improving with this.
Cecile's suggestions of juicing are also great.
Another thing that comes to mind is what we call "steaming. " When my children have had asthma issues, mono, cough, we have "steamed" with great success. I think it could be helpful for you as it would get the healing herbs right to the source of the problem. This is what we do:
Mix together equal parts of:
minced garlic (dry) minced onion (dry), thyme, sage, cinnamon chips, caraway seeds, cloves
(skip whatever isn't on hand unless you don't have any of these. :) )
Boil a pan of water. Add 2 T. of herb mix. Use a towel to cover your head over the steam. (You want to make a little tent to keep the steam in.) (Careful not to burn yourself on your pot of herb water.) Breathe this steaming mixture for 10 minutes. Up to 20 minutes is fine.) Ideally you would do this twice a day. Once a day if time is an issue.) It could take weeks or months to heal this problem.
Let us know what helps you! God bless you!
~Mama to Many~"
01/09/2014: Elli from Utah: "Hi, recently I've been diagnosed with vocal chord dysfunction, has anyone ad any luck with natural remedies for this? I don't eat, gluten, corn, soy, dairy, or yeast. And I believe these are why Im not dying from vcd. But any extra advice would help. Thanks!"Replies
01/09/2014: Om from Hope Bc Canada replies: "Elli from Utah
Oil pulling may be the answer especially, as vocal chords seem to be adversely affected by phlegm. I have done oil pulling for over two years. Before that I often was plagued by "sick" voice close to laryngitis. That has disappeared. Also the olefactory sense is benefitted as well as hearing acuity.
As a result I have all my teeth as a senior and keep working at it. Oil pulling can become quite natural in daily regime and prevents halitosis and a number of complaints that tend to occur. Ultimately blood is purified and serious diseases can be cured. There is a Dr. who cured himself of a serious blood disease. If you google "oil pulling" you may find out more about this age old healing/cleansing method.
The oil used must be pure sesame oil. Namaste, Om"
11/17/2011: Samina from Dubai, United Arab Emirates: "Hi, When my son was born, we were not able to hear his cry, there was no volume, with time he got volume but was very low, we saw different doctors but they advise to wait, they said his vocal cord muscles are softer as compare to normal cords and it happens with some kids, but with time it will become hard, with time his voice was impoving and still there was wait from doctors side.
Now he is 7 years old, his high pitch is totally clear but low pitch sounds like if he is having flu (who ever meets him 1st time always ask that his voice is not clear, does he has flu), doctors are telling me to wait till his puberty, I am worried. Is it fine to wait this long without any treatment and are there any chances that with puberty voice changes he will improve his soft pitch? Is there any home remedy to use during this time? Please advise me."
09/10/2011: Teedee from Las Vegas, Nv, Usa: "About 3 weeks ago I woke speaking in a whisper. After drinking water I got my voice back but notice it cracks when I hit a higher pitch when speaking. I wonder if I developed a polyp or nodule on by vocal cords. I have been taking aloe vera which really cleared the mucus in my throat. I have been dripping aloe mixed with baking soda down the back of my nose. All seems to help with mucus but nothing has helped shrink whatever is on my vocal cords. Any suggestions is welcome."
04/04/2010: Mama from London, Ontario: "I have a question for Ted and anyone else who might have an answer.
A friend of mine(an older gentleman) has a health concern that the doctors are dumbfounded about and he really needs our help, E.C.'s help.
A few years ago he was talking to some people and his voice collapsed; meaning it lost it's vocal power, his neck tightened and got sore and when he tried to speak his words were almost breathless.
Years later it is still the same - he can talk but it is as if someone is squeezing his neck and cutting of his vocal power and breath. It bothers him a great deal because he loves to talk and has much wisdom to share. It is painful for him to talk and I can see how he rubs his neck and strains to speak. The doctors can't help him and he is otherwise very healthy. It is just so weird how his voice was perfect without any problem - and then suddenly struggling.
Have you heard of anything like this?
Can something be done to help him regain his normal voice?
Any help would be so much appreciated,
04/27/2010: Robin from Pasadena, Ca replies: "These symptoms are common with a rare condition named spasmodic dysphonia. Of course, they may be due to other conditions too. You may want to do a on-line search on spasmodic dysphonia for more information."
06/01/2012: Lou from Tyler, Tx replies: "I was just experiencing very sore vocal cords. My voice was cracking and I couldn't sing. I went to what is our equivalent of a Whole Foods and asked the person who sells health supplements what I could take. She recommended Ginger Chews!!! It's like a ginger gummie with powedered sugar on it. I have consumed two bags of them within 3 days (I'm sure that's excessive) and my voice is much much better. Be sure to have some water handy when chewing them. They get hot!!!"
08/13/2013: Rita from Taos, N.m.: "When I drink just one glass grapfruit juice my voice goes like I have laryngitis... It also goes with any other fruit juice. It also goes with wheat bread, pizza, even grapes. I am not a diabetic. Anybody have similar reaction and could they offer advice? I have told about 6 doctors and they don't believe me."Replies
08/15/2013: Timh from Louisville replies: "@Rita: This looks like a case of antioxidant deficiency especially Vit-A and Zinc. I would recommend 1 5000 iu vit-a daily with meal, plus Zinc Lozenge as recommended on label. These should provide the cell's integrity necessary to prevent those flare-ups."