What to Take for Laryngitis

A whispering, squeaking, husky voice usually means one thing: laryngitis. Curious what to take for laryngitis? The best medicine for laryngitis may be in the cupboard, rather than at the pharmacy.

A whispering, squeaking, hoarse voice usually means one thing: laryngitis. Typically lasting days or weeks, ordinary laryngitis is an inconvenience but not a life-threatening problem. Curious what to take for laryngitis? The best medicine for laryngitis may be in the cupboard, rather than at the pharmacy.

Laryngitis Symptoms

Laryngitis is an inflammation or swelling of the voice box (larynx). When a bout of laryngitis attacks, the vocal cords—folds in the larynx mucosa—become swollen. Normally, the vocal cords open and close very smoothly, producing sound through movement and vibration. When they become swollen, the sound produced by the air passing through the vocal cord is distorted, causing the patient’s voice to sound husky.

A fairly common condition, laryngitis usually occurs in children and the elderly because of their poor resistance. A person with laryngitis experiences hoarseness, loss of voice, and throat pain. Additional symptoms of laryngitis in adults may include pain from swallowing, fullness in the throat or neck, fever, swollen lymph nodes, or a congested or runny nose. Symptoms in infants or children, usually associated with croup, may include a hoarse laryngitis cough and fever.

It is recommended that adults see a doctor if they are in pain, hoarse for more than 2 weeks, coughing up blood, have a temperature above 103 °F, or have trouble breathing. Consulting a physician is recommended if a child is…

  • Younger than 3 months old and has a temperature of 100 °F or higher
  • Older than 3 months old and has a fever of 102 °F or higher
  • Is having difficulty swallowing or breathing
  • Is making high-pitched sounds when inhaling
  • Is drooling more than usual

A doctor will examine the patient’s throat, take a culture, and use an endoscope, a narrow tube equipped with a camera. There may be a skin allergy test or an X-ray taken to rule out other issues.

Acute laryngitis typically clears up on its own within a few weeks. Laryngitis is termed chronic laryngitis when it lasts longer than 3 weeks. Chronic inflammation from laryngitis can cause the formation of nodules or polyps on the vocal cords.

Laryngitis in children can develop into croup, a narrowing of the airways, or epiglottitis, an inflammation of the flap at the top of the larynx that can be life-threatening. In adults, complications of laryngitis from GERD include pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and vocal cord paralysis.

Causes of Laryngitis

Factors that can trigger laryngitis are upper respiratory infection or the common cold; overuse of the vocal cords by talking, singing, or screaming; smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke; or exposure to dry or polluted air. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also play a role in laryngitis; strong acids can travel up from the stomach into the larynx, causing irritation and loss of the voice. Laryngitis caused by GERD, which is a common cause among the elderly, can make people feel as if they have something stuck in the windpipe.

When infections cause laryngitis, it can be contagious. Although it’s usually virus-related, there are also continual, or chronic, forms of laryngitis, typically brought on by smoking and alcohol abuse. Other origins of chronic cases of laryngitis include: allergies, bacterial infection, fungal infection, injury, inhalation of chemical fumes, and sinus disease. Some health conditions, including cancer, can also instigate laryngitis.

Laryngitis Cure and Prevention

In most cases, laryngitis will disappear on its own. Treatment of laryngitis involves drinking plenty of fluids, resting the voice, humidifying the air, making some common-sense lifestyle changes, and using natural and home remedies for symptom relief. Many of these remedies are easy to find and prepare.

Limit conversation to rest the voice. Speak softly as if seated with a friend in a café, eliminate yelling or speaking loudly, and avoid whispering and clearing the throat. Without the stress of everyday use, a person’s voice usually recovers on its own. If the need to speak clearly is urgent, a doctor may prescribe corticosteroids that act like hormones that the body makes naturally to reduce swelling. To relieve pain, you can take ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Midol) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Take supplements that reduce inflammation. BCAAs (branch-chained amino acids) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids, along with glycine, reduce inflammation in a variety of diseases and conditions. It’s highly preferable to take a complete essential amino acid supplement, rather than a BCAA supplement or single amino acid therapy.

Here are some lifestyle changes that can reduce the chance of getting laryngitis in the first place or help in the healing process:

  • Reduce or eliminate caffeine and alcohol to avoid dehydration.
  • Use artificial saliva to moisten the mouth and throat.
  • Stop smoking and avoid smokers.
  • Avoid recreational drugs, which can be harmful to the larynx.
  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to indoor air.
  • Avoid dusty environments.
  • Beware of certain drugs such as antihistamines and diuretics that can dry out the mouth and throat.
  • Be hyperaware of washing your hands with warm water and soap. Keep surfaces, such as the telephone and door handles, clean with vinegar and a fresh cloth.
  • Know what to take for laryngitis. Stay hydrated and soothe your throat by drinking water throughout the day. Fruit juices and non-caffeinated drinks can be both moistening and soothing.
  • Start and end the day with steam by boiling water, placing the pot on a protected surface, and breathing the steam in gently for 10 to 15 minutes.

A whispering, squeaking, husky voice usually means one thing: laryngitis. Typically lasting days or weeks, ordinary laryngitis is an inconvenience but not a life-threatening problem. Curious what to take for laryngitis? The best medicine for laryngitis may be in the cupboard, rather than at the pharmacy.

Laryngitis Home Remedies

Most home remedies for laryngitis are already in the house or easy to find. Here are our favorites.

Honey

Quite possibly the the best medicine for laryngitis, honey contains sugars and amino acids beneficial for health and bolsters the resistance of the human body. Rich in minerals and considered a natural antibiotic that fights pathogens, honey combats laryngitis symptoms, such as a sore throat, dry cough, phlegm, and seasonal allergy symptoms. It has antifungal and antioxidant activities.

Garlic

Loaded with antimicrobial properties that kill bacteria and viruses, garlic acts as a natural expectorant. When sliced or crushed, garlic releases the antimicrobial substance allicin, making it effective in treating laryngitis.

The oil from garlic is rich in glucine, aliin, and phytonoxite, which have bactericidal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory effects, and garlic also contains large amounts of vitamins A, B, C, D, PP, carbon tetrachloride, polysaccharide, inulin, fitoxterin, and other minerals necessary for the body, such as iodine, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and trace elements.

Garlic is rich in antioxidants to help restore the activity of cells in the body, improve resistance, and help the body resist diseases.

Licorice

An herbal remedy for some common ailments such as colds, pharyngitis, and bronchitis, licorice reduces sputum. It enhances expectoration and dilutes the mucus in the respiratory tract. Glycyrrhizic acid in licorice improves the function of the adrenal glands, and cortisol in licorice has anti-inflammatory properties. Licorice, which boosts the immune system by activating interferons in the body, helps to prevent viral infections.

Ginger

Good for the throat and for throat infections, fresh ginger comforts inflamed mucous membranes of the larynx. Ginger’s complex chemical composition contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant health benefits. It can be sweetened with honey if needed.

Turmeric

Its strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties kill bacteria and help the body produce excessive mucus. In addition to boosting the immune system, turmeric has three natural plant compounds called curcuminoids that reduce enzymes in the body that contribute to inflammation.

Onion Syrup

Onions have high levels of antioxidants and sulfur compounds, and onion syrup acts as a natural expectorant and a natural cure for larynx inflammation. Onions are rich in vitamins A, B, C, as well as natural folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, iron, and fiber.

Apple Cider Vinegar

With some serious antimicrobial properties to stave off infections, apple cider vinegar also helps balance stomach acid levels. Being naturally acidic, it can lower pH level in the stomach and offer probiotics and enzymes to improve food digestion and fight GERD and acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar also repels infections and other acute conditions due to its antimicrobial properties.

Peppermint Essential Oil

Natural antispasmodic activity helps fight off contractions that make people cough, while cutting irritation to the vocal cords. Peppermint essential oil also helps treat allergies, a potential cause of laryngitis. It relieves scratchy throats, colds, and coughs; serves as an expectorant; discharges phlegm; and reduces inflammation of the vocal cords.

Tea

With numerous vitamins and antioxidants, tea can relieve inflammation and harmful bacteria in the throat. Soothing the throat and the stomach, chrysanthemum and mint tea are especially helpful when used with a few drops of honey. Mullein tea can also soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation. A mild astringent and antibacterial agent, it can help to treat laryngitis that comes from an infection of the larynx.

Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm

Prized for their mucilage, marshmallow root and slippery elm help coat the throat to relieve irritation. They also help subdue swelling in the lymph nodes, bolster the healing process, and reduce aggravating dry laryngitis cough.

Gargles

Various gargles with household items are helpful for laryngitis. A saltwater gargle soothes infected and inflamed vocal cords and sore throats and kills bacteria. Gargling with vinegar, a weak acid, can reduce the buildup of infectious organisms. A lemon juice and salt gargle stimulates saliva flow and kills many microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses because of its acidity, which is increased by the salt. It also aids in loosening mucus.

The Canker Sore Cure: 12 Home Remedies and When to See a Doctor

Canker sores are small painful sores in the inside of your mouth that can appear for any number of reasons. Here are 12 canker sore home remedies that help soothe your discomfort, tips for preventing canker sores, and signs that indicate you should get in to see your doctor. Read on for the cancer sore cure!

You can often recognize the familiar pain and sting as soon as a canker sore appears. The irritating ulcer inside your mouth may be small, but it sure can pack a punch. Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are so uncomfortable they make it difficult to eat or drink. Thankfully, there are several DIY treatments around your house that offer a canker sore cure. Here are 12 canker sore home remedies that help soothe your discomfort, tips for preventing canker sores from popping up, and signs to watch out for that indicate you should get in to see your doctor.

What Is a Canker Sore?

You will most likely feel a canker sore before you see it, since they cause pain and swelling inside your mouth, on the underside of your lips, gums, or sides of the tongue. Canker sores are a type of ulcer that are typically colored white, gray, or yellow with a red border. They are very common, specifically targeting women over men. You also may be more susceptible to getting a canker sore if the tendency runs in your family or you are fighting another condition like an autoimmune disease.

While they make look similar and have comparable symptoms, canker sores differ from cold sores. Cold sores, sometimes called fever blisters, show up due to the herpes simplex virus. These types of sores are very contagious and can be passed from person to person through direct contact or through the sharing of a drink or toothbrush. If you have a canker sore, don’t worry, you cannot spread them to anyone else directly or indirectly.

Most canker sores are minor and will clear on their own within a couple weeks. Sometimes a larger sore can develop that is much deeper and bigger than a minor sore and may leave behind a scar after it disappears in several weeks. Not as common, herpetiform sores are small ulcers that can appear in very large groups of one hundred or more.

Causes of Canker Sores

Canker sores have a way of showing up during times of stress, infection, or when your immune system has recently taken a hit. Certain medications can also cause canker sores, as can some deficiencies in some B vitamins, such as vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and zinc. A canker sore may form if any of the tissues in your mouth are irritated, burned, or injured.

You can injure your mouth by a rough jab of your toothbrush or irritation due to braces, causing a sore to form. Sometimes a face injury from playing sports or other physical activities can also lead to a canker sore forming. Other canker sore causes include:

  • Stress
  • Acidic and spicy food
  • Allergies to food or medicine
  • Toothpaste made with sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Menstrual cycle or hormones
  • Smoking
  • Underlying disease or condition that affects your immune system

Signs It’s a Canker Sore

Canker sores let you know they’re coming by sending a burning feeling to the area before you even spot their appearance.

Other signs it’s a canker sore include:

  • Pain and irritation at the site
  • Red-bordered ulcer that is yellow, gray, or white in middle
  • Eating and drinking discomfort

Canker Sore Home Remedies

Finding canker sore relief is most likely at the top of your mind as soon as one pops up. Most of the time, canker sores will heal on their own after a week or so, without you having to do much but avoid irritants. However, if you are looking to soothe your mouth with a canker sore cure and speed up the healing process, you can go the over-the-counter route and use a topical medication or mouthwash available at your local drugstore. You can also find many ingredients right in your home that make excellent treatment options for subduing inflammation and pain.

Ice Compress

Ice may not reduce the duration of a canker sore breakout, but it can ease the discomfort and inflammation. Apply a cold pack directly to the sore for temporary pain relief or hold crushed ice in your mouth near the sore and allow it to slowly melt.

Salt Water Rinse

One of the easiest canker sore remedies to make is simple salt water. Salt helps reduce acid and uses natural healing properties and minerals to get that ball rolling when trying to heal injuries or infections. Rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of salt water and a half cup warm water for 30 seconds to help your canker sore heal.

Baking Soda Rinse

The acids within your mouth that help break down food and fight bacteria can also wreak havoc on a canker sore. Baking soda neutralizes those acids while helping to kill bacteria and allowing your sore to heal quickly. To make a rinse, fill a cup with warm water and mix in 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Swish for several minutes, spit out, and repeat twice a day.

Clove Oil

Clove oil, or eugenol oil, is a valuable natural remedy for canker sores. When applied directly to the sore, the active ingredient of eugenol, an anesthetic, will help temporarily numb the area. You are better off using pure oil instead of ground cloves from the pantry to get the most benefit and pain-fighting ability.

Aloe

You probably reach for the aloe for a sunburn, but it can also be useful for canker sore relief. Apply a small amount of aloe to a dried canker sore using a clean finger or Q-tip. Try to avoid eating or drinking for at least an hour after application.

Tea Bag Compress

A warm compress using a steeped tea bag can help soothe an irritated mouth sore. Tea is packed with many great benefits, including astringent properties that can help heal the swollen tissue from a canker sore. After steeping a tea bag for several minutes, let it cool slightly and apply directly to your sore.

Zinc Lozenges

Zinc is often used to bolster the immune system, and in the case of canker sore treatment, its antibiotic properties create an environment that makes it difficult for canker sores to thrive. You can find zinc in the form of zinc lozenges that may help relieve pain and speed your canker sore healing time. You can suck on a lozenge a couple times a day, or dissolve one or two zinc lozenges in a half cup of hydrogen peroxide and a half cup of water to gargle several times a day.

Sage Rinse

Sage is another natural remedy that totes anti-infection and anti-inflammatory properties. (You may spot it in some brands of toothpaste!) To make your own rinse to soothe a canker sore, use a tablespoon of fresh sage and steep in boiling water for several minutes. Remove the leaves and allow the liquid to cool completely. Swish it as you would mouthwash and spit out. You can store the rinse in your refrigerator and use as needed.

Milk of Magnesia Rinse

You can use milk of magnesia’s antacid properties to your advantage by creating a rinse that helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that are irritating your painful sores. Swish for several minutes and spit out. You can also apply a little directly to your canker sore using a cotton swab. For a variation of this rinse, add a teaspoon of liquid Benadryl and mix well. The Benadryl acts as a numbing agent that helps to reduce the amount of pain the sore registers when irritated.

Hydrogen Peroxide

There is always a risk that your canker sore can become infected, extending how long it takes to heal. Luckily, a common staple in your medicine cabinet can offer protection and disinfection. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as a mouthwash when you have a canker sore to keep it clean and free of germs. To make a rinse, combine 1/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of hydrogen peroxide, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Swish twice daily, and be sure to spit out all the mixture.

Licorice Tea

Found in many natural grocery stores, licorice tea can help soothe and speed up canker sore healing. Steep a bag in boiling water and allow to cool. You can drink the tea, swishing it around in your mouth, as well as applying the steeped bag directly to the canker sore site.

Goldenseal Rinse

Goldenseal is a top-selling herbal product that has been used for fighting a variety of issues, from respiratory infections to digestive disorders. It has also been helpful in treating canker sores and mouth irritations. In 1 cup of warm water, mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the contents of one goldenseal capsule. Use this as a mouth rinse twice daily while your canker sore persists.

When to See a Doctor

Sometimes canker sores are a red flag that something else may be going on. If you spike a fever, are losing weight, are fighting fatigue, or have other symptoms, seek medical advice from a health care professional. If you get canker sores frequently, it’s a good idea to see your doctor as well, as there may be an underlying medical condition at play, such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, or celiac disease. Also contact your doctor or dentist if your canker sores are:

  • Growing in size
  • Multiplying
  • Not healing after several weeks
  • Preventing you from eating or drinking

Preventing Canker Sores

Canker sores are very common and sometimes your body’s way of telling you to slow down and take better care of yourself. There are, however, several canker sore prevention methods to employ. Some general tips include:

  • Cut back on acidic foods such as citrus fruits or spicy foods that irritate canker sores.
  • Opt for brushes with soft bristles and don’t brush too hard.
  • Avoid the toothpaste ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate.
  • Reduce stress as much as possible through relaxation techniques, ample rest, and exercise.

Supplementing Vitamin Deficiencies

Vitamin deficiencies may be responsible for your canker sores, especially if you get them more frequently. For instance, not having enough of the amino acid L-lysine causes canker sores. Lysine is an amino acid that is available in both food sources and in supplemental form. It is an essential amino acid, which means your body does not manufacture this amino acid from other sources and you must get it from your diet or by supplementation.

In research studies, L-lysine promotes the healing and prevention of canker stores by supporting skin and oral health and giving an overall boost to your immune system.

Arginine is another amino acid, found naturally in foods, that breaks down dental plaque and helps reduce gum disease and improve your overall dental health. To amp up arginine levels in the body, it is best to take a complete essential amino acid supplement that contains citrulline, which, unlike arginine, can pass through the liver and be converted to arginine in the kidneys and then released into the bloodstream and to the rest of the body.

A complete amino acid powder with citrulline also contains lysine and a correct mix of amino acids to provide you with a safe and healthy balance that offers the most benefits.