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Laryngitis



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What Is Laryngitis

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx, also known as voice box, that is caused by overuse, irritation, or an infection. There are vocal chords, which are inside the larynx, that normally open and close smoothly and produce the sound of your voice.  The swelling of the larynx can disrupt this process and make your voice sound hoarse or raspy.  Laryngitis can either be acute (short-lived) or chronic (lasting longer than 3 weeks), and is primarily due to a viral infection. 

Signs Of Laryngitis

The most common symptom of Laryngitis is hoarseness, which makes your voice sound raspy, deeper, and may break every now and then.  On rare occasions you may lose your voice entirely.  Symptoms mainly last for under a couple weeks, but a chronic infection can make them last longer.  Common symptoms can include:

  • Weak voice or loss of voice
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Dry throat
  • Slight cough
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Runny nose
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Tickling in the back of the throat
What Causes Laryngitis

Acute Laryngitis is primarily caused by an underlying viral infection, which can cause the Common Cold, or overuse of the voice, for example, yelling or singing too much.  If you treat the viral infection, Laryngitis tends to go away.  Chronic Laryngitis, on the other hand, is usually due to overexposure to irritants that can damage the larynx.  This can have long-lasting effects that can be more severe than Acute Laryngitis.  Common causes for both conditions are below. 

Acute Laryngitis Causes:

  • Viral infection such as the Common Cold
  • Yelling or overuse of vocals
  • Bacterial infections (rare)

Chronic Laryngitis Causes:

  • Acid Reflux or GERD
  • Inhaling irritants (such as chemical fumes, allergens or smoke)
  • Alcoholism
  • Habitual overuse of voice (for example, in singers)
  • Smoking
  • Use of inhaled steroid medicines (such as Asthma inhalers)
  • Bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infection

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • It may be beneficial to put a humidifier in your room to help alleviate dryness in your throat.  Additionally, it may help to inhale steam.  You can poor boiling water into a bowl, let it cool for 5 minutes or so, put your face over the bowl, and drape a towel over your head and the bowl to trap the steam.  Breathe deeply, and you can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil for added benefits. 
  • Because apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties, it can be a beneficial treatment for Laryngitis.  Mix two tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and one tablespoon of raw honey in a half cup of water. To help yourself even more, add a few dashes of cayenne pepper to this concoction.  Drink this twice a day until symptoms subside.  
  • Gargling with salt water can help provide relief to a sore or dry throat, in addition to helping sooth the larynx. Add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt to a cup of warm water and gargle the solution little by little.  Do this a couple times a day. 
  • Drinking fresh ginger tea is very beneficial for sore throats because ginger helps to soothe the inflamed mucus membranes, which are in your larynx.  You can poor about a cup of boiling water over 8-10 slices of thinly sliced ginger root.  Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes and strain the liquid.  You can add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and a little raw honey to the tea and drink this 2-3 times a day.
  • Chewing raw garlic, while it may add quite the garlicky scent to your breath, can help kill bacteria or viruses. After chewing the garlic slowly it is best to swallow it.  If you don't want to chew garlic, you can add a couple chopped garlic cloves to a jar with equal parts apple cider vinegar and distilled water.  Shake the jar to mix up the content and let it sit on the counter for 4 hours.  Then add a little bit of raw honey before placing it into the refrigerator.  You can take 1-3 tablespoons of this solution every 6-8 hours until symptoms reduce. 
  • It is very important to stay hydrated when you have Laryngitis.  Drink plenty of water and soothing herbal teas. The recommended amount of water you should drink is between 8-10 glasses every day.  You can also use your body weight as a measurement for staying properly hydrated.  If you weigh 150lbs and divide that by 2 to get 75, you should be drinking 75oz of water a day. 
  • If you smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol, it is best to eliminate both of these from your daily regime.  Both of these can cause Laryngitis, so stopping these will only aid you in your recovery process. 
Things you should eat
  • Ginger
  • Raw Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Pineapple
  • Fresh Sage & Thyme
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Kale or Spinach
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