How to Treat Laryngitis



Cut the Coughing

When you’ve got laryngitis, do your best to avoid clearing your throat and coughing, which can inflame your vocal chords even further. Instead, drinking water and even swallowing can help soothe the irritation and satisfy your urge to cough.

Herbal Steam Treatment

Rehydrate and calm your inflamed pipes with a chamomile steam bath. Chamomile offers anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic powers in this warm, moisturizing steam that will soften the mucus clogging up your dry throat. Fill a bowl with boiling water and add a few chamomile tea bags. Cover your head with a towel as you lean over the bowl and take deep breaths for about 10 minutes—the towel traps the humidity so it goes directly into your airways.

Don’t Buy That!

If you’ve got laryngitis, stay away from menthol cough drops, since the minty stuff can dry out your throat and cause even more irritation. Instead, keep your throat moist by drinking lots of warm water—six to eight glasses per day will not only lubricate and soothe the rawness in your larynx, it’ll encourage healing. Ditch dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol. Money saved: $2-6.

Break Out the Onion!

One age-old trick calls for a mixture of onion juice and a little honey. With a blender, food processor, grater, or juicer, grate or process an onion and then strain out its juice into a small glass or bowl. Combine one tablespoon of onion juice with one and a half teaspoons of honey, and take this mixture several times a day.

Lemon-Cayenne Cocktail

When your throat’s raspy and sore, head for the kitchen! Combine fresh-squeezed lemon juice with one tablespoon of honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Lemon juice will break up mucus and stimulate the release of saliva; honey will soothe irritation and inflammation; and cayenne will help relieve the pain. Drink up as needed.

Myth Buster

When you’ve lost your voice, you might be tempted to whisper to be heard—but don’t!

Whispering strains your vocal chords just as yelling does, so it can do more damage and lengthen your recovery time. Even clearing your throat makes things worse: Any unusual stress on your already-irritated pipes will inhibit the healing process. If you need to speak, do so softly in exhaled, sighing breaths.

Salt-Water Gargle

Lukewarm salt water can help fight infection and heal irritation in your throat and vocal chords. Mix a half teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water, let it dissolve, then gargle with it a few times per day.


Warm or hot teas can do wonders for a scratchy sore throat caused by laryngitis. Go for peppermint or even sage varieties, which help improve breathing, calm your voice box and respiratory muscles, and soothe dry coughs.


Ginger is an all-around medicinal powerhouse: It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and pain reducer that will relax the mucus membranes in the larynx, fight bacteria, loosen chest congestion, and boost production of saliva. Munch on pieces of fresh or candied ginger, or sip ginger tea for throat relief.

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