Curing Laryngitis: Silence & Steam; Garlic & Ginger

Feeling sorry for myself, I posted this on Facebook last night.

Cures for laryngitis, please.

The advice poured in.  It fell into a few categories.

Quite a few recommended silence, no talking, not even whispering, that apparently makes it worse.

Many suggested hot tea. With honey.  Nettle tea. Throat coat herbal tea. Chamomile tea. Hot lemon and honey.

Garlic. Ok, I love garlic in cooking. Chomping it raw or steaming it into tea I can’t do.  Next idea.

Sucking ice.   Gargling with salt water.

Alcohol seemed prevalent, whether whiskey, vodka or bourbon. One friend admitted that she gave her daughter a swig mixed with honey one morning when she was in middle school. Turns out she bragged to all the other kids that her mom let her drink bourbon.

Chewing ginger. Better than garlic.  I found some sugar-coated crystallized in the cupboard. Had to stop myself from eating too many or my laryngitis would turn into a cavity.

Of course, chicken soup.  (I made some.)

And time.  Especially if I don’t talk.  That’s the hardest part.

One friend offered shopping. Hey, don’t need an excuse for that!

My piano tuner and his wife came this morning. They had ideas on how to cure my voice based on old-fashioned, non-medical, non-drug methods they’d learned growing up in Russia. As Gregory tinkered with the piano keys, Yelena,  an artist turned my kitchen counter into a laboratory.  She poured boiling water into a bowl, tossed in some baking soda and had me lean over the bowl and inhale through my mouth as I covered my head and face in a towel.  She turned the tap on high, soaked a towel in the hot water, wrung it out and applied it to my chest.

I’m feeling a bit better and that steaming provides a perfect at home facial!

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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25 Responses to Curing Laryngitis: Silence & Steam; Garlic & Ginger

  1. Wow. You wouldn’t think good old baking soda would do the trick!

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  2. Colline says:

    I heard the one of whispering too. Apparently whispering strains your voice even more than attempting to talk normally does.
    Hope you feel better soon.

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  3. the no-talking people…were they men? I’m glad you’re starting to feel a bit better and I hope you’re back to yourself in no time at all!

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  4. OmaOrBubby says:

    Feel better… 🙂

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  5. I forgot about Baking Soda. It was our families remedy for everything. When I was pregnant I could only use baking soda to brush my teeth due to my nausea. WE switched to baking soda toothpaste. Glad you are better. Steam always works.

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  6. I’m pretty sure garlic only works to prevent sickness – the idea is that no-one will come near you if you’ve been eating garlic, so you never catch any germs…

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    • Then they should dole it out in nursery schools. I think I get sick when I see one of my grandsons who has just started school and seems to have a cold all the time.

      On Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 9:54 PM, cyclingrandma

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  7. I thought garlic was for keeping vampires away?

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  8. aprille says:

    Poor you.Can be very painful as well as inconvenient [unless you have taught your kin to lipread :-)]
    The palaver from towels over the head in the steaming session can be reduced by putting the brew in a mug and just leaning your nose and or mouth over the top with the rim pressing into your face. [just saying…]
    Don’t mind me : I forget how I arrived here.

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  9. ShimonZ says:

    So sorry you’re suffering from your throat. I do use whisky as an antiseptic. But I also stop talking until it goes away. Found that a great relief.

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  10. Hope you’re feeling better Lisa and your voice has returned! And baking powder was my dad’s antacid mixed with water – which reminded me of that scene with the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the father thought Windex was a cure for everything! “It has properties it doesn’t know!”

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  11. hugmamma says:

    A lot of folks who care about you is probably the best antidote to feeling miserable. I’d offer my mom’s old-fashioned remedy…a swipe of Vicks vapor rub under the nose, more rubbed onto your chest, upper back and throat…wrap something around your neck, like one of your husband’s old undershirt…and rest, rest, rest. Oh yes…hot tea with honey and chicken broth are also musts. Hope you feel like yourself again in no time! 🙂

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