As singers, we try our very best to take care of our instruments during the holidays – but between the weather, festivities, stress and sugar (yum!), sometimes vocal fatigue, strain or illness is inevitable. Here are a few of my favorite vocal remedies that have helped me relieve those unwanted symptoms and keep my voice healthy and happy!
Oregano is an herb that, when concentrated into an essential oil, has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. (It’s also delicious when fresh and sprinkled on lasagna.)
I started gargling with oregano oil twice a day when I was having issues with “static” in my voice. I was having allergies at the time and was on an intense practice regimen which resulted in general overuse. I mixed 4-6 drops with a small amount of water, gargled and swallowed (it’s good for digestion as well) – and after about a month, my symptoms had significantly improved. This stuff makes my voice feel smoother, stronger and more flexible, so much so that I like to use it before any performance. What more could you ask for!?
My favorite brand is TMRG Classic Oil which is a blend of a few things, but formulated specifically for the voice. It’s worth the high price tag! Otherwise, there are more budget-friendly options as well.
Speaking of the holidays, peppermint oil is amazing for just about anything, ranging from alleviating seasonal allergies to nausea to migraines to hair growth. Peppermint tea is lovely for soothing the throat and stomach – and peppermint vapor or steam is fantastic for opening up the sinuses – but recently I’ve gotten into applying it topically!
Peppermint has significant antimicrobial and antiviral properties – but when used topically, it helps relax muscles and reduce inflammation. What singer doesn’t have challenges with this from time to time? This stuff is a game changer!
With a typical bottle of peppermint oil, I put about 5-10 drops in the palm of my hand and massage it around my entire throat and neck 1-2 times a day. You can buy a small bottle for just $7!
However, my very favorite tool (on the right) is a roller by doTERRA. It’s just more convenient and helps keeps the oil off of my hands. (Plus, it’s portable and won’t leak in your gig bag…) This is also blended with coconut oil so it goes on smoother. The peppermint isn’t terribly strong, however, so sometimes I add on a bit of straight oil after rolling this around.
Nasal Spray with Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is a solution of tiny silver particles which have been shown to be antibacterial and anti-fungal. As with most alternative therapies, there’s a lot of controversy regarding its efficacy, so do with that what you will (but, I’m telling you, it worked for me!)
I started using colloidal silver after I found out I was exposed to black mold. This whole situation had caused allergic issues, inflammation, post-nasal drip, sinus infections and mucus galore which, of course, made my vocal cords quite unhappy. However, since using this nasal spray, the frequency of sinus-related illnesses I had was significantly reduced! I now use it once a day – and I haven’t had even a single sinus infection. (I also want to clarify that I moved away from the mold! This was key!)
My very favorite brand is Nature’s Rite. Be warned, this stuff burned like the dickens the first few times I used it. Not sure why, but this side-effect quickly went away and now I’m all the better for it.
Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals
Throat Coat is one of the best things in existence. This tea is filled with all sorts of yummy, soothing herbs, like licorice root, slippery elm and marshmallow root. It’s like drinking a sweet, fluffy cloud that comforts you from the inside. I recommend this to anyone with a sore throat or laryngitis – but I buy this stuff in bulk because I drink it all the time, whether I’m sick or not! Some people have reported that it’s more of an acquired taste, but I think it’s delicious. Regardless, who needs a happy tongue when you can have a happy throat, eh? You can quote me on that.
Wellness Herbal Resistance Liquid by Source Naturals
This herbal blend is the holy grail for fighting illness – or take it preemptively when you feel that familiar tickle in your throat! In it, there’s echinacea (which has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold and make symptoms less severe), coptis root (like goldenseal which is antimicrobial), Yin Chiao (a traditional Chinese herbal formula for immune support) and so much more. I prefer the drops because I can gargle with it, but there’s also a capsule version as well.
Wishing you a healthy and song-filled holiday season!
Have any of these products worked well for you? Do you have any favorite remedies?
Please share in the comments below!