Natural Voice Care Solutions for a Tired or Over-used Voice
Almost every singer, speaker, or actor with whom I have worked, has on more than one occasion had to perform with a tired or over-used voice and low energy.
It seems to be part of our job description. Whether it’s an audition, presentation, performance or sermon, we need to be in top vocal form. However, life’s responsibilities simply don’t disappear when we need to be “on.”
For a myriad of reasons, our voice may be ragged and tired and our bodies may be lacking the energy needed to bring the voice up and out of our bodies with a full confident sound. So I would like to suggest some outstanding natural alternatives to refined sugar, caffeine, and drugs that I, for one, have been using for many years. These alternatives will energize your voice, mind, and body naturally. They work almost immediately and best of all, have no side effects.
Over-used, tired throat, and vocal cords:
There are a number of herbs that can provide instant relief for the tired throat and vocal cords. These may be used in extract form (liquid) as a gargle or as a tea. I prefer to gargle because the herbs go directly into the throat and coat the muscles and vocal cords, providing me with immediate relief. Teas tend to pass through the throat more quickly and contact to the affected area is not as dramatic. In addition, the herbal content in most tea bags is considerably less than that in an extract. However, the heat in the throat can be an effective healing agent, thereby relaxing the inflamed area. If you do purchase these herbs as teas, drink them hot with some honey. Adding lemon can be helpful but too much citrus can dry the throat and cords, so be careful as to the amount you use. A good squeeze just one time should suffice.
The following herbal combination is one of the best remedies I have known. It is a combination of the herbal extracts Ginger, Cayenne, Slippery Elm, Turmeric and Sage. Each of these herbs has exceptional properties that help with swelling, inflammation and pain. This combination has also been used successfully for laryngitis and hoarseness. Each individual herb can be found at any health food store but use the non-alcohol brands. The alcohol content in certain extracts is usually quite high and can dry the throat and vocal cords, not to mention affecting brain focus.
Making a solution to gargle is very easy. Simply follow the steps below:
1. Fill a cup with 2 oz. of warm water
Without adequate energy, all of the above mentioned remedies could be of little or no value. The best form of energy we have is in the food we eat. Your nutritional decisions at times like these will determine your overall effectiveness as a performer. Do not take proper nutrition for granted. In cases like these you need the most effective and powerful fuel you can get. Below you may find some excellent foods that provide outstanding energy without creating mucus in the throat or making you feel bloated, nervous, or groggy.
1. Gogi Berries
Being a Cantor, teacher, nutritional consultant, and singer, I understand the extraordinary demands put on the Voice Professional. Our craft is a complete mental, physical, and spiritual one. We need to take care of ourselves and many times we need additional support. Getting it from the right sources is key. You have the choice to decide how you will take care of your voice. Choosing wisely and effectively will ensure a joyous and successful career.
David Katz is a Nutritional Consultant, Herbalist, and Cantor, International Singer of Opera and Broadway, Voice teacher and Coach, and CEO of Superior Vocal Health. More information can be found at Superiorvocalhealth.com.