It’s that lovely time of year when everyone is getting sick. I managed to snag a nasty cold. I’ve been miserable the last few days nursing a sore throat and the sniffles. Thankfully, I don’t have the flu, but it’s just enough dripping, sneezing and soreness to be annoying. Plus I am losing my voice. NOT COOL. This is why I finally stopped
ignoring wishing it away and started to fight back. I don’t have time to lose my voice, who does? I had to call my choir director and let her know I can barely squeak out a note. It was at this point I realized I’m not following my own advice. I give advice to my singers on how to get well and here I am waiting for it to go away, doing nothing. Well it’s time to kick-it-in-the-pants and get better! Here are six things I do for myself (when I’m not being a dummy and trying to wait it out) and would highly recommend for you if you are trying to get over a sore throat too.
1. DRINK WATER WITH LEMON
You can either add a fresh lemon wedge or if you have essential oils, add 1-2 drops of CPTG Lemon essential oil. CPTG stands for Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. You will not find this in your local grocery store, but you can order them here. It is important to use CPTG because it is safe for consumption and it is WAY more powerful than the oils you will find on the shelf at the grocery store. Why does lemon work? Lemon has Vitamin C! It’s also a “cleanser” so it helps your body get rid of all those nasty germs. Woo hoo! According to Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils” you can also apply to the skin (with a carrier oil) or diffuse into the air with a diffuser.
Other oils that help fight infections and can speed up your recovery are: Lavender, Melaleuca, OnGuard, Frankincense, Oregano, Sandalwood, Lime, Bergamot, Geranium, Ginger or Myrrh. My favorite oils for a sore throat are Lemon, Lavender, Melaleuca–also known as Tea Tree Oil and Frankincense.
Here is what I do when I have a sore throat- DAY: I put the lemon in my water as I mentioned above. Then, I have Lavender, Frankincense, OnGuard, and Melaleuca each in a roller bottle and I alternate rolling that right on my neck throughout the day. You can reapply an oil every 30 minutes or so. You can also try layering the oils on. For example, you can roll lavender on your throat, wait 30 seconds to a minute and then roll Frankincense right over it. Frankincense is an enhancer. It will enhance whatever oil you put it with. The Frankincense will enhance the lavender and make it more powerful. Isn’t that cool? NIGHT: I put 3 drops of OnGuard, Frankincense and Melaleuca or Lavender into a diffuser and run it while I sleep. Every time I have used oils I have shortened the length of my sore throat or cold or flu by days. The best part of using oils is that they are all natural and typically you won’t have any side effects, except of course getting well!
2. GARGLE WARM SALT WATER
It’s an oldie, but a goodie. There’s a reason why your mom always told you to gargle warm salt water. It works! The salt water flushes and sucks out the moisture and bacteria that are hanging out on your vocal cords. It gets rid of the inflammation and prevents it from coming back. Please note: do not swallow–your body doesn’t need the extra salt.
Recipe: 1/4 tsp. of salt in 8 oz. of warm water. Gargle for 15 seconds 2 times. Repeat 3 times a day.
3. VOCAL REST
When you have a sore throat, do your best to limit how much you use it, otherwise you’re just adding insult to injury. In case you were wondering, whispering is NOT healthy when losing your voice. It is best not to talk at all when losing your voice. If you must talk, speak as normally as you can. Whispering will only strain and dry out your throat more. I always suggest to my voice students that they carry a small white board or notebook with them if they need to communicate. I can’t say they always follow my advice, but I give it nonetheless.
You can use a personal steamer such as this one or even this one, but I’m el-cheapo and do it the ol’ fashioned way. I boil water in a pot on the stove, let it cool a little and then throw a towel over my head, put my face over the pot and breathe in the hot steam. When you do this, be careful not to get too close to the pot or the steam will hurt your nose. I set a timer for 15 minutes. It feels like forever, but let’s be honest how often do you sit and do nothing? It’s a great time to plan things in your head or in my case, memorize lyrics. I guarantee the time spent over a pot is totally worth it and your pores will thank you too. Another option is to stand in a hot shower, but I find the towel-over-the-head is more effective and saves water.
5. GO TO CHIROPRACTOR
The great thing about getting a spinal adjustment is it boosts your immune system and helps you fight your sore throat naturally.
6. WARM TEA WITH HONEY
This is quite possibly my favorite. The honey will help coat your throat and the warm liquid will loosen the mucous. It feels sooo good!
I hope these tips help you get over your sore throat quickly. Do you have a favorite remedy for sore throats? If you do, please share in the comments. I’d love to hear it!
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