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Natural Medicines for Public Speaking, Singing & Sore Throats

by in Colds/Flus, Herbal Medicine, Kitchen Sink, Sore Throats March 18, 2010

Everyone is always “Kissing the Blarney Stone” in Ireland for what is said to be “good luck,” however upon my further investigation, the luck that you are receiving is the gift of gab, eloquence, flattery, and art of persuasion.

We can all stand to communicate a bit better, and for those that are public speakers or singers one must not only take care of their voice to prevent laryngitis, but also stay focused and tuned in to their lecture topic and audience.

The following list of my “blarniest” natural medicines was designed with the intent to protect the throat as well as keep the mind engaged for optimal eloquence.

#1 Marshmallow: Now I am not recommending that you eat marshmallows unfortunately, I am recommending the herb Althea Officianalis, also known as marshmallow root. This herb falls in the “demulcent herb” category along with Slippery Elm, and Licorice Root. Demulcent herbs coat and lubricate tissues. Make a tea with marshmallow root, or look for an herbal tea formula containing the aforementioned herbs and sip as needed.

#2 Olive Oil: Known as a natural remedy for Opera singers, many gargle with olive oil before singing to lubricate their vocal chords. Adding more olive oil in to your diet should be sufficient enough, use it as your primary cooking oil when cooking below 340F, otherwise use cold pressed canola oil. Read: “Olive Oil Prevents DNA Damage”

#3 Water: In addition to proper oils, water plays an essential role in “hydrolipic hydration,” meaning that being dehydrated is NOT just about not having enough water in your system, you need 60-80 ounces of water daily depending on your size and activity level as well as good oils. Cellular membranes keep water in cells, and they are mainly comprised of the good fats.

#4 Slippery Elm: If you have tried those pink Thayer’s lozenges then you have had slippery elm. This herb is great for coating the throat, recovering from a cold that has left you with an annoying dry hacking cough, and for people that tend to have dry tissues and need more nourishment. Look for this herb along with licorice, and marshmallow in “Throat Coat” and similar herbal tea formulas. If you tend to laryngitis, this is the herb to keep on hand.

#5 Honey: Who doesn’t love honey? Although we can’t give it to babies, we can certainly use it in tea to keep our throats smoothly coated. Honey also has antimicrobial properties that should help prevent throat infections.

#6 Honeydew: If you are preparing to speak at a convention where there is a fancy fruit spread, opt for the honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe to keep your throat hydrated. These fruits are excellent sources of electrolytes that along with proper hydrolipic hyrdation should keep you energized and at your best.

#7 Watermelon: An excellent source of the antioxidant lycopene, watermelon is included in many recipes for those recovering from cancer and suffering from radiation burns to the throat due to it’s natural soothing properties.

#8 Cantaloupe: As fabulous as honeydew and watermelon for it’s soothing properties, and electrolyte content, cantaloupe is also rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, which support the immune system and aid the repair of damaged tissues. If you have full blown laryngitis, or an annoying hacking cough include cantaloupe in your diet, along with my “Squash Soup Recipe.”

#9 Licorice: Candied black licorice can have a therapeutic effect if it is actually made with real ingredients. You can typically find REAL licorice at a whole food market. Just read the label before purchasing. You can suck on licorice candies like throat lozenges, just be sure not to use them therapeutically if you have high blood pressure.

#10 Ginkgo: Now you don’t want to just talk without being interesting….thus ginkgo is a great herb to take daily to keep your mind sharp. Ginkgo improves blood circulation to the brain, protects vessels, and is an excellent antioxidant which prevents aging. Read: “Anti-Aging Diet”

#11 Gotu Kola: If you want to be around lecturing or singing for many many many years, then this herb is your best bet. Similar to gingko, gotu kola improves mental functioning and is renowned in Asian cultures for being the “longevity herb.”

#12 Ginseng: Public speaking requires stamina, ginseng is an excellent herb for stabilizing energy levels by supporting the adrenal glands. For women and those needing to reduce stress buy the “Siberian” form, and for men or those needing a kick of energy, pick up the “Korean” form of ginseng.

#13 Green Tea: A fabulous antioxidant, green tea should be consumed with a teaspoon of honey daily for those wanting to protect their throats from the ravages of free radical damage. Green tea also helps with weight loss, longevity, and prevents DNA damage.

#14 Yohimbe: A less popularized energy herb, yohimbe is known more as a virility herb, however if ginseng doesn’t work for you, this herb may be a great choice for increasing energy levels. Available in tea, capsules, or combined with herbs with similar mechanisms. Take as directed.

#15 Yerba Mate: This is the new “snobby” green tea. If you want to be cooler than all your hippy co-workers then start drinking Mate out of a wooden cup through a stainless steel straw. Mate has similar benefits of green tea, is energizing, and the difference is mainly a matter of taste preference. I think it tastes like hay, so I am more of a green tea fan.

#16 CoQ10: This potent antioxidant protects the vessels of the brain, increases energy levels, repletes deficiencies caused by statin medications, improves mental functioning and is solely responsible for me surviving my traumatic college year of the Physics, Calculus, and Analytical Chemistry series. Those with cardiovascular conditions should definitely be on this supplement as it is protective to the heart and blood vessels.

#17 Fish or Flaxseed oil: Excellent anti-inflammatories, one or the other should be part of your diet anyways, and both are important for proper hydrolipic hydration. To decide which one is best for you read my article, “Fish Oil vs. Flax.”

If you have chronic laryngitis (lasting longer than 3 weeks) or memory problems, you should see your doctor as you could have more serious problems. If you drink alcohol or smoke….QUIT!!! These habits are just as hard on the vocal chords and throat as over-use.

Otherwise, if you just want to protect your moneymaker…er…voice, pick up a few of the above tips and incorporate them in to your daily routine so that you can be at your absolute BLARNIEST!