Inflammation of the larynx or voice box is known as laryngitis. It can be due to irritation from air pollutants, emotional stress or allergic reaction but is more often the result of bacterial or viral infection or, sometimes, from just plain overwork.

Recommended Action

Mucus discharge by the inflamed membranes causes the hoarseness of laryngitis because it interferes with the normal vibration of the vocal cords. Take lemon juice and honey (equal parts either alone or mixed with water). This will relieve hoarseness while demulcent and expectorant herbs will soothe the area. The best demulcent for soothing the throat is Slippery Elm and Zinc Lozenges, which can be obtained in most health food stores.

Single Herbs: Licorice Root, Slippery Elm (for hoarseness); Ginger (for soreness); Goldenseal, Echinacea, Garlic (for infection).

Combinations: Fomentation of 3 parts Mullein and 1 part Lobelia (to the neck and throat, for soreness), Kam Wu tea and Antiphlogistic (Chinese).

Nutritional Supplements: Beta-carotene (30,000 IU, twice daily), B complex (two, twice daily), Vitamin C (500 mg, six times daily), Zinc (15-75 mg daily).