Singers and actors know how demanding a busy rehearsal and performance schedule can be on the voice. And it’s vital to know how to keep your voice in top condition during the height of that busy schedule. But because of the increase in stress, many people fall victim to colds, flu and the worst thing imaginable….laryngitis.
When I get into the run of a show, I never get as much sleep as I need or exercise as often as I should. And it hasn’t been uncommon at all for me to wake up one day with a sore throat or laryngitis. And that is never a good feeling!
When your throat is sore and your glands are swollen, that is an indicator that you have a lot of backed up toxins in your lymphatic system, or lymphatic congestion. Now, there are some things that you can do to avoid a buildup of lymphatic congestion before it starts.
Getting plenty of sleep, avoiding as many processed foods as possible, drinking lots of water, getting plenty of exercise, keeping stress levels low and deep breathing are all ways to keep your lymphatic system working well and circulating all of those nasty toxins right out of your body!
So, what happens if your schedule won’t allow you to do everything you need to do to stay healthy and you wake up one day with a sore throat? One of the best remedies that I’ve tried is a drink that I make that combines cayenne (red) pepper, honey and fresh squeezed lemon with some herbal tea. Now, I can’t say that this is the best tasting beverage that I’ve ever had, but, for me it really works! You may be wondering why, so let’s look at the benefits of the different ingredients.
Cayenne pepper has some really fantastic health benefits. It is a natural lymphatic system stimulator. It helps to move the lymphatic system along. It also has detoxifying properties. Most importantly, for the sore throat sufferer, is the analgesic properties of the cayenne pepper. The capsicum in this pepper has been used as a pain reliever for centuries, and even now, you can find capsicum patches at the local drug store to aid with the pain of sore muscles.
Honey has amazing anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that will help to kick any viral or bacterial infection out of your body. Honey also helps to reduce inflammation and helps the body to fight off any infection more quickly and easily.
Lemon is also anti-bacterial and anti-viral and helps to boost the immune system. It is also great for detoxifying the body and fighting infection.
I recommend using a decaf Chai tea or apple cinnamon herbal tea. Both contain cinnamon which has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. Chai tea also contains clove which will also help to kill any viruses present. I use both regularly! Just avoid the caffeinated chai which will actually dry you out more and ultimately cause more problems!
Here is the recipe that I use whenever a sore throat strikes. For me, it can take anywhere from one to 12 hours for the pain to completely go away, depending on the severity of my sore throat. Avoid eating a lot of sugar (including fruit) while you are dealing with your sore throat. Bacteria are able to thrive when you eat a lot of sugar because sugar lowers the immune system as well as increases inflammation which can lengthen healing time.
- Herbal tea bag (apple cinnamon or decaf Chai are excellent)
- 8 oz. water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1-2 tbsp honey (use local or raw)
- ¼-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- Heat the water in a mug
- Allow the tea bag to steep for 5-10 minutes
- Add the lemon juice, honey and cayenne pepper
- Stir well