We’ve all experienced that all-too embarrassing moment when you’re speaking in front of an audience only to have your voice crack. According to Medical Daily, voice cracking is often a symptom of vocal cord strain. This can be caused by yelling, singing, or illness. Stress or anxiety and the consequent tensing of the larynx can also be the source of the problem.
Dr. Oz claims one of the most common causes of voice- and throat-related problems is acid reflux or heart burn. When stomach acid refluxes past the esophagus and into the throat, it can cause a burning sensation and lead to swelling in the throat. In addition to quitting smoking and cutting out caffeine, chocolate, and alcohol from your diet, as advised by Dr. Oz, there are a number of home remedies to treat voice cracking and similar throat-related problems. Here are a few of our favorites.
1. Elevator slides. In this vocal exercise from Singer’s Secret, make the sound “eeeeee” from a low to a high pitch and back down. Next, do the same exercise with an “aaaah” sound.
2. Tablespoon of honey. Raw honey can be soothing to the throat, while also providing an anti-microbial coating, says YogaWiz. This treatment is particularly effective if you suspect your voice cracking is a result of laryngitis, a common infection in singers.
3. Steam. Mother Nature Network recommends taking a hot shower with steam or filling a bowl with hot water and sitting with your head over the vapors. You may also benefit from using a humidifier in your home, as the extra moisture will help keep the vocal cords moisturized.
4. Gargle salt water. One-half teaspoon salt dissolved in warm (not hot!) water can do wonders for strained vocal cords, says Mother Nature Network.
5. Suck on ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger make it a wonderful treatment for laryngitis and other issues related to throat inflammation. Mother Nature Network recommends sucking on candied ginger or drinking a piping hot cup of fresh ginger tea.
6. Onion syrup. Bear with us. Style Craze says it works. Chop 3-4 medium sized onions in small pieces and simmer in four cups water until the mixture thickens into a syrup-like consistency. Mix five tablespoons onion syrup in a glass warm water with honey and lemon juice to taste. Drink to soothe the vocal cords and treat laryngitis.
7. Eucalyptus. This anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral herb is incredibly cooling and soothing to an irritated throat. You can find lozenges made with eucalyptus or follow the advice of Style Craze and breathe in the steam from boiling water treated with a few drops eucalyptus oil. For best results, breath in eucalyptus steam for 10 minutes twice daily.
8. Chewing gum. Chewing gum increases mucus and spit and helps keep the throat moist, says University of Maryland Medical Center. Mint chewing gum may have the added benefit of creating a cooling sensation in the throat.