If you have a frog voice or no voice at all, you might have swollen vocal cords or temporary laryngitis in medical terminology. Two common culprits behind this condition is voice abuse and upper respiratory infections like the common cold. In most cases, simple lifestyle changes and essential oils for vocal cords may be enough to relieve the symptoms.
- 1 Essential Oils for Voice Care
- 2 Other Ways To Help Vocal Cords
- 2.1 1. Use your voice only when the situation requires it
- 2.2 2. Chew on raw ginger every day
- 2.3 3. Drink echinacea tea for upper respiratory infections
- 2.4 4. Gargle with warm salt water several times a day
- 2.5 5. Keep your throat moist
- 2.6 6. Cayenne decreases throat pain and inflammation
- 2.7 7. Papain might help with the pain and swelling
- 2.8 8. Raw honey eliminates different strains of bacteria
Essential Oils for Voice Care
Peppermint helps with clear breathing and respiratory function.
• Supports healthy respiratory function (singers need to breathe openly!)
• Promotes a positive mood and cognitive ability (you need to be upbeat when you entertain!)
• Soothes an irritated throat
Eases muscle tension
Clears sinuses and promotes the immune system.
Supports healthy respiratory function.
Frankincense Essential Oil
May lessen the effects of inflammation
May alleviates symptoms nasal congestion
May alleviates symptoms of laryngitis
Other Ways To Help Vocal Cords
1. Use your voice only when the situation requires it
If possible, wait for the swelling to subside before you try using your voice again. Don’t even whisper because it could put more stress on your vocal cords. If you really need to speak to a crowd or important person, use different communication aids, like a megaphone or a microphone with portable speakers.
2. Chew on raw ginger every day
Traditional healers use a fresh ginger for inflammatory conditions. It also has pain-killing properties that are equally effective as over-the-counter pain medicines like mefenamic acid and ibuprofen. 
The best way to use ginger to treat a swollen vocal cord is to chew it like a candy every day for 7 to 11 days or until you feel improvements. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, you should limit your intake to 250 milligrams, four times daily. Pregnant women should not consume over 1 gram daily.
3. Drink echinacea tea for upper respiratory infections
Echinacea contains properties that prevent or treat flu and the common cold, as well as their symptoms such as inflammation, pain, and cough. It works by stimulating your body to release more white blood cells to attack the invading bacteria or viruses.
Echinacea is also available as a juice, dietary supplement, and extract. Take it regularly or per manufacturer’s instructions. To receive its full benefits, take it when you’re healthy, not when you’re already sick.
4. Gargle with warm salt water several times a day
Gargling with warm salt water lessens the swelling and prevents opportunistic microorganisms from growing. Regularly doing this for two months, especially during a cold and a flu season, could actually protect you from upper respiratory tract infections by up to 40 percent. 
Making warm salt water is relatively simple. Just mix a half teaspoon of table salt with warm water. As an alternative, you can make an herbal gargle solution. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water on 7 to 10 leaves of sage, raspberry, or thyme. Steep it for 5 minutes then strain it.
Gargle for one full minute then spit out everything. That’s it. Gargle at least three times a day until you feel relief from symptoms.
5. Keep your throat moist
Dryness could further irritate your throat and cause other problems. To avoid this from happening, here are some of the things you could do:
1.) Drink lots of water or other fluids (e.g. coconut water, soup, and fruit juices) every day to prevent dehydration. The amount would depend on several factors such as your physical activities, health status, and environment. According to WebMD, men should drink approximately 104 ounces of fluids, while women should drink 72 ounces daily.
2.) Cut back on dehydrating drinks like coffee, tea, liquor, and carbonated beverages.
3.) Inhaling steam is also a great way to keep your throat moist. Pour just enough boiled water to a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes to dispel some of the steam, and then add a few drops of essential oils. Eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, frankincense, lemon, and tea tree are some examples of essential oils that you could use for different respiratory conditions.
4.) Use a humidifier to soothe your irritated throat. Just make sure to keep it clean and maintain the right humidity levels (40% to 60%) to avoid getting sick. To measure the humidity levels inside your home, use a hygrometer which costs around $8 to $12 per piece.
6. Cayenne decreases throat pain and inflammation
Cayenne is one of the “emergency medicinal spices” you should always have it in your kitchen. Traditional healers believe that it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Its most active ingredient, capsaicin, is a natural pain reliever. Research studies have shown that it decreases the amount of certain chemical messengers (substance P) that deliver pain messages in the brain.
Here are some ideas on how to use cayenne for your swollen vocal cords:
- Mix a pinch of cayenne powder with pure honey and a glass of warm water.
- If you have a flu or cold, you could relieve the congestion by sprinkling cayenne (powder or chopped chilies) to your favorite dish like chicken soup, stew, or salad.
- Mix cayenne powder with your shake, milk, or juice.
Warning: Don’t give cayenne to children below 2, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people taking blood-thinning medicines, and people with heartburn or ulcers.
7. Papain might help with the pain and swelling
Papain is the active ingredient in papaya that’s responsible for most of its medicinal effects. Old studies have shown that this enzyme has anti-inflammatory activities which help ease inflammation and pain.
One way to use this for your swollen vocal cords is to dissolve a papaya enzyme tablet in between your inner cheek and upper teeth. You may repeat this treatment after a couple of hours or as instructed by your doctor.
8. Raw honey eliminates different strains of bacteria
A study has shown that consuming pure honey minimizes inflammation.  What’s more interesting is it destroys approximately sixty strains of bacteria through different mechanisms:
- It dehydrates bacteria by drawing out moisture from their immediate environment.
- It contains high amounts of sugar which stops the growth of microorganisms.
- It has an acidic pH level (3.2 to 4.5) that’s low enough to stop the growth of bacteria.
- It contains hydrogen peroxid, which is honey’s most important antibacterial agent.
You may also want to check out our detailed article about swollen uvula and how to treat it.
These eight are just some of the things you can do to prevent and treat swollen vocal cords. Before you try any of them, kindly consult with your doctor first.
Do you know any other effective and safe methods to treat swollen vocal cords?