Man, it’s flu time again! I sort of half escaped it this year (just got a sore throat and a runny nose for 3 days), but my S.O. really had a bad time quite recently!
If there’s one thing you absolutely don’t want as a singer than it’s illnesses related to your throat and lungs. Voice care is very important. You may only feel bad for a few days, but it can have effect on your voice for a very long time.
I know some people who can sing “through” it: my vocal teacher has this great story about her final exams, and I once did a major audition whil suffering from a nasty case of pneumonia. But best to avoid such things altogether!
Today, I give you 9 ways to care for your voice.
1 – Tea with honey
Even if you’re not a singer, drinking is important anyway. It is the best way to help your body clean itself on the inside. Also, you don’t want to get dehydrated (duh). Drinking tea is my favourite way to stay hydrated: there’s tons of options! I prefer grean tea and rooibos with a sponnful of honey.
Honey is the best stuff ever! All honey is said to be anti-microbial, but there are some studies that actually prove it for Manuka honey (= tea tree). And because I’m a total tea and honey snob, of course I have to buy the Manuka honey nowadays in stead of the cheapest brand available 😉
2 – Ginger-honey-lemon-drink
The holy trinity of sore throat remedies: ginger, lemon and honey. I usually put 2-3 slices of lemon, twice as much ginger and a generous blob of honey in a tea pot and pour hot water on it. Enough for 3-4 cups.
3 – Liquorice
In the Netherlands liquorice is kind of a thing. You can’t walt past the sweets department in a Dutch supermarket without noticing the shelves and shelves full of different brands and varieties of liquorice. I totally love that stuff. Just sucking on a piece and letting it melt slowly in your mouth will create a protective layer of sugar and saliva in your throat.
Be aware to grab the sweet liquorice variety and not the salty! There’s even special honey liquorice. Win win.
4 – Stepsils / Strepfen
My favourite throat medicine. Strepsils are a well-known brand here in the Netherlands for fighting sore throats. They also have a more heavy-duty pastille: Strepfen. This is basically Strepsils combined with ibuprofen painkillers. Best invention ever. Make sure you don’t overdose though.
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5 – Fisherman’s Friends
Not just Fisheerman’s Friends, they’re also singer’s friends! Very minty menthol sweets. These are my favourites when my nose and sinuses are all clogged up. The freshness opens it up and makes it possible to breathe at least properly.
6 – Fireman / brandy
This on is a little tricky, especially when talking voice care. Alcohol is not really healthy, especially when you’re ill. It lowers your immune system a little extra. Not the best idea. However, when you feel a sore throat coming up, a shot of Fireman or brandy can really make you feel better.
Fireman is basically Fisherman’s Friends in fluid form. It helps to open up your sinuses. And alcohol kills bacteria (hand sanitizer, hospital soap, you get the idea). Just remember to keep it to a minimum.
7 – Steaming
Pour some hot water in a bowl, add some chamomile tea and breathe in the steam. It helps to unclog your sinuses and also feels great when your throat feels raw from coughing.
8 – A hot eucalyptus shower
Basically steaming, too, but a bit easier. When using eucalyptus shower gel, it’s a lot easier to breathe and you feel very refreshed afterwards.
What is your favourite way to care for your voice when sick? Share your experience in the comment section below!