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How to Treat a Hoarse Voice

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When you talk, yell or sing for a long time, your voice may become hoarse. In simple terms, a hoarse voice or hoarseness means an abnormal change in your voice due to which you cannot make smooth vocal sounds. Your voice may change in pitch and volume, leaving you with a deep, harsh voice or a weak, whispery voice. This change is due to some problem in the sound-producing parts (vocal folds) of the voice box (larynx).

People of all ages develop this common problem from time to time. In addition to overuse of vocal cords, some common causes of a hoarse voice are laryngitis (upper respiratory tract viral infection),  gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), allergies, drinking excessive amounts of caffeinated or alcoholic beverages, smoking, inhaling respiratory tract irritants, living in an extremely dry place and persistent coughing.

Other less common causes are polyps (abnormal growths) on the vocal cords, throat cancer, internal damage to the throat, thyroid problems and nerve conditions that weaken the voice box muscles.


To treat a hoarse voice, the first thing you need to do is stop talking and singing. Even avoid talking in whispers as much as possible. You must fully rest your vocal cords and larynx for a couple of days for quick recovery.

You can also try some quick fixes and home remedies to recuperate in a short time. If you have persistent hoarseness for more than two weeks, consult your doctor.

how to treat a hoarse voice

Here are the top 10 ways to treat a hoarse voice.


1. Ginger

Ginger is an effective herb to deal with a hoarse voice. It is very soothing to the mucous membranes surrounding the voice box and alleviates inflammation. It also helps prevent infections in the upper respiratory tract.

home remedy for hoarse voice

  • Eat thin slices of raw, fresh ginger at regular intervals. To enhance the taste, you can sprinkle a little salt and lemon juice on it.
  • Another option is to simmer 1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and add honey. Drink this up to 3 times a day.
  • Sucking on ginger candy is also helpful.

2. Honey

Honey is very effective in dealing with a hoarse voice. It helps coat and soothe the irritated throat and helps reduce inflammation.

  • Simply eat 1 tablespoon of raw, organic honey a few times daily to keep the throat moist.
  • Another option is to mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey and a pinch of black pepper powder in a glass of warm water. Drink it a few times a day.
  • Alternatively, mix equal amounts of honey and basil leaf juice. Eat it 3 times daily.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

To ease pain and other discomforts of a hoarse voice, use apple cider vinegar. Also, its antimicrobial properties help fight infection to treat laryngitis, one of the most common causes of a hoarse voice.

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water. Drink it a few times daily.
  • Also, mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water. Use the solution to gargle at least twice a day.

4. Salt Water Gargle

Gargling with warm salt water, a few times a day, is an effective treatment to restore your voice to normal. While the salt helps remove mucus from the respiratory tract, the hot water reduces irritation in the throat. Due to its antiseptic properties, salt also helps prevent a throat infection.

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water.
  2. Mix well, until the salt dissolves completely.
  3. Gargle with it 2 or 3 times daily.

5. Steam Treatment

A common cause of a hoarse and raspy voice is dryness in your throat. Hence, a steam treatment will help ease discomfort. To make the treatment more effective, you can use a few drops of essential oil.

  1. Heat a pot of water until boiling.
  2. Add a few drops of lavender, chamomile and thyme essential oils.
  3. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam rising from the pot.
  4. Do this twice daily.

6. Cayenne Pepper

To fight hoarseness quickly, you can also try cayenne pepper. It helps soothe an irritated throat, reduces pain and swelling, and even helps fight a throat infection.

  • Mix ½ or 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder with 1 tablespoon of honey. Slowly eat the mixture off the spoon.
  • Alternatively, you can add ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and the juice of ½ lemon to a glass of warm water. Drink it slowly.

How to Treat a Hoarse Voice was last modified: April 23rd, 2015 by Top10HomeRemedies

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31 thoughts on “How to Treat a Hoarse Voice”

    1. Rabab i believe u might be straining ur voice u should stop crying and try a recipe for a week if it doesnt work then try another for the other week:/

    2. Also try to get a LOT of sleep if possible. I find that when I become hoarse and haven’t been straining my voice, it is due to lack of sleep. Once I am able to get 8 hours of rest (or more if I have a free day), I wake up super refreshed and my voice is no longer hoarse. The better my sleep habits, the better my vocal cords. Hope this helps!

    3. I had such a hoarse throat I could barely speak, I tried the lemon Lickey and the applevel cider vinegar and it worked almost instantly! I prepared more remedies but I didn’t need them. You don’t have to sip them all day.. Thanks so much!

  1. My hoarse voice actually came back once I stopped taking apple cider vinegar (it was an everyday ritual for me), and I never really believed it when my mum said it would help me for my singing, but now I know so it works and really does help!

  2. I’ll try this (hopefully this works) cause I don’t wanna go a couple of days without talking for nothing. I’m a very talkative person 🙂

    1. Classic I Am The Only One For You Time We Will Bang In The Behive. Sniff Sniff Togs And Dont Forget The Butter Lover says:

      I really hope these help! I have my final d Nate tomorrow, and if I loose i can’t debate for the team again! Having a croaky voice now is so typical 🙄😒 anyways thankyou!

  3. I teach English all day online and all of a sudden my voice seems to have given out. I mentioned this to my
    guitar partner yesterday and she sent me the link to your site. I am just about to drink a glass of hot water mixed
    with fresh ginger and organic raw honey. If this doesn’t do it I’ll move to the apple cider vinegar. I have a couple of hours
    before I start teaching. Thank you so much!!!

  4. Omg i have been having this issue for years!! Since i was about 12 years old..now that im older it happens more often, i am definately gonna try these remedies! Thanks for the tips

  5. What is the diff between aple vinegar n apple cider vinegar.. i tried apple vinegar for my swollen vocal chord… but it doesn’t work…

  6. Hope you can hear me….I have a hoarse voice….haha…I’m going to try the apple cider cure tomorrow……will let you know how it worked

  7. Omg, I have a huge solo tomorrow, and I lost my voice a couple days ago. I tried the Lemon honey and ginger recipe and it helped. I had it before I went to school and before I slept. It worked miracles. Drink plenty of water and rest ur voice. It will help

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