Natural Remedies for Laryngitis

Marked by hoarseness or loss of voice, laryngitis is an inflammation of your voice box (also known as the larynx). Located at the top of the airway to your lungs, the larynx contains your vocal cords. Irritation or infection can trigger swelling in your vocal cords, which in turn leads to hoarseness in your voice.

A woman singing with her granddaughter

Betsie Van Der Meer / Taxi / Getty Images

Laryngitis can be either short-term (acute) or chronic. If you have persistent laryngitis (lasting more than 2 weeks) or worsening laryngitis you should see an ear, nose and throat doctor as this can sometimes be a sign of larynx or another type of cancer.


In many cases, laryngitis is caused by overuse of your voice. The condition can also result from the following health problems:

  • The common cold
  • The flu
  • Allergies
  • Bronchitis
  • Exposure to irritants and chemicals
  • Bacterial infection
  • Injury
  • Pneumonia
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease


Along with hoarseness or loss of voice, people with laryngitis may experience the following:

  • Swollen lymph nodes or glands in the neck
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • A tickling sensation in the throat
  • Dry cough

Natural Remedies

Certain home care strategies may help to relieve symptoms such as:

  • Resting your voice
  • Drinking at least eight glasses of water daily
  • Breathing humidified air
  • Sucking on lozenges

It's important to seek medical attention if you experience new symptoms.

Although these natural remedies haven't been scientifically studied for their effects on laryngitis, practitioners of alternative medicine often recommend them for the relief of laryngitis symptoms:

1) Eucalyptus

An at-home steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil may help ease laryngitis, as well as cold and flu symptoms, sinusitis, and throat infections.

2) Licorice

Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is found in many natural products that help relieve throat irritation, including teas and lozenges.

In large amounts, licorice containing glycyrrhizic acid or glycyrrhizin has been shown to cause high blood pressure. Therefore, it's important to use only deglycyrrhizinated licorice (or DGL) extract, from which glycyrrhizic acid has been removed.

3) Mullein

Another herb believed to soothe the respiratory tract, mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is available in tea and lozenge form. Certain compounds in mullein's leaves and flowers are thought to act as demulcents (substances that tame inflammation in the skin or internal parts of the throat).

4) Slippery Elm

The Native American herbal remedy slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) contains mucilage, a gel-like substance said to calm irritated or inflamed tissue. For the treatment of laryngitis, look for teas or lozenges made with slippery elm. 

Using Alternative Medicine

Due to limited research, it's too soon to recommend alternative medicine as a standard treatment for any condition. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. If you're considering using alternative medicine for laryngitis (or for any health purpose), make sure to consult your physician first.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Kim J. The Hoarse Patient: Asking the Right QuestionsPerm J. 2010;14(1). doi:10.7812/tpp/09-091

  2. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Laryngitis.

  3. Gupta G, Mahajan K. Acute Laryngitis. StatPearls Publishing.

  4. Duke University Medical Center. Duke Voice Care Center Voice Health Information.

  5. Horváth G, Ács K. Essential oils in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases highlighting their role in bacterial infections and their anti-inflammatory action: a reviewFlavour Fragr J. 2015;30(5):331-341. doi:10.1002/ffj.3252

  6. Omar H, Komarova I, El-Ghonemi M et al. Licorice abuse: time to send a warning messageTher Adv Endocrinol Metab. 2012;3(4):125-138. doi:10.1177/2042018812454322

  7. Ali N, Ali Shah S, Shah I et al. Anthelmintic and relaxant activities of Verbascum Thapsus MulleinBMC Complement Altern Med. 2012;12(1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-29

  8. Watts C, rousseau B. Slippery Elm, its Biochemistry, and use as a Complementary and Alternative Treatment for Laryngeal IrritationJournal of Investigational Biochemistry. 2012;1(1):17. doi:10.5455/jib.20120417052415

Additional Reading
  • Cummings CW, Flint PW, Haughey BH, et al. Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 4th ed. St Louis, Mo; Mosby; 2005.
  • Rotblatt M, Ziment I. Evidence-Based Herbal Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Hanley & Belfus, Inc; 2002:160-165, 259-261, 337-338.
  • Roxas M, Jurenka J. Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations. Altern Med Rev. 2007 12(1):25-48.

By Cathy Wong
Cathy Wong is a nutritionist and wellness expert. Her work is regularly featured in media such as First For Women, Woman's World, and Natural Health.