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0767 – How A Kettle Can Help Your Voice

Season 3, Ep. 767

2023.02.06 – 0767 – How A Kettle Can Help Your Voice


Steam inhaling - can help the health of the vocal folds and the mucous membranes that line the

nasal and mouth cavities. Steaming once or twice a day for 10-15 minutes will:

·        allow the water vapour to get into places that no lozenge, gargle or linctus can ever reach, soothing and moisturising and helping to thin the mucus, so it’s more slippery

·        help relieve a tired sore or hoarse voice

·        calm an irritating persistent cough

·        improve your ‘voice recovery rate’ after a cold

·        be useful as a ‘night-time moisturiser’ after you have used your voice heavily in a noisy or smoky environment

So, what’s going on here? Well, dryness adds to vocal strain and can cause a cough and heavy voice-use creates tension. But the steam puts moisture into the whole throat area, thinning thick mucus, increasing flexibility and encouraging relaxation and so, healing.[1]

Similar to a steamer, a nebuliser is a machine that turns liquid medicine into a fine mist. You then breathe in the mist through a mask or mouthpiece. Ask a medical professional whether a .9% isotonic saline solution, which matches the make-up of solutions in the body and so gets to larynx, might be useful for any vocal problem you have.

[1] Inexpensive steam-inhaling mugs are much easier to use than the hot, claustrophobic and boring “head over a basin with a towel” method. You use just boiled water, add a decongestant if you have a cold (real lemon juice is OK but not artificial fragrances), and then breathe normally, through the nose or mouth for 10-15 minutes replacing the water once the steam has gone. (Electrical steam inhalers such as pump out a steady stream of steam.) Impractical? Inhale while taking a hot shower, like in the scene in ‘Terms of Endearment’ (Debra Winger is in the bathroom next to the hot shower, as her child has a bad cough and she’s trying to use the steam to help them breathe more easily).