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Smooth Fruits That Soothe the Throat

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 7, 2010

Comments (5)

Woman's face surrounded by fruitBefore you reach for lozenges, throat elixirs or a quick fix from the drug store, why not try consuming some of nature's candy prescription free?

After a few mornings of consecutive avocado snacking, I came to realize that not only was the fruit tasty and full of omega 3s, it also appeared to have some healing properties that seemed to benefit my throat, and consequently, my voice.

Hear from other voice pros and learn more about which fruits give their voice a boost!

Fruits With Vocal Benefits

Have you ever thought about how certain fruits, minus their vitamins, can benefit your voice from a usage point of view?

I'm not a nutritionist or doctor but I do know when something feels like it's helping. Avocados, perhaps due to their natural oils and properties, seem to moisturize the throat and give it an extra layer of protection like a balm. The effect is immediate and the physical effect lasts for a short while, perhaps long enough to record a short spot or a page of script... maybe more, depending on how much you consume or how often you have some.

Some of our friends on Facebook chimed in with the fruits that soothe their voices while working away in studio. Here are some of their thoughts.

Citrus

"I take a jar of lemon curd in the studio and it works wonders!"

-- Therisa Bennett

"Well, they say some lemon honey before you sing."

-- Kathy Birkett

"Chamomile tea with lemon. You gave me another reason to plant that avocado tree, for those sore throats."

-- Suzanne Reardon-Mulhall

"I have heard that a mixture of orange juice and cayenne pepper can banish a sore throat."

-- Melissa Hearne

Apples, Bananas, Grapes, Pineapples, and Guava

"Apples are great too, I've also been told that eating a banana before a vocal audition is great for calming your nerves but never actually tried it."

-- Dayci Brookshire

"I second the apples. Also grapes."

-- Jim Feldman

"Not all apples are the same. Some are drier, others more juicy. Some are soft, others are firm. Some kinda flat tasting, others very tart. Go apple hunting in your local store and try different varieties to find one you like. My favorite used to be Granny Smith, but in recent years it's Braeburn."

-- Justin Barrett

"One day I mistakenly drank part of a Banana Colada FUZE before recording some voice over work I needed to get done. It actually worked better than an apple as far as voice clarity and it made my throat feel great, too!! Strawberry Guava FUZE's also work. Who would think?"

-- Julie Streifel

"Ever tried pineapple? Talk about soothing... simply outstanding!"

-- Reuven Halevi

Bonus: Tea

"Not a fruit I know, but sage tea is absolutely brilliant for all things throaty! (it's an ancient herbal remedy I swear by)"

Carole Richards

Any Fruits or Experiences You'd Like to Share?

Add your comments and join the discussion!

Best wishes,

Stephanie

©iStockphoto.com/Gennadiy Poznyakov

Related Topics: Apple, fruit, healing, moisturizer, natural, organic, SAG, soothing, speaking, throat, vitamins, voice


Comments


    A storyteller I know swears by mandarin orange sections whenever in need of a vocal pick-me-up. Says that he got the idea from Patrick Stewart when Sir Patrick was doing a 1-man show.
    Another storyteller I know swears that citric acid is too hard on the vocal cords when they are feeling touchy. She advises only room-temperature water.
    Personally I love ThroatCoat tea if I'm feeling a bit vocally needy, possibly with a bit of Echinacea added.

    Posted by:

      While fruits daily are good for us nutritionally, let me dispel yet another myth about voice and speech. The vocal folds (called cords by the layman) are located in the larynx, the voice box. Nothing you swallow can get to them. Nothing. Things you swallow may promote the production of saliva in the mouth or hinder it (apples good, lemons hinder) and the old remedy of gargling with warm salt water as grandma said does soothe tissues, despite my ENT physician saying it is "rubbish." That is, things you swallow can soothe throat tissues. A cough? Best get RX medicine from a doctor to help you stop coughing. A cough is a killer to voice and speech pros. Cough drops...be careful about sucking on too many in a day if they contain strong anesthetics. READ LABELS. A cough is activated from the brain...I'm not a neurologist...but I am a degreed voice speech person with doctoral credits and enough knowledge to be a therapist had I chosen to become one. I didn't. My CD on vocal health was just produced. Ten podcasts. And another myth...you do NOT speak or sing from your diaphragm. That is an involuntary muscle in the chest that flattens when you inhale. That's all. There is an excellent article in this months; VOICE SPEECH JOURNAL published by the Natl. Assoc. of Singers on all of the many myths about voice and speech. Folk remedies are interesting but...you cannot get to your vocal folds unless a surgeon performs surgery. I read so many posts about these...just always protect your voice and do not abuse it. Once damaged, your voice takes a long time to heal and my never be the same. And watch carefully for any vocal change and go to your physician immediately if changes. And another myth...whispering is more damaging than speaking when you are hoarse (often spelled horse in posts by laypeople..he he). The vocal folds are parted, air rushes through them, and makes them irritated. COMPLETE VOCAL REST when you are vocally impaired. Hope this helps. I guess the throat and speech industry, the folks who peddle all those remedies, will counter this...but I know whereof I speak. Ask a physician if you need documentation.

      Posted by:

        A PS: If you do not yet know the real facts about how humans produce sound, voice, speech, go to your library please and study it. Wonderful videos are available too. Check out You Tube and the library too. Tiny cameras are inserted through the nose down into the throat showing the voice box. Studies of cadavers show how wind sent through the folds produces sound. It's all available to you along with reliable literature written by physicians and therapists who know whereof they speak. The plethora of folk remedies and useless products...as a voice pro it's time you knew the facts. Dig them out. Then, share.
        All best

        Posted by:

          Hi Lois, Bettye and all who are reading,

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts and perspective. Very interesting comment from you, Lois! Thank you for sharing that insight with regard to Sir Patrick Stewart.

          @Bettye and anyone wondering:

          To clarify, what the article was getting at was how consuming certain fruits could help to soothe your throat, not your voice itself. The soothing of the throat makes it easier to speak and therefore the voice benefits as well.

          Certain food or drink that may be consumed by people does as you say produce or can lessen saliva production which in turn will affect how someone may sound when they speak.

          A lot of performance is psychological. If someone thinks that eating fruit in moderation helps their throat or soothes their throat thereby making it easier for them to deliver a healthy, desirable sound, there's no harm in that! Some of those fruits do have other benefits aside from what a person may feel the consumption of the fruit also does for their throat.

          I agree that people should be reading labels if they are purchasing anything with medicinal properties such as cough candies, lozenges, etc. That is a prudent thing to do. This article was not encouraging people to purchase products created by the pharmaceutical industry but instead was championing fruit you can find in the local grocery store.

          Also, you support from your diaphragm, your voice does not come from the diaphragm. That is true. Thank you for adding that to your comment.

          To clarify for anyone wondering, there are two kinds of whispering; one is voiced and the other is a voiceless form of whispering. Voiceless whispering, that is to say whispering without vibration of the vocal folds, can be harmful.

          Here is a question and answer I found on the Voice and Swallowing Institute Website:

          "I’ve heard that whispering is bad for the voice. True or false?

          First, let’s clarify the different meanings of whispering. There are two types of whispering – one is produced with voice, and the other without. In a voiced whisper, the vocal folds are vibrating but the voice is produced very softly and with much breathiness. It is low-effort (gently produced), low airflow, low pressure and very gentle on the vocal folds. We call this confidential voice and it is very healthy for injured vocal folds. It is, however, not useful for any type of communication except one-on-one in a very quiet environment. When the voiced whisper is produced with the intention of others hearing it easily, it is called a "stage" whisper. It is effortful and produced with considerable airflows and pressures and a high degree of muscle tension. That’s never a good idea and we suggest you avoid that type of whispering.

          The other type of whisper – the voiceless whisper, is produced by holding the vocal folds open and forming the sounds of speech with our mouth but without the sound produced by vibrating vocal folds. Because there is no vocal fold vibration (no vocal fold contact), the sound is extremely weak. When the voiceless whisper is produced very gently, it is not harmful to the vocal folds, but the listener must be very close to the speaker in a quiet environment. In most cases when patients use a voiceless whisper, they are trying to make themselves understood within normal speaking environments, and so substantial air pressure and airflow are used. The vocal folds must be held quite stiffly in order to prevent them from vibrating under such aerodynamic conditions. This can constrict the tiny blood vessels in the vocal folds which is not healthy for the tissues. In addition, the use of excessive air pressures and muscle tension are not a healthy way to produce voice and these habits work against establishing more optimal voice production patterns."

          http://www.nyee.edu/cfv-therapy.html#9

          Your voice naturally has resonance and healthy vocal folds vibrate when you speak or sing. Regular speaking at a comfortable level is safer. Speaking when you are hoarse is not recommended. I will agree with Bettye here on vocal rest being the best way to heal this particular affliction.

          Do see an ENT (ear nose throat) specialist if you have any issues or think that something may be wrong with your throat. The Chicago Institute For Voice Care is a very good place to look into if you are considering a consultation or have a serious vocal issue you need to address.

          I attended the Midwest Voice Conference in 2008 and was very impressed with what was shared by the doctors present. Here's a link to Dr. Steven Sims' website where you can watch videos pertaining to the vocal folds:

          http://www.chicagovoicedoc.com/

          I hope that helps!

          Best wishes,

          Stephanie

          Posted by:
          • Stephanie Ciccarelli
          • May 11, 2010 9:50 AM

            @Bettye Could you please post a link to the article referred to in y our comments. My Googling could find neither an association or journal by the name you gave. Thanks. Mitch

            Posted by:

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