Chronic Laryngitis

In laryngitis, the laryngeal mucous membrane is swollen, congested and coated with mucus. Chronic laryngitis occurs as a result of repeated attacks of acute laryngitis. Since the larynx is responsible for producing voice, laryngitis naturally affects the voice of the individual. Therefore, chronic laryngitis has been called swarabhed in Ayurveda, the word swar means voice and bhed means breaking.

Causes

Excessive use of the voice (for talking or singing), especially in a dusty atmosphere, often leads to chronic laryngitis. Heavy smoking, exposure to chemicals, poisonous fumes and harmful gases can also cause this disease. Breathing from the mouth and obstruction of nasal sinuses can precipitate chronic laryngitis while in some cases other respiratory diseases, such as influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis and common cold can cause chronic laryngitis.

Symptoms

         Hoarseness of the voice

         Irritation of the throat

         Spasmodic cough

         Fever in some cases

         Difficulty in swallowing

         Swollen lymph nodes

         Change in voice or loss of voice

         Pain in throat

Ayurvedic View

Vataj swarabhed (caused mainly by vitiated vayu) is marked by harsh, loud, vibrating voice and pain around the larynx. Pittaj swarabhed (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) is indicated by thirst, fever and burning sensation in the laryngeal region. Staggering or obstructed voice indicates kaphaj swarabhed (caused mainly by vitiated kapha) which aggravates during night and alleviates during the day. Sannipatik swarabhed is caused by vitiation of all three doshas and therefore have mixed characteristics. Swarabhed caused by emaciating diseases like tuberculosis is called kshayaj swarabhed and is generally accompanied by mild fever, weakness and weight loss. Medoj swarabhed caused by the vitiation of meda dhatu (fat tissue) has similar features like kaphaj swarabhed but patients also experience excessive thirst. The treatment for swarabhed involves certain therapies with the addition of antibiotics, blood and lymph cleansing herbs. Sometimes, demulcent herbs are also prescribed.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

         People who need to use their larynx a lot in their occupations should take care not to overuse it. They should refrain from cold food items and cold atmosphere as both these things can immediately affect the larynx.

         Those who get exposed to chemicals and toxic fumes should protect themselves from such toxins so that their larynx does not get affected.

         Doing Pranayama (especially bhramari pranayama) regularly improves circulation in the larynx, removes unwanted mucus from the cavity and strengthens the vocal cords.

Home Remedies

         Boil 4-5 glasses of water in a pan and then remove from the flame. Add 2 drops of chamomile essential oil, 2 drops of thyme essential oil and 2 drops of lavender essential oil to it. Cover your head with a towel and inhale the fumes.

         Mix freshly grated ginger, licorice root powder and honey in equal amount. Swallow 1 teaspoonful of this mixture 2-3 times a day added with a pinch of black pepper (kali mirch) powder.

         Mix half a teaspoon of black pepper (kalimirch) and 1 teaspoon of butter. Consume the paste for relief from hoarseness.

         Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk for relief in chronic laryngitis.

         Take one bowl of crushed onion. Add a bowl of boiling water and allow it to stay for 15 min. Strain the liquid. Take 6 teaspoon of this warm onion juice and add 4 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 2 teaspoon of honey. Mix well. Take sips of this juice thrice daily.