Hoarse Voice Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies

hoarse voice - Ayurveda

Article written by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD(Ayu), PhD (Ayu).
Hoarse voice is a repeated complaint in few of the individuals. It may last from few hours to few days. Most of the time it is reversible with simple home remedies. But during the complaint it disturbs the routine activities especially with those who are engaged in speaking jobs like teachers, news readers, anchors, public relation officers, actors etc etc. In Ayurveda, this condition is called as Swarabheda. 

Hoarseness of Voice – Ayurveda details

Synonyms

Synonyms of hoarseness of voice are – Swarabheda, Swarasada, Swaradosha, Karkasha Dhwani, Swara kshaya etc.
Master Sushruta describes it as a condition where clear alteration of the voice is brought as revealed during speech and announcing with high or low pitch, inaudible or distinct sound.

Causes

Hoarse voice causes: 
1. High pitched voice
2. Affliction with poisons
3. Reading loudly
4. Trauma to larynx
5. Dosha imbalance at the level of throat
6. Excess of drinking cold beverages, curds, oils and fats etc
7. Very cold water bath, wetting due to rain or mist etc

larynx - Voice box

As per modern science, causes of hoarseness is acute (sudden) inflammation of larynx (voice box), smoking, injury / irritation to vocal cords, upper respiratory tract infection, cancer and thyroid gland anomalies.

Origin of disease

Origin of the complaint:
As per Ayurveda, due to the above said reasons the aggravated Doshas invade and localize in the vocal cords and bring about the changes in the functions of the voice box. Due to this dysfunction, the speaking ability is lost partially or fully.

Types

Types of Hoarseness of the voice -Swarabheda:
3 – Due to Vata, Pitta, Kapha,
4. due to all three Doshas
5. Medaja – due to fat tissue
6. Due to Kshaya – depletion of tissue.

Clinical features

Clinical features of different types of Swarabheda:

Hoarseness of voice due to Vata Dosha – Vataja Swarabheda – The voice differs with interruption, low pitched or resembling the voice of a donkey(braying).Usually the voice sounds rough. Blackish discoloration may be found in face, eyes, urine and stool.

Pittaja Swarabheda – The speech appears as if it sounds from the throat. Usually it is painful, associated with burning sensation. The color of the face, eyes, urine and stool may turn yellow.

Kaphaja Swarabheda – The person sounds as if the throat is affected by dense phlegm. The individual speaks less and the speech is interrupted or delayed. Slight relief is found during day time and the condition is worsened during night.

Tridoshic Swarabheda – Mixed features are found and such a condition is difficult to cure.

Medaja/caused by high fat – In this condition the voice is audible from the interior of the throat.The voice will be distinct after some period of time.The sound appears as if the throat is coated with fat or phlegm. Severe thirst is the characteristic feature of this condition.

Kshayaja/caused by emaciation: The person feels as if fumes are coming out during speech and gradually total loss of speech/inability to speak is found. This type is difficult to cure.

Ayurvedic treatment

Ayurvedic treatment of Hoarseness of the voice – Swarabheda Chikitsa:
The causative factors are to be avoided strictly.
Local  clarity of larynx is brought by
Kavala graham (mouth gargling / oil pulling),
Nasya (nasal drops) and
medicated herbal smoking (dhoomapana).

Herbs used

According to the Dominant Dosha, the line of treatment is decided.
Herbs useful in Hoarseness of the voice:
1. KhadiraAcacia catechuKattha-Takes away the phlegm accumulated in the buccal cavity.
2. Maricha – Black Pepper-Removes the morbidity and helps in curing indigestion.
3. Ela – Cardamom – soothes throat
4. Shunti -Dry ginger-Helps to overcome indigestion and relieves phlegm.
5. Haridra-Turmeric– Clears the mouth and throat.
6. Draksha – Raisins-Soothens the throat and voice box; enhances the strength in case of fatigue.
7. Bhringaraja – Eclipta albaHelps to overcome the accumulation of phlegm in throat and stomach.
8. Kantakari – Solanum xanthocarpum -Clears the voice and broadens the larynx in case of congestion due to phlegm.
9. Yashtimadhu – Liquorice root-Soothes the throat.
10. Ajamoda -Apium graveolens-Relieves the indigestion.
11. Saindhava Lavana -Rock salt-Clears the buccal cavity and throat, liquefies Kapha.
12. Lavanga-Clove-Promotes the voice.

Ayurvedic formulations

Formulations beneficial in Hoarseness of  voice/ Swarabheda:
Most of the medicines are administered for chewing. This helps in achieving more concentration of the herbal active principles at the sight of larynx, where the healing is required.  A few commonly used medicines for hoarseness of voice are –
1. Lavangadi vati-chewing
2. Eladi vati -chewing
3. Khadiradi vati -chewing
4. Bhringaraja taila -Application to the scalp
5. Goraksha vati -For chewing
6. Ajamodadi choorna -For fumigation
7. Kalyanaka avaleha licking along with honey and ghee
8. Kanthakari ghrita internal administration twice a day with warm water
9. Khadira churna with tila taila and honey for retaining in the mouth
10. Vyoshadi vati -chewing
11. Pippalyasava -administration twice daily after the food.
12.Bhringarajasava – taken during bed time those who are getting hoarseness only during morning hours so as to relieve accumulated phlegm in the throat.

Ayurvedic home remedies

Simple Home remedies for Hoarseness of voice:
1. Raisins and Kharjura are taken together twice or thrice a day. This gives smoothening effect to the throat and complaint is relieved.
2. Cardamom – half a teaspoon and a teaspoon of sugar candy – are taken together and kept in the mouth and chewed.
3. One pinch of Yashtimadhu (Liquorice ) root powder is taken and chewed 3-4 times a day. This helps to relieve the split voice.
4. Licorice root dried and cleaned is given to the patient to chew slowly and to swallow the juice.
5. Tender leaf buds of mango (Mangifera indica) are chewed daily.

Ayurvedic home remedies (by Dr Raghuram)

Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Laryngitis:

  • Crush 8-10 Tulsi (basil) leaves and extract their juice. Mix it with 1 spoon honey and take it.
  • Take 6-8 Basil leaves along with 2 pepper grains and a pinch of rock salt. Chew them and slowly suck the juice.
  • Lime juice 2 spoons mixed with honey 1 spoon, hourly once
  • Add 1 spoon of Cinnamon powder to boiling water and close the glass with a lid. When it becomes warm, add a pinch of pepper powder and 2 spoons honey. Take it once or twice daily.
  • Boil ½ to 1 teaspoon full of liquorice (coarse powder) in 1 glass of water, filter and consume warm or mix ½ teaspoon full of liquorice (fine powder) in hot milk and take it to get relieved from laryngitis. If liquorice is boiled until half water is reduced, it provides better results. Even with milk – half glass milk and half glass water should be boiled with liquorice powder until half of it evaporates and consumed.
  • ¼ spoon honey + ¼ spoon ginger juice – should be taken in drops and slowly sucked
  • ½ – 1 spoon of Amla (Indian gooseberry) powder, 1 spoon sugar candy powder and a pinch of pepper powder added to hot milk
  • Ghee + jaggery
  • Crush or chop ½ onion, boil it with 1 glass of water for 5 -10 minutes, strain it through a sieve, add 1 spoon honey and 2 spoon lemon juice to it. Sip it slowly.
  • ½ spoon butter + 2 pinch pepper powder – 3-4 times per day
  • Milk boiled with 1 spoon  of turmeric powder and added with sugar candy powder (1/2 spoon) and a pinch of pepper
  • Laja churna – Powder of puffed paddy or parched rice should be given mixed with honey.
  • Honey and Ghee mixed in unequal quantities
  • Grated ginger or ginger paste + Liquorice powder + pinch of Black pepper powder + Honey – 2-3 servings per day
  • Juice of Vasa (Adhatoda vasica) 1 spoon + Honey 2 spoons
  • Kulattha churnam – Powder of horse gram kept in mouth and sucked over a couple of minutes
  • Paste of ber leaves (Indian jujube) fried in ghee should be given mixed with Saindhava Lavana (rock salt) to alleviate laryngitis associated with cough
  • Khadira – (Acacia catechu) – kept in mouth (for sucking as lozenges) mixed with either of sesame oil or powder of Piper longum or powder of Zingiber officinale cures Svarabheda

Easy gargles:

  • Garlic juice mixed in warm water
  • Salt water
  • Water boiled with basil leaves
  • Turmeric powder + Ginger juice + Basil juice + Rock salt + Warm water
  • Decoction of – Clove + Cinnamon + Salt + Cardamom + Basil leaves + Neem Leaves + Turmeric powder

Effective decoctions for hoarseness of voice from Sahasrayogam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 28

a. Shuntyadi Kashayam

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
GingerZingiber officinaleThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with ghee1. Hoarseness of voice of vata origin    
RasnaPluchea lanceolata
PippaliPiper longum
AguruAquilaria malaccensis
VasaAdhatoda vasica

b. Dashamoola Kashayam

c. Drakshadi Kashayam

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
GrapesVitis viniferaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh  1. Hoarseness of voice of pitta origin  
PippaliPiper longum
VasaAdhatoda vasica

d. Trijatadi Kashayam

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
TrijataCinnamomum zeylanicum Cinnamomum tamala Elettaria cardamomumThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with honey1. Hoarseness of voice of kapha origin 2. Tastelessness 3. Nausea 4. Excessive salivation  
TrikatuPiper longum Piper nigrum ZIngiber officinale
KantakariSolanum xanthocarpum
BharangiClerodendron serratum

Summary

Hoarseness of voice can be very well treated with Ayurveda. However, the cause for the disease should be clearly evaluated before deciding on line of treatment. In most of the cases, Kavala (oil pulling) along with chewable tablets are effective. In cases of extreme Dosha imbalance, Panchakarma treatment might be required.

22 thoughts on “Hoarse Voice Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies”

  1. very good article and helpful to the persons who are teachers by profession in particular.

    thank you very much doctor

    Reply
      • Sir one of my friend had injury to vocal chords had breathing issues and done a tracheostomy but his voice remains coarse – adviced second surgery anything cal be done in ayurveda, if required i will scan the reports and send

        Reply
  2. Dear Dr. Hebbar,

    Thank you for the useful information.
    When we were small, I remember my father used to give Seetopaladi churna(small amount) with honey for sore throat and hoarseness of voice. And gargling with salt water was stressed a lot.
    Can you please throw some light on this?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  3. Hi Dr Hebbar! I often notice that I get tired when speaking a little more than normal during social ocassions for example. My throat gets tired and my nose tends to feel blocked. I suspect the blocked nose might be due to breathing through mouth while speaking just like one wakes up with blocked nose when breathing through mouth during the night. Are there any articles or anything ayurved says regarding this. I like to be social and do a little bit of acting, but it get’s tiring when I rehearse etc.

    Reply
    • Hi, daily intake of 3 ml of ghee in the morning or in the afternoon, either with meals or just before meals should help in your condition. Please give it a try.

      Reply
  4. Hi sir this is rajesh i have throat problem like my voice will became very lazy (means neerasam ) very low voice from my childhood is there any treatment in Ayurveda plz tell me any remedy sir plz help me plz plz

    Reply
  5. Hi sir this rajesh is iam from nellore district andhrapradesh. i have throat problem like my voice will became very lazy (means neerasam ) very low pitch voice from my childhood is there any treatment in Ayurveda plz tell me any remedy sir plz is there any ayurvedic doctor for this type of voice problems ayurvedic doctor available in my hometown plz suggest me .

    Reply
  6. doctor i have been having problems with my throat for 2 months now. i used to yell and have high degree of stress ..then i felt my vocal chords were injured. i feel very thirsty and also have problem swallowing sometimes and i recently took an Ayurveda powder from kottakal which gives temporary relief. what treatment should i take . please advise as it is frustrating not being able to talk normally or loudly

    Reply
  7. Sir,
    Excellent article.

    I had vocal cord problem – hoarseness of voice 4 months back. Took absolute voice rest for 2 months, and took pantacid 40 daily 2, for 3 months. Now taking one rabiprazole daily. Almost got cured and feeling well. As per doctor’s advice, I am sleeping at slanting position, takes dinner 2 hrs before sleep, takes more water,.. Doctor told it is LPR, but I did not have any symptoms of acid reflux.
    Now, symptoms are slowly coming back. Feeling throat irritation and cough. Change of voice also. Doctors advised pH test and then possible surgery.
    Please give me a guidance in this regard. I am from Chengannur, Alappuzha District, Kerala. A College lecturer by profession.

    Sathish Kumar

    Reply
    • Dear sir, Khadiradi gutika tablet – 1 tablet 3 times a day for 1 month can be useful.
      For further advice, please consult at Pambatheeram Ayurvedic Hospital

      Reply
  8. Hi doc what are the causes you teach on herbal medicines?
    Pls doc give me the brake down and the cost implication.
    Thanks

    Reply
  9. Hello sir
    My son has vocal cord cyst
    He is going through vocal therapy
    Please suggest how to cure it with Ayurveda?
    We are in Ahmadabad , gujarat

    Reply

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