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Voice Tips from Pamela » Ways to Reduce Mucus (schleim) levels in your Throat
Our world is surrounded by airborne toxins and pollutants such as chemicals, smoke, dust, your cat or dog dander and pollens that try to invade our bodies daily. As a natural defense, our body produces mucus which traps bacteria, germs and other toxins in order to eliminate them from the body. If throat mucus has become a chronic problem for your singing voice, it's usually caused by food or environmental allergies, bronchitis, a sinus infection, smoking, 2nd hand smoke, heavy metal accumulation in the body, nutrient deficiencies or mucus forming foods such as in fats in dairy products. Even your favorite perfumes may be causing more harm than good for your voice!
What we eat may determine whether food allergies which lead to mucus production will develop. Diets low in nutrients and high in processed foods containing simple sugars, carbohydrates, chemicals and unhealthy fats lead to food allergies. Eating a healthy diet will not only eliminate many food allergies but will eliminate mucus production due to nutrient deficiencies in the diet.
Vitamin supplements like vitamin C, E and zinc will help prevent excess mucus. Herbs with antibiotic properties such as echinacea, calendula and goldenseal can treat the infection that leads to mucus production. These herbs also are effective at bringing balance to intestinal flora vital to body health and boosting the immune system. Fresh air and exercise, sweating in sauna, deep massage help to detoxify the body which helps reduce mucus production.
Apple cider vinegar (unpasturized/raw/unfiltered/) Just mix 2 tsp. in a glass of water & drink before each meal. Ginger powder and honey have been found effective at reducing throat mucus. Make a mixture by combining one tablespoon ginger powder with two tablespoons of honey. Take one tablespoon of the mixture three times daily. Onions are natural decongestants and expectorants. Cut up and eat raw onions, in salads or eat as a sandwich, it loosens phlegm and mucus. Gargle regularly with warm water and salt. Do not swallow because excess salt intake can lead to dehydration. Singers should drink 2-3 liters of water daily to thin and loosen mucus. Add eucalyptus oil to a vaporizer (releases a warm mist of steamed moisture into the air- make sure you keep this machine clean!) or try a humidifier (adds a mist of cool moisture in the air) and then breath deeply to help loosen phlegm and lessen congestion.
Avoid mucus forming foods such as fried foods, meat and dairy products. Foods that help loosen mucus include spicy foods, hot chili peppers and horse radish are effective at loosening mucus. Drink plenty of warm liquids such as herbal teas to moisten the airways and break up mucus. Using a vaporiser or humidifier at night will help thin mucus (I use a vaporiser, both are good). Avoid toxins that contribute to mucus buildup such as being around cigarette smoke, household cleaners, paint fumes and animal dander (dandruff dust).