If you are a singer or TV commentator, a teacher or radio personality or a slew of others that makes their living via their voice, this post is for you.
In Natural Medicine, the voice is considered an extension of sorts, of the Lungs (or the Metal element). The Lungs have many functions that go beyond the obvious respiration action. For example, the Lungs govern the skin, connects with the Large Intestine and is associated with the emotion of grief.
For our purposes, we will focus on how to treat and care for the Lungs (and thus, the throat, vocal chords and all that is associated with speaking and singing, including an organ you would never guess!).
Foods that Strengthen the Lungs and Vocal Chords
The “star of the show” here is asparagus. This substance will strengthen the lungs and the immune system better than any other. It is filled with the antioxidants, Vitamins A, C and E, along with selenium, potassium, folate and a host of others. If you said this was the healthiest food not only for the lungs but in general, you would have a strong argument. The tips in particular, are most nourishing for the lungs and respiratory system.
Other foods include:
- Onions, scallions and garlic. These are exceptional anti-inflammatory foods and prevent the onset of colds and allergies.
- Locally grown honey. It is nature’s “vaccination” in that it helps the system build antibodies to air born pathogens and allergens.
- Pomegranate. If asparagus is not #1, then this fruit would be. It has been used in the treatment of serious (and acute) lung disorders and is one of the strongest (and tastiest) immune boosters around.
- Red Bell Peppers. Again, strong immune booster and anti-inflammatory, they also are high in carotenoids levels which are natural anti-cancer substances. In addition, a little secret. Red Bell Peppers contain Lutein, a substance which has been shown to boost motivation. Don’t want to practice guitar or rehearse the new song? Lutein can help with this.
- Last and most certainly not least is a Chinese herb decoction called Loquat Syrup. As part of the name implies, it is a thick, mildly sweet tasting substance comprised of several herbs but features Loquat. This fruit is extremely soothing to the throat and beneficial for the entire respiratory system. People who suffer from acute “rawness” or temporary overuse can benefit greatly from this inexpensive substance. As a side note, other health benefits include weight loss, lowering of blood pressure and helps break down the formation of mucus (translation: it reduces the number of times you clear your throat).
The Lungs and of course, respiratory system in general are the obvious organ to focus upon for those whose livelihood depends upon their voice. The not-so-obvious, but equally important organ may surprise you.
It is the Heart. The reason being, in Natural Medicine, the Heart is associated with the tongue. Actually it is associated with the “2 tongues;” that is, the Heart is associated not only with the obvious one – the muscular organ in the mouth, it is associated with the ability to find the right words.
Ever want to speak to someone and you freeze? Or try to write a song and the words just do not flow? This is as element of the Heart energy and when this energy is a bit weak or the “stuck,” people will stutter, stammer or “hold their tongue” metaphorically speaking.
By strengthening the Heart energy, you find the right words at the right time and find the voice and the tone to speak them.
Next week, I will cover means to strengthen the Heart.