David Katz is a very true friend of mine. I had the pleasure of studying under him for a period of 3 years during my time in New York. I can remember the countless times I’d spend driving from Brooklyn all the way to Lido Beach (1 hour commute) to stand for 1 hour and have my voice altered, over and over again. I’ve had wonderful teachers in my life, all females, (props to Dr. Batchvarova, Emily Fields & Mom), but my experiences with David were vastly different. At 23, I had never once studied with a male teacher. As a man, he understands what it’s like to be one, so he knows how the male voice mechanism works.
In lessons, we focused on technique, rather than pieces of music …
“Have you ever grabbed a towel and wrapped it around your back and pulled as hard as you can while you’re singing? … Here’s a towel!”
“Alright, I want you to stand up and sing with your head hanging towards the floor. Don’t worry, Iwon’t let you pass out.”
“Sit on the floor and breath in and out as fast as you can!”
“You have to imagine that your chest is going to expand to the point where it breaks.”
“Don’t drink diet soda, or any soda really, but especially diet soda. It takes 20, 4 oz. cups of water to nullify the amount of acid in 1, oz. glass of diet.”
Some of his methods at times, were unorthodox, but changed the way I thought about singing. I went from a baritone to a high tenor, topping out at a B Natural. I landed more jobs, because I had no preconceived notions about where my voice had been. As a tenor, David showed me how to shred the skin of my former self and really “just go for it”.”
He’s now the owner/operator of Superior Vocal Health (www.superiorvocalhealth.com/), an herbal vocal supplement company, Author of Superior Vocal Health: Herbs for the Voice and Throat”, Jewish Cantor, Voice Coach and Health & Wellness consultant, international opera performer and all around great guy!
He has been there for me time and time again and although the details will never be shared on this blog, I can’t ever repay him for helping me face one of the hardest times in my life. I love him like family and am honored that he’d place a guest blog post on Vocal Strength Studio.
Today, he’s talking about getting rid of mucus … Enjoy!
Excellent herbs for getting rid of mucus in the throat and chest for the voice professional.
Getting rid of mucus in the throat and chest is one of the most difficult and pressing issues for the voice professional. We need mucus in our throat and a thin lining on our vocal cords to keep the cords hydrated and flexible. This is the bodies way of naturally taking care of our vocal cords. However, as voice professionals, to much mucus can be our worst nightmare. Over the counter and prescription drugs may remove the excess mucus but at what cost? Drying of the entire throat and vocal cords, dizziness, mental fog, digestive discomfort such as constipation or diarrhea and fatigue are just a few of the side effects that one can experience. In this post I will give you more than enough choices of excellent herbs that have been tried and tested through out the ages to get rid of excess mucus in the throat, chest and lungs without affecting the rest of your body negatively. They are safe, effective, and help the rest of your body to heal as well. Remember, from my other posts on food and diet, that excess mucus is almost always the body telling us we are off track with what we are consuming. Here are the herbs you may use, all of these herbs are very effective when used as a tea:
Angelica is a very good herb that may be used to break up mucus in the lungs. It is often used to ward off the flu or a cold and can break up mucus from a cold very quickly.
NOTE: Angelica should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or has diabetes.
2. BLUE VIOLET
Blue Violet is excellent at relieving sever headaches and especially congestion in the head. It is known to clean mucus out of the system.
Collinsonia soothes the mucus membranes. It has slight astringent properties relieving inflammation of the throat due to colds and flu.
4. PLEURISY ROOT
Pleurisy root is very good for all chest disorders. It is one of the best herbs known for breaking up colds and releasing mucus.
The following herbs may be used as powders when crushed up and sniffed in the nose, gargles or applied to the chest or throat externally to release mucus.
Coltsfoot is very soothing to the mucus membranes. Boil a heaping teaspoon in a quart of water as a tea then take a cloth and moisten it with the freshly made tea. Apply it to the chest and throat for ten or fifteen minutes. This will loosen the phlegm and is good in all coughs and bronchitis as well as all lung troubles. For nasal congestion and obstruction, crush the leaves into a fine powder and sniff the powder into the nostrils.
2. FENUGREEK SEED
Fenugreek seed is very useful when crushed up and sniffed into the nostrils. Especially when dealing with mucus from allergies and mucus in the head and chest.
Hyssop is mentioned in the bible in Psalm 51:7: “PURGE ME WITH HYSSOP AND I SHALL BE CLEAN; WASH ME AND I SHALL BE WHITER THAN SNOW.” It is extremely useful for all mucus problems in the chest throat and lungs. Use it as a gargle to loosen up mucus in the throat.
NOTE: Never use for more than one week at a time.
There you have some excellent herbal solutions to mucus problems in the throat, lungs and chest. Always consult an herbal practitioner and you doctor when you have questions about dosage and mixing herbs with any medications you may already be taking.
As always, I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health.
David Aaron Katz
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