Dysphonia, Hoarseness and He Zi
Dysphonia is the medical term for hoarseness – a condition characterized by a raspy, rough, gravelly, or breathy voice. People with dysphonia may have frequent difficulty with speaking, as the vocal cords may seize up and remain open or closed.
Dysphonia can have many causes. Spasmodic dysphonia is the most common version of dysphonia and may be the result of a central nervous disorder, injury, inflammation, or growths on the vocal cords.
Chinese medicine practitioners associate dysphonia with lung weakness, so treatment targets the lungs and is intended to strengthen the organ.
How is Dysphonia Typically Treated?
Treatment may include medication to help with inflammation, or in some cases, surgery. If surgery is performed, the objective is to remove a small amount of nerve tissue that’s at the root of vocal cord dysfunction. Another treatment option is a Botox injection, which weakens any spasmodic muscles affecting vocal cord performance.
Speech therapy is also frequently recommended to help people whose voice affects their ability to speak.
Chinese medicine can also treat dysphonia, in a way that’s designed to fortify the lungs. One such treatment is the use of medicinal herbs. In this case, the herb He Zi is the preferred botanical for dysphonia.
He Zi: A Chinese Medicinal Herb That Can Improve Dysphonia Symptoms
He Zi is actually a fruit derived from the terminalia plant, typically dried for medical use. It has a bitter, astringent quality, and is used in a few conditions, including diarrhea and dysphonia. When taken for dysphonia, He Zi facilitates the flow of Qi (life-giving energy) through the lungs, removing congestion and improving symptoms like coughing and inflammation. As vocal cord injury and inflammation is a common cause of dysphonia, He Zi is an ideal botanical choice for improving voice quality and comfort.