It has been helping throats for thousands of years – now modern science explains why.
We’ve all heard overblown claims for “natural” voice remedies – “Just take this and your voice will be healed!”
Even many scientific studies to prove the efficacy of most herbal remedies are too small in scope to justify such strong claims.
Of course, the best remedy for the voice is to develop healthy speaking and singing techniques.
Nevertheless, we were intrigued by what internationally respected nutritionist and author Dr. Elizabeth Lipski had to say about honey loquat syrup and the science behind its healing properties.
A Soothing Secret
“When I lived in Hawaii, I knew an opera singer who swore by honey loquat syrup for throat strain,” says Lipski, “All the vocalists she knew made honey loquat part of their routine especially when they were on tour or had lots of singing commitments.”
Lipski explains that loquat has an anti-inflammatory effect:
“Taking honey loquat syrup helps prevent laryngitis and keeps the throat soothed so that it doesn’t get inflamed.”
Also, loquat products usually combine loquat with slippery elm or licorice, which makes it very soothing on the voice.
Even though loquat has been a part of Chinese and Japanese medicine for generations, it is only recently that studies have uncovered the science behind its healing properties. “Science and folk wisdom have caught up with each other,” says Lipski.
How does it work?
Loquat acts as an anti-inflammatory by influencing our genes. According to Lipski, exciting studies have proven that the things we eat affect gene expression in our body.
This is significant because genes are responsible for telling every cell in our body what to do.
Lipski says loquat turns off inflammatory genes and turns on anti-inflammatory ones (the healing ones).
How do I take it?
“When I had laryngitis last year, I mixed the honey loquat syrup in hot water, and drank it like tea.
“Often I added some fresh lemon juice,” says Lipski, “I also sucked on five or six honey loquat lozenges per day. This combination helped to soothe my larynx, and helped my voice bounce back fairly quickly.”
How much honey loquat syrup should I take?
The dosage is one tablespoon of syrup every four to six hours, or one teaspoon every two hours, depending on which product you choose. Honey Loquat “candy” can be sucked as needed.
How can I get some?
Two popular brands that make honey loquat products are Han’s and Planetary Herbs. You can buy a syrup or lozenges, also called honey loquat candy.
Loquat products come from the leaves – not the fruit – of the loquat tree.
What else does it do?
Honey loquat is used in complimentary medicine to treat sore throats, asthma, bronchitis, and even diabetes.
It is currently being studied for its anti-cancer properties.
“It is most widely used for lung-related issues,” says Lipski. Dr. She even knows of a doctor who regularly prescribes loquat remedies to compliment his conventional medical practice.
Editor’s Note: See an ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) if you have any kind of vocal problem (pain, raspy voice etc.) that lasts for more than two weeks.
Dr.Elizabeth Lipski , Ph.D., CCN, CHN, CNS, is a clinical nutritionist and author of several books on nutrition and digestion. She is the Academic Director for Nutrition and Integrative Health at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. She is also the founder of Innovative Healing Inc. Dr. Lipski does frequent media interviews and advises businesses on issues of employee health and wellness. She has been working in the field of nutrition for over 30 years.
Kathy Alexander is a writer, singer, vocal coach and choir director. She has appeared in Vision TV’s Let’s Sing Again, The Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra and the Victoria International Jazz Festival (main stage). You can see more of Kathy’s work here.