“Is it true that if you drink olive oil, you can sing with a better smoother voice?”
Although, I am often asked this kind of question… this question could have quite possibly been influenced from the Opera Singer Luciano Pavarotti, who is famous for proclaiming that he used to drink olive oil to help his voice!
As a Voice Care Professional I’ve decided to thoroughly investigate whether olive oil can reach the vocal cord or not.
Here are the facts…
We use swallowing to bring liquids and solids to the esophagus and the stomach. Therefore, if we drink olive oil, the thyroid cartilage goes up, the epiglottis blocks the throat and stops the food from going to the vocal cord and the bronchi. So, it is impossible that olive oil, when swallowed, can reach the vocal cord directly.
Can olive oil reach to the vocal cord as a volatile? This is impossible too, because the olive oil does not volatilize. Gasoline and essential oil are generally volatile, cooking oil and olive oil are non-volatile.
It’s not true that olive oil or any oil substances, when swallowed, leaves or creates a film on the pharynx or vocal cord which could create a type of shield and protect it. Through my case and research studies throughout the years, I have found oily substances do not protect or make the voice any better.
If your vocal cord is covered by an oily film, the vocal cord will get heavier, worsening the vocal fold vibrations when singing. Besides the above statements, an oily film can lead to a cough or excess sputum.
In conclusion, drinking olive oil does not have a positive effect on the voice.
It is common that many people believe myths and old wives tales about ingesting certain liquids and foods to increase performance of the body, this is one of those instances.