I was having an email discussion with some folks on Maple Post and thought I would put this on my blog, in case other find it usefull as well..
Instead of sprays, tonics etc.... I actually went the other way a few years back to try and be more proactive/preventative maintenance for touring. I took several 'speech level' singing lessons. We focused on breath technique and how to sing vowel sounds to try and stay within a range that wouldn't push my vocals chords too hard and result in damage/laryngitis etc.... It's all about achieving a balance of air to sound.
I have a strong voice and like to belt it out so it really helped me not to blow out my voice when singing for hours, night after night, or in long studio sessions. Plus, I'm convinced it actually improved my overall singing voice.
Because I have been singing for years and took singing lessons ages ago, it only required 3 lessons to get me up to speed. We recorded the lessons and I would often 'practise' at home or in the car (that got some hilarious looks from other drivers when the I forgot the windows were rolled down...). I can now hear when the air is connecting correctly with my vocal chords. I haven't really had any issues since I learned this technique.
When I do feel a throat scratchiness coming on, I head for green tea all day, chamomile tea with honey pre-show, zinc lozenges and lots of vitamins, particularly vitamin C. I also drink as much water as I can, take naps and avoid speaking. I stay away from the sprays as they 'freeze' my vocal chords so I can get through the night, but prolong the overall healing process.
Here's a quick exercise for you that may help in the 'air management' area.
Google 'speech level singing'... lots of results come up.
Hope that helps! Talk soon!