Cough is the last thing you want to make to break the silence in a room. Coughing is a natural phenomenon that gives nuisance not only to the person who coughs but also to other members nearby. It creates an uncomfortable feeling all around. Cough can be persistent or occasional, and dry cough or productive cough. Productive cough is one that is accompanied with phlegm and mucus. Your body drives you to cough up the mucus from the lungs or chest region. It is not good to suppress productive cough and doctors often prescribe expectorant to loosen the mucus.
Dry cough is basically caused by allergies, irritants and exposure to dry and dusty atmosphere. You will have to take pills or syrups that contain diphenylhydramine or dextromethorphan for reducing dry persistent cough.
You can get rid of cough with simple ingredients straight in your kitchen and some of which are given here.
Irritated mucus membrane of your throat can be quickly calmed down with a spoon of honey. It is better than over the counter syrups and drugs. Owing to its sticky nature it coats the irritated throat giving soothing effect. Honey is a natural antibacterial agent and hence highly recommended for infectious cough. Children and adults can take honey for getting rid of honey. Drink one tsp of honey before bedtime to get uninterrupted sleep. You can also take honey added with herbal tea or plain warm water, 3-4 times a day to control cough. Repeat this simple remedy for a week or until you have cough.
2. Licorice Root
Licorice root acts as a demulcent and expectorant to ease cough. It can effectively loosen the mucus thus removing the congestion from the lungs. Inflammation in and around the mucus lining of the throat can also be treated with licorice root. The component called glycyrrhizin is several times sweeter than normal sugar and hence should be used in small proportion. One should not exceed dose of 30 mg/ml of licorice powder as per the warning issued by the WHO. People living with steroid medications or kidney problems should totally avoid taking licorice. You can prepare tea with licorice tea by adding 1 tsp of licorice root powder to a cup of boiling water. Let it sit for 10 minutes. You can get relief from any kind of cough by drinking this tea 2-3 times a day.
3. Salt Water
It is the most effective remedy for cough. Sore throat, cough and oral cavity problems can be treated with salt water. Add 1-2 tsp of table salt to a glass of lukewarm water and gargle it thoroughly. Salt water can give quick remedy from cough and sore throat by clearing off the irritation and inflammation of mucus membrane. Since salt is a natural antibiotic it can control cough related with bacterial infection.
4. Hot Vapor
Steaming can give excellent relief from congestion and cough and cold. Hot water vapor can loosen the phlegm arising from the lungs and helps you in breathing smoothly. All you have to do is to boil a pot of water and pour it into a bowl. Now lean over the bowel and cover your head with a blanket so that steam gets trapped inside. Now breathe deeply with your nose and mouth for 5-7 minutes. Repeat this process many times a day to get rid of thick phlegm from the chest and lungs. You can also add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to the water to get added benefits.
Thyme was used in Europe during 12th century for treating pandemics due to plague. Thyme is proved to have essential antibacterial property hence can be used generously for treating cough. Thyme sprigs can help in relaxing the muscles of the bronchi clearing off the mucus aiding in comfortable breathing. Thyme springs can be crushed with a mortar and thrown into a mug of boiling water. You can drink this tea after 10 minutes. By taking thyme herbal tea before bedtime you can easily get quality sleep free from cough. Drink this tea 3-4 times a day for a week to get maximum benefit.
6. Black Pepper
This is yet another ingredient from your kitchen that kicks out the cough. Pepper is capable of reducing the inflammation and irritation of mucus membrane of your throat. If you wish to expel the phlegm by loosening it you can make use of pepper. You can eat few pods of pepper slowly or crush the pepper corns and add warm water mixed with little honey. You can make fresh pepper tea by adding pepper powder to a cup of boiling water and drink this tea.
Ginger is the topmost home remedy used for many problems like digestive disorders and cough. Ginger helps in loosening the phlegm from the lungs so that it can be easily expelled out. Ginger remedy can be used for any kind of cough. All you need to do is chop fresh pieces of ginger and add it to a cup of water and boil it thoroughly. Allow the liquid to reduce to half of its size. Now strain it and drink this ginger decoction. You can add 1 tsp of honey for taste. Alternatively you can also add peppermint along with ginger to boiling water to get added benefit. You can store this decoction in the refrigerator for many days and whenever you want to use, slightly boil it before drinking.
You may wonder how pineapple can help in suppressing cough. But an enzyme by name bromelain present in pineapple can help in clearing off the mucus from your throat. You can eat fresh pineapple slices or juice (without ice) daily. Pineapple can effectively used for relieving the symptoms of allergy based cough and sinusitis.
Tips To Prevent Cough :
- Cough is mostly seasonal and hence you need to be more careful during the onset of winter. You can get a vaccine for flu before October.
- Avoid going to office or sending children to school if they have cold since there is every chance for spreading the infection.
- It is wise to cover your mouth and nose with soft clothing, while coughing and sneezing to prevent spilling of fine water droplets.
- While having a cold you are likely to lose water ions and hence drink plenty of water daily.
- Wash your hands frequently before eating food and after using toilet.
- Identify the triggers that causes allergic cough and you can also take a shot of allergic cough to prevent them.