Coughing is a natural reflex action of the body to clear the throat of mucus or foreign irritants. It’s an important part of our body’s defense against infection, illness, and allergies. Common causes for cough include colds, flu, sinus infections, allergies and asthma. Coughing may also be caused by smoking, asthma, chronic bronchitis, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), postnasal drip and certain medications.

Types of coughs

There are three main types of coughs: dry, productive and whooping.

• A dry cough does not produce any mucus or phlegm and is usually short-lived.

• A productive cough produces mucus or phlegm which may be clear or yellow/green in color. It can also be a sign of more serious conditions such as pneumonia or bronchitis.

• A whooping cough is characterized by rapid, forceful coughing followed by a high pitched “whoop” sound. It is most common in infants and young children, but can also occur in adults.

Here are the top 10 natural home remedies for cough to get relief:

Honey

Honey has a long history of being used as a natural remedy to help soothe coughs and other throat irritations. It is thought that the sweet taste and thick consistency of honey helps coat and sooth irritated throat tissue, helping to reduce inflammation. There is also some evidence that honey can have antibacterial properties which may help fight off infections that can lead to coughing. Furthermore, honey is a natural source of energy and has been known to boost the immune system, helping reduce overall symptoms of colds and respiratory infections.

Because of its potential anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, many people turn to honey as an alternative treatment for their cough. To use honey effectively, it is recommended to take it directly or add it to warm beverages such as tea, lemon water, or honey and apple cider vinegar. If taken regularly, these remedies can help reduce coughing and alleviate throat irritation. However, honey should not be given to children under the age of one due to the risk of botulism poisoning.

Ginger

Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial in treating cough and colds. It contains anti-microbial compounds that can help reduce inflammation and irritation in the throat, providing relief from cough symptoms. Ginger also contains expectorant properties which help to break down mucus and phlegm, helping to expel them from the respiratory system. A tea made from ginger, honey and lemon is a common remedy for coughs as the sweet taste of the honey helps to soothe the throat while the acidic nature of the lemon helps break down mucus. Ginger can also help loosen chest congestion and reduce coughing fits. To make a soothing tea with ginger, simply grate or chop a few slices of ginger and steep them in boiling water. You can also add some honey or lemon juice to the tea for added flavor and efficacy. Since ginger has a strong taste, you can also try adding it to smoothies or juices as well as snacks like cookies, muffins and other baked goods. Additionally, you could also take ginger supplements if you prefer. They are available in capsule form and can be taken as directed on the package.

Lemon

Lemon has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an effective remedy for a cough. The vitamin C in lemon helps to boost the immune system, while the citric acid can help break down phlegm and mucus. Lemon is thought to have antibacterial properties that may help to prevent infection in the respiratory system. To make a lemon remedy for cough, simply add the juice of one freshly squeezed lemon to a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily. Adding honey to this remedy can help soothe a sore throat and relieve coughing. This natural home remedy has been used for centuries as an effective way of treating coughs and colds. Additionally, research suggests that drinking lemon water may reduce inflammation in the throat, making it an even more effective remedy for coughs. Be sure to always use freshly squeezed lemon juice for best results. Avoid using processed store-bought lemon juice as this may contain added sugars and preservatives that could worsen your symptoms.

Garlic

Garlic is an age-old remedy for a variety of ailments. It can help with coughs and colds, too. The active ingredient in garlic, allicin, has some anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce the swelling and irritation in your airways associated with coughing. A 2003 study published in Advances in Therapy showed that aged garlic extract was just as effective as a common over-the-counter cold medication for reducing symptoms of upper respiratory infections.

To get the most benefit out of garlic for a cough, you can make a simple syrup by simmering 3 to 4 cloves of minced garlic in 1 cup (237 ml) of water for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture and add 1 teaspoon (4.9 ml) of honey for sweetness. Take 1 tablespoon (15 ml) every 4 to 6 hours as needed for relief from coughing symptoms. Additionally, you can also add minced garlic cloves to soups, stews, and other dishes you prepare. This may help to reduce coughing and congestion related to a cold.

Turmeric

Turmeric is an ancient herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to treat various health conditions. It contains the active ingredient curcumin, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research suggests that turmeric may help reduce inflammation in the respiratory system, making it effective in relieving coughs. Additionally, its antibacterial properties may help to prevent infection in the lungs. To make a turmeric remedy for cough, mix one teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily. You can also add honey or lemon juice to this remedy to soothe your throat and reduce coughing. Be sure to use freshly ground turmeric as store-bought powders may contain additives and preservatives that could worsen your symptoms.

Onion

Onion is a natural remedy that has been used for centuries as an alternative solution to treating coughs and colds. It is rich in antioxidants, antimicrobials, and anti-inflammatory compounds that help boost the immune system. The allicin found in onions helps to reduce mucus production while providing relief from the irritation caused by coughing. Allicin also helps reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract, making it easier to clear airways of any congestion or phlegm buildup. Ingesting onion may also help to speed up the healing process from cold and flu symptoms. Furthermore, onion can be applied topically as a remedy for chest congestion by either heating a slice of onion and applying it to the chest or inhaling the vapors from a simmering pot of onion. This can help soothe and relax irritated respiratory passages, making it easier to expel mucus and other debris. Onions are considered safe for most people when used as directed, however those with allergies or sensitive skin should use caution when trying this home remedy. It is important to speak with a doctor before trying any home treatments for coughs or colds as some may interact negatively with other medications.

Herbal teas

Herbal teas can be a great remedy for coughs. They contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the throat and get rid of bacteria that can cause irritation. Many herbs such as thyme, licorice root, marshmallow root, ginger, black pepper, clove, sage, fennel, and oregano are known to be helpful in treating coughs. They contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and fight infection. Additionally, herbal teas also help thin mucus, making it easier to expel when coughing.

Herbal teas can be enjoyed both hot or cold as a part of your daily routine. For instance, a cup of thyme tea can be enjoyed as an afternoon beverage or can be added to your dinner. Marshmallow root tea is also great for treating sore throat and coughing.

In addition to drinking herbal teas, other remedies such as gargles with warm salt water, steam inhalation, and drinking plenty of fluids can also help reduce the symptoms of a cough. Drinking herbal tea is not only beneficial for treating your cough but also provides many other health benefits such as improved digestion, immunity boost and relaxation.

Salt water gargle

Salt water gargles are a common home remedy for soothing sore throats and easing coughing symptoms. This method of treatment draws on the healing power of salt, which can help to reduce inflammation in the throat. To perform a salt water gargle, dissolve one teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and stir until fully dissolved. Gargle with the solution for several seconds, and then spit it out. This process can be repeated up to four times a day to help relieve coughing symptoms.

Steam

Steam is another effective home remedy for coughs and sore throats. Inhaling steam from either warm water or herbal tea can help to loosen mucus in the throat, making it easier to expel. To make a steam inhaler, bring a pot of water to boil and set it aside. Place your face directly over the steam, taking care not to scald yourself, and breathe deeply for at least five minutes. Alternatively, tea can be used in place of water by adding two teaspoons of dried herbs such as chamomile, rosemary, or sage to the pot of boiling water. Cover and allow the herbs to steep for several minutes before inhaling the steam. Steam inhalation should be done up to four times a day for best results.

Eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most popular essential oils used in home remedies for cough. It contains cineole, a compound with expectorant properties that help to loosen and expel mucus from the respiratory tract. In addition to this, its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects make it an ideal choice for treating bacteria-related and chronic coughs. To use eucalyptus oil for coughing, you can massage it directly onto the chest, add a few drops to hot water and inhale the steam or diffuse it in your home. However, be sure to dilute it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil to avoid skin irritation and always keep out of reach of children.

Another great way to use eucalyptus oil is in a homemade cough syrup. Combine 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 3 drops of eucalyptus oil into a small jar and mix it well. Take one teaspoon every few hours as needed until your cough subsides. This cough syrup has the added benefit of being delicious and easy to make!

Eucalyptus oil is an effective home remedy for coughs, but it should be used carefully with caution. Always use a carrier oil when applying topically, do not ingest it or give it to children under age 10 as it can be toxic. Be sure to purchase pure, high-quality eucalyptus oil for the best results and maximum effectiveness. If you have any health concerns or are unsure how to use it properly, consult a certified aromatherapist before using it in your home remedies.

What to avoid when having cough?

Coughing is a common symptom of many illnesses, and it can be quite annoying. To help you manage your cough and prevent further complications, here are some things to avoid when you have a cough:

• Avoid smoking or being around second-hand smoke – smoking can irritate the throat, worsening the cough.

• Avoid irritants, like dust and chemical fumes – these can aggravate the throat and worsen coughing.

• Avoid dairy products and other mucus-producing foods – these can increase mucus production, which can make a cough worse.

• Avoid alcohol – this can further irritate an already inflamed throat.

• Avoid cold drinks – these can exacerbate coughing as cold temperatures can aggravate throat irritation.

• Avoid talking too much or shouting – this can further strain and irritate the throat, leading to more coughing.

• Avoid over-the-counter cough medications that contain potentially dangerous ingredients if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Always talk to your doctor before taking any medication.

When to see a doctor?

In some cases, a cough may not be caused by a cold or the flu and could be due to an underlying medical condition. It is important to seek medical help if your cough lasts more than two weeks, worsens, or is accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or fever. These could be signs of an infection, such as pneumonia, or a more serious medical condition.

Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your cough and provide you with the appropriate treatment. Additionally, they can also advise other lifestyle changes that can help manage your symptoms such as quitting smoking or avoiding irritants that may trigger coughing episodes.

Disclaimer

This website does not provide medical advice. 

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