Coughing is the body’s way of clearing irritants and infections in the airways between the throat and lungs. However, persistent coughing can be the symptom of a number of conditions such as bacterial infection, allergy or viral infection. A chronic cough can be a sign of a serious health issue, but most people consider a common cough to be nagging than a health issue. There are several ways to get rid of a cough faster using natural remedies. Coughs are of different types which include dry, wet or whooping. You can treat a cough using over the counter medicines. Bacterial infections require antibiotics instead. Nevertheless, for those who want to avoid chemicals altogether, below we’ve outlined natural home remedies that could help.
Honey has been scientifically proven to treat coughs and sore throat. It’s an effective cough reliever than over the counter medicines that contain dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant. You can take it straight or make honey tea by mixing two teaspoons of honey with warm water and lemon.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in the stem and fruit of pineapples. Bromelain has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to that, evidence suggests that bromelain has mucolytic properties meaning it can loosen the mucus in your throat and remove it from the body. Drinking four ouches of fresh pineapple juice or eating a slice of pineapple three times a day can help reduce mucus and suppress a cough. Bromelain supplements are also available and can be more effective at treating cough. However, if you’re on antibiotics you should avoid these supplements. Also, adults and children who take blood thinners should not take bromelain supplements. Consult your doctor first before taking these supplements.
Thyme is an effective treatment for coughs, sore throat, bronchitis, respiratory illnesses, and whooping cough. Studies suggest that an essence extracted from thyme leaves mixed with ivy helps relieve coughing. Thyme leaves contain a cough-calming compound called flavonoids that relaxes the throat muscles and tracheal. You can make thyme tea by adding two teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves in one cup of boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Add honey and lemon for extra soothing effects.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can ease a dry or an asthmatic cough as well as relieve nausea and pain. The anti-inflammatory compound in ginger helps in relaxing airways membrane thus reducing coughing. Add 20-40g of fresh ginger slices to a cup of hot water to make ginger tea. Then you can add lemon or honey to improve the taste and increase the soothing effects.
Probiotics provide several health benefits to the body. While they don’t relieve a cough directly, probiotics boost the immune system by balancing your gastrointestinal flora, a bacteria that live in your intestines. Due to this balance, your immune system is well supported and is able to fight off infections causing coughs. According to research, lactobacillus, a bacterium in dairy, provides modest benefits in preventing common cold or flu and reduce sensitivity to certain allergens like the pollen. You can acquire probiotic supplements at a health food store and drug stores. Further, probiotics are present in miso soup, some yogurts, and sourdough bread.
Marshmallow roots and leaves were used in ancient times to treat sore throats and suppress coughs which is still applicable in the modern world. Additionally, marshmallow can ease irritation and it contains mucilage, a thick glue substance that coats the throat thus soothing it. You can obtain marshmallow roots as a dried herb, bagged tea or capsules. The marshmallow tea can be soothing to a throat. The roots are not recommended for children.
Salt and Water Gargle
This remedy may appear simple but it’s one of the most effective ways to treat a sore throat and wet cough. Salt and water help reduce phlegm and mucus thus soothing a scratchy throat that causes you to cough. Mix a teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water and allow it to cool before you gargle. Let the mixture sit at the back of the throat for a few seconds before you spit out. Gargling several times, a day can improve a cough tremendously. Avoid giving children under the age of six since they aren’t good at gargling.
Apart from learning how to treat a cough, it’s important you know how to prevent it in the first place. You should avoid coming into contact with people who are sick. If your flu is caused by allergy, you should identify the allergens that affect you and avoid exposure to them. Note that the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor herbs and supplements. Therefore, if you are obtaining them from an untrustworthy store you might be at risk of having a low-quality product. This can lead to infections and other illness. Hence, you need to find a store that is trusted and reputable when buying herbal supplements.