Coughing is usually not an indication of a serious health condition, but it can be very annoying for the individual experiencing it and may make their life more miserable. It can keep the person awake at night and make them feel ever more sick in the morning.
What Causes Coughing?
Cough is a normal protective mechanism that helps to keep the throat or chest free from mucous (phlegm) and other substances that can cause irritations in the air passages.
A cough lasting less than three weeks is called “Acute cough”. It can be caused by infections like common cold or by noninfectious causes like environmental allergies.
Any cough lasting for 8 weeks or more (4 weeks in children) is known as “Chronic cough”.
There are many over-the-counter medicines available that can help you easily treat and mange cough.
However, if you would like take help from the nature then here is a list of 10 natural homemade remedies that can be helpful.
Honey is rich in many nutrients and has proven antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. It has been used as a traditional natural remedy for various microbial infections since ancient times.
It is important to note that many of the health benefits associated with honey is related to natural or organic honey that is not processed in any way.
To avoid risk of infant botulism, honey should not be given to children younger than 1 year.
Honey, lemon and warm water
Lemon is rich in vitamin c which is helpful in strengthening your immune system.
Add two tablespoons of honey into a cup of boiled water. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice into the mixture and drink this mixture at regular intervals to help relieve the cough.
Honey and Pepper
Pepper is rich in vitamins, antioxidants and has antibacterial properties. Mix half tablespoon of honey with a pinch of freshly ground pepper and consume it. To make the pepper even more potent, try to roast them before grinding.
Honey, lemon and garlic
Garlic has been used since ancient times for medicinal purposes due to the presence of a component called Allicin. Honey and lemon can help mask the strong taste and smell of garlic while they add more potency to the mixture.
Crush 2-3 fresh garlic cloves and add it to half a cup of honey and mix. Squeeze half a lemon into this mix and stir. Keep the mixture in refrigerator and consume a tablespoon 2-3 times a day till necessary.
Honey, lemon and ginger
Ginger has also been used since ancient times due to the health benefits it offers. It is effective at fighting infections and can add potency to a mix of honey and lemon.
Used a grater to shred a small price of fresh ginger into half a cup of honey and mix. Squeeze half a lemon into this mix and stir. You could try to experiment by adding garlic to this mix to make a super potent natural anti-cough medicine. Store the mixture in refrigerator.
Add a table spoon of fresh lemon juice to glass of warm water (8 oz. or 225 ml). You may add a pinch of salt or honey for taste to this solution. Lemon juice is rich in vitamin c and this can give your immune system a boost.
Use a grater to shred a chunk of ginger into one liter of water and bring the water to boiling temperature. You may add a pinch of salt or honey for taste.
You can also try to add 3-4 tablespoons of freshly prepared lemon juice to this mixture to maximize the potency of the solution. Let the mixture cool down and drink a glass of warm solution as per requirement.
Thyme is an herb and belongs to the mint family. It has been used for centuries for its antibacterial properties. Just like preparing normal tea with tea leaves, use the thyme plant for making thyme tea.
Green tea with honey
A warm cup of green tea rich in antioxidant can help relieve the cough and reduce associated symptoms. Add 2 tablespoons of honey to make it more potent and improve taste.
Gargling with salt water
Rinsing your throat (Gargling) with salt and warm water is a very effective method for temporary relief from cough and other throat infections.
Dissolve ¼ - ½ teaspoon of salt in a glass of water (8 oz. or 225 ml) and gargle with this warm solution for few minutes.
Note: All the ingredients mentioned above are good for combatting cough. Try to experiment with them at varying proportions to make your own super potent natural cough medicine. You could also combine ground cinnamon, cardamom or aniseed with the above ingredients
Increase fluid intake: Keep yourself hydrated all the time. You can do this by drinking warm cups of above mentioned mixtures, warms soups or by simply drinking plain water. Water helps to make the mucus thinner and easy to cough up.
Use humidifier: Dry air can increase the irritation in your throat and make coughing up the mucus secretions even more difficult. If you live in an area with low humidity, it may be a good idea to use a humidifies to add moisture to the air in your room. Moist air can also help make breathing easier.
Steam: Like using a humidified, inhaling steam can help reduce the irritation in your throat and air ways. Heat water to halfway boiling temperature and then transfer to a suitable bowl. Use a towel over your head and try to inhale the steam for 5 to 10 minutes.
You can add essential oil to the water to make it more potent. Effective essential oil for cough are eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, pine oil, thyme oil.
Steam can cause severe burns! You should be very careful during the steaming process. Stop immediately if you are feeling uncomfortable.
Head position while sleeping: Try to use a supportive pillow to place your head in a slightly elevated position to reduce the likelihood of cough during sleep.
Caution: Natural homemade remedies may help you suppress a cough, but it will not solve the underlying cause of your illness.
Your immune system will need to take care of that and may need some external help in the form of medications.
You need to watch out for the following conditions and consult with your doctor if your health seems to be getting worse.
- If you are having cough with body aches and fever with temperatures over 38ºC or 100.4ºF
- You are having a wet cough (productive cough) which is producing excessive amounts of green mucus. It may also get thicker making you feel uncomfortable.
- If you are coughing up blood or your wet cough is producing mucus stained with blood.
- You are breathing with a whistling or rattling sound (wheezing) in the chest or having breathing difficulty.
Specialist: Pulmonologist is a doctor specialized in diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract.