8 Surprising Natural Remedies for Cough
Coughing might seem to be disgusting or sometimes rude when you do it in public. But in reality, coughing is normal and it’s your body’s way of getting rid of mucus, smoke, or allergies.
It is both a voluntary and involuntary act to clear the throat and breathing passage of any foreign particles, microbes, irritants, fluids, and mucus; it is a rapid expulsion of air from the lungs.
A cough has many different causes and treatments. And to make it helpful and give you awareness, we will tackle the different types of coughs and how we could treat it with natural remedies.
1. DRY COUGH
From its name, this type of cough doesn’t give out mucus. It gives a sensation as if something is tickling the back of your throat and is quite irritating. It can occur for several weeks and is caused by different factors such as: asthma, laryngitis, sore throat, tonsillitis, allergies, sinusitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
2. WET COUGH
This type of cough gives out mucus or phlegm and is the opposite of a dry cough. This is the type of cough that disgusts some people because of the presence of phlegm. Some of its causes are respiratory infection, chronic lung condition, and heart conditions.
3. CROUP COUGH
It is a viral infection and typically targets young children. This type of cough causes the upper airway to have swelling and irritation. If swelling continues, the airway becomes more narrow, then you’ll have difficulty breathing. Kids are affected with this type of cough due to their narrow airways.
4. PAROXYSMAL COUGH
This cough is very uncontrollable. If you happen to contract this type of cough you will feel exhaustion and pain. This results in difficulty breathing and even vomiting. One example is, Pertussis — a bacterial infection with violent coughs. It takes about 7-10 days for symptoms to appear and are usually mild at first and mimics common colds but after several weeks, it can result in vomiting and extreme fatigue. This usually affects children and can be cured with a Pertussis vaccine.
To avoid having to deal with all of them, here are natural remedies for cough that are surprisingly effective:
This simple ingredient has been known to relieve sore throats and other related conditions. According to some studies, honey can work more effectively than your usual cough medicine. In a study published in a journal Pediatric Clinics of North America, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections from cough were given up to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime. Not only did it reduce nighttime coughing, it also improved their sleep. Another study published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that honey had modest benefits in reducing nocturnal cough in children ages 2–18 years old and never younger than 2 years of age.
You can create your own concoction at home by mixing up to 2 teaspoons of honey with herbal tea or warm water and lemon. The honey helps relieve, while the lemon juice can help with congestion.
Peppermint leaves are known for their healing properties. Menthol in peppermint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, helping to break down mucus and clears the sinuses. An example of a product that uses peppermint or menthol scent is Vicks which is also used as an inhaler if ever you have coughs or colds since it relieves the throat and sinus. Drinking peppermint tea or by inhaling peppermint vapors are beneficial.
3. PINEAPPLE - Bromelain
You don’t usually think of pineapple as a medicine, but that’s probably because you have never tried it. Well, based on numerous research blogs and more, I stumbled upon Pineapple which has one ingredient that can be used as medicine, and that’s called, Bromelain. Even though there is still insufficient evidence to support this being a cure for cough, some people still believe and use it. Bromelain — an enzyme found in pineapples that helps fight pain and swelling. It can help suppress coughs as well as loosen the phlegm in your throat. Even if the effectiveness of pineapple as a remedy for cough is still in question, there still are nutritional properties that show it being able to relieve symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems. It is not known that Bromelain specifically relieves or treats a cough, but because of these other properties, it may help reduce cough symptoms depending on the type of cough.
To make the most of pineapple and bromelain, eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3.5 ounces of fresh pineapple juice three times a day.
4. SALT AND WATER
This might be the easiest and most accessible cough remedy since it only uses two ingredients. Salt and water made as a gargle can help soothe a scratchy throat that causes you to cough. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, suggested that a simple salt and water gargle tends to weaken the common cold thus, stopping symptoms of cough.
To make this simple mouthwash, mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water and gargle as needed. Note that children under age 6 aren’t especially good at gargling.
The licorice root has already been used as a traditional cough syrup and has been sweared by many moms. It contains antiviral and antimicrobial. properties which can help relieve skin infections, sore throat, and even coughs. Additionally, a study in mice found that components in licorice could decrease cough frequency by between 30 and 78%. The study also found that the licorice compounds can act as expectorants, which may help loosen up mucus. Note that pregnant women should avoid using licorice root. Also, keep in mind that consuming large quantities of licorice root can potentially cause high blood or drops in potassium levels.
To make this concoction, add 1 tablespoon of chopped licorice root to 1 cup of water; Bring water to a boil; Boil for about 10 minutes, allowing to cool for several minutes afterward and; Strain before serving.
This is an ingredient that has always been used for food or drinks. But you should know that it has a wide variety of health benefits as well. Evidence has shown that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. That’s why ginger can definitely relieve sore throats and airways. Consuming too much ginger may have side effects such as abdominal discomfort, heartburn, and diarrhea.
To make this concoction, peel and thinly slice 3 one-inch pieces of ginger, adding to 4 cups of boiling water. Boil it for about 15 minutes, and strain before drinking.
7. MARSHMALLOW ROOT
Marshmallow?! No, it is not the marshmallow we consume. Marshmallow root actually comes from a plant and has been used in herbal medicine for centuries. This herbal medicine was used to ease coughs, colds, and skin problems. This acts as an enzyme to help loosen mucus and expel bacteria.
To make this concoction, stir 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root into 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover and allow to steep for 6 to 8 hours. Strain before drinking.
Thyme, as you may know, is a spice you use to flavor your food, but no that’s not all, you can use thyme to treat some conditions. The leaves contain compounds called flavonoids that relax the throat and lessen swelling to stop coughing.
You can make thyme tea at home using 2 teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Cover the cup, steep for 10 minutes, and strain.
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