Although coughing is a common health issue among kids and adults, it can be extremely painful and irritating. It can lead to sleepless nights and can stop us in our tracks, disrupting our daily activities.
Though there are a lot of cough medicines available in the market, keeping a ready supply of natural cough remedies at home can be very helpful. Remember, however, to always consult your doctor if you are suffering from a very bad or persistent cough.
Here are the top 10 natural remedies you can keep at hand for when someone in the household suffers from cough:
Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help ease a dry or asthmatic cough. One study suggests that these anti-inflammatory compounds in ginger relax membranes in the airways which help reduce coughing. It can also relieve nausea and pain.
To use it as a natural cough remedy, you can brew up and drink a soothing ginger tea. Add 20-40 grams of fresh slices to a cup of hot water. Leave it for a few minutes before drinking. You can also add some honey or lemon juice to improve its taste.
Know, however, that ginger tea can cause stomach upset or heartburn in some cases.
Honey is known to be a natural remedy for various health issues, including a sore throat. Additionally, some research found out that it can also ease coughing more than some over-the-counter drugs that contain a cough suppressant called dextromethorphan (DM).
In taking advantage of it as a natural cough remedy, mix up 2 teaspoons of honey with herbal or lemon tea. It can help soothe coughing while lemon juice can decongest your airways. Drink this mixture once or twice a day. You can also simply eat a spoonful of honey or spread it on bread.
Popularly used among respiratory illnesses, one study suggests that the essence extracted from thyme leaves mixed with ivy can also relieve coughing and short-term bronchitis. Its leaves contain flavonoids, an active compound which helps relax throat muscles and reduce inflammation.
Create thyme tea at home by mixing 2 teaspoons of crushed leaves and a cup of boiling water. Cover the cup and steep for 10 minutes before straining.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the many types of vinegar made from converting the sugars in apples through a multistep fermentation process. With its antibacterial properties, it can help a person recover faster from a cough.
Warm 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water, but do not bring it to boil. Then, pour it in a cup and let it cool. You can drink it a maximum of two times per day to recover faster from cough. Do not give it to children under 3 years old.
5. Salt and Water
If you are suffering from a scratchy throat that causes you to cough, a simple salt and water gargle can help relieve it. It can ease discomfort and irritation while also killing bacteria in the mouth and throat.
Stir half a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water until it dissolves. Then, allow the solution to cool down a bit before using it to gargle. It is not recommended for young children as they can swallow the saltwater.
6. Eucalyptus Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the popular use of essential oils to soothe and heal various health problems. Eucalyptus oil used in aromatherapy can help ease a dry cough by working as a decongestant.
You can try adding eucalyptus oil to a diffuser, spritzer, or inhaler as a natural cough remedy. You can also add a few drops of it into a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. If coughing is keeping you awake at night, scenting your room with eucalyptus can help you sleep better.
Peppermint provides pain relief and reduces your urge to cough through its menthol content. This ingredient helps numb nerve endings in the throat that become irritated by coughing. Peppermint also reduces congestion in your airways and contains both antibacterial and antiviral properties.
There are a lot of ways to use peppermint as a natural cough remedy. You can consume peppermint lozenges or drink peppermint tea. It is recommended to take this tea right before bed to help ease nighttime coughing. Similar to eucalyptus, its essential oil can also be used as an aromatherapy treatment.
Your doctor has probably told you to stay hydrated if you are suffering from cough and colds. This means that you need to drink lots of liquids at room temperature to alleviate cough, sneezing, and a runny nose.
However, people who want to ease additional symptoms of a cold or flu can benefit from hot beverages. Studies suggest that hot drinks can also ease a sore throat, fatigue, and chills. Some of the warm beverages that can help comfort these symptoms include clear broths, warm water, decaffeinated black tea, hot fruit juices, and herbal teas.
9. Marshmallow Root
Marshmallow root (Althaea Officinalis) is a perennial herb native to Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa. It has a long history of use as a treatment for digestive, respiratory, and skin conditions, including coughs and sore throats.
Marshmallow root is rich in mucilage, a thick gluey substance that coats the throat. Taking this herb as a natural cough remedy can help ease irritation caused by coughing. It is readily available as a dried herb or bagged tea in various health stores. You can simply add hot water into either of these and drink it after it has slightly cooled down. The longer the marshmallow root steeps in the water, the more mucilage will be in the drink.
Pineapple can sound like an unusual natural cough remedy to many, but its bromelain content is what makes it an effective way to soothe a cough. Bromelain — an enzyme only found in the fruit and the stem of pineapples — effectively suppresses coughs and loosens the mucus in your throat.
You can simply eat a slice of pineapple or drink 3 to 4 ounces of its fresh juice thrice a day to take advantage of its benefits. Some studies suggest that it can also treat inflammation and swelling. However, you need to be careful in using bromelain supplements when you’re on antibiotics as it can increase antibiotic absorption.
Avoid the irritating cough with these helpful natural remedies — some you can even grow at home in your herbal garden! If you want to know more valuable health and gardening tips, make sure to check our blog site too.