Coughing can be a symptom of many different ailments. Some individuals might develop a cough due to allergies, upset stomach, when a fever is present, or even from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Seeking treatment for a cough is recommended when it is accompanied by body aches and fever as this may be a sign of an upper respiratory infection. Coughs that are not due to a bacterial infection do not need to be treated with an antibiotic. In fact, antibiotics will not work for viral infections, which is why the common cold must simply run its course without them. They can be harmful in some cases, such as by building up an individual's resistance to them as well.
Thankfully, there are simple natural remedies for coughs out there! Get to know them now.
Probiotics are known for providing digestive relief, but not many individuals are aware of their power when it comes to relieving a cough. While they do not directly reduce coughing, they help support the growth of 'good' bacteria in the gut, which can help fight infections responsible for a cough. The probiotic strain Lactobacillus is especially beneficial for reducing the risk and length of the common cold or flu. They are also useful for protecting against certain allergens such as pollen. Probiotics can be purchased in supplement form, as well as many foods contain naturally-occurring probiotics, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, and other fermented foods.
Raw honey is a tried and true (and tasty) method for reducing coughing. One study showed honey might be able to reduce coughs better than some over-the-counter medications containing the cough suppressant dextromethorphan. Individual who want to try honey to help reduce their cough should mix two teaspoons of raw honey into herbal or green tea and a splash of real lemon juice. Honey is soothing to the throat while the lemon juice will help improve any congestion. Eating honey by the spoonful is also effective. However, individuals should be sure to use raw honey that has not been heat-treated and has all of its nutrients intact.
Peppermint leaves are incredibly soothing, making them an excellent remedy for chronic coughing. Menthol is the active ingredient in peppermint, and it is what is responsible for soothing the throat and clearing congestion. It may also help break down mucus. Drinking peppermint tea is an effective way to soothe the throat, and inhaling peppermint essential oil is also beneficial. While individuals can use packaged peppermint tea, they can also use fresh peppermint leaves directly taken from a plant and use those to make a tea. Those who want to inhale the steam should prepare a steam bath by adding a few drops of peppermint essential oil to every one hundred and fifty milliliters of hot water and inhale the water with deep breaths.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapple with amazing anti-inflammatory benefits. It is often used for joint pain and gastrointestinal disorders. Although not well supported, some research suggests pineapple can help reduce coughing by loosening up the mucus in the throat. Indirectly, bromelain reduces inflammation in the body, which helps the immune system get rid of any germs that might be causing the cough. Eating raw pineapple is the best way for the body to absorb bromelain, but it can also be bought in supplement form.
According to one study, participants dealing with acute bronchitis who treated their symptoms with a combination of thyme and ivy leaves saw a fifty percent reduction in their coughing fits. Part of the reason for this is thyme contains anti-inflammatory flavonoids that may be able to relax the throat and reduce coughing. Thyme leaves can be used at home to make tea by crushing the leaves and adding them to one cup of boiling water. Cover the cup and steep the leaves for ten minutes before straining and drinking the boiled water.
Marshmallow root is one of the safest and most effective cough remedies. It contains mucilage and antitussive properties that decrease irritation in the throat due to coughing, reduces inflammation of the lymph nodes, and speeds up recovery from illnesses. When it is combined with other anti-inflammatory and antibacterial herbs, such as slippery elm, marshmallow root has proven to be extremely useful for treating a cold or the flu. Marshmallow is available in supplement form, but many individuals drink hot marshmallow tea to soothe the throat.
Sucking on a lemon might not be the most pleasant way to get rid of a cough, but it might just do the trick. Lemon is a natural disinfectant with antibacterial properties to kill germs and clear congestion in the throat. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which is both soothing and able to fight toxins or irritants in the throat to reduce coughing. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice to eight ounces of water or add to hot tea if needed.
Epsom Salt And Water Gargle
An Epsom salt and water gargle is one of the oldest remedies for treating a sore throat, and it still works wonders today. Epsom salt draws toxins out of the throat while killing germs that may be contributing to a cough. Individuals should mix half a teaspoon of Epsom salt with eight ounces of warm water and gargle several times a day for immediate relief. Avoid using this remedy on children who may accidentally swallow the gargle instead of spitting it out as Epsom salt may have a laxative effect when ingested.
Take A Hot Shower
Hot showers do not just feel good; they also create steam needed to clear congestion and loosen up mucus. Turn the hot water on, close the doors and windows and leave the exhaust fan off to create a steamy room. Even sitting in the bathroom for ten minutes while the shower is on and steam is going will provide relief. Individuals can kick up their remedy even more if they use peppermint essential oil and inhale it along with the steam. However, some evidence indicates individuals with asthma should avoid using a hot shower to reduce coughing as the steam could actually exacerbate their condition.
Homemade Cough Drops
Cough drops are a great way to relieve coughing, but many store-bought cough drops are full of sugar and chemicals that can not only further irritate the throat, but are also not as effective or as healthy as they claim to be (in part due to the sugar content). Individuals can make their own cough drops by whipping half a cup of coconut oil in a blender, adding half a cup of raw honey, a teaspoon of ground organic cinnamon, and one to two drops of thyme or peppermint essential oil. They should then pour the mixture into ice cube trays and freeze for about twenty minutes until they are hard. The cough drops should be stored in the refrigerator.