Cough is a reflex that helps free your airways of irritants (mucus, germs or dust blocking throat or airways). Allergens, medical conditions, medications, and other irritants incite the nerves present in the airways, resulting in the forceful ejection of air from the lungs. Though cough plays an important role in freeing irritants and infections, constant coughing can be bothersome. Home remedies or natural treatments are the best treatment for cough patients depending on their underlying cause that might be allergy, infection, and acid reflux.
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It has antibacterial properties and can also help coat the throat, relieving irritation. It can be consumed directly or add it to warm water or herbal tea and consume once or twice daily.
Note – Should not be given to children under 1 year of age. Avoid infant botulism, an unusual complication that can occur in infants.
It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts the immune system, also relieving pain and discomfort. Thus, ginger tea (prepared by adding fresh ginger slices to hot water & letting it steep for a few minutes) is quite comforting. Adding honey or lemon juice improves the taste and also calms the cough.
It contains curcumin (a compound which may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral as well as antibacterial properties) which is best absorbed into the bloodstream when taken with black pepper. Ayurvedically, turmeric has been known to treat upper respiratory conditions, bronchitis, and asthma.
4. Masala Chai
It contains cloves & cardamoms which are antioxidant ingredients plus cinnamon that has anti-inflammatory properties. Masala chai is highly refreshing & relieving for dry cough & sore throat.
5. Marshmallow Roots
This herb has antibacterial properties & is used in cough syrups & lozenges. It soothes the throat and lessens irritation caused by cough due to its high mucilage content.
6. Slippery elm
Alike marshmallow root, slippery elm contain a high level of mucilage. Tea prepared by adding slippery elm to hot water & steeping for 10 minutes soothes sore throat & cough.
It’s antibacterial & antiviral properties relieve congestion. It contains menthol which numbs the irritated nerve endings in the throat. Sucking peppermint lozenges or drinking peppermint tea suppresses the urge to cough & eases pain. Aromatherapy treatment using peppermint essential oil may prove beneficial.
It may work as decongestant and aid easing dry cough. It can be added to a diffuser, spritzer or an inhaler else may be rubbed on the chest to help break up mucus.
It is a compound found in chili peppers & has proven to reduce chronic coughing. Cayenne (a type of chili pepper) can be steeped in warm water or add cayenne hot sauce in water as per requirement/capacity (the heat that can be handled). This treatment is not suggested for children.
Present in Pineapple is an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory & mucolytic properties (can break down mucus & remove it from the body). Bromelain supplements are available too but it is advisable to consult a doctor before trying it.
It is a natural remedy for cough, sore throat, bronchitis & digestive issues. A cough syrup containing this herb is effective else add dried thyme to hot water & steep for 10 minutes. Strain & consume this tea to benefit from the antioxidants in the plant.
They boosts the immune system by balancing the bacteria in the gut. A type of probiotic (bacteria called Lactobacillus) is highly beneficial in preventing cold. Foods naturally rich in probiotics include natural yogurt, miso soup, sauerkraut & kimchi.
Liquids at room temperature are capable of relieving cough, runny nose & sneezing. Hot beverages such as herbal teas, warm water, decaffeinated black tea, etc. benefit sore throat, chills & fatigue.
14. Gargle with salt water
Gargling with salt water soothes the nerve endings in the throat & also kills bacteria that cause irritation or urge to cough.
Adding herbs or essential oils, for example, eucalyptus, rosemary, etc. to a bowl of hot water & inhaling the steam may relieve decongestion.
16. Diet changes
Avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux (a common cause of cough) is the best way to manage it though it is not as easy as it sounds. Reflux triggers may vary from person to person so it needs monitoring & identification. Alcohol, caffeine, citrus foods, mint, fried & fatty foods, tomatoes, garlic, onions, spices & spicy food as well as chocolates are a few that trigger acid reflux most commonly.
17. Air purifiers
They rid the homes of dust, smoke & reduce allergens like pet dander & pollen.
If your home has dry air, run a humidifier (puts moisture into the air) to help reduce a dry cough.
- Some herbs and supplements can interfere with medications, resulting in unwanted side effects.
- Capsaicin-based treatments aren’t advised for children.
- People who take blood thinners or specific antibiotics should not take bromelain.
Home Remedies for cough are the best option as antihistamine medication may provide immediate relief but maybe drying & cause drowsiness. In case of severe/persistent cough always consult a doctor.