Cough is a sudden, forceful sound that is used to release air and clear irritation in the throat or airways. Irritants like smoke, liquids, and improperly swallowing food in the airways can cause cough. Persistent cough, however, is not a good thing. It comes with discomfort and embarrassment, especially with important daily activities. It usually comes with a tight chest, headaches and might even disturb your sleep.
Seasons play a major role in some coughs, especially if everyone around you suddenly has either a dry or wet cough. The dry season or harmattan carries a lot of dust and irritants with the air and it might find its way down your throat, causing cough.
If a cough persists after taking a cough suppressant, you should see a doctor. It could be a symptom of an underlying illness. Here are natural remedies for cough:
1. Saltwater gargle
This remedy has been known for its effectiveness when it comes to treating sore throat and wet cough. Salt water reduces phlegm and mucus in the back of the throat which can lessen the need for cough. To prepare, stir half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Let it stay cool slightly before you put in your mouth, then let it stay at the back of your throat for a few moments before spitting it out. Avoid this with younger children.
Thyme is known for its culinary uses but it also has its medicinal uses. It has antioxidant properties and this could be a remedy for cough. Look for syrups with thyme as an ingredient or make a cup tea by adding two tablespoons of dried thyme to a cup of water. Leave for 10 minutes, strain and drink.
This does not necessarily heal cough but it can help boost the immune system by balancing the bacteria in the gut. It contains lactobacillus, the bacteria that provide relief to common cold.
Bromelain is an enzyme that comes from pineapples. It has anti-inflammatory properties and may also have mucolytic properties, which can break down mucus and remove it from the body.
Steam involves hot water and contact with something. In this case, your body. Make a steam bowl, add herbs or menthol to the hot water and lean over with a towel over your head for at least five minutes.
You should try as much as possible to stay hydrated when you have a cough. This can alleviate cough, cold, running nose or sneezing. Opt for hot beverages and water.
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties and it may ease a dry or asthmatic cough. It can also relieve pain. The anti-inflammatory properties can help relax membrane in the airways. Brew up a ginger tea by adding fresh slices of ginger to a cup of hot water. Allow to stay for a while, add honey to improve the taste and drink.
Honey is a thick brown liquid gotten from bees. It can also relieve cough. It is, in fact, the best remedy for cough, especially dry cough. Add to a cup of warm water or tea.