Coughing is one of the most common health problems. When there is a blockage or irritant in your throat or upper air passages, your brain thinks a foreign element is present and tells your body to cough to remove that element. Coughing can also be due to a viral infection, common cold, flu, and smoking or health problems such as asthma, tuberculosis, and lung cancer.
Some of the symptoms of a cough are itchy throat, chest pain, and congestion. Instead of using over-the-counter cough syrups, you can try some natural cough treatments using readily available ingredients in your kitchen.
How to Prevent Coughing
As well as learning how to treat a cough, you might also want to learn how to prevent them in the first place. To prevent against flu, make sure you get your annual flu shot, and wash your hands as often as possible.
With allergies, you can reduce flare-ups by identifying the allergens that affect you and avoiding exposure to them. Common allergens include trees, pollen, dust mites, animal fur, mold, and insects. Allergy shots are helpful as well and can reduce your sensitivity to allergens. Talk to your doctor about what plan is right for you.
Symptoms to Watch Out For
Respiratory tract infections involve body aches and fever, whereas allergies do not. You should see a doctor if you develop a fever or experience chills, as these symptoms can be a sign of a serious lung infection like bronchitis. You should also seek medical attention if your cough is violent or you produce thick, bad-smelling, off-colored phlegm.
You can treat coughs due to colds, allergies, and sinus infections with a number of over-the-counter medicines. However, for those who prefer to avoid chemicals, we’ve listed a few home remedies that can help.
The herb turmeric has a therapeutic effect on coughs, particularly a dry cough.
- Heat half a cup of water in a boiling pot. Add one teaspoon turmeric powder, and one teaspoon black pepper. You may also add cinnamon sticks. Boil this for about two to three minutes. Add one tablespoon of honey. Drink this daily until the condition improves.
- Alternatively, make an herbal tea by adding one teaspoon of turmeric powder and one teaspoon of carom seeds to a cup of water, and boil it until water reduces to one-half cup. Add some honey and drink this herbal solution two to three times a day.
- Another way to use turmeric is to roast turmeric root and grind it into a smooth powder. Mix it with water and honey, and drink it twice a day.
Ginger is one of the most popular natural cures for a cough.
- Cut fresh ginger into small slices and crush them slightly. Put them in a cup of water and bring to a boil. Drink this herbal solution three to four times a day for relief from sore throat, non-stop coughing and even congestion. You can also some lemon juice and honey to it.
- Another option is to chew fresh raw ginger on and off throughout the day to reduce your cough.
Lemons can be used in a variety of ways for curing coughs. Lemons have properties that reduce inflammation and also provide a dose of infection-fighting vitamin C.
- A simple cough syrup can be made by combining two tablespoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of honey. Drink this healthy syrup several times a day.
- Another way to use lemons is to blend lemon juice with a little honey and a pinch of cayenne pepper and then drink it.
Garlic has both antibacterial and antimicrobial components that help treat coughs.
- Boil two to three cloves of garlic in a cup of water and add a teaspoon of oregano. Allow it to cool to room temperature, add some honey and drink it. This will help your breathing and alleviate other cough symptoms.
- Eat a clove of crushed garlic mixed with a few drops of clove oil and some honey for sore throat relief. You can also use garlic in your cooking.
One of the simplest home remedies for a cough is to cut onions. Breathing in the strong vapors can help stop coughing.
- You can also make a cough syrup from baked onion juice, comfrey tea and honey. Drink it daily to get relief from a dry cough.
- Another option is to combine one-half teaspoon of onion juice with one teaspoon of pure honey. Swallow this solution at least twice a day to alleviate a cough and soothe your throat.
- Hot Milk with Honey
Hot milk with honey can relieve a dry cough and reduce chest pain you may be experiencing from continuous coughing. For best results, drink it before going to sleep. For added benefits from the analgesic properties of honey, swallow a teaspoon of plain honey on empty stomach. This will help clear the mucus and soothe your throat.
Cayenne helps reduce chest pain due to continuous coughing. It is also warming and stimulating.
- Make a healthy cough syrup by mixing one-fourth teaspoon cayenne pepper, one-fourth teaspoon ground ginger, one tablespoon honey, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of water.
- Drink the syrup two to three times a day.
- Carrot Juice
Carrots have many vitamins and nutrients that can help relieve various symptoms of a cough.
- Make fresh juice from four to five carrots and add some water to dilute it. For taste and added benefits, add one teaspoon of honey.
- Drink the juice three to four times a day until your symptoms improve.
Grapes have properties that act as an expectorant, releasing the mucus from the affected parts of your respiratory system. The faster you get rid of the mucus, the faster your coughing will end. You can simply eat grapes or make some fresh grape juice. Grape juice with a spoonful of honey will be soothing as well as effective.
Almonds have nutritional properties that play a proactive role in healing cough symptoms.
- Soak five to six almonds in water for 8 to 10 hours.
- Make a smooth paste out of the soaked almonds and add one teaspoon of butter.
- Eat it three to four times a day until your symptoms go away.
These home remedies can give you relief from the various symptoms of a cough without the side effects that come with pills and cough syrups. But if you have continuous coughing for more than two weeks, consult your doctor.