Although normally associated with cold and flu, cough may occur for various reasons and is a natural reaction of the respiratory system to any foreign particles that are blocking the breathing passage, which could be fluids, mucus or other irritants. Very often, coughing is related to lung problems resulting from smoking or asthma.
While an occasional cough is nothing to worry about, it should be dealt with when it becomes a persistent symptom. Many people tend to reach for over-the-counter medicines when they notice first symptoms of a cough. However, there are many home remedies that might be equally or even more helpful while dealing with a cough.
Types And Causes Of Cough
Coughs are generally divided into dry and wet coughs. When you suffer from a dry cough, which may be often a sign of a viral infection, there is no phlegm. With a wet cough, however, you see the production of fluid secretion in the form of yellowish or greenish sputum, which usually indicates a bacterial infection.
Coughing is usually a symptom of an infection in the upper respiratory system, but can also be a symptom of hay fever and rhinitis. Sometimes it’s caused by irritants, like smoke and dust. In those cases, it lasts up to 3 weeks. If it’s prolonged, it may be a symptom of asthma, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), a sinus infection, pneumonia or bronchitis.
Home Remedies For Cough
If your cough lasts less than a week, you can probably heal it with some simple home remedies. Below we present the list of very effective methods that will help you alleviate the symptoms of a cough and get rid of it in a short time.
Turmeric can be used as a home remedy for a cough in many different forms. You can make a turmeric tea by boiling a teaspoon of turmeric powder in half a cup of water for two minutes. You can also add half a cinnamon stick, which will increase the antiseptic properties of the drink. Take the water off the heat and let it cool for 5 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and mix everything until honey dissolves completely. Drink the turmeric tea throughout the day until you see that the cough symptoms have decreased. You can also prepare more tea straight away and drink it at room temperature later on.
Alternatively, you can roast turmeric root and grind it. Once you get a smooth powder, mix it with honey and water and drink this mixture twice a day. It works best as a remedy for a dry cough.
You can also add a teaspoon to a cup of water and use the solution as a gargle for your throat. Turmeric used in a gargle mixture kills bacteria in the throat and alleviates the pain.
Ginger relieves the pain, stimulates blood circulation and has antibacterial properties. It also stops the tickling sensation at the back of the throat, caused by the postnasal drip. That is why it’s a great remedy for a cough. You can chew on ginger root sprinkled with a pinch of salt if you like the taste of ginger. Alternatively, prepare some ginger tea. Cut a piece of ginger root and crush it as much as you can. Put it into a saucepan and add a cup of water. Bring it to boil, take off the heat and let it steep for 10 minutes. Once the water absorbs the properties from ginger, filter the mixture over a cup and drink the hot liquid. It works best when drunk hot.
Another way to incorporate ginger into your home treatment of a cough is to mix a tablespoon of ginger juice with a teaspoon of honey and a dash of black pepper powder and turmeric. This paste can only be taken in small amounts so don’t take a whole teaspoon at a time. Lick small portions of the paste three to four times a day. This will help you loosen up the mucus and clear up the airways.
If your cough is related to a bacterial infection, you need to increase the level of vitamin C intake. For that, the best option is to drink lemon juice. Obviously, it’s too bitter to be drunk on its own, so you can prepare a lemon syrup at home. Squeeze fresh juice of one lemon and add and an equal amount of honey. Mix the ingredients and you have the syrup ready. Drink a tablespoon of it three times a day.
Alternatively, you can make a drink of two tablespoons of honey, fresh juice of one lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper. It’s got quite a strong and refreshing taste, but it helps fight the cough really fast if drank twice a day.
Garlic is known as a natural antibiotic. You should incorporate it in your diet regardless of the presence or lack of cough symptoms as it has a beneficial influence on various organs and gives a boost to your immune system. It has been proven that eating two cloves of garlic or daily intake of garlic supplements may reduce the probability of bacterial and viral infection by 63%. If you like the taste of garlic, you can simply cut a few cloves into slices or crush them and eat on bread with a bit of olive oil and oregano. If you are not a fan of this flavour, you can boil two crushed cloves of garlic in half a cup of milk and add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture. Drink it twice a day to alleviate the symptoms of a cough and fight any bacterial infection that might have caused the cough. Also, you can prepare many tasty dishes with garlic as it gives meats and fried vegetables.
Onion also fights off infections due to its antibacterial properties. Just cutting the onion is a remedy for a cough because while you’re breathing in the strong vapours of onion, you clear the breathing passages of the upper respiratory system. Once the onion is cut, blend it and add two teaspoons of honey to it. You will get a thick syrup that you should drink three times a day. Also, you can simply incorporate onion in your diet. It works almost the same way regardless of the form, so you can eat it raw, in a salad or make a delicious dish with caramelised onion. The latter on goes well with a wide range of foods and can even accompany sandwiches and pates.