March 28, 2023

Natural Cough Remedies

From everyday colds and allergies to flu andCOVID-19, there are so many reasons we cough. Even gastroesophageal reflux disease and harmless heart palpitations can cause cough. When it’s mild or infrequent, coughing can be easily ignored. But when coughing becomes chronic or strong, it’s time to take action.

The first thing you should do if you are experiencing a nagging cough that interferes with your daily activities, even if it’s not accompanied by other symptoms, is schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to determine the cause of the cough. This can help you rule out any chronic conditions or infections in need of treatment.

Whatever the cause of your cough, you can treat it with a cough suppressant, which is a type of cough medicine that blocks your cough reflex. Cough suppressants are especially appropriate for a dry cough that doesn’t produce mucus. For wet coughs, many healthcare providers recommend instead that you choose a cough expectorant, which thins mucus to make it easier for you to clear it from your respiratory system. Either way, you can choose a cough medicine – or you can try natural cough remedies for cough treatment at home. Here are some of the most effective home remedies for cough.

Honey. Reach into your pantry for this staple ingredient, which can soothe a sore throat and suppress cough. In fact, honey has been shown to be even more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup and can kills germs. You can stir 2 teaspoons of honey into warm tea or mix it with hot water and lemon juice. Only give honey to children over the age of 1 due to the risk of infant botulism, a rare type of food poisoning.

Fluids, steam and vapor. Hydrating, especially with warm beverages such as tea, can help thin mucus and calm cough. A natural expectorant, water can also soothe a dry, irritated throat. Avoid sweetened and carbonated beverages. You can also try a saltwater gargle, mixing ¼ to ½ teaspoon with a cup of warm water. Breathing in steam can help calm cough and moisturize your airways. Simply bend over a bowl of steaming water, using a towel to help trap in the steam, and breathe in. Adding peppermint essential oil can enhance the effectiveness, and humidifiers can also help.

Peppermint and menthol. Speaking of peppermint, this herb is an excellent natural cough suppressant. In fact, it’s the source for menthol, widely used in over-the-counter cough treatments. Peppermint tea or essential oil vapors can be especially calming for cough. Menthol is also found in some natural-ingredient cough drops.

Ginger. While ginger is a popular go-to for treating digestive upset, it’s also great at soothing cough due to anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation in the throat. Drinking warm ginger tea can help reduce throat irritation and clear mucus, and it’s easy to make. Simply boil a one-inch slice of ginger root in a cup of water for 10 to 15 minutes or buy ginger tea bags and steep according to package directions.

Other herbs and compounds. If you prefer, you can try a variety of other herbs known to act as natural cough remedies. These include marshmallow root (made from the Althaea officinalis flower), thyme leaves, slippery elm and turmeric. Bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple, may also be effective. You can also try elderberry, which may help your cough resolve faster.

If your cough becomes severe, causing shortness of breath or making it difficult to breathe, come to Laredo Emergency Room. We can examine you for conditions such as pneumonia or other infections and provide the treatment you need to breathe easier.

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