If you have had a cold before, you’re probably of how painful and irritating it is especially if you cannot sleep at night. The worst part comes when your job involves a lot of speaking, but you cannot speak because of the cough. Although there are numerous treatment procedures for suppressing coughs, you can easily clear that cough with a few ingredients from the kitchen and over the counter drugs.
Home Remedies for Cough
1. Salt Water
Gargling with salt water is the first thing you should do as soon as you feel some soreness in your throat. The salt used helps reduce excess fluid from swelling areas in the throat hence clearing the cough. Gargling is also ideal as it removes any irritants in the throat and thins out the mucus.
2. Throat Lozenges
Taking lozenges has been approved by a study from Wayne University. The study showed that patients who took throat lozenges every three hours after waking up with a sore throat reduced the chances of getting a cold almost by half. This is because the lozenges have the ability to overcome the irritation and hence curb the cough.
While there are those lozenges that contain natural soothing ingredients such as honey, eucalyptus oil and peppermint, there are those that are medicated hence have dextromethorphan as a cough suppressant and benzocaine as an anesthetic. You will also notice that in many homes, children are forced to suck the rock candy to stop a sore throat from progressing into a cough.
3. Warm Liquids
This is a good way of calming soreness in the throat. The fact that warm water does not have any taste might be unappetizing for most people. However, you could use warm soup or herbal tea instead of water.
This mostly works for children under the age of 2 years. Although, the manner in which the vaporubs work remains a mystery to date, a study showed that children could feel relieved and even sleep better after applying vaporubs. Menthol, eucalyptus, and camphor are examples of ingredients behind the soothing effect.
Honey has been used as a throat soothing ingredient since time immemorial. A study at the Penn State School showed that honey helped in clearing throat soreness and reduced coughing. Better yet, is that it helps users sleep better.
There are different ways of using honey.
- For a dry cough, you can take honey mixed with some grape juice. This works better than taking honey with turmeric.
- While taking honey and lemon juice relieves day time coughs, adding a spoon of honey to hot milk before going to bed is best for night time coughs.
- For a very nasty cough, it is advisable to try this out: take 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds in a cup of water and boil them. Once the mixture starts to thicken, drain it out in another cup and add 3 tablespoons of honey and lemon juice. Allow it to cool and take a tablespoon of this mixture every time you feel like coughing.
- Honey can also be used with betel leaves. Wash the betel leaves well, grind them and extract as much juice as you can then add a tablespoon of honey to 2 tablespoons of betel juice. Mix them together and take some 30 minutes after your meals. Continue taking the mixture for five days to get relieve from the cough.
- You could also pour some honey in a bowl and mix with cinnamon to taste then take as needed to clear a cough.
Turmeric is a long-established remedy that many people use with hot milk to relieve coughs. Studies have also proven that turmeric has antibacterial properties.
Here is how to use turmeric:
- Heat a glass of milk.
- Mix half with a teaspoon of turmeric powder.
- Drink it warm for cough relief.
For a turmeric gargle:
- Add half a spoon of turmeric powder to a cup of hot water and a table spoon of salt.
- Use the liquid to gargle and rest assured you will be relieved of the cough.
For a dry cough
- Take turmeric powder, mix it with honey and take it 3 times a day for effectiveness.
According to Dr. Soumya, inhaling some smoke of burning turmeric is also a cough remedy.
- Burn some dried turmeric root. Inhale the smoke and you’ll be good to go.
- Alternatively, you could take some pieces of red charcoal in a small mud pot; add some leaves of any plant and a tablespoon of turmeric powder over the leaves. Gently blow in the mud pot then inhale the smoke emitted.
Taking ginger is one of the easiest remedies of clearing a dry cough. If you cannot chew the ginger raw, you're allowed to take ginger tea which has the same effect. For more information on how to use ginger in relieving a cough, here is a video.
Garlic is yet another effective antimicrobial ingredient used for cough relief. This is because it is believed to lessen cold symptoms, and even clear them.
To use garlic:
- Crush 5 cloves of peeled garlic then mix with ghee and take with warm water for cough and cold relief.
- You could also use garlic to make some rasam soup that is good for soothing your throat and liquefying thick mucus hence making it easy to cough out and remove the phlegm.
- Make a concoction by boiling some pepper for about 20 minutes.
- Add jiggery and a little cumin to the water and drink it.
10. OTC Medications
This is the fastest way to relief a cough. Apart from using the medicated lozenges, you could get cough suppressants from your nearest chemist. They are effective as they have a better way of hacking down a cough hence bringing relief.