Cough and cold, though not serious in all cases, do disrupt our lives. 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.
There are two primary types of coughs, dry and productive. A productive cough is one in which you are coughing up phlegm or mucous-this is not a cough that should be suppressed, as your body needs to rid itself of the gunk that’s in your chest/lungs. While it shouldn’t be suppressed, some of these remedies will address a productive cough by including an expectorant, or something that loosens mucous and makes it easier for the body to get rid of.
A dry cough is one caused by allergies, dry air, a random tickle at the back of your throat that won’t go away, the aftermath of a cold, being in a dusty environment, etc. etc. For these we turn to demulcents, ingredients that soothe irritated mucous membranes and remove the irritant triggering the cough.
1. Using Turmeric for 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.
Turmeric gargle: A turmeric gargle also gives good results. To one cup of hot water, add in half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a teaspoon table salt. Use this liquid as a throat gargle and you are sure to experience relief from cough.
2. Ginger Syrup
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.
3. Honey and Lemon Juice
Cough medicine is a waste of money: NHS recommends homemade honey and lemon remedy instead
Lemon is very high in vitamin C; in fact, the juice of one lemon contains 1/3 of the recommended daily allowance for an adult. Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins to help the immune system and it also acts as another powerful anti-oxidant. Lemons also have been shown to have very strong antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Honey has known antibacterial properties that can rid your body of the harmful bacteria causing the cough. Honey is full of vital nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium and fluoride that repair and stimulate tissue growth and act as anti-oxidants to remove the harmful free radicals that are in your body. The best honey is low in water content so naturally attracts water to be used in surrounding tissues.
The simplest recipe is a combination of 1-cup of warm, local honey and 3-tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Add ¼ cup of warm water the mixture and then stir until smooth.
Take 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture at the first sign of cough and be sure to take a dose before bed for a good night’s sleep.
Refrigerated, the leftover mixture so be fine for up to a month.
One of nature’s best cures for coughs: garlic. It’s full of antibiotic and antiviral properties; plus, garlic is also an expectorant, so it helps you cough up stubborn bacteria and/or mucus that are languishing in your lungs.
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.
The onion, like all members of the allium family, is rich in sulfur. That sulfur content can lend the onion antibiotic and antiseptic qualities that are often put to good use by the naturopath or home remedy practitioner for both internal and external use. For centuries, onions have been touted as the one thing that might be able to kill a flu infection, and many families have passed that remedy through the generations!
In particular, onions are recommended for respiratory conditions, including coughs and colds. Taken raw it can be a good expectorant. Onion juice mixed equally with honey is a popular cough syrup. Their flavonoids and sulfur compounds make onions beneficial for the heart, cholesterol levels, diabetes, arthritis, and generally as an antioxidant.
6. Jaggery Remedies to Get Rid of Sputum
Sputum buildup can lead to a feeling of congestion in the chest and the entire respiratory tract; expelling this sputum therefore provides relief from cough and congestion.
Boil a few corns of pepper with water for about 20 minutes; mix in a little cumin and jaggery and drink. Cut a quarter part of an onion, keep a small bit of jaggery in the middle of it and chew on this for expelling sputum.
7. Drink Warm Liquids
A cough is best not neglected because it can lead to certain complications at times. Drinking warm water is a good way of soothing the inflammation in the throat , but this does not have any taste and may be unappetizing for most people. A warm soup is a much better solution as is a glass of hot herbal tea.
As soon as you feel soreness in your throat, make it a point to gargle with salt dissolved in warm water. The salt in the water can help drain excess fluid from inflamed areas in the throat reducing the symptoms. According to the Mayo clinic book of home remedies, the gargling also removes irritants in the throat and thins the mucus.