Treat A Cough Naturally

Coughing is your body’s way of getting rid of foreign objects from the lungs and airway passages. It is also a way of trying to relieve irritation in an airway. There are two types of coughs, productive and dry. A productive cough produces phlegm and should not be suppressed as it is clearing bacteria harboring fluids from the lungs. Dry coughs are often a sign of lung and airway irritation. It is important to remember that a cough is not a disease but often the SYMPTOM of a disease. Have your cough evaluated by a medical professional before attempting to treat it in order to make sure there is not something seriously wrong.

Why do I have a cough?

  • You may have a viral infection such as a cold.
  • You may have an upper respiratory infection such as pneumonia, brochitis, sinusitis, or tuberculosis.
  • You may have a chronic lung disease such as COPD.
  • Your cough may be caused by acid reflux, heartburn or GERD.
  • You may suffer from postnasal drip where mucus drips down the back of the throat and into the lungs.
  • If you are a smoker or tobacco user your cough may bedue to constant lung irritation.
  • If your cough is non-productive you may be suffering from a bronchospasm caused by lung irritation.
  • Allergies can frequently cause a cough.
  • Exposure to lung irritants such as dust, chemicals and smoke can cause a cough.
  • Certain medications called ACE inhibitors can cause a cough.
  • If your cough is chronic and dry it may be a sign of asthma.

 

How can I prevent a cough?

  • Because coughs are symptoms of other conditions, there is no guaranteed way to prevent them. Reduce your risk of getting a cough by following these tips:
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially in public places and during cold and flu season.
  • Avoid people who are sick, coughing or sneezing.
  • Do not smoke. If you do smoke try to stop.
  • Avoid exposure to second hand smoke wherever possible.
  • Increase your fluid intake to keep your mucus thin.
  • Get vaccinated and keep current.

 

How can I treat cough?

  • Enjoy lots of licorice, especially as licorice tea. It works as a demulcent, something that soothes inflamed and irritated throats.
  • Eat lots of garlic. This one pops up often on home remedy sites and for a reason. Garlic helps to fight bacteria and viruses natural. Plus, it’s an expectorant so it’ll help you cough up all that mucus.
  • Honey is a natural expectorant. Use it to make a warm lemonade, use it in your licorice tea as a sweetener, or mix it in to a before bed drink (if you’re an adult).
  • Make an antiviral tea from ginger and anise seed. Combine 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger, 2 teaspoons of aniseed, and 1 teaspoon of dried licorice root in two cups of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, sweeten with honey and enjoy a half-cup every few hours. Warning: don’t drink more than 3 cups a day.
  • If you can stomach it, make mustard water. Grind up a teaspoon of mustard seeds in a coffee grinder and steep them in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drink in 1/4 cup doses off and on.
  • Pepper, though irritating if sniffed, is a great expectorant. Make pepper tea by steeping a teapoon of black pepper in boiling water for 15 minutes. Sweeten with honey and sip slowly.
  • If your throat is bothering you try a salt water gargle. 1/4 teaspoon of salt in 4oz of warm water. Gargle every 2 hours for best results.
  • Make your own cough syrup. Mix 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 teaspoons peppermint, 2 teaspoons mullein, and 2 teaspoons licorice roots in 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 30 minutes, strain and add 1/2 cup honey. Stir and take 1 teaspoon as needed.
  • Enjoy a bowl of chicken soup. It’s got cysteine which thins phelgm, electrolyts and fluids which keep you from getting dehydrated, and soothes irritated membranes and passageways.
  • Eliminate dairy. Milk thickens phlegm and makes a cough much worse.
  • Make a chest rub out of a few drops each eucalyptus, peppermint and sage essential oils with 2 tablespoons of olive oil to rub on your chest.
  • Take a bath with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil dropped in.

 

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