In general, the cough is completely normal. A cough can help keep your throat free of mucus and other irritants. However, a prolonged cough may also be a symptom of many conditions, such as an allergy, a viral infection or a bacterial infection.
Sometimes, the cough is not due to anything related to the lungs. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also cause coughing.
It can treat coughs caused by colds, allergies and frontal cavity infections with various over-the-counter medications. Bacterial infections require antibiotics. For those who prefer to avoid chemicals, we have listed a number of home remedies that can help.
1. Honey Honey is a traditional remedy for sore throats. According to one study, it could also relieve cough more effectively than over-the-counter medications containing dextromethorphan (DM), a cough suppressant.
You can make your own home remedy by mixing up to 2 teaspoons of honey with herbal tea or warm water and lemon. Honey is soothing, while lemon juice can help with congestion. You can also simply eat honey by spoon or sprinkle on bread as a snack.
Probiotics are micro-organisms that can offer many health benefits. Although they do not directly relieve coughing, they help maintain the balance of the gastrointestinal flora. The gastrointestinal flora is the bacterium that lives in your intestines.
This balance can support the function of the immune system throughout the body. Evidence also suggests that Lactobacillus, a bacterium present in dairy products, can reduce the risk of colds or flu and sensitivity to certain allergens, such as pollen.
Enriched milk is an excellent source of lactobacilli. But be careful because dairy products can make the mucus swell. You can also buy probiotic supplements at most health food stores and pharmacies. Each supplement manufacturer may have different recommended daily doses. Probiotics are also added to some types of yogurt and are found in miso soup and sourdough bread.
Usually, do not think of pineapple as a cough remedy, but it’s probably because you’ve never heard of bromelain. There are indications that bromelain, an enzyme found only in the stem and in pineapple fruit, can help suppress coughs and reduce mucus in the throat. To get the most out of the benefits of pineapple and bromelain, eat a piece of pineapple or drink juice from three fresh pineapples three times a day.
Some also claim that it can help relieve sinusitis and sinus deficits due to allergies, which can contribute to coughs and mucus. However, there is not enough evidence to support that. It is also sometimes used to treat inflammation and swelling.
Children or adults on anticoagulants should not take bromelain supplements. Also be careful with bromelain if you also use antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, as this may increase the absorption of the antibiotic. Always consult your doctor before using new or unknown supplements.
Mint leaves are known for their healing properties. Mint mint soothes the throat and acts as a decongestant, which helps break down mucus. You can enjoy it by drinking mint tea or inhaling the vapors of mint in a steam bath. To prepare a steam bath, add 3 or 4 drops of peppermint oil per 150 ml of hot water. Place a towel over your head and breathe deeply directly onto the water.
Marshmallow is made from Althaea officinalis, a perennial that blooms in summer. The leaves and roots of the grass have been used since ancient times to treat sore throats and fight coughs. No well-controlled studies have been done to support these claims, but this plant is generally considered safe.
The marshmallow spice contains mucus that surrounds the throat and relieves irritation.
Nowadays, you can get marshmallow root in tea or capsule form. Hot tea can be soothing for a cough with a sore throat. Marshmallow root is not recommended for children.
Thyme is used by some people to cure respiratory diseases. One study suggests that the essence extracted from thyme leaves mixed with ivy can help relieve coughs and bronchitis in the short term. The leaves contain compounds called flavonoids that relax the throat muscles involved in coughing and reduce inflammation.
You can make thyme tea at home with 2 teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves and 1 cup of boiling water. Cover the cup, stand for 10 minutes and strain.
7. Salt and water gargle.
Although the remedy seems relatively simple, a gargle of salt and water can help ease the sore throat that causes coughing. Mix 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water can help relieve irritation.
Remember that children under 6 are not very good at gargling. It is best to try other remedies for this age group.
How to Prevent Cough
In addition to learning to control your cough, you may want to learn how to avoid it. To avoid influenza, you should usually get an annual flu vaccine starting in October. Other steps to follow are:
Avoid contact with other sick people. If you know that you are ill, avoid going to work or school not to pollute others.
Close your nose and mouth every time you cough or sneeze. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
Regularly clean the common areas of your home, work or school. This is especially true for accountants, toys or mobile phones.
Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing, eating, using the toilet or treating someone who is ill.
With allergies, you can reduce relapse by identifying allergens that affect you and avoid exposure. The most common allergens are tree, pollen, mite, animal hair, fungi and insects. Allergy shots are also useful and can reduce your sensitivity to allergens. Discuss with your doctor what the best plan is.
When should you call your doctor?
If you cough or spit blood, seek medical attention. Respiratory tract infections, unlike allergies, include body pain and fever.
In addition to your cough, consult your doctor if you have the following symptoms:
Fever higher than 101˚F (38˚C)
Malaise, or a general feeling of being unwell
Productive cough that has foul-smelling, thick, green- or yellow-tinted phlegm