There aren’t many things more annoying than a persistent dry cough. Coughing like this can make us uncomfortable and also annoy others in a group or social environment. However, there are several ways, which you can do at home, to reduce or manage your cough. You can try to treat your cough yourself, but keep in mind that if the cough persists for three weeks or more, you should consult a doctor.
Keep your throat moist. Coughing is usually caused by postnasal drip , which is when fluid from the nose drips down the back of the throat. This usually happens when you have a cold or catch a virus such as the flu. Drinking fluids can thin the mucus caused by a cold.
Gargle with warm salt water. This will help reduce pain and reduce inflammation. Gargle before bed and whenever you feel discomfort in your throat.
Drink warm water in large quantities. While hot water may seem to be the best remedy for your throat, warm water actually rehydrates body tissues better than hot water. Hot water can irritate inflamed body tissues. Hot tea is a great way to stay hydrated, and it provides a warm and soothing sensation to your throat.
Anise tea is known to provide a soothing sensation to the throat and relieve coughs. Add cinnamon to it for more benefits in relieving coughs.
Bring the ginger to a boil with the tea leaves. Add a pinch of pepper and some basil leaves to relieve nasal congestion. This herbal concoction will reduce tissue sensitivity and soothe your throat, thereby relaxing the throat tissue after excessive coughing.
Drink warm honey and cinnamon milk before going to bed. When cinnamon and honey are combined, these ingredients fight infection, reduce swelling, or have antioxidant properties that can help treat a sore throat.
To make cinnamon milk, mix tsp cinnamon and 1 tbsp sugar in a saucepan. Then add 1/8 tsp of baking soda and 240 ml of milk to it and mix well. Heat until steamy, but do not boil. Allow the mixture to cool, and then add 1 tablespoon of honey, stir until the honey is dissolved, and drink it while it’s warm.
Drink pineapple juice. Pineapple juice is 5 times more effective than cough syrup, as shown in a 2010 study. It makes the larynx softer but doesn’t leave a residue that can make coughing worse. Choose this juice over orange or lemon juice.
Grape juice is also good for treating coughs. Mix a teaspoon of honey in a cup of grape juice. Wine acts as an expectorant; expectorants encourage the expulsion of sputum through the airways, thereby relieving your cough.
Use oregano to relieve the intensity of your cough. Boil a tablespoon of oregano leaves in a cup of water. Once the water boils, remove the oregano leaves through a sieve and drink the oregano tea .
If you have a tea diffuser (a tea filter shaped like a ball), you can put oregano leaves inside to make it easier to remove the oregano leaves .
Eating Foods That Give A Soothing Sensation
Consume honey to give a soothing sensation to your throat. The thick texture of honey will moisturize your tonsils thereby reducing irritation in your throat (and your urge to cough.) Good honey is almost as effective as a cough syrup!
Rose petal infused water (mineral water to which rose petals are added) is also an excellent alternative to honey. Rose essence can destroy mucus well.
Use essential oils to relieve your cough. Essential oils are powerful and efficacious oils that can be used for home purposes to the treatment of various ailments. Some essential oils have properties to reduce a persistent cough.
Eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary , sage , tea tree , sandalwood, cedarwood , frankincense and hyssop oils are among the best essential oils for relieving a stuffy nose.
To help clear a stuffy nose, put 1-2 drops of essential oil on your hands, then rub your hands together, cupping your hands over your nose, and breathe deeply 4-6 times. You can also pour 2-4 drops of this oil on a cotton ball, put it in a bag with a lid, and take it with you wherever you go.
Tea tree , sage , eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary , lemon, garlic, and ginger oils are among the best essential oils for relieving a sore throat.
To use essential oils as a sore throat reliever, pour 1-2 drops of essential oil in half a glass of warm water and gargle for a few minutes, then drain the water. Make sure you don’t swallow the water with the essential oil mixture.
Make homemade cough syrup. There are many different types of homemade cough syrups that are much more effective than over-the-counter cough syrups.
Make herbal cough syrup . Put 60 grams of herb mixture into one liter of water. Herbs that you can use include fennel, licorice , slippery elm bark, cinnamon, ginger root, and orange peel. Heat the mixture until the water is reduced to half (about half a liter). Strain the mixture and add a cup of honey to it. Stir until the honey is well blended.
Make a cough syrup based on shallots . Shallots are efficacious in destroying phlegm that can cause coughing. Finely chop the onion and remove the juice. Mix the onion juice and honey in equal proportions. Let the mixture sit for four to five hours. After the mixture has cooled, you now have a cough syrup that you can take twice a day.
Make elderberry syrup . Elderberry syrup is a good choice because it’s cough-soothing but stomach-friendly. If you have a sensitive stomach, try this syrup. Mix one liter of elderberry juice with two cups of honey and two cinnamon sticks in a saucepan. Boil for 10 minutes. This recipe will make about 1.5 liters of syrup.
If you want to make your own elderberry juice to use in making cough syrup, you can boil some fresh or dried elderberries in a liter of water for about 45 minutes, then strain the fruit and follow the recipe above.
Eat warm chicken soup. The steam that comes out of the soup will help open your upper respiratory membrane while the warmth will provide a soothing sensation to your throat and prevent your body from suffocating because chicken soup is rich in protein. After all, what’s more comforting than a warm bowl of soup?
Eat lozenges. Buy lozenges that contain menthol. The menthol will reduce the sensitivity of the back of your throat, thereby relieving coughing. Menthol is a compound derived from the peppermint plant that contains an anesthetic sensation that can relieve sore throats. Lozenges are a great option if you have to be in a public place but don’t want your cough to bother other people, such as in a movie theater or classroom.
If you don’t have lozenges on hand, suck on regular, hard candies. Simply sucking on a hard candy or lollipop can increase saliva production and relieve your dry cough. Chewing gum can also temporarily relieve your cough. Peppermint gum is a good choice because it has anesthetic properties similar to menthol.
Take Advantage of Air Humidity
Use a humidifier ( humidifier ). Dry air can cause nasal secretions to dry out and make your respiratory system uncomfortable, which can lead to coughing. Thus, this tool is necessary for that reason.
Be careful if you use the appliance too often—if you don’t clean it, it can pump mold and bacteria back into the air. This can cause your cough to take longer to heal, not relieve it.
Take a hot, steamy shower. Make sure you close all the windows in the bathroom and turn off the fan. Thus, you will create your own sauna room at home. The steam will thin your nasal secretions. Steam is also efficacious to relieve coughs caused by colds, allergies, and asthma.
Inhale the steam from the pot of boiling water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the stove and place it on a heat-resistant surface. Then hold your head above the water and inhale the steam. You can also place a towel over your head to help collect the steam for you to breathe.
Try adding thyme leaves to the water for the added benefit of clearing your breath.
Take decongestant medication. If postnasal drip is causing your cough, consider taking a decongestant, which is a medication that reduces swollen nasal tissue and reduces mucus. Decongestant medications are available in the form of nasal sprays, pills, and liquids.
Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than three days. Using it for more than three days in a row can cause nasal congestion.
Decongestant drugs also usually contain Oxymetazoline which is a nasal congestion reliever medication, but if used for more than three days can damage the respiratory tract.
Try taking an antihistamine. Antihistamines limit the release of histamine in the body, which can cause excessive mucus in the nose and throat, resulting in persistent coughing. Antihistamines are especially effective during allergy season, or if your cough is caused by a mild allergic reaction to something around you, such as pet dander or mold.
Know about cough suppressants. Cough relievers contain active ingredients such as camphor, dextromethorphan , eucalyptus oil, and menthol which will temporarily relieve your cough but will not cure it. If you’re having trouble sleeping because of your cough, or if you’re coughing so much that your chest or muscles hurt, you might consider taking a cough suppressant at night. But keep in mind that cough suppressants cannot cure your cough.
Treating the Main Problem
Visit your doctor to diagnose the infection. If your infection is caused by bacteria, your doctor can help you by prescribing antibiotics. Viruses don’t respond to antibiotics, so if your infection is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t work.
Watch for things that irritate the respiratory system around you. If you recently changed your perfume or bathroom spray with a new product, it is likely that this is irritating your sinuses and causing your cough. Cigarette smoke is also a major cause of coughing.
If cigarette smoke is causing your cough, you should consider trying to treat a cough that smokers usually suffer from by quitting smoking.
Avoid gastric irritation. If you suffer from GERD / Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (chronic acid reflux disease) or often experience heartburn ( heartburn ), you must take steps to minimize its effects. Do not lie down within 3 hours of eating and avoid spicy foods or other “trigger” foods.
Review the medications you are taking. Certain medications, such as ACE inhibitors ( angiotensin converting enzyme /enzyme that plays a role in regulating extracellular volume) can cause chronic cough. If the medicines you are taking have these side effects, discuss with your doctor about other drug options for your disease.
Avoid dust and other allergens. If you can’t get rid of dust or allergens from the environment you’re in using an air filter or clean the area properly, allergy medicine can be used to treat a chronic cough caused by allergens.